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America's History in the Making

Resource Archive: Search Results

I WOR KUEN: 12-Point Platform and Program

Asian people in Amerika have been continually oppressed by the greedy, traitorous gangsters of our own communities and by the wider racist exploitative Amerikan society. We have been bombarded by the media … with false ideas about how we should accept our position in this society. They have tried to brainwash us and have even coerced us into going overseas and fighting against our own people in S. E. Asia …

We want to improve the living conditions of our people and are preparing to defend our communities against the gangsters, businessmen, politicians and police. When a government oppresses the people and no longer serves the needs of the people, we have the right to abolish it and create a new one.

We are working for a world of peace, where the needs of the people come first, which is without class distinctions and is based upon the love and unity of all peoples.

I Wor Kuen, Getting Together newspaper, March 1971.

Creator Unknown
Context Asian American movement for civil rights
Audience Asian Americans
Purpose To create a platform similar to the Black Panthers to inspire Asian Americans to fight for civil rights

Historical Significance

During the civil rights movement, members of the Asian American community sought civil rights and modeled their tactics on those used by African Americans. In 1968, the Asian American Movement (AAM) began on college campuses around the nation in an effort to establish Asian American studies programs. This was part of a larger effort to establish programs of study that accurately portrayed the histories of people of color. This Asian American student movement also supported the Black, Brown, and Red Power movements; unionization of Mexican and Filipino farm workers; and the anti-Vietnam War movement. In 1969, some Asian American youth formed a radical group in New York called I WOR KUEN in honor of the anti-imperialist Chinese boxers. Two years later, I WOR KUEN merged with the Black Panther-sponsored San Francisco Red Guard and drafted their twelve-point program based on the Black Panthers.

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