The International Youth and Students for Social Equality (IYSSE) in partnership with Eastern Michigan University held an event, Wednesday Sept., 20, in the McKenny Hall ballroom to commemorate the centenary of the 100-year old Russian Revolution.
The two-hour event included guest speaker, world-renowned author and Troskyist David North. North is also the chairman of the Socialist Equality party in the United States (SEP), formerly the Workers League.
The IYSSE is an organization that is dedicated to mobilizing young people in a fight against the current capitalist system and for the Socialist transformation of society.
"I thought it was a very powerful speech that David North gave," IYSSE President and Senator of EMU Student Government Mitch Abrams said. "It was educational and it speaks to the current political situation and continuing relevance of the Russian Revolution."
The Russian Revolution was a pair of revolutions that occurred in Russia in 1917, which dismantled the Tsarist autocracy and gave way to the rise of the Soviet Union. North's speech touched on the bare bones of this historical uprising and how it relates to our current political climate in America, as well as possible suspected tampering that may have occurred in the 2016 presidential election.
"Outside interference in politics is American as Apple pie," North said during his speech. "Trump came to power because of the systematic oppression of left-wing thought in this country."
The most poignant moment of the evening happened when a young man from Russia sitting in the audience with his family decided to challenge North's ideals during the question and answer segment of the speech. An argument ensued with North exclaiming during the exchange, "You don't know the history of your country!" The young man and his family left the room not long after that making for a tense and ultimately surreal moment.
"Well what struck me was that David identified his perspective as libertarian. The young man tried to say that socialism wouldn't work because human nature is essentially competitive. I thought that was excellent that David summarized the difference of opinion. The entire political establishment is moving us towards nuclear war everyday. Everyday we move toward that destination," Abrams said.
The International Youth and Students for Social Equality meets every Friday evening at 6 p.m. in Room 304 of the Student Center. For more information please email firstname.lastname@example.org.