York University, Rise Up! Join the #RedSpring2015 Mobilization Committee!

York University, Rise Up! Join the #RedSpring2015 Mobilization Committee!

Students of York University!
Rise-up! Mobilize Towards the Pan-Canadian Day of Action, March 24

We are calling for individual students, campus organizations and allies to join the #redspring2015 mobilization committee.

1ST MOBILIZATION COMMITTEE MEETING:
WHEN: February 11, 2014, 4-6PM
WHERE: HNES lounge at the 1st Floor

On the FIRST MEETING, we will discuss:
– Our demands
(Are these demands applicable to our context? Do we have any additional demands?)
– How to engage and outreach to the larger student population
– Our plans for March 24th

If you are interested but cannot join the meeting, email revstudentsyork@gmail.com or drop us a message on facebook.com/rsmyork or RSVP to our event page

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Despite the demographic of the York undergraduate population to be composed mostly of working-class and racialized students, events in our campus have shown that we have no say over our how the university can work for us. Worse, Black and Brown students are racially profiled by increasing police presence in campus! Student activists have been heavily targeted by university administration for asking our university to divest from apartheid regimes! Outside, our university is actively participating in the gentrification of Jane and Finch and the displacement of its residents.

We, working-class and racialized students, understand that simply fighting for lower tuition does not guarantee the full accessibility of post-secondary education to our communities. Most of our peers drop out even before their high school graduation! And some of us who manage to attend post-secondary institutions fight tooth and nail to survive, struggling to pay tuition, rent, and bills at the same time, struggling to survive the alienation from a university built on the appropriation of Indigenous land and the appropriation of the labour of colonized people!

The Revolutionary Student Movement is calling for a pan-Canadian day of action against austerity and in solidarity with the Spring 2015 movement on March 24, 2015.We call for the creation of mobilization committees on campuses across Canada with the intent of organizing actions –strikes, demonstrations, walk-outs, etc. – on March 24.

Let’s use this opportunity to build a student movement that is not content with simply begging the government for scraps by lobbying. And let’s use this opportunity to build a student movement across Canada that is not afraid to fight, and not afraid to win.

These mobilization committees will strive to be safe and accessible to all people that wish to participate; in short, any sort of oppressive behaviour (racism, sexism, homophobia, ableism, national chauvinism, etc.) will not be tolerated within these committees. The committees must strive to be anti-colonial, feminist and LGBTQ2S+ inclusive, expressed in the committees’ political leadership and in their actions.

We demand:

1. ABOLITION OF TUITION FEE AT ALL LEVELS OF EDUCATION! CANCELLATION OF ALL OUTSTANDING DEBT!
Students should no longer have to pay for education. Students who could not afford post-secondary education should no longer be punished by high-interest student loans.

2. OPEN ACCESS TO POST-SECONDARY EDUCATION FOR ALL!
Free tuition alone cannot guarantee accessibility. We demand guaranteed admission to every post-secondary institution for all students. Good quality post-secondary education should not simply be for the elite; everyone should have access to the schools and programs of their choice.

3. EDUCATION IN THE SERVICES OF THE PEOPLE, NOT PROFIT!
Education should serve the interests of people, not corporations or profit. Education should serve the interests of people, not corporations or profit. Research should be done for the benefit of all, not the benefit of private firms. We demand that a democratic and scientific education should replace the imperialist, settler colonial and patriarchal curriculum in post-secondary schools. Education should prepare us to struggle for justice and liberation, not simply prepare us to work.

4. ACCESS TO POST-SECONDARY EDUCATION FOR ALL INDIGENOUS PEOPLE AND THE DEVELOPMENT OF AN ANTI-COLONIAL ASPECT TO ALL PROGRAMS!
We recognize that Canada, as a settler colony, is built on stolen land and the genocide of Indigenous peoples. Increased funding must be made available for all indigenous people to have access to post-secondary education, as well as for the creation of indigenous colleges and universities. We demand that education preserves the cultures and languages of indigenous people within post-secondary education, and a necessary anti-colonial component to all programs.

5. DEMOCRATIC CONTROL OF POST-SECONDARY INSTITUTIONS!
Universities and colleges should be run by the people they serve, not by unelected boards of governors filled with representatives of the big banks and large corporations. We demand the abolition of boards of governors, and their replacement with representative bodies composed of students, faculty, support staff, and members of the community. All representatives should be determined by the university’s community, and subject to recall at any time.

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: http://revolutionarystudents.wordpress.com/

Letter of Solidarity to Peterborough Students

This letter was written by PRAC-RSM upon learning of a planned walk-out and potential sit-in, by Peterborough students, on Dec 11, 2012. This walk-out is in support of Ontario teachers fighting for better work conditions, as well as for the reinstatement of extra-curricular activities. The Peterborough students correctly recognized that the blame for the teacher’s work-to-rule action is on the government and the bourgeoisie, and not their teachers. We laud the initiative taken up by the students. We hope that this protest movement will strengthen into a movement against the privatization of education, and eventually against the ongoing crisis of capitalism itself.

Fellow students,

We were excited to learn about the stand you’re taking today, and we wish to extend our congratulations, our enthusiasm and our solidarity.

You all know as well as anyone that with a loss of school activities comes a loss of hope, a world where only those with the money to pay have a chance to develop into the whole, fulfilled people they have the potential to become while the rest of us face boredom, stagnation and isolation.

You also know that the blame for this situation falls not on the teachers, who in their work-to-rule action against the provincial government are exercising what little power they have over a power structure that wants to deprive them of a good job and a good life.

But yours is a struggle not just for extra-curriculars or for a fair contract for your teachers. It’s a struggle against a system that can no longer provide us with what we need.

Ours is a bleak future – one of debt, poverty, unemployment and imprisonment. Everywhere we look, the promises of prosperity and peace made to us by those who run the whole show are coming unraveled. Pensions are being cut, the cost of living keeps rising, and wages keep falling by comparison. How many of us will have a higher standard of living than our parents? Fewer and fewer all the time.

Broken promises, hardship, and exploitation: that’s all the system has to offer us. But it doesn’t have to be that way.

You haven’t asked for our advice, but if you want it, it’s this: the power structure is your enemy. If you oppose them, they’ll never respect you and the only way they’ll ever listen is if they’re afraid – afraid that the spirit of rebellion you embody will escalate and spread, threatening the whole system of exploitation that makes them rich and powerful at the expense of the rest of us.

The spirit of rebellion you’re showing today can be nurtured and can grow into a force for revolution that will change the face of the planet. You can help make a world where we, the masses – the working class and oppressed people – are in control, where all the potential we hold together can be used to better ourselves and each other, where we reject domination and embrace empowerment, where everyone has everything they need.

We’re doing what we can to build this force for revolution, and we want to work with you in doing the same.

It is with great pride we count you within our ranks as students.

In Solidarity,

The Revolutionary Student Movement, Toronto