Kent State

Discussion in 'Politics and Society' started by InLove, Mar 26, 2007.

  1. InLove

    InLove at peace

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    Hi, Everyone.

    I notice that every now and then I read a comment where someone says they don't know what happened at Kent State in 1970, the event that led to the composition of the song "Ohio", or as many know it, "Four Dead In Ohio". I just saw a program from the History Channel which attempts to explain both sides of the conflict, as well as to relate it to events today. I think it is important to know the whole story, if possible, surrounding any historical conflict. I thought it was interesting and informative, so I thought I would post here. The last time that I know of it running was on March 9 (I recorded it, so I just now watched).

    InPeace,
    InLove

    Edit: I guess it would help to tell the name of the program, lol. It's called "Our Generation". Don't know if that is a series or not.
     
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2007
  2. flowperson

    flowperson Oannes

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    InLove:

    I can remember being an observer of the protests as oppposed to a participant, even though morally I sided with the "peaceniks"

    I happen to have lived in a university town at the time and we also had our share of protests there. It was going on all across the country back then. But it was as though nobody seemed to believe that any of it would be effective...that is, until Kent State happened. When the people saw it on their screens, saw citizen soldiers shoot and kill students...the American citizens of tomorrow as opposed to the foreign innocents that we were not familiar with...then it all changed and the people demanded that their government act responsibly to bring peace from conflict.

    It will be no different this time...except that this time the "revolution won't be on TV". It'll be on the internet. I believe it's already getting warmer out there for those who would begin and prolong warfare without adequate moral reasoning. We've all seen lot's of deception and smoke these past few years. Maybe it's past time to clear some of that junk out of the way and begin to see clearly. But the triggering event has yet to happen IMHO. And 9/11 seemed intended to be a trgger to lead us into warfare. The real issue here is who is it that wants war ?

    flow....:cool:
     
  3. wil

    wil UNeyeR1

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    A pit grew in my stomach...an uneasiness over me as I read the thread title.

    I had to look at the calendar...the May 4th massacre anniversary is overshadowed today by Cinco de Mayo...

    It was scary times then...especially for those a few years older than I. We walked out of school in support, got in trouble for wearing black arm bands.

    Scary times today..again with conflicts...

    All we are say-ying, is give peace a chance....
     
  4. Nick the Pilot

    Nick the Pilot Well-Known Member

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    Hi InLove!

    The average college-age person cannot even name the four Beatles. (They consider it ancient history.)
     
  5. flowperson

    flowperson Oannes

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    Hi Nick...I agree with you that much cultural, factual material goes right down the ole memory hole each generation. Of course the trick with studying history is to look for similarities in event patterns "across generational boundaries" so that we might be able to learn from our past mistakes and not repeat them.

    Sadly it seems that governmental leadership does not have the discernment to do so on a regular basis. But then...maybe those who are "into" profiting from the generation of destruction and death are all too happy to ignore the lessons of history that stare them in the face each day and send increasing amounts of bloody cash to secret bank accounts in Switzerland and the Cayman Islands.

    flow....;)
     
  6. Nick the Pilot

    Nick the Pilot Well-Known Member

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    Flow,

    The responsibilty is upon us. We must re-visit the places like Kent State, Mi Lai and Wounded Knee from time to time. There is a natural tendency to forget. We must, we will, go out of our way to remember.
     
  7. InLove

    InLove at peace

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    The reason I brought up the program is it shows how both the protestors and the National Guardsmen were caught in the middle of a situation that got out of hand very quickly. Tempers were already flaring, and there were events in that town in the days preceding that led to a great deal of misunderstanding on all sides.

    I have heard talk here and there of folks wanting to organize peace marches--I am only hoping that things don't turn out like they did that day. I am hoping that flow is right--maybe these issues can be worked out in a truly more peaceful way this time as we try and learn from the past. There are enough brave young people already at risk overseas--I would hate to see them at risk here at home, too. The generation that was divided over the war back then is a generation that is still divided over that war--and maybe this one, too. If only we could understand each other, and know that even though we may look at things differently, we are all still in this together.

    InPeace,
    InLove
     
  8. Pathless

    Pathless Fiercely Interdependent

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    There have been many protests of this war already, and people have been arrested. The parallels to Vietnam are striking, but not surprising.

    InLove, could you go into some more detail about the misunderstanding between the National Guard and the protesters?
     
