"Not every death refers to university policy"
... said a german court for administrational law to a flyer of a students union
(its called AStA in Germany) about the death of the student Benno Ohnesorg on
a demonstration against the visit of the shah of iran (persia) in Berlin in
This was one of the first court orders against ASten (this is the plural of
AStA), which said that the ASten are only allowed to publish opinions refering
to problems of universities and of students. So this statement to the death
of Benno was not allowed, because he was not demonstrating to a problem refering
to universities or students although he was a student.
In the times before the ASten had published opinions to every political questions.
But the ASten then had been ruled by right wing organisations. They demanded
the union of west an east germany or even the recovery of the regions, which
had lost east and west germany by result of the world war two. These political
demands laid in the political midth of the society, so no one cared respectively
it was demanded by the official politics from the ASten.
Since the studens movements of the late sixties the ASten were ruled by left
wing/socialist student organisations. And the politics they did, did or better
does not fit in the political social order. So the politics of the ASten were
regulated by the law courts and not by the students by elections.
Why could they do this?
In most or even every european country exept Germany the student unions could
refer to the freedom of opinion and speech. So why could not the german ASten
refer to it, too? In Germany these ASten are organized as part of the civil
(public) services. So as a part of the civil services you can not demand the
civil liberties for your organisation. From this follows that the ASten are
only allowed to publish opinions according to problems of universities and of
students. The courts of administrational law say that even the german parliament
could not pass a law, which would allow the ASten to publish its political opinions
beyond politics concerning universities and students, because it would violate
the german constitution.
What does this mean for students politics?
In the seventies many law suits were pendinged against the ASten. In the following
the AStA in Münster had to pay fines of 65.000,- DM alltogether. In the
eighties there were less law suits against the ASten because on the one side
the ASten tried to do their politics in a way, which prevents law suits agaist
themselves and on the other side the right-wing students did not do law suits
against the ASten.
With the beginning of the nineties two right wing students in Münster began
to do law-suits against the AStA of the university of Münster. In the beginning
he did a law suit against the bus-ticket, which was initiated by the AStA in
1992. This was a cheap busticket for the students, because every student had
to pay for it although he or she did not use the bus. At that time the ticket
did cost about 20,- DM for an half year. The AStA did win this law suit in the
third and last instance two weeks ago. The supreme court for administrational
law did say that the bus ticket has a relation to the university because the
student can reach - on a cheap way - his university. Also it did say - and this
is important to all law cases according to this problem - that the publications
of the ASten does not have to relate immediately to the university’s and student’s
problems, but has to show a relation to problems refering to the university.
Although the brochures, which the AStA had published to inform the students
about the bus ticket did contain also articles about the ecologic advantage
of travelling by bus and about cities without cars travelling around, the court
did accept these articles in the context of the problem about initiating the
In the following of the beginning of the law suit against the busticket one
of them did do law suits against plenty of published articles of the AStA. By
the time there were more than twenty law suits against the AStA pending.
So the AStA did have to pay fines for an satiric article against the "Rote Armee
Fraktion" - RAF -, an left wing terroristic organisation, because nobody had
got it right, that this article was agaist the RAF, an part of an article, which
did demand more BAföG (This is money, which poor students do get as credit
to enable them to study) and therefore do not pay for the transports of atomic
waste, or - and that rather bad - an interview with Emil Carlebach, a communist,
who was put under the german Hitler-fashism in an concentration camp (Konzentrationslager).
The court did not accept that the AStA did publish this article, because the
underorganisation of the AStA for all students of historic sciences - its called
Fachschaft - had invited him to tell the students about the Hitler-fashism and
his life in Westgermany as a communist. In the historic sciences this form of
method is called oral history. But the Court meant that the Fachschaft or the
AStA is not allowed to publish articles, which could value the contens of sciences.
So the students should learn by the "grace" of their professor or by themselves
as individuum, but not by terms of an democratic students organisation.
At least now there are law cases against the ASten in Münster, Bonn, Wuppertal,
Marburg, Gießen, Bremen, Potsdam, Berlin, Bielefeld, Essen and Münster
again (with a new guy doing law suits against the AStA). At least nearly everybody
doing the law cases is right wing or even from the extreme right.
The function of this repressiv system
As we have seen students could participate in the society with their democratic
representational organisations only in a limited political term. Just the political
problems are allowed to discuss, which concern the university or the student.
Just the critical intellectual capacities of the students, which could discuss
problems concerning the sense and purpose of a solidary and just society, are
hold out of the bodies of students.
This shows the will of society, which wants students, who learn to accept authorities,
and do not use their mind to reflect social conditions of the society.
This is a sign for the repressive and authoritarian character of a parliamentary
You can participate in the society only by the will of the reigning class.