Stop the censorship of socialist students at Macquarie University! Grant the IYSSE at Macquarie University official club status!

The following statement, demanding an end to political censorship at Macquarie University in Sydney, Australia, has been issued by the International Youth and Students for Social Equality (IYSSE) in Canada.

As the statement explains in detail, Macquarie management is continuing an anti-democratic refusal to affiliate an IYSSE on campus, despite the official pretexts having been exposed as lies and growing opposition.

Sign the petition to demand that the IYSSE be affiliated, and send statements to management, copied to the IYSSE for posting on the WSWS.


The International Youth and Students for Social Equality (IYSSE) Canada strongly condemns the refusal of Macquarie University in Sydney, Australia, to grant the IYSSE club status, despite it having met all of the institution’s requirements. We join with our comrades in Australia and around the world in demanding that the university cease its political censorship and immediately recognize the IYSSE as a club in its own right.

Macquarie University bases its undemocratic decision on the outrageous assertion that the IYSSE has the same “goals and purposes” as the Macquarie Socialists, a club affiliated with the pseudo-left Socialist Alternative group, and therefore does not constitute an independent entity.

This mendacious strategy of denying the IYSSE right to propagate its views by arbitrarily ruling that its fundamental political differences with other clubs are inconsequential or irrelevant is a maneuver employed by university administrations in Australia and internationally, including the University of Melbourne in 2015 and New York University (in the United States) in 2016.

In the case of Macquarie University, the discriminatory nature of the refusal to recognize the IYSSE as a club could scarcely be more blatant considering the fact that the IYSSE was officially affiliated from 2010 to 2022, while the Macquarie Socialists club was also recognized.

Macquarie University's attempts to dismiss the political differences between the IYSSE and the Macquarie Socialists as trifling differences of opinion could not be more fraudulent. Both from the point of view of its political affiliation and the historical origins and development of the Trotskyist movement, the IYSSE has the most fundamental political and programmatic differences with the Macquarie Socialists.

As an article published on the WSWS points out:

“Socialist Alternative supports the US-NATO proxy war against Russia in Ukraine; we oppose it and fight to build an anti-war socialist movement of the international working class. Socialist Alternative defends the union bureaucracy that acts as a policeman for governments and corporations; we struggle to independently mobilize workers against it through the formation of rank-and-file committees. In elections, Socialist Alternative calls for voting for Labour and the Greens as a ‘lesser evil’; we denounce this as a reactionary attempt to link workers and youth to the capitalist political establishment and support Socialist Equality Party candidates.”

With the capitalist system mired in systemic crisis (climate change, war, pandemic, economic instability, social inequality, etc.), the ruling elite is well aware that it is sitting on a social powder keg. Universities have historically been hotbeds of social and political opposition in times of crisis. The refusal to affiliate the IYSSE as a club serves to prevent students seeking a political alternative from learning about and discussing a genuine socialist and revolutionary perspective.

With the proxy war between NATO and Russia raging in Ukraine, Macquarie University's decision is in line with the attempts of governments around the world to prevent the spread of anti-war sentiment among young people and the working class. Mounted, as in Canada, in alliance with far right Ukrainian nationalists, this attack on the right of young people to organize politically underscores the high level of nervousness in ruling circles about the manifest hostility of young people and workers towards war and militarism.

The IYSSE is particularly targeted in this campaign by the ruling elite because of its open opposition to war. In fact, the IYSSE is the only organization that advances a genuine anti-war perspective based on the unification of the international working class against the capitalist nation-state system.

As part of a series of meetings organized by the IYSSE and the International Committee of the Fourth International to explain the historical origins of the war in Ukraine and how to stop it, the IYSSE confronted fierce opposition from governments and far-right forces.

Under Liberal and Conservative governments alike, the Ukrainian Canadian Congress (UCC) has long had ready access to the corridors of power. Here Canadian Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland and Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal pose with a delegation of UCC leaders after meeting with them April 11, 2023. [Photo: UCC]

In Canada, high-level politicians and supporters of the Ukrainian Canadian Congress (UCC) sought to censor meetings organized by the IYSSE. In March, responding to pressure from the UCC, the University of Waterloo attempted to cancel a planned on-campus meeting by requiring the IYSSE to meet a series of completely arbitrary additional conditions. Thanks to an energetic and determined campaign by the IYSSE and its supporters, the University of Waterloo was forced to back down and the event took place successfully.

In late May, the UCC, backed by Ontario Labour Minister Monte McNaughton, smeared the IYSSE and tried to cancel another of our meetings, this time at the Toronto Public Library. Despite lies, slander and the involvement of an official representative of the provincial government, the IYSSE mobilized widespread support. In just a few days, more than 1,000 youth and workers signed a petition demanding the meeting go ahead, which it did despite efforts by far-right nationalists to disrupt it.

Whilst the IYSSE at Macquarie University is one of the main targets of the university’s new arbitrary and reactionary club-rules policy, objectively it represents an attack on the democratic rights of all students on campus, including freedom of association and freedom of expression. We call on all young people, students and workers in Australia, Canada and internationally to oppose the censorship of the IYSSE and to demand that the University administration and its “Student Engagement, Inclusion and Belonging” arm reverse their decision and grant the IYSSE club at Macquarie University full club status immediately.

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