  9. Pathless

    Pathless Fiercely Interdependent

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    Here is a link to a detailed article about the events leading up to the Kent State murders. Briefly, it tells of a series of student protests, not all of which were strictly about the war in Vietnam and Richard Nixon's very recent expansion of that war (on April 30, 1970) into Cambodia. One of the first rallies, on May 1st, was held by the Black United Students. According to the article: "Some 400 people gathered to hear black students talk about recent disorders with the Ohio National Guard on their campus."

    Not all of the protests/rallies/actions were non-violent, although the May 4th one at least seemed to start out that way. On the evening of May 1st, a crowd gathered outside of bars in downtown Kent. They built a bonfire in the street (disruptive and unsettling, if not truly 'violent') and threw beer bottles at passing police cars (definitely not peaceful, definitely acts of violence). Windows of banks and other institutions were broken, a riot was declared by the police, who used tear gas and (k)nightsticks to herd the crowd towards campus.

    The next day, a large number of protesters surrounded the ROTC building, which was scheduled to be demolished. After a series of events, the building burned to the ground. The article states: "The question of who set the fire that destroyed ROTC building has never been satisfactorily answered by any investigative body."

    The terrible climax came on May 4. Around noon, 1500 students gathered in a protest were told to disperse immediately, but refused. The situation quickly degenerated from there. Over 100 armed troops began moving towards the students, who then began running. After this dispersion, the General in command ordered his troops to begin to retreat back up the hill:

    "After reassembling on the field, the Guardsmen seemed to begin to retreat as they marched back up the hill, retracing their previous steps. Members of Troop G, while advancing up the hill, continued to glance back to the parking lot, where the most militant and vocal students were located. The students assumed the confrontation was over. Many students began to walk to their next classes. ​
    As the guard reached the crest of the Blanket Hill, near the Pagoda of Taylor Hall, about a dozen members of Troop G simultaneously turned around 180 degrees, aimed and fired their weapons into the crowd in the Prentice Hall parking lot. The 1975 civil trials proved that there was a verbal command to fire. ​
    A total of 67 shots were fired in 13 seconds. Four students: Allison Krause, Jeffrey Miller, Sandra Scheuer and William Schroeder were killed. Nine students were wounded: Joseph Lewis, John Cleary, Thomas Grace, Robbie Stamps, Donald Scott MacKenzie, Alan Canfora, Douglas Wrentmore, James Russell and Dean Kahler. Of the wounded, one was permanently paralyzed, and several were seriously maimed. All were full-time students."​
    From this account, it seems to me that an armed force set out to disperse unarmed protesters, resulting in four students murdered and one paralyzed.

    I understand from this account also that there were riots in the days leading up to the May 4th event, and that a building was burnt to the ground. Yet in the riots--even the one with the beer bottles smashing into police cars--students were the ones who were injured. They were bayoneted and beaten by armed authorities. What I am able to gather is that students were throwing rocks and also chucking tear gas cannisters (that had been thrown at them) back at the National Guard, and the Guard attacked with batons, bayonets, and on May 4th, bullets.
     
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2007
  10. InLove

    InLove at peace

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    Hi Pathless--I am going to watch the program again today, because there are some details I think I'd like to explore further, but first I need to make sure I saw what I think I saw--and I need to remember a couple of names (My telly is in the other room, or I would go ahead and do that as I post.) I'll come back and compare notes.

    Oh dear--I remember when my oldest daughter and her friend came to me because they were working on the stage set-up for a high school play--"Arsenic and Old Lace" but set in the late 60's. They came to ask me if I had any "historical artifacts". They were serious. That's when I realized that I was one! :eek:

    InPeace,
    InLove
     
  11. InLove

    InLove at peace

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    Well, I don't know how to do this, but for anyone who does and would be interested, there is a podcast regarding the program I mentioned in the OP. I can only guess that it makes available the entire program, but that's just a guess--and I don't know if it is free. In the meantime, I am re-watching and taking some notes (doing things the hard way, not because I want to, you understand--just out of necessity until I learn some more about that there technological stuff :rolleyes:).

    Oh yeah--and it may take me a while longer, because I am also making tamales at the same time, lol....

    (THAT, I know how to do. :))

    InPeace,
    InLove
     
  12. flowperson

    flowperson Oannes

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    mmmmmmmmmm...warm tamales...mmmmmmmmm !!!!

