Dare To Struggle and We Won! UMKC Tuition Hike Defeated!

May DayThis past week the College of Arts & Sciences Student Council received a plan to increase the A&S Course Fee to $60 per credit hour. They are standing to make $3.1 million from this increase, but at what cost to the students? This change would have impacted more than 9,000 students who would have to pay anywhere from $500-$1000 more in fees each semester. This fee is also recurring from year to year. Each year the fee will increase due to another decision by UMKC administrators. They haven’t informed any of their students of this proposal either, not even so much as a courtesy email or letter in the mail. PYO-KC as an organization flyered and posted information surrounding the town hall and imploring students to be involved to oppose administration and the CSA student council’s proposal.

The financial strain that this proposal puts on students is immense. A large amount of students who go to UMKC already rely on scholarships with many having to take out thousands of dollars in loans on top of those inadequate scholarships. UMKC students are forced to work long hours at local businesses, rely on their family, and sacrifice study time to pay for rising tuition costs. Nevertheless, we have won a concrete victory last night in regards to the proposed tuition hike on behalf of working class and oppressed nationality students. Last night at the University of Missouri-Kansas-City town hall meeting about the recent proposal to increase tuition we mustered up our forces. What we found was the scheduled town hall was to be held in a pathetically small room in the Administration building that could have fit no more than 30 people, our organization composed more than half of those in attendance nevertheless. We voiced our opposition in many ways, which the administration and College of Arts and Sciences student council was ill-prepared for. Continue reading “Dare To Struggle and We Won! UMKC Tuition Hike Defeated!”

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Break The Ice! Stop The Raids! – ¡Quiebra el ICE! ¡Alto a las Redadas! // Joint Statement – Declaración Conjunta

Press-Release-10-7-20111

In the weeks prior to a landmark Supreme Court decision on DAPA and DACA+, a decision that would affect the lives of millions of people across the nation, the Obama administration’s ICE decided to carry out its second major immigration raids of the year; this time in the Midwest. Under the guise of “removing criminal aliens,” ICE has rounded up 331 immigrants in the states of Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin, Kentucky, Kansas and Missouri. Much of the language of the statements from ICE justify these raids in the interest of “public safety,” but they contradict the impact that immigrant rights groups in the area claim is doing more harm than good.

ICE raids break up families and traumatize children who must contend with witnessing armed groups of men abducting their parents and siblings from the safety of their homes. The remark of “removing criminal aliens” is also a ruse that includes individuals working with infractions as minor as working with a made-up social security number. Chicago was the hardest hit city with 106 arrests made. In our own state of Missouri, 39 arrests were made in the Kansas City area. Such actions constitute a treacherous violation on the part of the Obama administration, which has deported more immigrants than any other previous administration combined in recent history.

This coming on the cusps of promising comprehensive immigration reform. It is clear to us that immigration reform and collective liberation cannot come at the mercy of the carceral state, which must be fed with a constant supply of prison inmates to fill it’s jails, but rather a willingness to resist. History has taught us that no people is given their freedom without standing up and fighting for it. The very fact that immigration reform is being discussed, that DACA was won by the People, was not from a change of heart from the Democratic Party and the Obama administration. Rather it was won from the willingness of hundreds of thousands of Dreamers rising up to demand their right to not be separated from their families. Who fought to have access to the right of education.

In Missouri a reactionary bill was signed into law, HB 2003, that would seek to undermine DACA by charging Dreamers international rates to attend public universities. The law is supposed to go into effect August 28, 2016, but already schools are hiking tuition on ‘DACAmented’ students. In Kansas City, community colleges which cannot charge international rates, and thus are immune to the language of the bill, still see it fit to charge out-of-state tuition to DACA recipients, even though they are under no obligation to do so. Such racist attacks by Missouri’s legislature, and the signing of the bill into law by Jay Nixon, who assured undocumented youth that it was “unenforceable,” show that it is not the politicians in whom we can trust, but in our own ability as The People to resist. Such moves which seek to undermine the victories we have made must be soundly and firmly rejected.

