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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The Historical Significance of May Day

May Day is a day of celebration and solidarity with the workers of the world. Workers are oppressed and suppressed everywhere! Whether here in the U.S. by the police, the exploitative capitalist class, and the predatory prison system, or around the world by a country’s own capitalist class, occupying imperialist armies, and parasitic multinational corporations. The working people of the world are our allies and friends, it is the ruling classes that are our class enemies. On May 1st we want to express this by joining in solidarity with all the oppressed working peoples of the world, and to celebrate over 100 years of the struggle of Labor.

International Workers’ Day has a long and proud history, starting as a commemoration of those convicted and executed for standing up for the rights of working people at Haymarket right here in the United States, to now being an international holiday for working people all over the world. The U.S. government, always fearful of the power of the working class, has attempted to suppress this holiday over its over one hundred year history, in an effort to break up the power and solidarity of the working and oppressed masses.
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The History Of Our Class Struggle
Our story begins over 100 years ago in the late nineteenth century where the conditions on the jobsite were deplorable, where children and adults alike lost limbs in workplace accidents, where workers experienced fatigue from 16 hour shifts that grinded their strength to the bone. Even before the onset of the Civil War the working class was clamoring for a reduction in the working day by half without a loss of pay. During this time period socialist, anarchist and communist ideas were very popular among the working class. Many were enticed at the promises of a equal and just society where the means of production was controlled by the working class and distribution of goods and services in a more equitable manner. The workers saw first hand that they were seen as expendable commodities meant only to enrich the pockets of the capitalist class that exploited them, they saw firsthand thousands of deaths each year in the workplace, saw that life expectancy was as low as the twenties in some places and were enticed at the promise of socialism. They knew another world was not only possible but necessary. In time many of these socialist, communist and anarchist workers began to collectively organize and form labor unions which demanded an end to child labor and the implementation of an 8 hour work day. At a national convention held in Chicago on October 1884, The Federation of Organized Trades and Labor Unions on May 1st adopted in it’s platform the call for the legalization of the 8 hour work day “from and after May 1, 1886”. As the date approached US labor unions prepared and began to mobilize for a general strike in support of the measure. On Saturday, May 1, thousands of workers went on strike and rallies were held throughout the United States, with the cry, “Eight-hour day with no cut in pay.” In the city of Chicago, which was the epicenter of it all, it was estimated that 40,000 workers went on strike, with twice that number participating in different social venues throughout the city.

 

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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.

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