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Friday, May 04, 2012

Remembering the Kent State Massacre

Survivors of the Kent State Massacre, that took place on May 4, 42 years ago, want a new investigation as to who may have ordered the attack. During that protest nine students were wounded and four killed. It only seems fitting that those responsible for this crime be held accountable for their actions. Nothing was done and no one was prosecuted when the event took place. Government lawyers went after former members of the Symbionese Liberation Army for an accidental  death at a bank robbery which was 30 years ago, even though many of these people had already served long sentences for being in that group before. If our right-wing government is not willing to forget the past, why should people on the left have to. There were plenty of needless deaths in the 1970s and it is only fitting that conservative people be held accountable for their actions. សតិវ អតុ

From Yahoo News;

KENT, Ohio (Reuters) - Survivors of the shooting of 13 students by the Ohio National Guard during an anti-war demonstration at Kent State University in 1970 called on Thursday for a new probe into the incident that came to define U.S. divisions over the Vietnam War.
Four students were killed and nine wounded in the shootings on May 4, 1970 that followed days of demonstrations on the campus after disclosures of a U.S.-led invasion of Cambodia that signaled a widening of the war in Southeast Asia.
For the rest click here.

Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young - "Ohio" (1970)

In this excerpt from I Am Pol Pot, by Steve Otto, 2008, a fictional autobiography, a simulated news article gives an account of one of the first reports on the Kent State Massacre;

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….[1]

[1] Steve Otto, I Am Pol Pot, 1970, (Lulu), pp. 82-83.


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