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Friday, May 13, 2011

1970 and the Kent State Massacre

It was in 1970 that 4 students were gunned down at Kent State in Ohio. The following is an excerpt from “I Am Pol Pot”:


May 11, 1970

America’s youth: War on war”

                Campus violence has erupted since President Richard Nixon decided to send thousands of troops across the border into Cambodia. Nearly 2,000 students have called for immediate “provisional” strikes, across the country. One of the worst cases of violence was in Ohio last week.
                Kent State, an obscure teachers college, became the national center of the anti-war debate, when National Guardsman opened fired, indiscriminately, on a crowd of unarmed students.
                At first there was a carnival like atmosphere as students were drinking beer and dancing. Some students began using gasoline to light fires. Governor James Rhodes arrived. Without consulting the president of the college, Robert White, he began dispensing National Guard troops throughout the campus. There were about 500 in an hour. Rhodes said the campus trouble makers were worse than “brown-shirts, communists and vigilantes.”
                He announced that he had banned all demonstrations, but he students hollered “This is our campus.”
Rhodes said “Evacuate the Commons area. You have no right to assemble.”
                To that the students yelled back “Pigs of Campus! We don’t want your war”
                At first tear gas was fired into the crowd, then the guards started running out and getting nervous. Facing rock throwing students, the guards retreated, but many held their guns, M-16 riffles, on the crowd. The guards opened fire and many students thought they were blanks at first.
                “My God, this is for real,” a student shouted as she realized the bullets were chipping things around her.
Students began to run for cover.
 “My God, they’re killing us,” one terrified girl said. A river of blood flowed from the head of one boy, while another tried to stop the profuse bleeding of another boy’s stomach. When the shooting stopped, four young people, none of whom were radicals for even protest leaders, were dead. Ten students were wounded.

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