The following article was written in 1990 as a brief overview of student activism in the mid to late 1980s. It is by no means comprehensive, but does provide some first-hand perspective on national student organizing and examples of activism on campus. Comments are welcome at

About the Authors
Ray Davis was the second Executive Director of DC Student Coalition against Apartheid and Racism (DC SCAR, 1983 -- 1998). He was a small businessman, an entrepreneur, anthropologist and community organizer. He worked as a lab anthropologist on the New York African Burial Ground Project at Howard University. He was a Masters Candidate at Howard University and was a student leader at Oberlin College, where he received his B.A. While in college, he was a research coordinator on the college-level textbook, Eyes on the Prize: American Civil Rights History Project. He was a featured speaker at countless universities, schools, community forums and public protest. He was murdered at age 35 in 1999.

Douglas Calvin was a national student organizer for the Committee In Solidarity with the People of El Salvador (CISPES) 1985 -- 1990 and then became leadership within DC SCAR. He is the Founding Director of Youth Leadership Support Network (, now in it’s 11th year of organizing.

The Fire this Time: The Growth of the Student Movement

By Doug Calvin and Ray Davis

Dedicated to the survival of Mumia Abu-Jamal and Alan Berkman, and the Freedom of all Political Prisoners.

As we closed a decade more heralded for apathy than activism, the 1980s ended with a broad upsurge in student activism around a host of issues related to specific campuses, local communities and in response to struggles around the world. Social activism on campuses, that had been steadily growing since 1984, began to coalesce nationally with a sense of urgent mobilization that crossed issue, race, class and geographic divisions. The student movement entering the 1990s is a legitimate and powerful social movement that is beginning to learn its own identity.

The change in the way the US public saw the importance of education, and the conservative and violent climate that was central to the Reagan Administration, created stark evidence of the inequalities and biases that resurfaced and grew during the 1980s. While anti-youth and anti-student rhetoric dictated societal attitudes toward education and young people, a series of very real and particularly hard-hitting policies were implemented that undercut youth and students nation-wide.

Crisis in the Communities

The larger crisis of increasing racism produced a number of institutional and social problems in poor and working-class communities. The flooding of chemical drugs such as crack cocaine into poor communities has further distanced youth from getting an education and created a very immediate crisis of death, extreme materialism and deep self-denial. Urban communities have been subjected to repressive police tactics, while high schools across the country are targeted for military recruitment, creating a “poverty draft”. Massive unemployment, underemployment and drug addiction have left more young urban black men dead or in jail than in school. The Bush Administration response to this deep social crisis has been to allocated funds to build new jails and continue to deprioritize funds for education at all levels.

Poverty, unemployment and despair are worse in many places than it was prior to the civil rights struggles of 30 years ago. Over 12.6 million American youth under the age of 18, one in every five youth in the national, live in a household with an income below the government’s official poverty line, which was $9,435.00 for a family of three in 1988. The Census Bureau survey in 1989 showed that the porportion of children in poverty, 19.7 %, was half again as high as the national poverty rate of 13.1% for all persons. That represents the highest rate for any age group in the country.

For undocumented refugees, particularly from Central America, the plight of children is more severe. In Los Angeles, over 25% of all Central American refugees (which number of 700,000) are children. Most have come to the US without family. The LA Department for Children does not consider undocumented (ie. “illegal”) children eligible for either foster care or adoption. Churches and non-profits are overwhelmed and few resources are available to cope with the crisis.

Unemployment has also become far more acute, particularly for people of color. Compared to the 1986 unemployment rates for whites aged 18-19 and 20-24 with a high school diploma (13.8% and 9.4%), African-Americans were correspondingly 40.6% and 26.7%, and Latinos 19.5% and 9.4%.

Meanwhile, the increase in border babies (born drug-addicted) in cities throughout the country severely damages the prospects for an entire generation. Federal funding cuts, attacks on the self-determination of women, people of color and the poor, and the militarization of our society abandon our youth at an early age and offers them less as they grow older.

Crisis in Education

The 1980s will be remembered as a decade in which greed surged out of control, and the future of our nation, our youth, were deeply harmed by neglect, underfunding and repressive administrative policies. While the end of the decade showed that this crisis would effect all youth in some manner, the effects of students of color, particularly African-American and Latino students was enough to bring their continued presence on campus into question.

