“These cutbacks on education are racist to the core,” a PLP member stated during a campus meeting against the cuts. California has proposed a 10% budget cut to both the California State University (CSU) and UC systems, leaving them $312.9 and $417 million short, respectively. Student fees are projected to rise 10% for the upcoming Fall Quarter in the CSU system. This system has large African-American, Latino, and immigrant populations (many of whom don’t qualify for financial aid because of their immigration status). The cuts, a racist attack on these students in particular and all working-class students generally, are part of a series of racist attacks such as the closing of healthcare facilities like King-Drew hospital. Students should unite with workers because we’re all bearing the brunt of a society hell-bent on waging profit wars.
Many students are eager to connect campus struggles to the fight against the exploitation of the whole working-class. PLP encourages all students to participate and to push for more mass-actions on and off campuses against the cuts, the war and the prison system. We are struggling to unite students, faculty and staff for system-wide strikes against these attacks. After all it’s not just Governor Schwarzenegger and a few administrators; we’re up against the capitalist system. This fight could help many see that joining and building a mass communist party is the best way to fight for workers’ power in an era marked by fascism and wider imperialist wars.
We’re exposing the role of the university under capitalism. While the CSU produces teachers, nurses, and engineers, it also builds false, capitalist ideology. While the educational system teaches students skills, it instills ideas that divide the working-class and disarm us politically, telling us we can escape the ills of capitalism by graduating from the university and “making it.”
While the CSU produces 87% of all of California’s teachers, it also creates a booming 89% of all of Criminal Justice graduates. The CSU system helps the bosses mobilize students to serve as agents of repression in law-enforcement careers. CSU San Bernardino works with the Department of Defense to commercialize technologies geared towards homeland security. CSULA recently opened a $100 million Crime Lab built in conjunction with the Los Angeles Police and the Sheriff Department. The rulers want to use the CSU system for repression, which most students and faculty oppose.
Some student organizers call for a tax on the rich, as do Obama and Clinton. The liberal ruling class sees that they must direct more profits into war programs and homeland security. They are willing to attack minor bosses’ profits to wage more war in defense of imperialism. Without communists putting forward the party’s ideas, the bosses and their misleaders can channel the anger of working-class students into illusions in the liberal imperialists while doing nothing to stop the cuts.
Many students who earnestly want to fight against these cuts are being told that the budget cuts are the result of the greed of a few administrators and Governor Schwarzenegger (who certainly are willing servants of the system!), and that just by delivering petitions to Sacramento we can win this fight. With the elections approaching, the misleaders will attempt to mobilize angry working-class students to support Obama or Hillary. Both of these candidates support expanded wars which can’t take place without cuts on wages and social services such as education and health care.
By expanding our hand to hand CHALLENGE distributions, we aim to politically equip our friends to see that in the long run, workers and students need to build a movement to destroy capitalism and create a Communist society, free from profit wars, racism, and sexism. CHALLENGE-based study action groups can connect what may seem as an isolated struggle to a capitalist society becoming more ruthless.