AStA FU informs Edward Snowden about his honorary membership and demands asylum for Edward Snowden

AStA FU

AStA FU, the student government at Berlin's Free University, has composed a letter to Edward Snowden in order to inform him about – and congratulate him on – the honorary membership awarded to him by the university's Academic Senate on June 18, 2014.

The letter is supposed to be delivered via political channels in the course of the next few days. AStA FU appreciates the Academic Senate's decision as an invigorating signal for a new, different political orientation of the university, moving beyond excessive academic pride, crazed delusions of “excellence” and subservience to authority.

AStA FU also demands asylum for Edward Snowden in Germany, this being the only option allowing for a personal and academic exchange between the university's community, particularly its students, and the new honorary member.

Dear Mr. Snowden,

hereby we, the student government (AStA) of the Free University of Berlin, would like to inform you that on June 18, 2014 the university's Academic Senate voted to award you the Free University's honorary membership. The motion was initiated by students and honors your achievements in the defense of transparency, justice and freedom, acknowledging that your “attitude is highly consistent with the university's basic principles of 'Veritas', 'Iustitia' and 'Libertas'”. Please find attached the full statement (in German).

We would like to congratulate you on your honorary membership, and we dearly hope to be able to enter into personal as well as academic exchange with you soon!

To this effect, we would like to invite you to participate in a series of academic events on “Data privacy in the age of surveillance and intelligence agencies”, which we have been planning to organize since February (see original news release: http://www.astafu.de/content/edward-snowden-fu-berlin-%E2%80%93-series-events-planned-students-union-honorary-title-proposed). From these discussions we expect further urgently needed academic impulses and the heightening of awareness among students and others regarding the dangers of the concentration of power and elite formation with a concurrent de-democratization of society.

So far, this has been prevented by the difficulty of contacting you. Now, however, we are looking forward to establishing a dialogue in the near future. In this context, we would also like to discuss with you new academic perspectives and political assessments resulting from your revelations.

Best regards,

AStA FU

“Snowden's honorary membership is a remarkable departure from the previous delusions of 'excellence', academic self-adulation and professorial pride of rank. The question of 'what is scientific?' has been answered in an emancipatory manner. FU Berlin has taken a stand for autonomous thinking and action instead of obedience, particularly with regard to the active defense of basic rights against organs of surveillance and repression. The Academic Senate's decision also expresses a firm rejection of the lack of transparency and the authoritarian and undemocratic conditions inside the university,” says a representative of the department of communication and anti-repression at AStA FU.

*** click here for german version ***

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