The following statement has been distributed by members of the IYSSE at Eastern Michigan University in Ypsilanti as part of a campaign for elections to student government. The elections are being held on March 29 and 30.
As a member of the International Youth and Students for Social Equality (IYSSE), I am running in the student elections at Eastern Michigan University to build a movement against militarism and war, the growth of social inequality and the danger of dictatorship.
The great problems confronting students at EMU cannot be resolved within the confines of the university. At the same time, the IYSSE is fighting to develop at EMU a new political culture, connecting the problems of students with the broader conditions of the entire working class—in Ypsilanti, the Detroit region, throughout the country and internationally.
My opponents, largely members and supporters of College Democrats, focus their campaigns on secondary and insignificant matters, ignoring the great questions and problems facing students at EMU. At the same time, they speak on behalf of a political organization, the Democratic Party, which is no less responsible than the Republicans for the crisis that workers and young people face.
The election of Trump as US president marks a historic turning point and a grave danger. However, his cabinet of billionaires, generals and fascists did not fall out of the sky. For decades the Democrats and Republicans have overseen a vast expansion of war, growing social inequality and unprecedented attacks on the democratic and social rights of the working class.
Many students at EMU and throughout the country are outraged over the attacks on immigrants and refugees, including the threat of deportation of international students here at EMU. There is growing opposition to militarism and the squandering of trillions of dollars on plunder and destruction. EMU has a large education program, and aspiring teachers face the consequences of the destruction of public education. All students face the challenge of rising tuition, indebtedness and the absence of good-paying jobs.
To fight for their interests, I call on students to join the socialist movement and reach out to all sections of workers and youth. The IYSSE demands:
No to imperialist war! For a new anti-war movement!
The trillions of dollars spent on criminal wars abroad must instead be used to meet pressing social needs, like repairing the water pipelines and social infrastructure, both domestically in places like Flint and in countries that have been devastated by US wars. The IYSSE will work to organize demonstrations and teach-ins at EMU to expose and educate students on the causes and consequences of unending war.
Public education is a social right!
Quality public education, from kindergarten to graduate studies, should be freely available to everyone as a basic social right. Teachers and other education workers should receive a high wage and not be forced to pay for basic necessities for their students. Lecturers, bus drivers, student teachers, janitors and service workers on campus who have lost their jobs should have them fully restored.
The resources to finance public education and other social rights—like health care, pensions and a good job for everyone who can work—must be obtained by seizing the wealth of the parasitic financial elite. In Southeast Michigan, a handful of billionaires are restructuring Detroit even as tens of thousands face poverty, utility shutoffs, power outages and other consequences of social inequality.
Unite the working class!
The fight against the attacks on immigrants and refugees must be linked to the broader social crisis facing billions of people around the globe. Auto workers, health care workers, teachers, service workers, the unemployed and young people must unite in a common struggle against capitalism and the profit system.
The IYSSE opposes all forms of nationalism and racism. We also oppose the identity politics of the Democratic Party, promoted by the current student government and campus administration, which insists that the basic division in society is not class, but race and gender. The IYSSE fights to unify students and workers of every race, gender and ethnicity to ensure that everyone has the right to a quality education, a decent job and a world free of war and poverty.
Break with the Democrats and Republicans!
Both Democrats and Republicans represent the interests of the corporations and the banks. Students and workers need their own independent political party to fight for their own independent class interests. The IYSSE and the SEP are building this political movement.
The IYSSE insists that none of the great issues facing students can be addressed outside of a fight against the capitalist system—a system in which just eight billionaires own as much wealth as the bottom half of the world’s population, a system in which the interests of workers and young people are sacrificed to the profit demands of the corporate and financial aristocracy.
As a member of the student government, I will work to develop on campus forms through which students can express their opposition, reach out to young people and workers throughout the region and fight back.
No to the attack on immigrants and refugees! No to war! No to dictatorship!
For social equa lity and the rights of the working class!
Vote Mitch Abrams for EMU student government!
Get in contact with the IYSSE at EMU. Learn more about the club and the campaign.