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BS: Kent State

Related threads:
Kent State was 50 years ago-May 4, 1970 (13)
BS: Kent State massacre-40th anniversary (28)
Remembering Kent State (40 years ago) And, Jackson (48)


Hollowfox 03 May 00 - 01:06 PM
catspaw49 03 May 00 - 01:35 PM
BlueJay 03 May 00 - 02:21 PM
Whistle Stop 03 May 00 - 03:08 PM
Hollowfox 03 May 00 - 06:18 PM
catspaw49 03 May 00 - 06:24 PM
Lanfranc 03 May 00 - 07:09 PM
McGrath of Harlow 03 May 00 - 07:10 PM
GUEST,Jack 03 May 00 - 07:38 PM
GUEST,Jack 03 May 00 - 07:54 PM
GUEST,The Yank 04 May 00 - 07:44 AM
GUEST,Mrr 04 May 00 - 09:15 AM
GeorgeH 04 May 00 - 10:01 AM
catspaw49 04 May 00 - 10:19 AM
Whistle Stop 04 May 00 - 10:57 AM
catspaw49 04 May 00 - 11:35 AM
McGrath of Harlow 04 May 00 - 01:16 PM
Whistle Stop 04 May 00 - 01:45 PM
Amergin 04 May 00 - 02:09 PM
GUEST,Jack 04 May 00 - 02:39 PM
GUEST,Jack 04 May 00 - 02:48 PM
catspaw49 04 May 00 - 02:55 PM
GUEST,Jack 04 May 00 - 03:15 PM
catspaw49 04 May 00 - 03:20 PM
Amergin 04 May 00 - 04:53 PM
GUEST,Jack 04 May 00 - 07:13 PM
McGrath of Harlow 04 May 00 - 07:47 PM
bbelle 04 May 00 - 09:53 PM
northfolk/al cholger 04 May 00 - 10:40 PM
Jim the Bart 05 May 00 - 12:05 AM
catspaw49 05 May 00 - 12:40 AM
katlaughing 05 May 00 - 01:20 AM
GeorgeH 05 May 00 - 08:11 AM
Whistle Stop 05 May 00 - 08:43 AM
GUEST,Mrr 05 May 00 - 01:18 PM
GUEST,Bartholomew 05 May 00 - 01:32 PM
GUEST,carol 05 May 00 - 01:51 PM
GeorgeH 05 May 00 - 02:11 PM
GUEST,Mrr 05 May 00 - 02:13 PM
Whistle Stop 05 May 00 - 02:55 PM
catspaw49 05 May 00 - 03:00 PM
katlaughing 05 May 00 - 03:04 PM
Lonesome EJ 05 May 00 - 05:12 PM
McGrath of Harlow 05 May 00 - 05:34 PM
catspaw49 05 May 00 - 06:42 PM
bbelle 06 May 00 - 12:33 PM
Amergin 06 May 00 - 12:50 PM
bbelle 06 May 00 - 03:23 PM
Caitrin 06 May 00 - 04:21 PM
Amergin 06 May 00 - 04:44 PM
bbelle 06 May 00 - 06:15 PM
leprechaun 06 May 00 - 11:39 PM
bbelle 07 May 00 - 11:16 AM
Greg F. 07 May 00 - 05:54 PM
leprechaun 08 May 00 - 10:28 AM
McGrath of Harlow 08 May 00 - 02:05 PM
GUEST,Bartholomew 08 May 00 - 02:23 PM
InOBU 08 May 00 - 02:32 PM
bbelle 08 May 00 - 08:06 PM
Whistle Stop 09 May 00 - 08:47 AM
InOBU 09 May 00 - 11:51 AM
L R Mole 09 May 00 - 01:54 PM
Whistle Stop 09 May 00 - 02:54 PM
Jim the Bart 10 May 00 - 01:54 PM
Susanne (skw) 13 May 00 - 05:52 PM
GUEST,Evelyn the Modified Dog 14 May 00 - 03:56 PM
McGrath of Harlow 14 May 00 - 06:03 PM
InOBU 15 May 00 - 08:04 AM

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Subject: Kent State
From: Hollowfox
Date: 03 May 00 - 01:06 PM

I'll be going over to Kent (Ohio) for the thirtieth anniversary rememberence of the May 4th shootings. For those of you that are interested, WKSU will be broadcasting a radio documentary program at noon (Eastern Time), and repeating it at 7:00 PM, and again Sunday, May 7, at 7:00 AM. The WKSU website (see a former thread) can lead you into the university's May 4 website. Say what you will about what happened there that day, one good thing is that the whole thing hasn't been censored or ignored into historical oblivion. Not that the university hasn't tried, on occasion. But they were unable to build a gymnasium on the shooting site, etc. Still, I can't think of any other examples of an annual memorial gathering to commemorate a government killing its own citizens while they exercised their constitutional rights. This memorial gathering is permitted and publicized.


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Subject: RE: BS: Kent State
From: catspaw49
Date: 03 May 00 - 01:35 PM

I'm sorry I won't be there, but I will be listening and will be there in spirit.

...and for all of my jokes about Neil Young, "Ohio" is still his best work.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: BS: Kent State
From: BlueJay
Date: 03 May 00 - 02:21 PM

'Spaw- Not to mention his other great Vietnam protest song, "Hey, hey, My Lai".


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Subject: RE: BS: Kent State
From: Whistle Stop
Date: 03 May 00 - 03:08 PM

Gee, I don't know. I understand and respect people's feelings about the tragic deaths that took place that day, but I kind of think we're overdoing this memorializing bit. We've got memorials for just about everything under the sun, and more going up all the time. My guess is that these folks would get more of a benefit from a gym than they will from another memorial. But it's their campus, so I guess it's their business.

As far as "a government killing its own citizens while they exercise their constitutional rights," I think that's a bit of an overstatement. I wasn't there, but I read Michener's book, and various other accounts. Basically, as far as I can tell there were a bunch of college students demonstrating against our government's incursion into Cambodia, which is entirely legitimate in and of itself. But there was also a good bit of violent, destructive behavior during the demostration (which had been going on for a couple of days) -- including the burning of the ROTC building, followed by attacks on the firefighters who showed up to put out the blaze. They didn't have a constitutional right to do those things -- they were breaking the law (not just laws relating to where and when they coulod assemble, but "real" laws relating to such things as arson and assault and battery), and putting people at risk of serious injury.