Barriers in education begin well before a high school junior or senior even considers higher education. Biased tracking systems and cutbacks in funding for schools have denied students quality education, while right wing “back to basics” campaigns offer less and less relevant education to a generation that is confronting very serious economic and social problems. “The fact that todays society is centered on technology means that people are being educated out of the opportunity to understand society and become leaders, by the design of the educational system. The Right is critical that there aren’t many people of color in the sciences. The reality is that people can’t get through the first year of college if they’ve never seen the material before,” says LaTrease Rutland, a student organizer in Alabama.

While the attack on education was taking place on several different levels in the early 1980s, the crisis was solidified with the appointment of then President Reagan of William Bennett as Secretary of Education. The policies pushed through during Bennett’s tenure eliminated most of the gains that had been established as a result of the civil rights movement, and exacerbated divisions, tensions and misunderstandings that already existed. It was under Bennett that federal financial aid was dramatically slashed, and the controversial and unpopular Loan Default Program was developed. This created pressure on lenders and students to obtain exorbitant loans, and saddled many students with high levels of debt before they had even graduated.

Black students are highly vulnerable to these cuts, because 85% are on financial aid. Although available student aid in 1986 was 21% higher than in 1980-81, in inflation-adjusted terms aid actually declined by 6% over the period. Current federal policy is cutting or freezing funds for critical grants, such as the Pell Grant and those loans most accessible to low-income students, such as the Perkins Loan. While in 1976, 40% of African-American high school graduates went to college, only 30% were able to in 1988. For Latino students, the figures indicate a drop from 50% to 35%.

One of the most critical areas in education is curriculum reform. The present state of curriculum throughout the education system (the system in which nearly all of us have been taught) is focused almost exclusively on a narrow, distorted perspective of Western history, culture and tradition. Little or no mention if made of the cultural contributions of people of color or their history. What mention is made is usually negative and condescending. The struggle to eliminate the Eurocentric curricula and replace it with a Multi-Cultural curricula is creating an important movement that is looking at the long-term needs of youth of color, and the possibility of creating long-term change in modes of thought and appreciation of cultural diversity. This is historically tied to the struggles for Black, Chicano, Ethnic and Women’s studies.

With the decline of people of color in four-year colleges, there has been a simultaneous increase in their numbers at vocational and technical schools and the military. People of color represent 32% of the student population at proprietary, business and technical schools. While 36% of white students sent to two-years colleges in 1984, over 50% of all Native American and Latinos students and 43% of all African-American, Latino and Asian students attended community colleges.

The Neo-Conservative Influence on Campus

One of the more recent problems students have had to confront is the rise of neo-conservative and corporate influence on universities that stretched to unprecedented levels over the last decade. The attack against university accessibility, diversity and autonomy was embraced as a priority by the right wing and corporations. Since the late 1970s, corporations have dramatically increased corporate control of universities alongside campaigns by the far right to disrupt and defund the left on campus and isolate and remove progressive and radical faculty from universities.

The high visibility agenda of the far right, together with college administrations eager to secure military and corporate research grants created a difficult climate for progressives, particularly activist professors seeking tenure. In October, 1990, William Shadrack Cole, an African-American tenured professor at Dartmouth College resigned after seven years of highly personal and public assault on his competence and character by members of the far-right Dartmouth Review newspaper.

Millions of dollars were pumped into starting  right wing papers and organizations on campuses, aimed at generating a wave of media attention and launching serious attacks against progressive faculty, staff and students. One group, the Institute for Education Affairs, assisted students to found and publish right wing newspapers since 1980. By 1987, direct financial support for 39 members papers of the Collegiate Network, and Institute project, totaled over $170,000. Secretary Bennett was a regular feature write for their monthly column, that was distributed to 865 college papers and 125 of the largest professional daily papers around the country.

Many right wing groups, such as Accuracy in Academia, Young Americans for Freedom and the College Republicans specialized in generating controversy and often aided FBI and administration investigations of social change groups. CR member Greg Rothman was blunt in commenting on the illegal FBI investigations into CISPES. “Any time you have an organization whose idea is to subvert the US government, it’s worth watching,” he said in a 1988 interview. “It’s campus conservatives’ duty to look into such groups to assist the FBI,” he added.

