These Points of Unity are the basis of political unity within the PYO-STL. Our process is political, and we must strive to enact and model our principles through unity of vision. We are a revolutionary movement; we fight for socialism and liberation. We, the revolutionary students and youth of Saint Louis, recognize the importance of creating a revolutionary political climate in our schools, workplaces, leisure spaces, and communities by doing work with the masses of people. We recognize that people of color, immigrants, youth and elders, people with disabilities, women and LGBTQI* people are systematically, deliberately, and thoroughly oppressed under capitalism. The oppressed face brutal and willful discrimination and oppression at work, at school, by law enforcement, in the communities, and by friends and family. This can take the form of harassment or unfair terminations by employers, increased violence at the hands of police, social alienation, and abuse, both physical and verbal, by those who are or sympathetic reactionary elements of American society. We must unite other progressives and revolutionaries in Saint Louis and work together with other progressive groups with the goal of dismantling the institutions of transphobia, racism, class exploitation, sexism, ableism, homophobia and xenophobia. We dare to struggle, and we dare to win.
WE OPPOSE THE OPPRESSION OF MINORITY GROUPS. ALL OPPRESSED NATIONS HAVE THE RIGHT TO DECIDE FOR THEMSELVES THEIR OWN DESTINY!
The United States is an imperialist, capitalist, racist, settler colonial state. It was founded on the kidnapping and forced labor under pain of death of untold millions of people from the African continent. The land over which it rules was stolen by treachery and massacre of millions of Indigenous peoples, along with deception and theft of land from the sovereign nation of Mexico. It has, at various points in history, colonized, invaded, committed, or caused to be committed outrageous violent and economic crimes against the people of Hawai’i, Puerto Rico (Borinquen), Cuba, the Philippines, Haiti, Guatemala, Chile, Iran, Nicaragua, the Dominican Republic, Grenada, and Mexico. As anti-imperialists and revolutionaries, we firmly uphold the rights of colonized African, Chicano/Latin@, and Indigenous American nations within United States borders to self-determination, freedom to decide for themselves their destiny, and autonomy. We believe that members of those nations who have been exploited, robbed, abused, enslaved, and generally abused have full rights to recompense and reparations. We seek to and must work to raise the political and cultural level of our communities, investigate the situations and problems of the masses of oppressed nationalities in Saint Louis, a city with a plurality population of African-American people, and engage in struggle and mass work.
WE OPPOSE THE OPPRESSION OF WOMEN!
Women, as Mao Zedong said, hold up half the sky. They play active roles in our communities, in our freedom movements, in every aspect of our lives. Without women comrades, sisters, mothers, workers, and freedom fighters, humanity as we know it would not exist. Yet, our sisters continue to face suffering at the hands of capitalism. They are paid less for equal or greater work than men, and work more difficult jobs. They face added and unique pressures as a result of the deliberate mass removal of men from oppressed nationalities to prisons or graves at the hands of a rotten and corrupt criminal injustice system. Capitalist politicians routinely make assaults on their rights to control over their own bodies and work to maintain their status as second, third, and fourth class citizens. They routinely face brutal assaults, batteries, and are often even killed by the state. All of this oppression is of a class nature. Oppression of sisters is inherent and inextricable from imperial capitalism. This is why we must engage sister comrades, especially of oppressed nationalities of color, to take active, important, and key roles in the struggle for liberation. We saw in the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s and see now in the Black Lives Matter movement that a sister’s place is in the front. Long may we remember the examples set by sisters Sojourner Truth, Harriet Tubman, Diane Nash, Assata Shakur, Angela Davis, Ella Baker, Rosa Parks, Claudette Colvin, Ida B. Wells, and other freedom fighters!
WE OPPOSE STATE AND INSTITUTIONAL OPPRESSION OF LGBTQI* PEOPLE!
Lesbian, Gay, Transgender, and Queer identifying people are oppressed by white supremacy capitalism and imperialism and their handmaiden, organized religion. Trans men and women are routinely and purposefully misgendered, and are sent to prisons where they suffer the cruelest and most complete outrages at the hands of staff and inmates. LGBTQI* people also are driven to take their own lives at extremely high rates due to the abominable conditions that capitalism, white supremacy, and imperialism create for them. They also suffer high homelessness rates due to the fact that capitalism can not and will not affirm the right of every human being to shelter, and are often driven away from home by backwards parents and relatives. As a result, they become homeless and are exposed to all sorts of ills, such as drugs, contact with the police, and prison or murder or both. Transpeople are being murdered at outrageous and disgusting rates by reactionaries and fascistic police. We resolutely defend and affirm our queer comrades, and demand the creation and full funding of Queer Studies departments at all universities and provision of resources to ensure the lives of our queer comrades are safe. We also defend queer people’s right to self-defense against attacks from those who would exterminate them.