On the day in question, there were a lot of students who were intent on harrassing the National Guard as much as possible, hoping to goad them into doing something irresponsible. And they were pretty stupid about it. The Guard was made up of kids about the same age as the protesters; they were hot, not very well trained, couldn't see well because of the gas masks, and they felt besieged. Apparently nobody ever told the students that it's not smart to throw rocks and insults at stressed-out people with guns. Not everyone who was shot was guilty of these things, and in any event the shooting was certainly an overreaction that a better-trained and better-led force wouldn't have committed. But there was a lot of bad decision-making that day, and trying to make it into a "black hats vs. white hats" story after the fact is unfair.

As I said, I wasn't there, but probably most of the rest of you weren't, either. And neither was Neil Young.


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Subject: RE: BS: Kent State
From: Hollowfox
Date: 03 May 00 - 06:18 PM

No, Whistle Stop, I wasn't there either. I wasn't trying to do a black/white hat thing at all. My point is that whatEver happened there, it hasn't been swept under the carpet. That's a good thing in my book.


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Subject: RE: BS: Kent State
From: catspaw49
Date: 03 May 00 - 06:24 PM

...and WS, just as you were stating about the book on another thread, it is important to learn from history. No, Neil wasn't there, but if a song's writer has to be there to tell of an event, then we are going to be short a lot of songs around here.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: BS: Kent State
From: Lanfranc
Date: 03 May 00 - 07:09 PM

I'll revive Harvey Andrews' "Hey Sandy" for the occasion - to my mind the most powerful song about Kent State.

"They will not grow old, as we that are left grow old Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn ..."

Was it really thirty years ago?


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Subject: RE: BS: Kent State
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 03 May 00 - 07:10 PM

The important thing is to remember. Too many terrible things have been forgotten. Memorials just become part of the background, and we forget why they are there, but they stand as witnesses that can speak out and awaken people's curiosity about what really happened.

The Memorials for the Great War and World War II, in every village and town in countries in Europe, with their lists of local people with local names, whole families sometimes, still speak to us, if anything even more clearly.

The students at Kent died because they protested at what they saw as a cruel unjust and illegal war (and most people around the world would agree with that judgement, I believe). As Whistle Stop points out, some of them weren't too cool and collected in their protest. After they died they were libelled and insulted by a lot of people. It's something that needs to be remembered.


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Subject: RE: BS: Kent State
From: GUEST,Jack
Date: 03 May 00 - 07:38 PM

Yep, 30 years ago.

Hollowfox, Have to correct you on the gymnasium thing. The tent city protests were broken up by the police, the gym was built pretty much without modification, exactly as planned. Truth is that it was never planned to be built on the actual sites from which the guardsman shot or the students fell. You can still walk unencumbered across commons from where the burned ROTC building was and where the National Guard made their camp, to the bell where the students buried the Constitution in protest, up the hill past Taylor Hall to the Pagoda. You can still stand where the guardsman stood with a clear view of their field of fire, and put your finger into the hole an M1 round made in a half inch iron plate from an abstract sculpture. You can stand on every site where a student died.

There's even a memorial of sorts now, although I found it singularly lacking in effect when I finally saw it. I would have preferred the originally commissioned Segal sculpture that the University rejected after he showed them what he'd made. The Trustees wanted something emotionally neutral to help foster a sense of reconcilliation and healing. Somehow they felt a statue of Abraham sacrificing Issac fell a litte far of that mark. Most of the wounded students and the family members of those slain disagreed, and felt it sounded just the right tone.


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Subject: RE: BS: Kent State
From: GUEST,Jack
Date: 03 May 00 - 07:54 PM

McGrath,

Some of the students were just walking to class, not protesting at all, which makes it a little more complex. In fact, a lot of the students weren't protesting the war as much as they were the presense of the guard. And a large portion of the crowd was there just to watch.

To my mind this raises questions about agitated and confrontational protests and whether its OK to do something that might get a bystander killed (no matter what side of the confrontation you're on--protester or guardsman).


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Subject: RE: BS: Kent State
From: GUEST,The Yank
Date: 04 May 00 - 07:44 AM

From: Whistle Stop= Date: 03-May-00 - 03:08 PM==

...My guess is that these folks would get more of a benefit from a gym than they will from another memorial....==

I'm assuming that this is an inept attempt at puerile humor, and not "spitting on" the memories of those that died in this senseless tragedy. Wasn't only VietVets that were spit on--and I don't reacll returning vets being tear-gassed, beaten bloody with tactical batons and arrested for exercising their constitutional rights during this period.==


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Subject: RE: BS: Kent State
From: GUEST,Mrr
Date: 04 May 00 - 09:15 AM

I agree wholeheartedly with "The important thing is to remember. Too many terrible things have been forgotten" - but most of y'all know my take on tragedies by now... I am all for memorials. Better that than the alternative (Oh, was there something here before this gym?) of oblivion.


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Subject: RE: BS: Kent State
From: GeorgeH
Date: 04 May 00 - 10:01 AM

Catspaw . . have to agree with you about "Ohio" . . though the entire 4-way Street album is (musically, politically and socially) a wonderful encapsulation of those optimistic times. And is much less one-dimensional than those who scorn those times and movements would have us believe.

Where did it all go wrong?

G.


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Subject: RE: BS: Kent State
From: catspaw49
Date: 04 May 00 - 10:19 AM

I don't know George.......But there are now a lot of people in the business of analyzing it. Even VH-1 had an interesting program discussing the year 1970 and how it was the pivot point of the movement, and the role of Kent State. David Crosby made an interesting comment to the effect that "when you escalate with the government, they can 'out-escalate' you clear up to nuclear weapons." The premise of the show was true in my mind though.....Things were never the same after Kent State.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: BS: Kent State
From: Whistle Stop
Date: 04 May 00 - 10:57 AM

Just for the record, I wasn't attempting to be humorous in saying that a gym is likely to provide more benefits than a memorial. I'm just not all that big on memorials in general -- sometimes I feel like we as a society go overboard in our well-intentioned desire to remember things that we feel are are worth remembering. But I certainly don't spit on the memories of the people who died. I believe their cause was just, and their deaths were tragic (although, as GUEST,Jack correctly pointed out, not all who were shot were part of the protest).

As for Neil Young's "Ohio," I think it rates among his better works musically, but falls short lyrically -- it's sort of a generic "down with government thugs, up with the little guy" anthem to my way of thinking. More importantly, it reduces a complex story to cheap slogans and crude characterizations (these were not "tin soldiers," but real flesh and blood human beings), and fosters misunderstandings about what actually occurred and why. I don't think he did anyone any favors by doing that. "What if you knew her and found her dead on the ground/how can you run when you know?" What is he advocating here -- that the students should have honored the dead by staying to fight the Guard, thereby increasing the death toll? Sorry, but I don't buy it, and don't consider it one of Mr. Young's finer moments.