The goals of the New Right were clear: disrupt and defund the Left on campus. These efforts, from Reagan and Bennett to the right wing campus organizations, were closely tied with extreme right organizations such as the World Anti-Communist League, Soldier of Fortune, Joseph Coors Foundation and others. Young Americans for Freedom (YAF) publishes profiles of radical campus groups in the US while embracing international terrorists such as UNITA leader Jonas Savimbi of Angola and Roberto D’Aubisson of El Salvador as role models. The ties between the Right’s assault on education here and the covert networks behind drug and gun running and the Iran Contra scandals are extremely close. Often the Right on campus is not taken as seriously as they should be. However, despite the millions of dollars and dozens of front organizations (and promises of future careers), they are widely viewed as the offensive and extremist people that they are.

The Student Response

By 1984 serious organizational development was taking place. Campuses were on the move to counter the “student apathy” propaganda and work for social change. The first anniversary of the invasion of Grenada saw an attempt by the far right to hold a “Student Liberation Day” of pro-intervention rallies on dozens of campuses. The plans were leaked and anti-intervention rallies took place on up to ninety campuses, in many places outnumbering the conservative rallies by 10 to 1. Several campuses saw the routing of SLD rallies from campuses altogether. Students who wanted to support the presidential campaign of the Rev. Jesse Jackson organized support and voter registration committees on dozens of campuses.

The late fall of 1984 and early 1985 saw the substantive and consistent rise of campus protests, activism and coordination; particularly against CIA recruitment and US involvement in the wars in Central America. The anti-Apartheid struggle had been fueled by the declaration of a State of Emergency by the Botha regime, resulting in widespread deaths and repression. Major anti-Apartheid organizations, such as TransAfrica, the Washington Office on Africa (WOA), the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) and others played an important role: providing leadership at demonstrations and producing information and expertise to student and community activists in a grassroots manner. By the summer of 1985, activists at hundreds of schools had held sit-ins, taken over buildings and were arrested for civil disobedience. Over 7000 students attended a teach-in about South Africa at UC Berkeley while over 58 other schools participated in national anti-apartheid actions on April 24. Over five billion dollars have been scheduled to divest from universities since 1985. These continuing demonstrations brought apartheid to the forefront of debate on Capital Hill and throughout the US.

At U-Colorado Boulder, sanctuary was declared for Central American refugees, and later in the semester a mass civil disobedience against CIA recruitment at Boulder resulted in over 400 students arrested. The arrests would have continued but for the close of the business day.

In 1987, students began to increase coordination between schools nationally. Student networks worked to mobilize youth to the Mobilization for Peace and Justice in Southern Africa and Central America. A large civil disobedience action took place at CIA headquarters in Langley, VA. , the result of the wave of anti-CIA actions on campuses across the country, particularly the Mid-West and New England.

In Atlanta in 1987, the Southern Black Student and Youth Coalition for Educational Advancement mobilized 2000 students from 15-20 Southern schools for the annual Black College Day. They changed the focus from a routine march about college students and went into the community. They demanded that the proposed Dome Stadium not be built in a very poor black community which would have caused extensive displacement of the residents. Many of the participants in this march went back to heir campuses and initiated local protests.

As was the case a generation ago, increased social activism and agitation created political space for progressive movements on a whole range of important concerns. Activism on a host of issues had begun to emerge, particularly support for battered women’s shelters and clinics, solidarity with international liberation struggles (particularly Southern Africa, Central America and Palestine), women’s, gay and lesbian rights, sexual assault on campuses (Take Back the Night marches spread across the country, for example), Pride Days and broad-based educational programs, and student support for faculty and university workers union struggles. A movement of movements had begun to take form.

A major weakness during this period was the lack of communications between schools, keeping activists isolated. Dependence on media coverage was problematic as it was at best sporadic and phrased most activist in an almost flapperish 1960s nostalgia, obscuring current issues. Many student organizations narrowly focused on one issue or agenda without regard to what else as going on , or else created new groups that supposedly would incorporate all issues, without first building trust or a working coalition. Both approaches failed to create ongoing student unity or an adequate response to cutbacks in federal education funding.

Toward and Anti-Racist Agenda

The growth of the Anti-Apartheid movement, and the resulting national debate, indirectly brought attention to domestic racial problems, a central issue for the 1990s. The struggle to end Apartheid in South Africa and support the black South African people dramatically raised the contradictions of racism in the us, and the unwillingness of “progressive left” activists to deal with their own racism, and problems closer to home. The problem of movement racism grew as mistakes were made and often repeated by white students who sought to focus soley on South Africa, at the expense of principled coalition-building and working with students of color on their campus.

