Youth in Germany and former Soviet Union oppose political censorship of IYSSE at Sydney’s Macquarie University

Statements continue to be sent to Sydney’s Macquarie University in opposition to its anti-democratic refusal to affiliate the International Youth and Students for Social Equality’s (IYSSE) club on campus.

Management’s decision was based on the fraudulent claim that the anti-war, socialist IYSSE shares the “same aims and purpose” as the pseudo-left, pro-war Macquarie Socialists club. Though this claim has been thoroughly debunked, Macquarie University is refusing to reverse its decision, highlighting its political censorship of anti-war and socialist voices.

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

Below, we publish letters protesting Macquarie University’s political censorship from the IYSSE in Germany and the Young Guard of Bolshevik Leninists (YGBL).

The YGBL is a Trotskyist organisation in Russia and throughout the former Soviet Union that has declared its political support for the International Committee of the Fourth International—the world party of which the IYSSE is the global youth and student arm. It fights for the socialist unity of workers in Russia and Ukraine against the war and all the governments prosecuting it.

In Germany, the IYSSE is also fighting attempts by state- and fascistic-aligned forces attempting to silence its socialist opposition to the US-NATO proxy war against Russia in Ukraine. The IYSSE in Germany has led the fight against remilitarisation and the rehabilitation of the Nazis in the corporate media, political establishment and on the campuses, particularly among far-right academics deeply entrenched in the German state apparatus.


Letter by the IYSSE (Germany):

More than a month has now passed since you refused the affiliation of the International Youth and Students for Social Equality (IYSSE) student club at Macquarie University. This is a scandalous act of political censorship directed against widespread anti-war sentiment among Australian students and constitutes an attack on the democratic rights of all students in Sydney and beyond. On behalf of the steering committee of the International Youth and Students for Social Equality (IYSSE) in Germany, I demand that you immediately revise your anti-democratic stance and reaffiliate our comrades’ club at Macquarie University.

IYSSE meeting in Frankfurt, May 12, 2023

If one considers the programmatic principles of the IYSSE against the backdrop of Australia’s spearheading role in the US-led war preparations against China, one can only determine that your refusal to reaffiliate a long-standing and popular anti-war student organization is politically motivated. In the course of more than a decade, the IYSSE at Macquarie University has held countless anti-war rallies and meetings which resonate among broad sections of students and engages them in the fight to end war once and for all. Your action, by contrast—should you continue as before—constitutes a capitulation to the Australian ruling class’s attempts to subordinate the nation’s universities to its war effort.

Speaking from Germany with an historically informed perspective, we know this process painfully well. Scholars of German militarism and the Nazi’s fascist dictatorship have come to denote it as Selbst-Gleichschaltung—the voluntary submission of academic and administrative elites to the military-intelligence apparatus. In the Third Reich politically unreliable professors were removed from universities and anti-war students such as Sophie and Hans Scholl were beheaded. As the IYSSE has documented, the current glorification of Nazi traditions and war criminals on display in the proxy war in Ukraine was ideologically prepared by attempts to downplay the crimes of the Nazis at German universities.

We do not suggest an “equal sign” between the historical precedent and today’s situation. It remains in your power to stop in your tracks and not go down this road. In that case, it should be a matter of course to reaffiliate our comrades’ club and refrain from any further action that infringes on the right of students to organize anti-war meetings, discussions and any other on-campus political activities.

We confidently expect that you comply with this demand.

Gregor Link
International Youth and Students for Social Equality (IYSSE)
Berlin, Germany


Letter from the YGBL:

The Young Guard of Bolshevik-Leninists openly protests against the refusal to affiliate the IYSSE at Sydney’s Macquarie University.

This is a blatantly anti-democratic move based on a false claim. In this move, the university administration is not guided by sincere considerations about whether or not requirements were being met.

A graphic designed by the Young Guard of Bolshevik-Leninists to honor its 5-year anniversary.

On the contrary, all the actions of the administration only indicate that this is a clear politically motivated move to suppress Trotskyist criticism of the international and domestic policies of the Australian bourgeois government.

It has long been known that the university is closely linked to the state apparatus. By contracting and promoting the interests of the ruling class, the university is breaking with the principles of education—the search for objective truth and the well-rounded development of the individual.

The depths to which the administration has fallen is especially clear if we take into account that 27 years ago, in 1996, Macquarie University, hosted a lecture on Stalinism by the Russian historian Vadim Rogovin, who has written seven volumes on the struggle of Trotskyism against Stalinism (from the 1920s to 1940). The lecture was organized by the parent organization of the IYSSE, the International Committee of the Fourth International, as part of an international series.

The subordination to the interests of profit is a characteristic feature not only of Macquarie University, but also of many other universities. This is a worldwide problem that affects not only Australia, but also Russia.

Russian universities are also closely linked to the state and work for the military machine, and this cooperation has grown especially against the backdrop of the war in Ukraine. Government contracts have long been one of the main ways universities exist in the capitalist world.

Now, we see, that, if is faced with the dilemma of protecting the rights of students or protecting the interests of profit, Macquarie University intends to take the side of profit.

We demand that this decision be reversed.

To youth we say that, in their struggle for democratic rights, they can only rely on themselves, and in their own independent movement that will fight for their rights in alliance with the working class, which, based on its position in capitalist society as wage laborers, has decisive economic influence.

This is what the IYSSE is fighting for by promoting the positions of socialist internationalism throughout the world, and seeking to show that the best ally for young people in their fight for their future is the international working class.

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