I do think that GUEST,Jack raises another interesting question about the responsibility of the protesters. I believe in the right to protest, and to a certain extent in civil disobedience when all else fails (of the sort practiced by followers of Gandhi and Martin Luther King). But I don't believe that anything goes in the name of protest, and I do think that people who intentionally create or promote an out-of-control situation -- particularly one that has the potential to turn violent -- bear a certain responsibility for what happens as a result.


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Subject: RE: BS: Kent State
From: catspaw49
Date: 04 May 00 - 11:35 AM

I appreciate your clarification Whistle. Thanks.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: BS: Kent State
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 04 May 00 - 01:16 PM

You've got to be aware of the possible consequences of your actions, that's true enough. Challenging the system involves taking risks, and there's a duty to do your best to ensure that those risks are carried by people who understand them and accept them.

And there's an element of provocation in many, perhaps most demonstations, including the most non-violent. Sticking a flower in the barrel of a soldier is for some soldiers a very provocative thing to do.

The thing with Kent though was that the action of the "National Guard" was not something that had precedents. All right there may have been examples in American history where the National Guard had shot down striking workers, or black people - but white middle-class teenage students? Noone could have expected that, any more than anybody could have expected the Paras on Bloody Sunday to be allowed to murder 14 unarmed people in Derry a couple of years later.


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Subject: RE: BS: Kent State
From: Whistle Stop
Date: 04 May 00 - 01:45 PM

I have often felt that the racial and class element was a big part of the reason the Kent State incident made such an impression. Do we hear of anyone marking the anniversary of the Jackson State killings?


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Subject: RE: BS: Kent State
From: Amergin
Date: 04 May 00 - 02:09 PM

Just wrote this a few minutes ago. My tribute to Kent State:

Lament of a Guardsman
(tune: Long Black Veil) Thirty years ago on the Fourth of May
Four students died that warm spring day
The people who ran they all agreed
The man with the gun looked a lot like me
Now I walk these halls water in my eyes
I still hear out night all the mournful cries
Nobody sees all the dropping tears
Nobody wants to hear

The protest was hot, and tensions were high
When a shot rang out, I saw the first one die
I said not a word, but fired into the crowd
The stains on my hands, echo oh so loud

We were a-firing, and tossing the tear gas bombs
While they went running across the common lawns
And when the smoke had cleared, it was painful to hear
The cries of the dying and the wounded so near

I was just a boy and little did I know
That on that fateful spring day, I lost my soul
Still I walk these halls, water in my eyes
I still hear at night all the mournful cries

Nobody sees all the dropping tears
Nobody wants to hear

P.S. I wasn't there either, was only born 4 years later. But that doesn't stop me from feeling the pain, the anger, the sorrow for those that were shot down and for those that did the shooting. Let us not forget. Blessed be.

Amergin


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Subject: RE: BS: Kent State
From: GUEST,Jack
Date: 04 May 00 - 02:39 PM

Whistle,

I think you're right up to a point. However, one other reason the Kent tragedy made its impression was because of those photos. Those grainy black and white pictures of the Guard firing in those freightening gas masks, that girl screaming over Jeff Miller's body, the pool of blood, the flag waving Alan Canfora in an open field, confronting the kneeling line of guardsmen with their weapons aimed, the white plumes of tear gas. Even today the power of those images is incredible, in the same way those images from the Edmund Pettis Bridge, or the children being firehosed in Selma still are.

To their credit, the groups that spent years trying to get the University to acknowlege the tragedy, to keep its memory alive, and to call into account those they felt were responsible, always made an effort to acknowlege the tragedy at Jackson State as equal to that at KSU. When they demonstrated, their principle chant was 'Long live the spirit of Kent and Jackson State'.


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Subject: RE: BS: Kent State
From: GUEST,Jack
Date: 04 May 00 - 02:48 PM

Amergin

One thing that most people don't realize is that the best evidence supports the testimony of the majority of the guardsman that they fired into the air, not into the crowd. Anyone who has seen what a trained M1 rifle company can do to a crowd in an open field in 13 seconds will bear this out. The M1 is a state of the art killing machine. It gives a trained user the ability to kill at 1/3 of a mile. Had the bulk of the guardsman actually fired at students for those 13 seconds it wouldn't have been 4, it would have been forty.


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Subject: RE: BS: Kent State
From: catspaw49
Date: 04 May 00 - 02:55 PM

Though this is the anniversary of KSU, thanks Jack for bringing up Jackson State.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: BS: Kent State
From: GUEST,Jack
Date: 04 May 00 - 03:15 PM

Twern't me, twas Whistlestop.


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Subject: RE: BS: Kent State
From: catspaw49
Date: 04 May 00 - 03:20 PM

Ooops......Sorry......Thanks WS, or not, or whatever..........Ya know, its not so much that I like memorials, but more that we remember through whatever means and memorials are often there simply lest we forget.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: BS: Kent State
From: Amergin
Date: 04 May 00 - 04:53 PM

They fired up in the air? Somebody must have had pretty bad aim, then. I wonder if those cops in San Francisco were shooting up in the air on Bloody Thursday.

Amergin


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Subject: RE: BS: Kent State
From: GUEST,Jack
Date: 04 May 00 - 07:13 PM

Amergin,

I'm a little put off by the sarcasm--but forget it for now. Don't confuse my comments with a denial of the facts or the tragedy. I spent a good deal of my life living in Kent and attending the school. I got to hear the many sides of the story and got to know some of the survivors and the people of the town and the college pretty well. It may be vanity but I think I came away with some insights that have a certain amount of truth to them.

The principal insight is that there are two May 4th's. The mythological and romantic and the actual. I've always felt that the former has served to keep people from fully understanding the latter.

No matter how sympathetic you try to be to the guardsmen, to portray them as all having behaved the same, as uniformed automatons that just turned and fired on students is part of the myth. Most of them missed on purpose. The decision not to aim--to fire a warning shot instead, required an individual moral choice that must be acknowleged. To simply portray the guardsmen as poor dumb unthinking killers, no matter how sympathetically done, is wrong.


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Subject: RE: BS: Kent State
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 04 May 00 - 07:47 PM

I can't actually see what Jack's point is.

Amergin doesn't say anything about the Guardsmen in general, the song is about one particular man remembering what he as an individual did all those years ago.

Amergin's is speaking in the imagined voice of one National Guardsman who did fire into the crowd. "We were firing", yes - but "they all agreed the man with the gun looked a lot like me "; and "a shot rang out, I saw the first one die. I said not a word, but fired into the crowd "

Whatever may have happened with shots in the air or whatever, there was at the very least one National Guardsman who did precisely that. In fact, if there had been only one guardsman who did the killing that would make the idea of the song, of an individual living with the memory of what he had done, even stronger.