We are issuing a call to resist not only the ICE raids but Missouri HB 2003 . We will not relent until this unconstitutional law is repealed and Dreamers are given access to schools in the state in which they reside. We will not sit idly by and allow so many members of our community be treated in such a neglectful, violent and racist manner.

Signed,

Progressive Youth Organization, Kansas City

Progressive Youth Organization, Saint Louis

Kansas Missouri Dream Alliance

Una Lucha KC

Latinos en Axión STL

Continue reading “Break The Ice! Stop The Raids! – ¡Quiebra el ICE! ¡Alto a las Redadas! // Joint Statement – Declaración Conjunta”

Capitalism and Segregation At the Roots (with Video)

The chairperson of the Progressive Youth Organization, Andrés, was invited to speak at Longview Community College surrounding the issue of segregation. As a lifelong resident of Kansas City, in a segregated, now rapidly gentrifying neighborhood, our comrade gives an analysis of segregation as an institution of racism and ties it with the capitalist mode of production. He also comments briefly on the role Kansas City played in segregating America’s cities and how even after the passage of the 1964 Civil Rights Act Kansas City continued and continues to remain a very segregated city. The video of the lecture is provided as well as the presentation paper to go along with it.

The Roots of Racism

slave_trade_1650-1860_b - www.slaveryinamerica.org
The discovery of gold and silver in America, the extirpation, enslavement and entombment in mines of the aboriginal population, the beginning of the conquest and looting of the East Indies, the turning of Africa into a warren for the commercial hunting of black-skins, signalised the rosy dawn of the era of capitalist production. These idyllic proceedings are the chief moments of primitive accumulation. . . . [They all] depend in part on brute force, e.g., the colonial system. But, they all employ the power of the State, the concentrated and organised force of society, to hasten, hot-house fashion, the process of transformation of the feudal mode of production into the capitalist mode . . . . [C]apital comes dripping from head to foot, from every pore, with blood and dirt.
So to begin we should go back to the roots of segregation which is a form of institutional racism. This begs a chicken and the egg question of which came first? Well when we talk of how people perceived one another some groups of people were viewed as being lower than others we see this in how the Romans and Greeks would call non-Romans and non-Greeks “Barbarian”. We see even in the Aztec world in which the slur for nomadic peoples was “chichimeca” or dog-speaker. People had a conception of prejudice of other people throughout millenia, there was a semblance of superiority even, but the institutional aspect of this prejudice taking the form of laws, the social division of labor based on race and nation only come about under capitalism. It would not be wrong to say then that we know what came first in this question. The chicken is capitalism, a capitalism which developed rapidly in the post-feudal, post-Black death age of Europe in the 15th and 16th centuries. We should reflect upon just how Western capitalism got it’s first start-up that is it’s first huge surges of capital and wealth, in the process in which Karl Marx called “the primitive accumulation” which he notes in his volume Capital:

The discovery of gold and silver in America, the extirpation, enslavement and entombment in mines of the aboriginal population, the beginning of the conquest and looting of the East Indies, the turning of Africa into a warren for the commercial hunting of black-skins, signalised the rosy dawn of the era of capitalist production. These idyllic proceedings are the chief moments of primitive accumulation. . . . [They all] depend in part on brute force, e.g., the colonial system. But, they all employ the power of the State, the concentrated and organised force of society, to hasten, hot-house fashion, the process of transformation of the feudal mode of production into the capitalist mode . . . . [C]apital comes dripping from head to foot, from every pore, with blood and dirt. Continue reading “Capitalism and Segregation At the Roots (with Video)”