WE OPPOSE EXPLOITATION OF WORKERS AND SUPPORT WORKERS’ STRUGGLES!
Capitalism, by design, exploits working people. It compels people to work at the risk of starvation and homelessness or denial of basic utilities such as electricity, water, and gas service. Children died in a house fire in North Saint Louis in 2015 because their family’s gas service had been shut off in the dead of winter, and the family was trying to keep warm by unsafe methods. Homeless people routinely die from exposure in the shadows of $500,000 lofts in Downtown Saint Louis. Every person that dies from exposure or tragic accident due to not having a place to stay or utilities to keep them warm is a direct victim of capitalism. Those who work hard receive little to nothing except trouble and abuse at the hands of corporations and a system that robs them at every step, from cradle to grave. To that end, we are staunch anti-capitalists, and unite with every workers’ struggle for better conditions for themselves and their families. It is right to strike, it is right to demand higher wages, it is right to militantly demand that which one is owed. It is right to rebel against a system designed to exploit and kill. Labor creates, and thus is entitled to everything that it creates.
WE DEMAND AND WORK FOR FREE AND PUBLIC EDUCATION THAT DOES NOT TEACH US TO BE SLAVES!
The public education system in the United States is designed to condition students to conform to and prepare for exploitation, along with resolutely and mindlessly supporting the imperialist projects and nature of the United States. Everything about the public school system fosters conformity, and stifles creativity. Students from oppressed nationalities and groups see their history erased, trivialized, or fetishized, while that of imperialists and thieves is promoted. Upon graduation from high school, students are driven into crippling debt that they’ll often never pay off to go for universities, which serve as training grounds for exploitation. Sisters find themselves the subjects of rapes and sexual assaults, oppressed nationality peoples find themselves victims of cruel racism by cliques comprised of the sons of the bourgeoisie, known as fraternities. Students have power. All of the people have power. Recall the situation at the University of Missouri, where heroic black students stood up to racism and overthrew the chancellor and entire system president, who dared to make a mockery of the students’ oppression. We call for one, two, three, many Mizzous all over the country to combat the fact that students do not receive the education that they deserve, one that teaches them to think critically, to question, and to work for liberation. We, progressive students and youth of Saint Louis, seek a liberatory education, free of debt and charge. We demand education, not indoctrination!
WE OPPOSE US IMPERIALISM/HEGEMONY AND UPHOLD THE RIGHT OF ALL OPPRESSED, IMPERIALIZED NATIONS TO SELF DETERMINATION AND AUTONOMY!
The internet is a wonderful tool. Through it, we are connected to the entire world, and can see for ourselves the actions and victories of our brothers and sisters of the entire world’s revolutionary masses. From the Filipino people’s struggle against the bureaucratic capitalist regime backed by the US, to the Syrian people’s struggle against the bureaucratic capitalist regime backed by Russia, to the struggles right here at home, including Saint Louis, we can see and analyze and study our comrades, and learn from them. The internet has served to also reveal the true depths of crimes committed by the US and its cronies. From willful massacre of Palestinian children, to children incinerated or poisoned by napalm and rainbow agents in Vietnam, to progressive nuns and priests massacred in Latin America, to wedding parties and hospitals blown up by drones in Yemen and Afghanistan, the crimes of the American Empire are clear as day, and as revolutionaries and progressives, we firmly condemn them, and support self-determination and liberation for oppressed nations at home and abroad.
The new, sharp wave of struggle that began in our backyard, in Ferguson, on Canfield Drive, with the police murder of our friend, comrade, and brother Michael Brown, Jr., and subsequently spread to Baltimore, Chicago, New York City, and countless other cities revealed once again the fighting spirit of our city, of our long oppressed nationalities, and of our class. We see a growing number of activists, politically interested people, and those who go beyond mere passive interest and activism to really join the struggle for liberation. The masses are growing more and more dissatisfied at the bankrupt institutions and the bankrupt two-party system, who objectively are incapable of meeting their needs. The same goes for capitalism itself, which is a moribund, bankrupt, dying institution, gasping for its last few breaths, and the people are becoming more and more aware of this fact every day. To this end, we, progressive and revolutionary students and youth of the Saint Louis region, work to unite among ourselves and the masses, and struggle for justice, dignity, and liberation for all of us, in Saint Louis, in Missouri, in the United States, and for the entire world. We have nothing to lose but our chains, and together, we can break them!