IYSSE establishes club at Australia’s La Trobe University in meeting defending zero-COVID campaigner Dr David Berger | #students | #parents

In an important step forward for the work of the International Youth and Students for Social Equality (IYSSE) in Australia and the region, the IYSSE has formed a new club at Melbourne’s La Trobe University. The formal founding of the club, ratification of its constitution, and election of the club executive took place at its Inaugural General Meeting (IGM) on Friday, 29 July.

IYSSE members speaking with students at Melbourne’s La Trobe University

The La Trobe club joins the already established IYSSE clubs in Australia’s second largest city and Victorian state capital at the University of Melbourne and Victoria University. La Trobe University’s main campus is in the northern Melbourne suburb of Bundoora, more than 13 kilometres northeast of the city centre.

The university was established in 1967 and now has over 36,000 students, including more than 7,000 international students from 110 countries. Of these countries, the top five home nations of international students at La Trobe are, in descending order (as of 2017): India, China, Singapore, Vietnam and Pakistan.

La Trobe has also been one of the universities hardest hit by decades of pro-corporate restructuring accelerated amid the COVID-19 pandemic. At least 15 percent of the university’s permanent workforce will have been axed since the beginning of the pandemic. Entire courses, including sections of the humanities and agricultural departments, have also been junked as so-called “cost-cutting” initiatives.

In the weeks leading up to the IGM, IYSSE members and supporters campaigned on campus to raise the level of political consciousness among the student population.

The IYSSE campaigns won warm support, with dozens of students signing up to be members or contacts of the club. 

Among the issues raised by campaigners with students were: the threat of nuclear war erupting out of the US-NATO proxy war against Russia in Ukraine and US aggression against China; the murderous “let it rip” policy of governments in Australia and internationally leading to a resurgence of COVID-19 cases and deaths; and the attacks on democratic rights highlighted by the persecution of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, zero-COVID doctor David Berger, and the lock on the Socialist Equality Party’s Twitter account last month.

Taylor Hernan

At the IGM, Taylor Hernan was elected the club’s president. Hernan told the World Socialist Web Site that the formation of the club was “a significant step forward for the building of a revolutionary leadership among students and youth.”

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