Out With The Racists, In With The Refugees

As 2016 rolls around, so does the 5th year of the Syrian Civil War. amerikkaMillions of people have fled the country attempting to escape the violence, preferably to Europe or the United States. In a 289-137 the US House of Representatives voted to make it harder for refugees fleeing the tragic violence to come here. In Missouri, Lieutenant Governor Peter Kinder and the Missouri Republicans want the State to deny entry for all Syrian Refugees. Meanwhile Governor Jay Nixon wants “more safeguards” to an already restrictive process. While in Kansas politicians like Sam Brownback are attempting to block refugees from coming in signing an executive order to prevent refugee resettlement! Governor Sam Brownback is a gubernatorial travesty, and is trying to shift the attention away from his failed policies and joins about 20 more governors, in denying refuge for those fleeing terror and violence caused by this country’s imperialist policies. They are not alone, presidential candidate Donald Trump, one never to disappoint with his racist rhetoric, has even gone as far as to call for a ban on all Muslim immigration and a national database as we “cannot be sure” if they are terrorists or not. Implying that the majority of the world’s Muslims are only a shove away from adopting the tenets of the Islamic State. This sort of language is what comes right before a campaign of ethnic cleansing. Using racist and Islamophobic rhetoric, the Far Right in this country has demonized and painted with a broad brush all Muslims and people of Arab descent as terrorists. We must stand together against these reactionaries because they do not only affect refugees from countries like Iraq or Syria, but also refugees fleeing violence in Central America.

syria

Continue reading “Out With The Racists, In With The Refugees”

Recognition Is Not Enough! Trans Liberation Now!

Today on Transgender Day of Remembrance, let us remember all of the trans people whose lives we lost this year to violence and suicide. This is a day of sorrow, grief and despair for trans people and for all of humanity. TDOR is the only trans-specific holiday, yet it is not recognized by our governments. Our fallen receive no moments of silence in school halls, no flags at half mast, and little mention from the mainstream press. This is our holiday, and we must come together as one with our allies to remember, cherish and mourn the beautiful lives lost in our community.

We must stand with all trans people in their fight for liberation against systemic transphobia, transmisogyny, and anti-trans violence. Today, let us especially remember our trans sisters of color, who statistically experience more violence than our white sisters. Let us remember the victims from suicide, often our youngest – some of the world’s best and brightest – whose lives were ended prematurely from a sense of hopelessness, frustration and from mental illness brought on by a culture of hostility and transphobia. We must remember our fallen siblings who did sex work to survive, because we live in a world that economically disenfranchises us and puts many of us in situations where it’s survive, or turn our bodies into commodities. And once our bodies are commodified, it makes us vulnerable to forced sex trafficking – a violence so repugnant it must be wiped out immediately, yet law enforcement seems to consistently ignore it. We must remember these siblings’ lives, and honor them by fighting back. We must remember our non-binary siblings who have been killed, because they dare challenge a gender binary that is deeply ingrained in our history and traditions – history and traditions that are then spread around the globe via U.S. imperialism. We must remember our fallen trans and queer siblings in oppressed nations around the world, who don’t have access to the same care and communities that we have here in KC. We must demand justice for our sister Jennifer Laude, not only a victim of transphobic violence but racist imperialism since her murderer was a US Marine, who has still not answered to his crimes from either the government of the Philippines nor our own. Last but not least, we remember our anonymous dead, who are all greatly missed and loved.  Continue reading “Recognition Is Not Enough! Trans Liberation Now!”

Without Womxn The Sky Would Fall: PYO Statement on Domestic Violence Awareness Month

patriarchy
Without Womxn The Sky Would Fall!

Patriarchy manifests itself as the oldest universal oppression felt by women – reaching across class, racial and national lines through varying degrees. October is designated as “Domestic Violence Awareness Month” nationwide. Domestic violence affects women and children, as well as men. However, the brunt of domestic violence is felt by women at a much higher rate.1

Patriarchal violence is not something that can be reformed; it has a history reaching back thousands of years, and is now repackaged and reproduced by capitalist society on a psycho-ideological level as well as a physical one. Whether it is through emotional or physical abuse, the feminization/pinkification of certain industries, gender roles, sexual harassment, restrictions on women’s health or the gender wage gap, the intersections of institutional and societal sexism, racism, queerphobia, transphobia and xenophobia all serve to amplify, and often justify, the atrocities perpetuated by a patriarchal system. All these issues together play as an act of violence against women, and they are fundamental to maintaining the structures that support modern day late-capitalism. Continue reading “Without Womxn The Sky Would Fall: PYO Statement on Domestic Violence Awareness Month”