1988-1990: The Emergence of a Student Movement: From Boomlet to Boom

Contrary to the negative propaganda of the day, the renewed student activism was grounded in real struggle with cultures and experiences of this generation. It is not the ‘60s all over again, nor purely the influence of professors.

The tactics and strategies introduced by the civil rights, womens, anti-war and a host of other movements were adapted to address contemporary  problems. As attacks on gains from earlier movements increased (such as defunding ethnic and womens studies and advocacy programs), racist and other hate violence surged dramatically on America’s campuses. The National Institute Against Prejudice and Violence documented racist incidents on over 300 campuses from 1986-89, and estimate s that many more have occurred but not documented.

Barriers to education jumped – particularly in public schools. But students were better able to respond with greater numbers and expertise. New groups were organized and existing groups began working together to fight for an accessible, multi-cultural and safe education.

This common ground of working together for educational access naturally created broader ideological perspective and awareness of other progressive struggles. Anti-racist and ant-bias struggles, womens rights, cultural empowerment, curriculum diversity efforts, solidarity work with liberation movements and environmental struggles began to forge a new foundation for campus activism. Common actions, mutual respect and support for groups began to overcome past mistakes and gave way to principled coalitions on many campuses. Progressive slates for student government offices were organized, single issue campaigns gained broader support, and the responses to tuition hikes and other basic issues grew.

The strength and determination of student activists were symbolized by three events in the spring of 1989 that caught the attention of the nation. In early March, at Howard University, over two thousand students seized their administration building to demand that Republican Party leader Lee Atwater resign from the Board of Trustees, and that curriculum, housing and financial aid policies be changed to reflect he needs of students. Despite intimidation that included the use of a SWAT team against the occupied building, their main demands were met after a four-day takeover.

The following month over 300 campuses mobilized huge continents of students to Washington DC for the April 9 March for Women’s Lives and Women’s Equality. Of the hundreds present, the student contingent was one of the largest, reflecting the broad level of local activity around reproductive and womens rights. This demonstration also emphasized a progressive feminist element within the student movement, reflecting a growing need to confront sexism.

In late April and into May of 1989, students at the City University of New York (CUNY) system went on strike to stop a tuition hike of  $200 per student. Seventeen universities in the system were occupied or shut-down by chaining and padlocking doors. Street demonstrations involving up to ten thousand students closed busy NYC intersections and forced the city to rescind the tuition hike. While these actions were among the more publicized, there were numerous other tuition actions throughout the country, empowering students through confrontation and struggle.

On the national level, common ground and identity was also being forged. In October of 1988, several student networks, including the Mid-West based Progressive Student Network (PSN), DC Student Coalition against Apartheid and Racism (DC SCAR), Committee In Solidarity with the People of El Salvador (CISPES), United Coalition Against Racism, United States Student Association (USSA), New England-based Student Central America Network, Democratic Socialists of America, Student Action Union, Native American students, members of the Young Communist League and others, mobilized for a weekend of unified actions in Washington DC. They targeted both educational policy by marching on the Department of Education and a day-long teach-in, and US policy in El Salvador with a dynamic and militant presence in a civil disobedience blockade of the Pentagon. Hundreds were arrested and headlines were nation-wide. This coalition was significant in that it crossed issue and race line, linked domestic and international policies, and exposed the wide-spread racist and anti-youth aspects of US policies across the board.

In the summer of 1989, networking at conferences and demonstrations had soared to involve significantly greater numbers of students. The Threshold environmental conference drew almost 2000 students from 43 states, setting in motion a resurgent youth environmental movement. The PSN conference in Iowa in November focused on womens rights and gender politics, drawing representatives from across the country. Students from the Northwest and Canada met at Reed College to forge greater unity over a host of progressive issues. In Virginia and DC, students organized responses to the racist violence that had taken place at Virginia Beach during Labor Day, culminating in negociations about the area’s racial problems. They held a “Peoples Court” on the vents of the weekend, and the protest brought about the dismissal of charges against students detained following the violence.

National mobilizations in the fall of 1989 drew thousands of students, who took great initiative in making their presence known. Students marched as a contingent a the Housing Now! march and thousands more marched in November for Women’s Lives. At the November march, students focused on women’s right to self-determination broadly, and PSN led a strong youth march to the Supreme Court. During this march, as had happened the previous spring, students held a national meeting to network, share solidarity and plan for the following day’s activities. “Students put forth a stronger agenda than the National Organization for Women (NOW), and included issues outside of white middle class women. Abortion is not the only issue that the student movement is focused on – housing, health care and the rights of gay and lesbian people are also in crisis,” says Kim Feike of PSN.

