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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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