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Subject: RE: BS: Kent State
From: bbelle
Date: 04 May 00 - 09:53 PM

I'm very glad to see the plethora of opinion in both this and the spat upon thread ... makes me think there is some intelligencia left on the mudcat. I, and annap, and a couple other women, posted on the other thread but most of the discussion has been among the men. I understand why. But there were many, many woman in Viet Nam, as well, who also deserve to be recognized.

I was just out of college, living in Washington, D.C., and working my first job, during the period of May 1-4, 1970. On May 1st, I dodged tires being thrown in my path and wondered if I would be involved in a car accident because of the tires being thrown by war protestors and tear gas being discharged by the National Guard. I made it to my office, where I was treated for the tear gas. I was sitting in my office when I heard what had just happened at Kent State. I cried for the students who were killed and for the National Guardsmen who were under orders to use any means necessary to stop the protesting. There was nothing, absolutely nothing, joyful about that time. History was being made and I was a part of it.

Yes, something should be erected to remember those students who were killed, because we should never forget ... just as Jews are reminded that they should never forget the Holocaust ... Events like this need to have a tangible monument so that everytime it is viewed or touched it reminds us that history should not be repeated ... moonchild


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Subject: RE: BS: Kent State
From: northfolk/al cholger
Date: 04 May 00 - 10:40 PM

I wasn't there,at KSU, but I wasn't far from there. I was at Wayne State in Detroit, which was shut down by a student/faculty strike, and the one thing that I remember, although not as well as I wish...was that at the same time as the Kent State assasinations, 12 or 14 Black Students at a university in Jackson Mississippi, were killed, with nowhere near the outcry...No one group is neither more nor less important than the other, but it puts the times into context. I dug into my archives, because these threads rekindled a part of my past that I don't visit often enough... I found an advertisement from Eaton Yale and Towne, Inc. that was published in FORTUNE MAGAZINE. It says,"OUR MULTINATIONAL COMPANY LOOKS AT THE WORLD AS ONE BIG GLOBAL MARKET...AND IT LOOKS GREAT! also another ad, from Chemical Bank that starts out"WHEN YOU NEED SOMETHING MORE DIPLOMATIC THAN A GUNBOAT..."

This was not about whether we as individuals were right or wrong, it was about how well we understood, what the economic leaders of this country were willing to do to make a buck. You can draw a straight line from the war in southeast asia...to the question of Favored Nation Status for China, and after you do, ask yourself, who lost the war in Viet Nam?


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Subject: RE: BS: Kent State
From: Jim the Bart
Date: 05 May 00 - 12:05 AM

I can't talk about Kent State and Jackson State in a vacuum, like I can history that I have only read about. I have a context in which those events are viewed that is never captured on paper - either in words or pictures. Hearing the music helps, but even songs like "Ohio" and the "Fish Cheer" (by Country Joe) lose so much without the memories playing behind them.

"How can you run when you know?" The words mean a lot to me. In my mind's eye that's what happened after Kent State. So many students (many from fraternities and sororities, it seemed to me)who had joined the war protests as if they were pep rallies or extra-curricular activities disappeared after Kent State. The gentle folk were in shock. The hard core - SDS'ers and com-symps and the like - kept rallying the troops, but the message of Kent State, underlined at Jackson State, was clear: this is not a game. "They" are willing to kill us - right here on campus, if need necessitates. The revolution is over.

If that seems harsh and melodramatic, that's tough. That's the way it was where I was going to school. That's not to say that I believe that Kent State was planned or anything. It was bound to happen somewhere. Everyone was wound too tight that spring. There were too many drugs, too many chances being taken, too much mindless violence, too many people way too polarized for it to go any other way.

I was one of the long-hairs who refused to march when I knew it would turn to violence; and you could usually tell which way the crowd would go. It seemed to be a violation of our principles to trash the administration building or the ROTC offices. We wanted to put and end to war! Where was the LUV? But there were too many people who were outraged that the vox populi could not be heard in the "halls of power". Violence was one way to turn up the volume. And until Kent State there were always enough willing, milling bodies around to make the point.

Kent State was the real watershed. In my mind it was the event that started the process that turned hippies into yuppies. It woke up some. It scared the shit out of others. I think every kid on every campus saw those four dead students and thought "that's me". And the parents of all the boomers saw this as one of their worst nightmares (along with having a son who was a modern dance major) and they began to wonder who the villains really were. Some began to think maybe that the real nightmare was to have a son or daughter in Viet Nam. For the times they are a changin'

No, there aren't too many memorial places around. We have to remember these things that have happened. And if we don't all remember them the same way, that's the way life is. As I remember it, there were a lot of people, some very young, who felt they had something important to say. And they were tired of being ignored. And some of them refused to do what they were told was their duty, while others did. And many of them were killed. Most in Viet Nam. Some here.


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Subject: RE: BS: Kent State
From: catspaw49
Date: 05 May 00 - 12:40 AM

Well put Bart. When I said above that after Kent State, things were never the same, that is exactly what I meant. It got to be a lot harder to enlist those masses that were always so available before. Although at times it was their over-enthusiastic presence which led to problems, it was the numbers which mattered. Even though many of the students involved at Kent State were not protesters of any sort, KSU and JSU clearly spoke of what the government could bring to bear.

Today's headline in the "Columbus Dispatch" quoted the line of then governor James Rhodes: "No one plans a train wreck." Perhaps not, but from all sides, it was a wreck waiting to happen.

Spaw

Spaw


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Subject: RE: BS: Kent State
From: katlaughing
Date: 05 May 00 - 01:20 AM

NPR ran a good piece on this, today. When they put the archive up, I will post a link. Today was the first time all nine survivors got together to remember.

Interesting how a date can put things in perspective and bring things to mind. I had turned 17 just about 5 weeks before Kent State and when it come down, my son was 7 days old. I remember the news and crying, but out there in Western Colorado, things in Ohio seemed far, far away.

This has been very interesting to read. Thank you all for your thoughts and for sharing.

kat


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Subject: RE: BS: Kent State
From: GeorgeH
Date: 05 May 00 - 08:11 AM

GuestJack: Fair points, but what much of what you say amounts to is that the State Troopers were inappropriately equipped and inadequately trained for the role they were put into. I think it would be QUITE wrong to attach blame to the troopers as individuals . . that belongs to those who decided to deploy them (and/or decided on the details of the deployment). (Actually, while some of your comments on "Ohio" are valid I think they miss the point . . it WAS and indeed is a song of the time, not a mature reflection on the events.)