Meanwhile, actions on campuses escalated in militancy and numbers. Organizing around issues of access and college costs became substantial. In October, over 15,000 UMass students marched on the State House to denounce proposed budget cuts. Scores of other schools held protests against tuition hikes, budget cuts and in response to hate-motivated violence. In November, campuses again rocked with protests in response to the FMLN guerrilla offensive in El Salvador and the brutal response of the US-supported Salvadoran government.

For the first time in years, large numbers of student were protesting and taking action nation-wide, and had informal but effective networks of communications that fostered a clearer identity for the new student movement. Students were no longer soley dependent on media coverage to spread the word about activities, and the mainstream media could no longer get by with simply characterizing this activism as 1960’s nostalgia.

Student Power: Everything Must Change

The first half of 1990 saw momentum gaining as protest engulfed first dozens, then hundreds of campuses. Building takeovers, fasts and strikes took place at schools such as Tennessee State, Morgan State (MD) and Bowie State (MD) that had not been active in years, as well as the more active schools. This period also marked the reemergence of activism on Historically and Predominantly-Black colleges, and the recognition that institutional racism was affecting their very existence. Everywhere, younger students were taking leadership in protests and campaigns.

High school activists, always underestimated in their capabilities, captured headlines in Selma, Los Angeles and New Jersey as they demanded basic education and human rights. Looking a little closer, it was apparent that high school students were networking between schools in cities and towns to a substantial degree, in response to conditions at their schools and movement-wide concerns.

“High school activism now is partly a fad and we’re also a generation that grew into a very cynical attitude toward the government and politics. Feeling that the government can’t and won’t create social change…then why can’t we do it. Normally high school students are told that they aren’t supposed to be thinking of political struggle and to live it up. But our activism changes these attitudes with inactive students. People get into it eventually, they have to. What would happen if they didn’t?” says Sonia Childress of the LA Student Coalition. LASC networks with 50 high schools in colleges.

A national articulation of educational access and diversity issues was formulated at the “Education for the People” conference at Oberlin College (OH) in April, 1990. The conference was on of the first on a  national level to focus on the financial problems of students today. The speakers and workshops focused on greater understanding of the serious nature of corporate ties, militarization and access for poor and working class students.

Another reason that this conference will be remembered was the attack on student protestors by campus security and local police on April 13th. The students were involved in an anti-bias rally, when campus security and local police tried to break up the gathering. After the attacks, police tried to arrest five student leaders, and later levied charges on six student. Most of the student body was involved in the action. Police brutality against student protesters was becoming standard practice, along with a slew of harsh campus penal codes across the country.

Student objectives and coordination began to yield new results: over 76 student government associations saw progressive slates voted in during the 1990 spring semester. Many of these were the result of coalitions typically including black student unions, Latino and Chicano groups, Asian-American students, Native American students, Palestinian students, solidarity and gay/lesbian groups. These slates are now representing broad grassroots constituencies and more importantly, a sense of trust and companerismo has grown.

Well after most colleges were on summer break, the June 17 Student Call on Washington saw the first time in recent years that African-American students would take the lead in a national demonstration. The issues the 1200 participants presented reflected student and youth agendas and concerns of the larger African-American community. It was also one of the first times students would organize a major activity in the summer, showing the potential and need for year-round organizing.

The Student Call was closely followed by the triumphant visit of the Mandela’s to the US, one of the most important events of the century. The Mandela’s tour was highly inspirational to the anti-Apartheid movement and its supporters. Students and student organizations were deeply involved in logistics and support for the stops at each city. This tour provided a much-needed boost to the movement, and involved many people that should deepen the movement to end Apartheid.

Looking Back, Moving Forward

A strong sense of history enveloped student activists in the first half of 1990, as several commemorations were held. A week of Anti-Racist Action and Education was called by DC SCAR to coincide with the 30th anniversary of the student sit-ins against segregation that began in North Carolina and spread throughout the South in the spring of 1960. A national conference during the weekend included workshops focused on various aspects of racism on campus and the community. During that same week, two other conferences around the country were addressing racism and numerous commemorations were held.

