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FRSO: On the Student Movement in the United States

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Soviet cogitations: 92
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 03 Jun 2009, 04:00
Post 09 Jun 2009, 13:58
Check out this article on the student movement from Freedom Road Socialist Organization:

On the Student Movement in the United States

Contribution to the 18th International Communist Seminar
By Josh Sykes, Freedom Road Socialist Organization

“The youth – the current situation of the youth, the work of the communists among the youth, and the incorporation of new generations in the communist parties”

Brussels, 15-17 May 2009

Freedom Road Socialist Organization has a rich history of work among youth and students. Many of the veteran cadres of our organization were active with the youth of the Black Panther Party, Brown Berets and the Students for a Democratic Society of the 1960s, the Revolutionary Student Brigades in the 1970s, or the Progressive Student Network in the 1980s. Others worked on campuses to organize against South African Apartheid, in the historic Jesse Jackson campaign, or in solidarity with the Central American revolutionary movements. Many also organized Asian American and Pilipino (1) students, or worked in mostly oppressed nationality student formations like the Student Liberation Action Movement (SLAM) in New York. Today, students and youth in Freedom Road continue to do mass student organizing, mainly in the new Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) formed in 2006.

Why should Marxist-Leninists do work among students?

Our line on student work has its roots in the New Communist Movement. Much has changed since then, and we as an organization have learned a lot and gained a lot of experience, but the basic principles remain. As we see it, communists should work among students for three main reasons: 1) in and of themselves, the student movement can strike blows against the U.S. ruling class, 2) the activity of the student movement can spread advanced ideas to society as a whole, and 3) advanced students can take up Marxism-Leninism and join the struggles of the working class.

Read the rest here: ... the-us.htm
Study Marxism through the concrete analysis of past and contemporary national liberation struggles and class struggles:
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Soviet cogitations: 10803
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 21 Dec 2004, 23:53
Ideology: Marxism-Leninism
Post 09 Jun 2009, 17:59
Good read.
I liked it up until this part:

In some instances, even student government associations are organizing protests [...] And at Penn State University in February, the student government organized hundreds of students to protest the governor’s budget proposal that cut $20.3 million from Penn State’s budget while also excluding the university from the Pennsylvania Tuition Relief Act. This move would block many low-income students, and especially oppressed nationality youth, from access to higher education (The Daily Collegian, 2/10/09).

Our student government goes to Harrisburg every year to protest tuition increases, period. As in tuition increases every year and our student government doesn't do jack shit except use our money and drive to Harrisburg. United Students Against Sweatshops (USAS) & the Student Labor Action Project (SLAP) are much better. I vaguely recall myself trying to organize some students for a takeover of our schools administraion building to protest tuition hikes, but that didn't happen.
Anyway SLAP/USAS is the most progressive, active and organized student group on campus. Outside the traditional sweatshop movement they've been involved with the SEIU & Teamster campaigns, the EFCA campaign, electing most of the people of student government, Gaza solidarity rallies, student voice issues, and organizing all the progressive student groups into the Progressive Student Alliance. And if nobody got it by now the student government at PSU is shit.

"By what standard of morality can the violence used by a slave to break his chains be considered the same as the violence of a slave master?" - Walter Rodney
Soviet cogitations: 78
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 10 Jan 2004, 03:48
Post 10 Jun 2009, 18:52
Student governments are often in control of the fraternities and sororities, which basically ensures their reactionary nature. However, it is not impossible to overcome their influence and turn student governments into a progressive and radical direction. Not to mention capturing student government in most places can win you millions of dollars in funds to push progressive causes on campus.
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Soviet cogitations: 10803
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 21 Dec 2004, 23:53
Ideology: Marxism-Leninism
Post 15 Jun 2009, 03:29
Speaking from my own experiences but I haven't heard of student governments being run by greeks. My university has the largest greek life in the USA and we don't control the student government. I've also visited several other fraternity chapters in other schools and it is in a similar situation that the student government opposes greek life.

At my university it was historically been more progressive to be on the outside throwing rocks than on the inside, but I have seen universities with progressive student governments. Either way it is easy for a student group to milk away thousands of dollars for their own purposes if you look hard enough.

"By what standard of morality can the violence used by a slave to break his chains be considered the same as the violence of a slave master?" - Walter Rodney
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Soviet cogitations: 215
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 13 Mar 2009, 04:41
Post 16 Jun 2009, 06:57
Great post - FRSO has some interesting literature.
"Discover your humanity and your love in revolution." -George Jackson
Soviet cogitations: 285
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 13 Jul 2006, 18:37
Post 09 Aug 2009, 00:22
To be honest as I tend to give more time to my work than to my studies I' m not active within the students movement as in Poland is either Union of Polish Students (postcommunist) that more cares to organize payied courses for youth that want to join univeristy than in political activity, the second union is right wing former supporters of Solidarity Independent Union Of Students, they mainly do commercial job recruiting the students to many buisnesses. But still they are more political than the postcommunist union.

There is also small group called Democratic Students Union linked to polish section of European Left Party- Young Socialists. It is more radical and they oppose privatisation of public education. But anyway their program is just socialdemocratic and with even anticommunist (their warsaw branch once proposed to go on the may day protest with carrying both anticonservative and anticommunist slogans).

Despite I am not the part of working class, either from familly status either from my current job situation I rather align myself with trade union movement.

Also disapointed with inactivity of CP of Poland and many atrocities caused by clique splits in it's youth wing I've joined the youth wing of Polish Labour Party, which despite it's left socialdemoratic program largely consists of wide range of communists either from trotkyst CWI as well non aligned non-trockyst non-stalinist communists as I regard myself.

Our mother's party often encourages us to work in the students inviroment mainly during election but I don't like it. Majority of polish students tempt to be alienated from social situation in the country. Imagine the students of Warsaw university shouting at trade union demonstrations: "get a job commies". There is large support of exotic on polish political scene as "the austrian school of economy". Majority of students tend to support rulling liberals from Civic Platform, but they may change their mind's after introducing govermental plans of making students pay full charge on public transport and introducing part payment on the studies.

There are also some really reactionary elements supporting either white power skinheads rooted movements such as Polish National-Radical Movement and split from it- Falanga. Actually during european election this second organization and Libertas made significant presence in my university.

Hope light in the tunnel is that I find some students (mainly those dividing live into job and study and mainly studing on a payied afternoon/evening courses) that despite not calling themselfes leftists are against liberal model of economy and are strongly opposing the ideas of organizations I mentioned before.

I side with them as I don't too much show my political believs as it might be hard to deal with professor's and other education staff as the university is coowned by the polish state and Polish Catholic Church. I exposed my views few times on ocasions of standing against lies sayied about the Gomulka, and against the hypocrysie of Libertas and Civic Platform economical program (as they are liberals and say that state cannot take part the economy and latter attack EU lack of allowance to fund from state treasure polish docking industry) during prelectional debate.

with regards

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