And, McGrath, I agree 200% with your comments re: Bloody Sunday (which event we're - as in the British "institutions" - are still striving to cover up) - although again I'm very reluctant to attach blame to the individual "footsoldiers" involved. (However their level of training does mean that reluctance is not as strong as with the Kent State troopers . .)

G.


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Subject: RE: BS: Kent State
From: Whistle Stop
Date: 05 May 00 - 08:43 AM

GeorgeH, as much as I'm impressed with GUEST,Jack's insights, and happy to be confused with him (as I was over the Jackson State reference), I believe that you are reacting to my comments about the leadership and training of the Guardsmen, and also my comments dissing Neil Young's "Ohio". I agree with you about the "blame" for the failure to adequately train and maintain discipline over the Guardsmen; the primary responsibility should be assigned to their leaders.

I stand by what I said about "Ohio". I like a good topical song as much as the next guy, but I prefer that the song offer a little intelligence and insight, rather than just a rallying cry that demonizes the opposition and makes all the participants into one-dimensional stereotypes. Give me a good Tom Paxton song any day. As for Neil Young, I like a lot of his work, but I think he fell short on that one, and being swept up in the mood of the times is not an adequate excuse in my opinion.


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Subject: RE: BS: Kent State
From: GUEST,Mrr
Date: 05 May 00 - 01:18 PM

OK, I'm an ignoramus - what happened at Jackson State, and where is it?


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Subject: RE: BS: Kent State
From: GUEST,Bartholomew
Date: 05 May 00 - 01:32 PM

Whistle Stop - while I agree that "Ohio" does not stand up as great art, and although I can't speak for Neil Young, I don't think it was meant to be ART any more than that big, screaming vulgarity spray-painted on a run down factory wall is meant to be philosophy or literature. It was a gut response to an outrage. Both the event and the song hit you squarely in the chest when they jumped out of your radio. It was not something to be tasted and savored like fine wine- it was meant to burn as it went down, like bad whiskey. And at that time, it did. IMHO

OK. I'm back from the land of the metaphors (or are those similes, I wasn't the best student).

I have a hard time placing blame for those events on any of the actors on the scene, too. The National Guardsmen were put in a no-win situation; when the use of the gun is not acceptable, the threat of the gun isn't going to be enough to maintain order. That's the fallacy of bringing in armed troops. And crowds were becoming more sophisticated about the alternative types of crowd control - tear gas, fire hoses, etc. - which were also losing their effect. After the freedom marches, the authorities should have known better.

Looking back on things, I sometimes regret not being more involved on the front lines. Like I said in my other post, "principle" made me avoid the violent confrontations (or was I just chicken?). But when you see your friends getting their heads busted or their asses drafted, and knowing now how long and devastating the war was going to be, I can't help but wonder if that wasn't just another form of copping out. After all, inspite of what the pundits always say, it wasn't Nixon that ended the war. It was the kids in the streets. Nixon just presided over the withdrawal when there was no longer any alternative. And again, this is just my humble opinion.

There is no doubt in my mind that Viet Nam was the defining event for my generation. Whether you fought in the war or against the war, you were part of something that mattered. Look at any daily newpaper from that time and you'll see story after story about important, some times mind-bodggling events. My Lai, Kent State, the elections, the Peace Talks, Cities on fire. . .It's hard to look back and say, "Oh, yeah. Things were going on and I stood back on the porch and watched. I think they could have handled that a little better. . ."

Carpe diem Conflicted thoughts about a conflicted time.


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Subject: RE: BS: Kent State
From: GUEST,carol
Date: 05 May 00 - 01:51 PM

There were also protests at Jackson state.... They were protesting the war and beyond. There was a similar type shooting less than 2 weeks later. I think there were 2 people killed, and 12 injured.

Its in Mississippi.

I was at the KSU May 4 memorial/anniversary and I found that the JSU faculty speaker was one of the best....


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Subject: RE: BS: Kent State
From: GeorgeH
Date: 05 May 00 - 02:11 PM

WhistleStop: Sorry for the confusion . . . And if "Ohio" demonises the oposition then that seems perfectly fair to me . . The oposition being the Government of the time, nationally and in the State of Ohio. But more importantly, thanks to Bartholomew for explaining better that I've managed why I think "Ohio" is both a fine and an important song - for all that it's not fine art! Which is also why I prefer to appraise it in the context of the 4-way street album. (I can't remeber whether this was just before or just after the summer we spent in the States . .)

However, Bart . . I have a pet conspiracy theory on the ending of the war, which runs along the lines that when the Military realised the war couldn't be won by anything less than nuclear strikes they and the press/media chose to change the slanting of the reporting of the war (and of the opposition to it in the USA) - alowing them to get out with the excuse of having lost the support of the people.

G.

G.


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Subject: RE: BS: Kent State
From: GUEST,Mrr
Date: 05 May 00 - 02:13 PM

Thanks. When was the Jackson State thing? I've been trying to look up info on it, and all I keep finding is sports scores...


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Subject: RE: BS: Kent State
From: Whistle Stop
Date: 05 May 00 - 02:55 PM

We can agree to disagree about "Ohio". I think it's absurdly easy to take an emotionally charged situation and dash off a quick song that "burns like bad whiskey going down". That's bumper-sticker politics, and we have entirely too much of that in our society today -- in fact, it's quite similar to what the "demons" (Johnson, Nixon, etc.) were doing at the time to try to maintain support for what they were up to. I'm not inclined to let Neil off the hook for Ohio, any more than I'm inclined to let Johnson (or Congress) off the hook for the Tonkin Gulf Resolution.

As an aside, like a lot of my peers I owned Four Way Street, but I don't know what it means to "appraise it in the context of [that] album". What am I missing here?

I wasn't at Kent State, or Jackson State, because I was only twelve years old at the time. But I was very aware of the events of the day (my big brother got his draft notice), and since those were my formative years, these were formative experiences. Perhaps I don't have the same level of emotional attachment to those times, or those causes, as those of you do who were just a little older than me. But I prefer to recognize that everyone involved in that struggle -- whether they were on the "right side" or the "wrong side" -- was human, with human failings. If I'm willing to point out errors of judgment on one side of the issue, I should be prepared to recognize similar errors of judgment on the other side.


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Subject: RE: BS: Kent State
From: catspaw49
Date: 05 May 00 - 03:00 PM

Sorry Mrr.......Jackson State in Jackson, Mississippi was the scene of additional campus rioting subsequent to Kent State, May 14, 1970. Two students were killed and another dozen injured when the Natl. Guard troops fired into the crowd. Jackson added in the racial aspect as all of the students were black and the troops were white, although the protests involved the war primarily.