    Gonna bring some to the next party InLove...huh...pretty puulllleeeaaassseee ??

    flow....:p
     
  13. Pathless

    Pathless Fiercely Interdependent

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    Ah, tamales... masa?

    Hey, here's a good clip from Democracy Now! detailing the recent protests marking the 4th anniversary of the Iraq War. The rumors are true! ;)

    Peace,
    Pathless
     
  14. InLove

    InLove at peace

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    mucho masa....:cool:

    You know, I've been trying to pick out what it is that I should post from my notes on the program. There's just so much, I find myself wanting to write it all down.

    In the documentary, there are on-campus interviews, then and now, with several people who were involved that day, from one of the Guardsmen to a variety of student witnesses, including one who is now a Kent State professor, as well as the man who was shot in the back while lying on the ground trying to avoid the bullets.

    Maybe I will come back and write some more about it, but in the meantime, I think the most poignant piece in the film is when the geology professor enters the picture and pleads with the students to leave--the urgency of his desperate message makes me cry--he was just turned inside out, and it is just haunting. I don't know if anyone can look at this clip and still not see what can still happen.

    And it is important also to really listen to what the mayor said....Oh, oh, why????

    If you get a chance, anyone, check the program out. It might even be a very good basis for a thesis of some kind. I dunno--I think it is invaluable.

    Edit: I realize that I am perceived here in CR as just a little bit of a hippy-type. And I suppose that is true to a certain extent. But I want to make it clear that I am not posting regarding Kent State and what happened almost forty years ago in order to stir up some kind of physical demonstration. I am just concerned. When I look at the faces of the young men and women involved in some of the peace marches taking place right now and also those coming back and forth from Iraq, my heart breaks, and I don't want to see an event like this happen again. Just want to say that.

    InPeace,
    InLove
     
  15. Pathless

    Pathless Fiercely Interdependent

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    "HIPPY!!!!!"

    much pointing and jeering

    Someone pass InLove the patchouly.

    Oh wait. I've got it. Here you go.
     
  16. China Cat Sunflower

    China Cat Sunflower Nimrod

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    I'm too young to be a hippy. I remember Kent state because it happened when I was a kid, and I remember everything from when I was a kid. My gaps start later on...

    I'm a little pissed at the flower children for their lack of follow through. Hell, I'm pissed at all you baby boomers anyway because by the time you croak there won't be a cent in the SS trust fund for me.

    Anyway...I like a lot of hippy things. Hippy music, hippy chicks, the hippy, hippy shake...but I'm not a hippy.

    I'm a folky. That's right, a commie-lefty Pete Seeger, union, blue collar, workin' stiff, Rosie the Riveter feminist sypathisizin', bleeding heart, owl huggin' folky.

    Chris
     
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2007
  17. InLove

    InLove at peace

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    Chris, I'm a cowgirl Indian--took me just about all my life to realize it, but here I are. I'm folk.

    InPeace,
    InLove
     
  18. InLove

    InLove at peace

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    Pathless, I have patchouli rocks within my reach. Mama gave them to me. She wasn't a hippy--well, she would never have called herself that...but she raised me.

    I only have three, so I probably won't hand them out...reminds me of why frankincense, gold, and myrhh are so meaningful and rare.

    Mom made infusions of herbs 15-20 years ago that are still clear and fragrant. I have them in bottles. She did this in a coffee pot. Old Arkies...go figure. :)

    InPeace,
    InLove
     
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2007
  19. wil

    wil UNeyeR1

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    This has been claimed for the past 30 years...yet they still haven't fixed the loophole which is quite easy. Social Security should not kick in for able bodied working folks till 7 years after the age of their current life expectancy.. That was what it was when it started. If they would have kept the moving the lines as we kept growing older folks would realize it is not a retirement fund...but a fund for people who lived beyond their years and were incapable of making a living any longer....not a retirement program or a retirement subsidy.

    Oh, and their ain't no SS trust fund...no lock box...never has been, your money goes into and will come out of the general fund. (oh and once folks realize it doesn't matter how much you pay in....they only calculate from your last 15 years of earnings...once that is realized everyone will wait till they are 55 before they start to pay in!!!) oops did I spoil the ending?
     
  20. Pathless

    Pathless Fiercely Interdependent

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    Nice! I thought patchouli came form a plant--what's this about rocks? I'm intrigued. And those herbal infusions sound wonderful. Coffee pot, eh? Even better. :D
     

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