On March 23-25, students from over 250 campus organizations participated in commemorating the tenth anniversary of the assassination of Salvadoran Archbishop Romero by calling for new US polices in Central America, focusing on educational and human rights in Central America and the US. In Washington DC, 300 students held a speak-out at the Department of Education, rallied at the Salvadoran Embassy in support of Salvadoran students and political prisoners, and participated in a large civil disobedience action at the White House.

May of 1990 marked the 20th anniversary of the National Guard and police killings of students at Jackson State and Kent State. The PSN initiated a national student conference held at Kent State, beginning with a commemoration and protest of the administration’s dedication of a scaled-down memorial of the Kent State murders. The conference of several hundred students from around the country quickly became a fruitful dialogue between generations. Older activist included SNCC leaders such as Jamil Abdullah Al-Amin (formerly H. Rap Brown), ex Black Panther and widow of Fred Hampton, Deborah Johnson, Bernadine Dohrn, Brian Glick, Vietnam Veterans and Arnoldo Ramos of the FMLN/FDR. Rather than a lecture format, students and speakers worked together to highlight a people’s history over the last twenty years, addressing contemporary issues, and challenging students to continue the struggle. Student plenaries included speakers from PSN, CISPES, SCLC, NAACP and DC SCAR. “The conference was an opportunity for student activists from across the country to come together and see the similarities of our struggles. It brought student organizers closer together. A lot of networking is still going on that started that weekend,” says Kim Feike of PSN.

In August, on the 20th anniversary of the Chicano Moratorium in LA, where police killed two Chicano students and wounded many others during an anti-war protest in 1970, a march of 8,000 raised the cry of La Raza in the streets of East LA. “It was a good blend of young and old,” says Chicano professor Rudy Acuna. “For many activists it showed they were still here. For students, it was a form of initiation, a revival of history. For the 1990s are going to be a decade of renewed Chicano nationalism. There is a resurgence of student identity.”

Viviano Montes,  Publicity Coordinator for CSUN MEChA backs this up, “We’re attempting to network again, and we have some good relations with some other schools. People are mobilizing now and toward 1992. We’re planning to go into the communities again, to the high schools and neighborhoods. We need to make people aware of the struggles facing La Raza: police brutality, racist skinhead attacks, barrio violence, drugs, the crisis in Central America, education for La Raza and the No Columbus Celebration campaign. We need to get them involved.”

Coming Soon to a Campus Near You

The outlook for the continuing development of the student movement in the 1990-91 school year and beyond is very encouraging. The fall semester is already full of planned events and conferences, beginning with the Catalyst environmental conference Oct 5-7 in Illinois, where over 300 students are expected.

During November 5-9, students nation-wide will mobilize for the Education for the People Week of Action. In less than a month after the start of the semester, major protests have engulfed Cleveland State University, Los Angeles Community College and the University of the District of Columbia. Organizing efforts on campuses throughout the country are bringing increasing numbers of young people into struggles for social justice.

Challenging Ahead

Among the positive trends of the new student movement are more examples of principled coalition-building, confronting racism and bias issues directly, and overcoming the sectarianism that has plagued the Left in recent years. The new student movement has come of age. It has developed and refined tactics and strategies. It is increasingly rooted in an ideology that stresses equality and justice, refusal to accept longstanding racism and sexism, solidarity, an end to military build-up, and environmentally-sound practices. The process of struggle is developing a consistent, organized movement that necessarily emphasizes outreach, consultation and taking action.

Some of the political and organizational challenges that now need to be addressed include improving communications between schools, better coordination of actions, grater initiative in utilizing media channels, and organizing more students on each campus in ongoing work. Deepening unity and coalition-building, addressing racism, sexism and other biases within the movement are also central to its success. Older activists must recognize and respect the autonomy of todays youth movement and support its organic growth.

On a more profound level, students must confront not only education cutbacks but conversion to a democratic university. we must build a youth agenda that extends beyond campus. Fewer and fewer young people are able to attend college, and growing numbers are impoverished or imprisoned. The public health system and the judiciary system (especially the prison system) as well as the educational system all need major overhaul.

In the immediate term, students must develop programs and skills that will being to address the deep social problems that the status quo perpetuates. The attacks of the right wing and government repression on and off campus must be combated and defeated. As the struggle intensifies, political space for all forms of resistance must be opened and protected. As young people, we have the responsibility to confront and solve the problems in our communities and support those struggling for self-determination around the world.

Viva El Movimiento Estudiantil!
Viva Solidaridad!
Freedom for All Political Prisoners!!