When we speak of "The Movement" its good to remember that it involved more than just an "end the war" faction. It encompassed war, racism, poverty, student rights, and a lot of other change oriented causes. Within each faction, there were sub-groups and sometimes sub-groups of the sub-groups. Obviously a lot of flow went back and forth as well as no small amount of in-fighting. But overall, it was about change, and often radical change, that many believed was needed and accomplishable through any means necessary. KSU & JSU showed us the "means" that the government was willing to go. I didn't realize it at the time and I doubt that many did, but May of 1970 was the end of the "Movement" as it had been. As time passed, it was much harder to draw the same crowds and enthusiasm for the cause that had been easily mustered before.

Try entering Jackson State killings on Google for additional info and details that you might want from the web. There are several excellent books on the subject also, but I don't have the titles here at the moment.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: BS: Kent State
From: katlaughing
Date: 05 May 00 - 03:04 PM

I've just started a thread on Jackson with a link to the memorial pages with full story. Well said, Spaw.

Here's is a link to the NPR page with the audio program on Kent State which ran yesterday, mostly about the nine who were wounded and survived, getting together for the first time. It is five minutes. Scroll down a ways on the page to find it.

kat


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Subject: RE: BS: Kent State
From: Lonesome EJ
Date: 05 May 00 - 05:12 PM

In 1970, I found myself in Tallahassee, FL when Kent State hit the papers. That night, I was among thousands who marched through city streets to the Governor's Mansion to hold candles and sing Lennon's Give Peace a Chance. Later a wreath was hung on the door of the ROTC building. The following evening, another rally was held on campus. The rally was held in a field that adjoined a busy street, and the rally leaders suggested we block the street. We did, and soon a contingent of armed, mask wearing police appeared, appeared by the cigar-puffing, cane twirling Chief of Police, who arranged his men in a skirmish line. The line advanced with carbines displayed, and I felt the rush of anger and adrenaline as the crowd surged back and forth. The police at last retreated to the far curb of the street, and hundreds of us sat on the near curb, a space of 12 feet or so between us. I suddenly heard a commotion to my left, and glanced up at a car fender inched from my face. I swung back as the car continued down the gutter at high speed. I saw several people hit, one girl who had her legs stretched forward into the street was crushed. The police at last stopped the car, as the outraged crowd moved toward the dazed, short-haired young man who emerged from the vehicle. He was taken into custody as the young girl and several others were taken to the hospital. I found out the next day that the girl had been sentenced to life in a wheel chair due to the man's action. In addition, she was fined for blocking a public thoroughfare. The man who had crippled her was released that same night.

I sometimes think of the hate that caused that woman to suffer, and I don't feel at all nostalgic for the great struggles of our youth. If she still lives, she has something to remind her everyday of the ugliness of those times. I don't care about memorials, either. The same frustration and anger that maimed her killed the people at Kent State and Jackson State. She was as unlucky and unwilling a martyr as they. There is no glory in it for either side, and I believe that none who come after will understand what happened. Rest in Peace.


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Subject: ADD: Ohio (Neil Young, 1970)
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 05 May 00 - 05:34 PM

I hadn't come upon "Ohio" before, so I checked in a search engine. So in case I'm not the only one, here's the lyric:

Tin soldiers and Nixon coming
We're finally on our own
This summer I hear the drumming
Four dead in Ohio
Gotta get down to it soldiers are cutting us down
Should have been done long ago
What if you knew her and found her dead on the ground
How can you run when you know


Seems a pretty fair response in a frightening time. It's a contemporary document, and contemporary dicuments don't tell the whole truth, but they can tell parts of the truth that is so easily forgotten later. In this case its about the pain and the fear and the anger.

Remember, to many people, this didn't feel like the end of a phase, but the beginning of a new level of nightmare. It was only a few years previously that police and troops in Mexico had shot and killed hundreds of students in the streets. It didn't happen in the States, we now know, looking back, but who knew that at the time? (It got exported to Chile a couple of years later, on an even bigger scale, and in Argentina, but that's another story. Unlike Neil Young, Victor Jara died with his hands broken by the Chilean tin soldiers.)

Soldiers or National Guardsmen, in Ohio or Chile or Belfast are ordinary flawed human beings, we know that. But stick them in their gas-masks with heads like giant insects, and with guns pointing at you, and being fired with deadly effect - they look more like robots, or Star Wars "Stormtroopers" - or "Tin soldiers" (with its implication that they are being used as lethal toys by those with the power).


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Subject: RE: BS: Kent State
From: catspaw49
Date: 05 May 00 - 06:42 PM

Leej, I understand your point fully, and perhaps you are right. History is riddled with unwilling martyrs and I can MORE that assure you that I too believe there was no glory to be found. The only part of your last sentence that chills me is that none who come after will understand. I see evidence every day that you are right. Some of it is here on these threads of the past few days. I don't want to rehash it forever and I too have a certain "let the dead bury the dead" feel about those times.

But I imagine, indeed know it true, that its a feeling shared by multitudes of others engaged in the struggles of which history is made. I'm sure you've read Longstreet's remarks when they opened the battlefield memorial at Chickamauga. Years later, with the wisdom of age, we look at our youth and the times through different eyes. But our eyes are the ones which saw it then and if there is meaning to be found (?), it has to come from those who saw it then. Most assuredly, the events and consequences will be recorded and I would like to believe that future generations will read of them in the most accurate way possible and know that the fight then was as inevitable as a hundred years before.

.....and thanks for the story.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: BS: Kent State
From: bbelle
Date: 06 May 00 - 12:33 PM

'spaw ... thanks for the quote from Longstreet ... I knew the quote, but couldn't remember from whom. I work with a group of 20-30 y/olds, both black and white, and there is a serious lack of historical knowledge. They have "heard" about The Holocaust, Civil Rights Movement, and Anti-Viet Nam War Protests, however, and this is a direct quote, "It doesn't affect me, so I don't every think about it." I was appalled. We were discussing movies and I mentioned a movie I had just seen on TV, regarding the beginnings of CORE and SNCC. None of them had watched it and had absolutely no idea what the acronyms stood for. I printed out some information from the internet and gave it to them, but, it was wasted effort.

A hefty percentage of the population just simply takes for granted the fact that they have certain "rights." They "go along to get along." Living on this planet has been sometimes extremely difficult because I've never held the latter attitude. I thank g-d every time that I see something that was born out of strife.

Regarding memorials ... my hope is that it was cause some of the individuals who view it, and may not understand why it was made, to do some research into the cause and effect.

