Statements from Britain and Sri Lanka oppose attacks on IYSSE at Sydney’s Macquarie University

The International Youth and Students for Social Equality (IYSSE) in Australia is receiving statements from around the world, protesting the refusal of Sydney’s Macquarie University to affiliate our club.

The university has rejected the IYSSE’s affiliation, despite it having met all of the stipulated requirements. They have carried out this blatant political censorship on the basis of false claims that the IYSSE and the Macquarie Socialists’ club, associated with the pseudo-left Socialist Alternative organisation, have the same aims. In fact the fundamental and irreconcilable differences between the two organisations are well-documented and have been acknowledged by the Macquarie Socialists themselves.

The IYSSE is continuing its campaign for affiliation, which is inextricably tied to the fight against a crackdown on anti-war organisations and perspectives, especially those exposing the US-NATO proxy war against Russia in Ukraine. We call on students, young people, academics and all defenders of civil liberties to add your voice to the demand that the IYSSE’s affiliation at Macquarie University be upheld.

Below are two statements that have been sent to Macquarie University management, and to the IYSSE in Australia, from Britain and Sri Lanka:

To whom it may concern,

The International Youth and Students for Social Equality in the UK strongly protests your denial of club status to the IYSSE at Macquarie University and urges students internationally to do the same. This is an attack on the democratic rights and political freedoms of the whole student body.

Thomas Scripps, National Convener of the IYSSE (UK), addressing anti-war meeting in London in March 2023.

Your justification for this political censorship is transparently false. It is obvious that the IYSSE and the MQ Socialists club of Socialist Alternative are politically incompatible organisations. As Eric Ludlow and Oscar Grenfell explain very well on the World Socialist Web Site, your suggestion that students aligned with the IYSSE join the MQ Socialists amounts to “a demand that we renounce our political views and adopt diametrically opposed oppositions, something incompatible with democracy.”

Moreover, if two societies can be instructed to unite because they both profess to be socialist, then how can you justify multiple societies professing to be Christian? What comes next, a single “politics” society?

Proof of the IYSSE’s unique political perspective and the fact that it articulates sentiments held by young people around the world is given by its successful global series of anti-war meetings on the NATO-Russia conflict in Ukraine. Given the fact that the IYSSE and MQ Socialists have co-existed as clubs at the university for years, and the precedent set at the University of Melbourne, it is clear you have made a conscious decision to suppress that perspective and sentiment.

We send our solidarity to the IYSSE in Australia and lend our voice to the campaign demanding its club at Macquarie University be immediately reaffiliated.

Thomas Scripps
Assistant National Secretary, Socialist Equality Party (UK)
National Convener of the IYSSE (UK)

Dear Sir/Madam,

The International Youth and Students for Social Equality (IYSSE) in Sri Lanka strongly opposes the anti-democratic decision taken by the administration of Macquarie University in Sydney to reject affiliation of the IYSSE club even though it has fulfilled all of the necessary requirements.

IYSSE convenor Kapila Fernando addressing students outside Peradeniya University in Colombo on March 7, 2023

The justification cited by the university’s Student Engagement, Inclusion and Belonging division that the IYSSE and the already affiliated Macquarie Socialists have the “same aims” is completely baseless. As our sister IYSSE section in Australia has pointed out, the IYSSE has irreconcilable political differences with Socialist Alternative, with which the Macquarie Socialists are affiliated. The IYSSE and Socialist Alternative have diametrically opposed political programs, perspectives and aims. The political differences of the IYSSE with the Socialist Alternative are well-known and clearly documented through voluminous materials published by the IYSSE.

To name just one fundamental difference, Socialist Alternative supports the US-led NATO war against Russia in Ukraine. In contrast, the IYSSE fights to build the unity of the Russian, Ukrainian and international working class on the perspective of international socialism against the US-NATO war against Russia.

Your decision to reject the affiliation of the IYSSE club is a clear violation of democratic rights, not only of the IYSSE, but also of students and workers of Macquirie University to learn about the political views of different organizations and engage with them as they wish.

In conclusion, the IYSSE in Sri Lanka requests that you overturn your anti-democratic decision and  affiliate the IYSSE club at the university.

Kapila Fernando
IYSSE convener in Sri Lanka

We call on all readers to support the fight to defend the IYSSE at Macquarie University by sending letters of protest over the rejection of the IYSSE’s affiliation to the Student Engagement, Inclusion and Belonging division of university management at studentgroups@mq.edu.au, and CC iysse.macquarie@gmail.com.