Encyclopedia of Anti-Revisionism On-Line

I Wor Kuen Position Statement on the Gym

First Published: Getting Together, Vol. 1, No. 5, September-October 1970.
Transcription, Editing and Markup: Paul Saba
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For many years, since 1966, the use of the facilities in the Chinese Community Center located at 62 Mott St. has been denied to the people of Chinatown. This came about as the result of the businessmen who began using the Community Center for their own interests. They hold banquets, movies, festivals, etc. for their own business organizations’ use but never allow the community the use of their own facility. The increasing resentment and animosity toward   the greedy and reactionary CCBA came to a climax in a demonstration in front of the Chinese Community Center on Sept. 13th. when the Chinatown Sports Committee, a group of “right on” Chinese youths got together and presented the CCBA with certain non-negotiable demands (e.g. opening of the gym 7 days a week, sport clinics and maintenance repairs). This came about as a result of many years of frustrating attempts to open the gym that the Chinatown youths desperately needs. I Wor Kuen wholeheartedly supports the efforts of the Chinatown Sports Committee since this is an issue of community facilities that have been denied to the people of Chinatown.

In perspective, the Chinatown Sports Committee has merely looked on this issue as just concerning the gym; I Wor Kuen feels that the issue lies with the whole Community Center and what the denial of these facilities represents to the people of Chinatown as a whole. Since the beginning of this issue, the CCBA has been seeking to fool the people of Chinatown and divide them on other issues. The CCBA has spread rumors about ’Communist conspiracy’ to ’hoodlum youths’ being responsible for this issue, however we realize this red-baiting is a tactic used to sidetrack the people from the main point of the Community Center. We must all understand that the issue is very clear, the Community Center must be open; we must understand the tactics of the CCBA.

Initially, it seemed a simple matter to open and operate a gym. Realizing this, the CCBA fabricated lies to distract the people’s attention. It has become very clear now that the CCBA simply does not want to open the gym regardless of who is responsible. CCBA’s tactics shows that they will do anything to prevent the gym from   being opened.

Let us never forget that we, the Chinese people of Chinatown contributed and   helped raise funds for the construction of   the building. It was not just a small handful of businessmen who raised the money but us; this building is ours and the demonstration is a first step in returning the building to its rightful owners. In dealing with the CCBA we must remain united until the Community Center is returned to the people of Chinatown. We call for a united effort on the part of workers, elderly people, college students and high school students to demand the gym be returned to the people of Chinatown. In working in cooperation with these youths who feel that the gym should be opened, we have taken the first step in this struggle.

The extent of the fear that the CCBA holds for the youth of today is shown by their action immediately after the demonstration. Word that CCBA was threatening the lives of those people responsible for the ’Free the Gym’ demonstration was received from many reliable community sources. These avaricious businessmen’s latest tactic is to fool the people of Chinatown into thinking that the gym should be converted into classrooms. Is this the same CCBA that claims not to have enough money to sand the floors of the gym but enough money to convert a gym into classrooms? CCBA is trying anything to prevent the opening of the gym. The CCBA even tried to limit the publicity of the demonstration by sticking small articles in the Chinatown papers. CCBA is scared and afraid, we must continue this effort until we win.

The Chinatown Sports Committee deserves the support of all the people of Chinatown. We must turn out for every demonstration until the gym is open. This struggle is our struggle and we cannot afford to lose.