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

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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

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Dare To Struggle, Dare To Win: Kansas City Rises Against Trump

The people of Chicago did what no one had done since the 1960s: actually shut down an presidential election rally and they could not have picked a better person to shut down. The fascist clown Donald Trump was immediately kicked out before he even took the stage, due to pressure from the thousands of protesters outside, as well as those on the inside of the venue. Some sources claim that upwards of 60% of attendees in Chicago’s Trump rally were actually protesters.

Apart from seeing this as well as the events in St. Louis, we begin to see a trend where Trump’s rhetoric against Mexicans, Black people, Muslims and others are reaching a boiling point. A point where people no longer can stand quiet and do nothing as this beast is allowed to spew hate and sow seeds of discontent. In the past we saw crowds in the Trump rallies spit, punch and assault individual protesters with no interference from police, security or the Secret Service. Now we are seeing larger numbers come out not only to disrupt his hate speeches, but to rally outside his venues. The events in Chicago and St. Louis inspired us in Progressive Youth Organization to issue the call to get “Trump Out of KC”. Donald Trump had been scheduled to host a rally at the Midland Theater in Downtown Kansas City, at the same time as the Big 12 Basketball tournament was going on in the City and we had hoped to draw a huge crowd to meet him upon his arrival.

Protest of Donald Trump

Protest of Donald Trump campaign for President outside a Trump campaign rally at the Midland Theatre in downtown Kansas City, Missouri on Saturday, March 12, 2016.

Protest of Donald Trump

Protest of Donald Trump campaign for President outside a Trump campaign rally at the Midland Theatre in downtown Kansas City, Missouri on Saturday, March 12, 2016.

In essence thousands of people were going to be downtown, thousands more than usual. With less than two days to prepare, our organization was in full motion to not only coordinate the call to rally outside, but also to coordinate disruptions with our members and those taking our lead, as well as spreading the call to support the bail and legal fund for those that could have been and that were arrested. Inside our comrades as well as fast food workers from Stand Up KC and others disrupted Donald upwards to a dozen times for almost 45 minutes. It became so bad for Trump that much of his time was spent ranting about protesters and reading a newspaper about a snake for ten minutes, the meltdown of Trump after being disrupted for so long was taking a toll that he was forced to leave early.

The rallies themselves are almost circus like, complete with incomprehensible yelling, glam rock music and hooligan fans. Some comrades of ours had their hair pulled, signs torn up, and shoved. Others were spit on, with the Secret Service and the Kansas City Police Department doing absolutely nothing to protect protesters. In fact the police were culprits in the violence themselves. Shoving people by the neck, pulling batons out and rough handling people out of the venue. Continue reading

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

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

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Too Little, Too Late: We Are Not Political Pawns!

242_cartoon_border_fence_hurwitt_largeOn the 104th Anniversary of the Mexican Revolution President Barack Obama announced two executive actions to provide relief to nearly five million undocumented immigrants for three years. The first would grant deferred action to parents of American citizens or permanent residents who have been in the country for five years and youth who were brought into the country illegally as of 2010. While this relief is much needed and would provide relief from deportations and a relative security from job discrimination for millions it still would leave four million people unprotected and at risk for deportation, something the Obama administration is quite well at with an average rate of 400,000 people deported every year by the administration. And it seems this could even climb at a higher rate as the President has also promised to increase border security, adding to already one of the most militarized borders in the world; nearly surpassing the Demilitarized zone between North and South Korea.
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