Tag Archives: FRSO Student Commission

Interview with FRSO student leader on the campus movement and October 7 protests

Education rights protest in Milwaukee, WI. (Fight Back! News/Staff)

The following is from Fight Back! News:

Interview with FRSO student leader on the campus movement and October 7 protests
States more students are becoming revolutionaries and communists

Fight Back! interviewed Kas Schwerdtfeger, a co-chair of the Freedom Road Socialist Organization student commission.

Fight Back!: What are the big issues on campus this fall? Where is the student movement at right now?

Kas Schwerdtfeger: Like last year, students are facing the effects of budget cuts on their campuses – from fee and tuition hikes to cuts in services. Most schools have only been in session for a few weeks, but already we are seeing students protest at the University of New Orleans over budget cuts, ending in a occupation of the chancellor’s office and confrontations with police. On some campuses the mood may be simmering resentment, on others, outrage, but students across the country are realizing that each semester brings more cuts, making education more and more expensive, inaccessible, and of less and less quality.

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FRSO Students: Study and Struggle

Students protest at UCLA in 2009 (Fight Back! News/Staff)

The following article is from Fight Back! News. See also the FRSO pamphlet On the Student Movement in the United States by Josh Sykes.

The Student Commission of the Freedom Road Socialist Organization (FRSO) met over the 2009 winter break to discuss education rights, building a movement against war and occupations in Afghanistan and Iraq, fighting racism on campus and supporting immigrant rights. FRSO students came from as far as California and Florida, with large delegations from the South and Midwest. With a burning desire for social justice, the national cold wave could not stop them.

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The Struggle for Education Rights: UC Walkouts Show the Way

58470679Fight Back! is circulating the following editorial written by Josh Sykes for the Student Commission of the Freedom Road Socialist Organization.

Thousands of union workers, faculty, undergrads and graduate students across the University of California system stood up and said “no more!” to the severe budget cuts, layoffs, furloughs and tuition hikes. On Sept. 24, they stood up and walked out. The UC faculty initiated the walkout. The United Professional and Technical Employees (UPTE) union called a one-day unfair labor practices strike. All ten of the UC campuses saw protests. UCLA saw 1000 students walkout and sit-in at the administration offices, demanding, and winning, a meeting with the chancellor to discuss grievances. At UC-Berkeley over 5000 took the streets, shutting down busy intersections. Students at UC-Santa Cruz occupied a campus building to protest the cuts.

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On the Student Movement in the United States

The following is the contribution to the 18th International Communist Seminar by Josh Sykes, Freedom Road Socialist Organization.

Click on the image for a pamphlet-layout PDF

Click on the image for a pamphlet-layout PDF

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.

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Freedom Road – “SDS: Study and struggle, unite and fight!”

The following statement is from the website of Freedom Road Socialist Organization.

SDS: Study and struggle, unite and fight!

By Kati Ketz, Tracy Molm, and Kosta Harlan
for the Student Commission of Freedom Road Socialist Organization

We in Freedom Road Socialist Organization were disappointed to read Rachel Haut’s September 2008 interview with the Platypus project on “the present and future of SDS”. Freedom Road members work very hard to maintain Students for a Democratic Society as a strong, fighting organization that benefits from its ideological plurality while remaining united practically by radical, anti-imperialist activism. Unfortunately Rachel Haut, an SDS organizer in New York, said a few things to give us pause. We would like to take this opportunity to address those points here, because we think the things Rachel says have the potential to undermine some of SDS’s core principles. Mainly, we are concerned with the mistaken notion that FRSO wants to ‘take over’ SDS. We also want to address Rachel’s statement that “Maoism is in opposition to a democratic society” and that “it is inappropriate to have conversations about ideological differences when we still have Maoists in the organization”. Rachel says she will not ‘condone’ FRSO members being in SDS, and is, in effect, calling for all Marxist-Leninists to be purged. We think this sort of sectarianism is and has been a detriment to SDS as a whole. These are big issues, and we can’t deal with them thoroughly here. But we think a conversation is needed and that people in SDS should talk to us about these things, whether they agree or disagree with us. Continue reading