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

Continue reading

Working Women: We Have The Power!

March 8th is International Working Women’s Day or International Women’s Day. This is a day of celebration and recognition for the struggles overcame and accomplishments achieved by women, especially working women. We begin on March 8, 1857 when garment workers in New York City march and picket demanding better working conditions, a ten hour work day and equal rights for women. The brave women who had dared to fight for better conditions were dispersed by the police. A full fifty-one years later on the same day on March 8, 1908, women in the needle trades in New York City marched again. The march this time, honoring that historic march on 1857 demanded the right for women to vote, they also demanded an end to child labor. Just as in the past the police were there to disperse them.

In commemoration of these struggles, in 1910 at the Second International, a worldwide socialist party congress, German socialist Clara Zetkin proposed that March 8th be proclaimed as International Working Women’s Day, to commemorate the mobilization of women workers in the US and honor working women the world over. Since then, we recognize all efforts to improve the lives of women, both locally and globally. It is also an occasion to unite, mobilize and struggle for a radical change that is still desperately needed. Continue reading

Break The Cages: End Detainment of Asylum Seekers!

Asylum-seekers fleeing violence in their home countries are being indefinitely held in private detention centers under horrendous conditions and set for deportation to countries where they face immediate danger. In light of this situation detainees in these facilities began a series of hunger strikes, demanding immediate release and an end to deportation. The hunger strikes originated mid- October at an El Paso detention center with 54 South Asian detainees and it quickly spread to several other detention centers in the South, including the LaSalle Detention Center in Louisiana, the T.Don Hutto Detention center, the East and West Facility of Adelanto in California and more, as the risk of death through starvation became their only route to freedom. These acts of solidarity show the level of desperation for humane treatment that is not provided by our government. The detainees made the following demands: Continue reading

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