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42 years ago troops fired on protesters at Kent State...killing four.

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madfloridian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-04-12 11:40 PM
Original message
42 years ago troops fired on protesters at Kent State...killing four.
Edited on Fri May-04-12 11:47 PM by madfloridian
Hat tip to Mike Klonsky for reminding us of this anniversary. Things appear to be heading back to those days of violence against protesters.

Kent State

42 years ago today, following Nixon's invasion of Cambodia, National Guard troops fired on peaceful student anti-war protesters at Kent State University, killing four and wounding nine. We had become, as the Presidential Commission on Campus Unrest put it, a nation driven to use the weapons of war upon its youth.

Today, as survivors of the Kent State massacre call for a new investigation into the shootings, the drums of war are beating again with Chicago the focus of another gathering storm. Rahm Emanuel, with little more in mind that filling the hotels of his friends and cronies, has invited the war makers to town for their NATO summit. Once more, thousands are expected to take part in peaceful protests. As they did 42 years ago, the government is preparing to meet these protests with violence.


There is an audio from 1970 of President Reagan appearing to blame the protesters for for the violence against them.

Audio of Reagan blaming the protestors for the Kent State violence.



Quoting Gordonskene at Crooks and Liars. Picture courtesy of Crooks and Liars.

"The reason for the Kent State protest was simple - it was a reaction to our invasion of Cambodia which began on April 29, 1970 - signaling an escalation to our involvement in South East Asia, at a time when we were told by a campaigning Richard Nixon in 1968, that an end to the war in Vietnam was in our sights. As was previously the case, we were lied to and we could see the war stretching on for years more, if not decades more.

Protests were held at college campuses all over the country. It was at Kent State in Ohio where it got violent, with a detachment of National Guard troops firing live ammunition into a crowd of protesters. Prior to this point, police and most National Guard used primarily rubber bullets or blanks, or in the case of shotguns, salt pellets rather than buckshot. In 1970 that seemed to have changed (I hate to say I know from personal experience, but I do).

When the deaths of the students at Kent State reached the national media it sent waves of shock throughout the country prompting, at least in California, Governor Reagan to go on the air and declare all college and university campuses closed for the better part of a week. With an air that was a bit reminiscent of his handling of the PATCO strike years later, Reagan cast doubt that the students killed by the guard were actually students, but "outside agitators" as he eluded in this address. If anything, it helped polarize an already divided situation that much more. The end result being an inquiry into the causes that brought about the death of people innocently protesting something they didn't believe in."


Now some survivors of that massacre want an investigation reopened into that day 42 years ago.

Kent State survivors seek new probe of 1970 shootings


By Kim Palmer

KENT, Ohio | Thu May 3, 2012 11:23pm EDT

(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.


On the eve of the 42nd anniversary of the shootings, four students wounded that day asked U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder to investigate digitally enhanced audio evidence they believe proves an officer ordered the guardsmen to fire on the unarmed students.

A command to fire has never been proven and guardsmen said they fired in self-defense. Criminal charges were brought against eight guardsmen, but a judge dismissed the case. Wounded students and families of those slain later received a total of $675,000 after civil lawsuits.

The shootings also spawned an investigative commission, numerous books and Neil Young's song, "Ohio," which became an anti-war anthem.
A Pulitzer Prize-winning photograph of a teenage girl kneeling over the body of one of the slain students became an enduring image of the tragedy.

In 2010, Alan Canfora, one of the wounded students and director of the nonprofit Kent May 4 Center, asked the Justice Department to review the enhanced recording, which was taken 250 feet from the guardsmen when they fired their shots in 1970.






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No Elephants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-05-12 03:24 AM
Response to Original message
1. We are so way beyond the days of Kent State.
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madfloridian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-05-12 02:29 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. Good post, thanks for the link.
:hi:
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madfloridian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-05-12 02:30 PM
Response to Original message
3. I just posted Neil Young's "Ohio" in the video section.
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