It obvious that we're not all in agreement regarding these issues, however, it is so good to see the differing opinions ... moonchild


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Subject: RE: BS: Kent State
From: Amergin
Date: 06 May 00 - 12:50 PM

Moonchild, I too am appalled at the lack of interest in history amongst my age group. The say that they only care about what goes on today and not what happened yesterday. Little do they realise that what happened yesterday directly affects the events of today. There are those of us who care deeply about history though and as long as just so much as a single person cares, the torch of remembrance will stay lit. Off my soap box now.

Amergin


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Subject: RE: BS: Kent State
From: bbelle
Date: 06 May 00 - 03:23 PM

Amergin ... When I was writing my tome, I meant to add that not all young folks have a disinterest in history. I try to look at people independently and to not generalize ... moonchild


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Subject: RE: BS: Kent State
From: Caitrin
Date: 06 May 00 - 04:21 PM

My mother was a senior in high school in 1970. She was a straight arrow kind of kid...not doing drugs, not drinking, not causing trouble. She did her homework and went to football games. She wasn't completely "my country right or wrong" but she sure wasn't out protesting the war.
Kent State changed her views completely. After what happened there, she realized that she could just as easily have been a kid walking through a protest and been in the same position. Though Kent State may have been the end of the protest movement for many, it was what got my mother started.


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Subject: RE: BS: Kent State
From: Amergin
Date: 06 May 00 - 04:44 PM

Moonchild, I hope I didn't sound chastising in my post. I figured you weren't trying to generalise my generation, you were just telling us about those in your group. I admire you for your efforts to educate them. I try to do the same thing (usually when I have had a few, though). Don't get disheartened, the torch passes on everyday.

Caitrin, my mother was a freshman in college, when Kent State happened. When I read my song to her, she told me that when she heard about it she was angry, but as the years went by she came to realise that both sides were scared and that neither felt like they could back down. That's enough for now. Blessed be.

Amergin


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Subject: RE: BS: Kent State
From: bbelle
Date: 06 May 00 - 06:15 PM

No, amergin ... I didn't take it as chastisement, at all. But I did want to make the statement that I wasn't generalizing, either ... shalom ... moonchild


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Subject: RE: BS: Kent State
From: leprechaun
Date: 06 May 00 - 11:39 PM

I remember the first time I was in a line of blue uniforms, wearing a helmet and gas mask while protesters threw rocks and bottles at us. It was 1990 and the students were fighting for their right to party. We first sent in two officers to try to find the people who threw the party. When the drunks bombed the first two officers with beer bottles, we scraped together a field force. There were thirteen of us and we ranged in size from a 120 pound female officer to the 200 pound sergeant. If they were offended by two officers coming to break up their party, (three kegs and two live bands in a residential neighborhood) they were absolutely outraged that we would send thirteen with helmets, some with gas masks. All two hundred of them joined in a lively chant of "F*** The Pigs!" As soon as the band got its equipment out of the way, and we turned to leave, they bombed us with beer bottles. Not the screamers in the front of the crowd mind you, but the berzerkers at the back. Soon after we dispursed them with tear gas, they started comparing themselves to the freedom fighters in Tianenmen Square.

I've since been involved in many protests and riots. We arrested more than a hundred in a Gulf War sit-in at the federal courthouse. Everybody went peacefully. The most dignified, and the only "civil" protest I've ever seen. Not even the campus newspaper could get a provocative photo.

None of the monthly riots we have these days resemble that one. If the protesters can't provoke a violent response from the police, they consider their "direct action" a failure. Their spin doctors always seem to find a way to explain what the nasty police storm troopers did to cause the riot.

Just thought I'd share the point of view of this "jack-booted thug." What I've seen is that the peaceful, dignified, civil protest gets no press. You have to have some sociopathic berzerkers in your crowd to throw rocks and spears (yes, spears) from way in the back. It's a good idea to have some women with children in the front, screaming obscenities at the police. And don't forget, nobody is the leader, so nobody is responsible for the violence. Except the police.


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Subject: RE: BS: Kent State
From: bbelle
Date: 07 May 00 - 11:16 AM

leprechaun ... I was raised in a military family and understand what "marching orders" are. If you read back through the posts, you will find that many of us do not blame the National Guard for what happened at Kent State. It was a time of violence, on both sides of the issues. I am a Jew and would never refer to the National Guard or any US military unit as "jack-booted" ... shalom ... moonchild


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Subject: RE: BS: Kent State
From: Greg F.
Date: 07 May 00 - 05:54 PM

Do you really think that a bunch of drunks rioting because their party was broken up equates with protesting against the Vietnam War? I think not. Unfortunately, seems that more and more folks today think it does- probably one of the reasons the world is such a mess.


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Subject: RE: BS: Kent State
From: leprechaun
Date: 08 May 00 - 10:28 AM

I never thought the beer riots equated to the Vietnam War protests. Or Tianenmen Square. But the rioters wasted no time making the comparison when they whined to the media the next day.

We have a group of about a hundred people who live in our city who never pass up a chance to protest. It's always the same folks, with minor variations. A core of them are extremely violent, and use their environmental jingoism to rationalize their destructive behavior. This philosophy naturally puts them at odds with the police. I believe they would like nothing better than to generate a Kent State style tragedy here or in Seattle, or wherever they can. But they will do it from the back of the crowd.

I come to these protests because I have to. I'm there to protect the right to protest, and at the same time try to keep the zealots from getting out of hand. In my opinion the nihilists among them have the constitutional right to protest, but based on another respected authority, they "don't have the right to do it."


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Subject: RE: BS: Kent State
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 08 May 00 - 02:05 PM

In any confrontation there are some people on both sides who are a menace to their own side. The prime responsibility on both sides to restrain and control such people.

But what happpens all too often is that the people who are trying to cool things can be themseves picked out and picked up. I remember an anti-nuclear action years back where, just before things were due to start, the police gathered the demonstrators' stewards together, and arrested them. Not a sensible thing to do, and it is the kind of thing that directly leads on to a situation where there aren't any stewards in future actions.

I know from personal experience that most people in the police are as good as anybody, and may even agree with the protestors. I also know that there are real nasties among the protestors sometimes, and not all of them are agent prococateurs (though some are).

But on top of that I know that there are situations where decent cops are tempted to shrug their soldiers and do nothing when their less principled colleagues break the rules in various ways, and "improve" the evidence against people who have been picked up at random. And when they succumb to this temptation, in doing so they undermine their own integrity.


