Statement from Brazil opposes censorship of IYSSE at Sydney’s Macquarie University

Macquarie University, in Sydney, is continuing to receive statements from around the world opposing its anti-democratic refusal to affiliate a club of the International Youth and Students for Social Equality (IYSSE).

The pretext for the censorship, namely that the IYSSE and the pseudo-left Macquarie Socialists share the same aim, has been thoroughly debunked. But management is refusing to reverse its decision, demonstrating that political censorship is at play.

Sign the petition to demand that the IYSSE be affiliated, and send statements to management, copies to the IYSSE. Below is a statement from the IYSSE in Brazil.

Letter by the IYSSE in Brazil

The International Youth Students for Social Equality (IYSSE) in Brazil, as a section of the youth organization of the International Committee of the Fourth International, is resolutely against the rejection of the IYSSE chapter at Macquarie University in Australia by its administration.

Students protesting against Jair Bolsonaro government's budget cuts affecting mostly health and education, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Dec, 7, 2022. [AP Photo/Bruna Prado]

By rejecting the only organization on campus that has waged a political campaign in opposition to the US-NATO imperialist war in Ukraine against Russia, the campus administration is defending the most aggressive interests of the Australian government.

The IYSSE in Australia has denounced the imperialist war plans of the Australian ruling class on the one hand and the reactionary “anti-AUKUS” movement on the other, calling for a mass youth movement oriented to the Australian and international working class. That is why it became a threat to the national interests of the Australian state and a political target of the administration at the university.

The administration gave as an explanation for its rejection of the IYSSE, which met all the requirements for applying to join, the false claim that an equivalent organization already existed on campus, the Macquarie Socialists club.

Macquarie’s management sees the IYSSE anti-war campaign as a risk to its multiple connections with the military industrial sector, and has felt emboldened amid the Australian establishment’s militaristic and arms campaign.

Labor’s Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, who has invested hundreds of billions of dollars to buy nuclear-powered submarines, is responding with complete indifference to a massive housing crisis among millions of working and young Australians, who are having to pay more expensive mortgages or rents amid falling real wages after repeated interest rate rises.

Expecting a massive social explosion in the working class, the Australian parliament is carrying out an offensive against the basic democratic rights of the entire Australian population, with new legislation put forward targeting any statements on social media that could be denounced as “disinformation,” a wide definition that allows supressing oppositional views against the state.

Parliamentary disputes in Australia have increasingly been settled on the basis of anti-China chauvinism by the most reactionary sections in the establishment, seeking to suppress opposition to military armament and gather support for a war with China.

In its effort to suppress the Australian section, the administration was able to enlist the aid of the Macquarie Socialists club, which, in the midst of the censorship campaign, denounced the IYSSE, expressing its indifference to the defense of the most elementary democratic principles and its hostility to a principled struggle to build a revolutionary movement against war and for socialism.

Unlike the Macquarie Socialists, the IYSSE fights for the building of an international mass movement of youth and students against the US-NATO imperialist war in Ukraine. It fights for a perspective independent of all organizations that advocate the arming of Ukraine by the imperialist powers on the one hand, and those that submit to the Russian bourgeois national state on the other.

The IYSSE also places the war in Ukraine as the focus of a global conflict, in which the Australian government is placing itself at the forefront of the US-led campaign of economic and military encirclement of China, participating in military alliances such as AUKUS and the Quad.

Attacks on democratic rights like the one being approved in parliament and at Macquarie are inseparable components of the capitalist program to suppress any opposition to the war and force workers to pay for military armament, and will inevitably be directed against all political opposition in the working class and among youth and students. They set a precedent for similar measures in Australia and other countries.

Expressing the lack of support for the imperialist war among the wider population, the bourgeois state is relying on violent Ukrainian nationalist groups to suppress opposition, and a series of anti-war meetings organized by the IYSSE internationally have been responded to with authoritarian efforts and threats of violence. In Canada, a provincial Minister of Labor openly participated in the intimidation campaign, which included threats against IYSSE members.

Pink Floyd artist and lead singer Roger Waters was recently the target of an aggressive intimidation campaign by the German mainstream media during his concert tour in Germany, falsely accused of promoting antisemitism with a performance that in fact denounces fascism that the singer has performed multiple times over the past 40 years. In Brazil, the self-styled “democratic” government of Lula da Silva of the Workers Party (PT) responded to the announcement that Waters would be performing concerts in the country with barely veiled threats of reprisals, including his arrest.

It is crucial that young people and students who are seeking to fight the assault on social and democratic rights turn to the international working class, the only social force capable of ending the war and the capitalist system that is its root cause.

The working class, which has been forced to pay for the costs of the indifferent, profit-based politics of the ruling elites since the pandemic, are responding to the social crisis exacerbated by the war with a series of strikes and protests internationally, including strikes by railroad workers in the US last year, which were suppressed with the efforts of the Biden administration and the US congress, and massive protests recently in France against Macron’s austerity policy and police violence.

In every workers’ struggle against the policies of capitalist governments, the IYSSE has followed the WSWS in its call for the formation of rank-and-file committees, which are organizations created by workers to carry forward a unified struggle internationally and across all sectors against cuts in living conditions, democratic rights and imperialist war.

The campaign against democratic rights at Macquarie University and in Australian society must be responded to with a denunciation by all young people and students who see the episode on the Australian campus as an attack on fundamental rights, and with a demand for the immediate and full acceptance of the IYSSE as a club on the Macquarie campus.

Eduardo Parati,


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.

Get in touch with the IYSSE to find out how you can be involved:

Email: iysseaus@gmail.com
Facebook: facebook.com/IYSSEaustralia
Twitter: @IysseA
Instagram: @iysse.aus