POINTS OF UNITY
Revolutionary Student Coordinating Committee (RSCC), NYC
1. We want an end to white-supremacist national oppression and the right to self-determination for all oppressed nationalities. The US was founded on the genocide of the First Nations and the theft of their lands, the kidnapping and enslavement of Africans, the takeover of Aztlan and Hawaii, and the colonization of Puerto Rico, the Philippines and other places. The US oppresses third world people inside and outside of its borders, throughout Africa, Asia and Latin America.
CUNY’s predecessor, the Free Academy, was the white Academy. It excluded oppressed nationalities. In 1969, militant Black and Puerto Rican students opened up CUNY for third world people through the occupation of City College (University of Harlem) and other campuses. The racist introduction of tuition in 1976 was the beginning of the backlash against the gains of 1969. Since then, we have seen attacks on Ethnic and Women’s Studies and the complete elimination of Open Admissions at the senior colleges. Thus, fighting against tuition is not enough nor is it the central demand. We must fight for a liberatory education including the inclusion of Ethnic Studies integrated into the curriculum and Ethnic Studies Departments, community control and open access to CUNY. We must raise the national and revolutionary consciousness of our people in school and in the community.
2. We want an end to the oppression of women. Women face all kinds of patriarchal violence, from domestic violence to structural violence to state violence. Women historically are very important in forming community relationships and kinship networks in oppressed-nationality communities. The displacement of many oppressed-nationality men from their own families because of the prison industrial complex (among other factors) places an added stress on women. Women face oppression not only from the state that constantly oppresses them through police harassment and the welfare bureaucracy, but also at home among their own partners and families (especially among their own men) through sexual, mental and emotional abuse. The patriarchal exploitation of women’s unpaid labor in the home and underpaid labor in the workforce is essential to white-supremacist capitalism. The oppression of third world and proletarian women has a class character.
The majority of CUNY undergrads are women and at some schools this proportion is even greater. We must raise demands for childcare and female health services on our campuses. We must demand the inclusion of Women’s Studies integrated into the curriculum, as well as the creation of Women’s Studies Departments. We must engage our sisters to become full participants and vocal non-token leaders in the fight for our collective liberation.
3. We want an end to the oppression of LGBTQ people. Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer people are oppressed by the white-supremacist state and outcasted in our communities. LGBTQ people face sexual harassment by the cops and people in the community, suppression by the social services bureaucracy and oppression in the workforce. This leads to prostitution, homelessness, unemployment, denial of social services and mental stress.
LGBTQ students in CUNY are harassed by CUNY police, as well as students, teachers and administrators. We must challenge this practice by creating a queer-affirming culture everywhere. We must demand the inclusion of Queer Studies integrated into the curriculum, as well as the creation of Queer Studies Departments. We must engage our LGBTQ comrades as full participants and vocal non-token leaders in the fight for our collective liberation.
4. We want a democratic and scientific education system to replace the current reactionary white-supremacist patriarchal capitalist education system. As descendants of slaves and/or colonized peoples, our communities must have an education that informs us of our true history and prepares us to struggle for liberation. The leaders of the 1969 strike understood this as a key issue in CUNY. We must continue this legacy.
5. We are internationalists. We support all the national liberation movements in the world and the proletarian movements in the imperialist countries, and the ultimate abolition of capitalism worldwide.
6. We want an end to class exploitation. As students we know many of our people are not only oppressed as colonized and/or formerly enslaved peoples but our relationship to the means of production. Working people and the unemployed take on the brunt of capitalism and we believe in overturning this system. We support the progressive demands of the working class in the United States. This means that the demands of the US working class does not supersede the interests of oppressed nations and nationalities (internally to the United States and internationally) and the working class internationally.