IYSSE runs candidates for student parliament election at Humboldt University in Germany

By our correspondent
28 November 2015

The International Youth and Students for Social Equality (IYSSE) is standing candidates in the student parliament (StuPa) election due to take place at the Humboldt University, Berlin (HU) on January 19-20, 2016. Representatives of the IYSSE submitted a list of candidates to the Student Electoral Board on Thursday.

Sven Wurm, spokesman for the IYSSE at HU and a member of the current Stupa, handed over the list and declared: “The importance of our participation has been confirmed once again today. A few hours ago, the German government decided to intervene directly into the war against the Islamic State and plans to deploy Tornado jets over Syria and Iraq. The decision is in line with the new policy of ending all military restraint—a policy announced by German President Gauck two years ago. In the course of our work at the HU we have been able to demonstrate how this university plays a key role in elaborating the arguments and strategies for this new aggressive foreign policy.”

In the weeks preceding the start of the winter semester many students attended meetings and events organised by the IYSSE, because of their growing concern about the threat of war and their determination to do something about it. “Many now recognise that the IYSSE is the only political group at the HU to seriously oppose the threat of war,” Wurm said. “This is the first step to building an antiwar movement in the universities and beyond.”

The IYSSE will carry out a comprehensive campaign in the coming weeks. “We want to make clear the seriousness of the situation and explain why it is only possible to fight against war on the basis of a socialist perspective,” Wurm said.

The IYSSE presented the following statement to accompany its list of candidates to the election committee. It will be published in the official election pamphlet, which includes details of the participating lists.

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The International Youth and Students for Social Equality (IYSSE) is taking part in the StuPa elections in order to build an antiwar movement. We are seeking to prevent the HU from being transformed into a centre for right-wing and militaristic propaganda—as was the case prior to both the First and Second World War.

Western war policy has transformed the Middle East into a wasteland and raised the very real prospect of world war. The political elite is now using the most recent terror attacks in Paris and the plight of refugees in Europe to revive German militarism. It is determined to press ahead with the new aggressive foreign policy proclaimed by President Gauck and establish an authoritarian regime. These plans involve new combat missions in Afghanistan, Syria and Mali, the building up of the police and the intelligence services, and the deployment of the German army for domestic purposes.

Professors at our university are playing a central role in elaborating this policy and providing it ideological legitimacy—all under the guise of scholarship.

The law professor Georg Nolte was involved in the drafting of the strategy paper, “New Power—New Responsibility,” a blueprint for Germany’s new version of great power politics. Political scientist Herfried Münkler regularly enthuses about the advantages of authoritarian forms of rule and argues in a recent book that Germany must once again become the “taskmaster” of Europe and develop a military strategy for the 21st century. The historian Jörg Baberowski, an outspoken defender of the Nazi apologist Ernst Nolte, has been favourably cited by the neo-Nazi NPD for his comments defaming refugees.

The university management supports these right-wing professors. When the group “Münkler-Watch” and the IYSSE criticized the militaristic positions of Münkler and Baberowski, they reacted with censorship, defamation and the mobilisation of the bourgeois press. President Olbertz has personally given his support to Baberowski and has activated the university’s legal department against the IYSSE. The aim is to intimidate anyone who criticizes the recent disturbing developments.

The task now is to transform the broad opposition among students into a conscious movement against war and its root cause, the capitalist system. We must not allow that Humboldt University is once again turned into a hotbed of German militarism. The National Socialist Students’ Association was founded on these premises in 1926, and university professors such as Carl Schmitt and Konrad Meyer justified and planned the crimes committed by the Nazis here.

It is our duty as students of the HU to prevent new crimes and their ideological preparation.

No more war!

No to incitement against refugees at our university!

Scholarship, not war propaganda!

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