The International Students for Social Equality (ISSE) will hold its inaugural meeting at the Victoria University of Wellington on “The socialist alternative to global militarism and social inequality” to coincide with the fourth anniversary of the US-led invasion of Iraq.
Students and young people in New Zealand and around the world have deep and growing concerns about the state of society, especially the US war in Iraq and the threat to attack Iran. The Bush administration’s recent decision to send 21,500 more combat troops to Iraq to suppress opposition to the US occupation signals a major escalation of a conflict that has already claimed the lives of hundreds of thousands of Iraqis and more than 3,000 American troops.
The events of September 11, 2001 have been used as a pretext for ongoing wars aimed at establishing an American stranglehold over the key oil and gas resources of the Middle East. US capitalism is seeking to extricate itself from internal conflicts and economic decline through open-ended militarist aggression. In doing so, it is provoking ever-greater tensions and rivalries with other capitalist powers in the struggle over markets, resources and profits. The consequences, if not prevented by working people around the world, will be a third inter-imperialist conflict.
The New Zealand Labour Party’s claims to have opposed the war in Iraq are patently false. While attempting to keep her government at arms length from the unfolding disaster in Iraq, Prime Minister Helen Clark has forged an ever-closer relationship with the Bush administration and fully embraced its bogus “war on terror”. She dispatched New Zealand army engineers to serve alongside British troops in Iraq and SAS troops to bolster the US-led occupation of Afghanistan. Moreover, the Clark government has actively participated in all the Australian government’s neo-colonial adventures in the Pacific—including East Timor and the Solomons.
The ISSE is being established to develop the political offensive for an internationalist and socialist perspective among students in every part of the world. ISSE clubs will become an integral part of an international mass working class movement against the US-led wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and a forum for discussion and debate on all the most critical political, theoretical and historic issues confronting students and the working class as a whole. All students are warmly invited to attend the first meeting of the ISSE.
Meeting topic: The socialist alternative to global militarism and social inequality
Guest Speaker: John Braddock, World Socialist Web Site
Date: Friday 16 March, 2 p.m.
Place: Meeting Room 1, Student Union building, Victoria University of Wellington