Solidarity Statement for the Revolutionary Students at CUNY

Solidarity Statement for the Revolutionary Students at CUNY

The Revolutionary Student Movement (Toronto Chapter) sends its revolutionary greetings to the Revolutionary Students Coordinating Committee. We write to express our full solidarity with Comrades Khalil Vasquez and Tafador Sourov, and the CUNY 6. We are inspired by the initiatives your comrades have taken in leading righteous struggles on campus that expose the university as a cog in the US imperialist machinery; that reveal its functional role in sustaining and reproducing the very class society that we would like to see smashed. The actions of your comrades mobilized a great number of young people against the injustices meted out by the existing capitalist order.

Taffy and Khalil. Photo by Jeff Mays.

The ivory tower is not neutral. It is not a space for the free exchange of ideas and expression of oppositional viewpoints. The ruling class and its state show their hypocrisy to the whole world when sections of the masses place revolutionary politics in command, to put these ideas into action, to dissent, protest and threaten the social peace. It is in exactly these times that the facade of academic freedom, along with all the other liberal freedoms, are revoked.

We have watched, with a keen eye, the impressive mobilization of students and community members on CUNY campus chase down the imperialist war-mongerer and CIA snoop-in-chief, David Petraeus. It is right to protest his appointment to faculty by the CUNY administration. It is right to expose how knowledge production at universities is geared toward the destruction, by military means, by increasing NGOization (imperialism’s softer, kinder face), of the oppressed masses in subjugated countries all over the world.

As the University of Toronto administration seeks to dismantle a small independent program called the Transitional Year Programme, a program originally started by Black students as a way to address the structural barriers that historically prevent proletarian and Native students from attending university, we have also been watching the impressive mobilization your comrades have organized to keep the Guillermo Morales/Assata Shakur Community and Student Center open. As we find more and more similarities in the struggles on our campuses, your actions inspire us to keep struggling with the current students, alumni, and community members who have called the TYP home.

As universities here and everywhere implement their austerity measures, by gutting programs that actually provide some meaningful services  in this odious capitalist system, it is the responsibility of anti-capitalist and revolutionary students to show solidarity with one another and to build on each other’s work. Our plan in the coming months is to broaden the struggle, to call for the proletarianization of the University of Toronto! Should the CUNY administration proceed with their charges against Vasquez and Sourov, we will mobilize here in defense of our shared struggle.

We thus vehemently condemn the CUNY administration’s targeting of Vasquez and Sourov, who are undoubtedly singled out because of their communist political views and their ability to move others to struggle openly and fearlessly for what they believe in: to struggle for justice, to struggle against political apathy and nihilism that would otherwise engulf this generation of youth. We demand that all charges against Vasquez and Sourov be dropped and that they be reinstated immediately. The hypocrisy and bureaucratic measures of these so-called ‘student codes of conduct’ and ‘disruption policies’–the Policy on Expressive Conduct at CUNY–only speaks to the fear of those who sit on university governing bodies, those who also have political and economic stakes in shutting down dissent and protest that threaten business as usual.

Proletarianize the University!

Education for Liberation! 

Education that Serves the People!

For more info, visit the Revolutionary Student Coordinating Committee: