Sep 21 2008 by Rob Pattinson, Sunday Sun
A STUDENT got his marching orders from a college after he quizzed Army recruitment officers on campus.
Artem Liebenthal, 19, was part of a six-strong student Stop The War group when he approached the military men and asked: “How many of our students would be killed?”
When he asked the question a second time, he was threatened with security, so the Newcastle College student left.
Last Monday, three days after the incident, he received a phone call from education bosses telling him that he was banned from campus and could not attend lectures pending a disciplinary hearing, which takes place tomorrow.
Artem, living in Elswick, Newcastle, but originally of Bockhorn, Germany, said: “The whole thing just seems so unfair . . . I wasn’t violent or threatening.
“I thought colleges were supposed to be places for free speech, democracy and accountability, but I wasn’t allowed to ask a question.
“Last year, the Student Union wanted the Army banned from the campus for recruitment purposes, so I couldn’t understand what they were doing here.
“Now my whole future could be in jeopardy. I wanted to go into the law and media, but if I’m kicked out then I’ll struggle to get into a university. I feel victimised.”
No one else was reprimanded for their part in the low-key demonstration against the military men, who were at the college to recruit students to a bursary scheme offered by the Army.
A student protest is planned when Artem, a member of the Socialist Worker Student Society, SWSS, is brought before college bosses.
A statement released by Newcastle College said: “This is a non-political organisation and therefore does not associate itself with organisations such as the Socialist Worker Student Society.
“In pursuing activities associated with the SWSS, Mr Liebenthal was reported to have disregarded the reasonable requests of college staff while on college premises.
“The college had no alternative but to suspend him until the matter could be investigated and dealt with through its normal student disciplinary procedures.
“Once this process has been concluded, Mr Liebenthal will be advised of the college’s decision regarding this matter.”
What else you can do...
3) Join the protest (details below)
4) Get support from your Students’/Trade Union
Join the protest
PROTEST OUTSIDE HIS DISCIPLINARY HEARING
MONDAY 22ND SEPT 12NOON, ASSEMBLE ON
ELSWICK EAST TERRACE
(Please bring union banners, delegations etc. etc.)