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Subject: RE: BS: Kent State
From: GUEST,Bartholomew
Date: 08 May 00 - 02:23 PM

Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty - Wendell Phillips, 1852

You may wonder what the heck that quote has to do with this thread. I think it connects on a lot of levels. Historically speaking, it means that we have to keep coming back to events like those at Kent State to remind people that they happened and that they had significance then and still have significance now. It also means that you can't settle for pat answers or analyses of what went on - "it was the cops", "it was the protestors", "it was the times". It was a lot of things, all together. It also means that you can't trust the official story, by itself. Or discard it entirely. You have to look a little deeper.

More importantly, to me "eternal vigilance" means that you have to look around you today and ask yourself if you really know what's going on. The oddest thing to me, when I look at today in light of the events in the late 60's, was how certain people were that they were making history, and how seldom you see that these days. It seems today that people are more concerned with making news . . .looking for their ten minutes of fame (or infamy).

Being vigilant, first of all, means being awake. It's easier to govern people when they are asleep. And the professional politicians don't want people interfering in their franchise (at least here in the States). They want us to be lulled into a sense of ease. They want to define us by our jobs, control us through our indebtedness, identify us by our choice of music and clothing. . .And we go along willingly. Because being vigilant is a lot of work. And besides, the battles are all over. The unions got us our right to work, NOW got us gender equality, the counter culture got us free love (and our choice of drugs)and the NAACP got us equality. And Al Gore got us the Internet.

Why am I ranting? Probably because I'm becoming a miserable old fart. . .But it could also be because I don't think we can afford to forget the past or take our eyes off how this stuff resonates in the present. Back in the 60's we thought we were inventing all this stuff - protesting, folk music, angst, bohemianism, long hair. It took a while to realize that these things had deep roots and even longer to realize that they still have consequences. A lot of what seemed new then is coming around again. I see kids once again being marginalized because they don't want to fit into the dominant culture. I see lots of "clothing statements" and drugs. I see disillusion mixed with affluence, next door to poverty, and as much as it reminds me of the 60's, I know that it's different now. And we can't apply yesterday's answers to today's problems. We lost friends in a war. These kids are killing each other and themselves right here, right now.

Come on people now, smile on your brother Everybody get together Try to love one another right now.


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Subject: RE: BS: Kent State
From: InOBU
Date: 08 May 00 - 02:32 PM

As to memorials...
A similar incident happened on the Boston Commons, on day in the late eighteenth century. A few Bostonians got out of hand, they were protesting tea tax. They through rocks and snowballs at a group of British soldiers, and the soldiers fired live rounds back at them. Four died. They got a memorial.
That memorial is referred to as the United States.
Lets hope we get a memorial for the Kent State four as well.
Larry


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Subject: RE: BS: Kent State
From: bbelle
Date: 08 May 00 - 08:06 PM

InOBU ... well-said ... moonchild


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Subject: RE: BS: Kent State
From: Whistle Stop
Date: 09 May 00 - 08:47 AM

InOBU, with respect to the Boston Massacre, I don't think the credit for the creation of the United States properly belongs to the thugs who picked a fight with a few scared and outnumbered British soldiers. The US was created by lots of different folks, most of whom were thoughtful, principled and courageous, and some of whom were just troublemakers or opportunists. A few of the latter -- including Sam Adams and Paul Revere -- saw a chance to make a political statement out of a street brawl, so they went for it. Perhaps it served as a call to action for some folks who had been wavering, but at its core it was simply an intentional distortion of what had happened for propaganda value. I don't have a lot of respect for that. It's worth noting that one of our most illustrious "founding fathers" -- John Adams, revolutionary, democratic theorist, and second President of the US -- was the lawyer who defended the British soldiers for their actions that day. Got them acquitted, I might add.

I live just outside Boston, and I can tell you that there is a memorial to the Boston Massacre. It's not the country -- it's just a placque, which only serves to perpetuate the distortion created by a few propagandists over 200 years ago. The country would get along just fine without it, in my opinion.


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Subject: RE: BS: Kent State
From: InOBU
Date: 09 May 00 - 11:51 AM

Well, as to favorite founding fathers, I still feel we should have paid more attention to Tom Paine. But than again, I am just an old anarchist, so... well though I prefer it not be the case, as Thomas Jefferson said, the tree of liberty must occationaly be watered with blood. Lets not underplay the importance of a risen people.
Larry


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Subject: RE: BS: Kent State
From: L R Mole
Date: 09 May 00 - 01:54 PM

Boy, this one took off, hey? It all made me feel sad, angry, older, and distanced. More thought here than I've seen elsewhere, and of better quality.Leslie Fiedler said,"...to be an American (unlike being English or French or whatever) is precisely to imagine a destiny rather than to inherit one; since we have always been, insofar as we are Americans at all, inhabitants of myth rather than history..." (Greil Marcus quoting in Mystery Train).Memorials, then perhaps make mythic sense rather than historic. Pax.


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Subject: RE: BS: Kent State
From: Whistle Stop
Date: 09 May 00 - 02:54 PM

Mole, that was rather profound -- I'll have to think on it. You're not a Joseph Campbell reader by any chance? [As the thread creeps merrily along...]


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Subject: RE: BS: Kent State
From: Jim the Bart
Date: 10 May 00 - 01:54 PM

Here is a little bit from Thomas More in the book Car of the Soul:

"The life of the soul, as the structure of dreams reveals, is a continual going over and over of the material of life. In memory we never tire of reflecting on the same events. I spent many summers in my childhood on a farm with an uncle who told stories endlessly. This, I now see, was his method of working the raw material of his life, his way of turning his experience round and round in the rotation that stories provide. Out of that incessant storytelling I know he found added depths of meaning. Storytelling is an excellent way of caring for the soul. It helps us see the themes that circle in our lives, the deep themes that tell the myths we live."

Maybe that's why some of us like to tell the old stories and sing the old songs.

"Long ago, it must be...I have a photograph. Preserve your memories. They're all that's left you." A little Paul Simon seems to fit quite well, too.

Peace, y'all.


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Subject: RE: BS: Kent State
From: Susanne (skw)
Date: 13 May 00 - 05:52 PM

I've only now had time to read this thread. I've had the song 'Hey Sandy' for ages but never knew anything of the background beyond the barest facts. This thread is as valuable as Spancil Hill to me. Thanks to all who've contributed their views! - Susanne


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Subject: RE: BS: Kent State
From: GUEST,Evelyn the Modified Dog
Date: 14 May 00 - 03:56 PM

This smacks of us and them. There is no "Them". It's all "Us", in the end. And we vote for it every couple of years. There is only one noble cause, that is survival. There will always be disagreement on what that entails. It is not a perfect world and it cannot be, so just try to be nice and use your head and hold your fire, whether that is an M-1 or a beer bottle.


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Subject: RE: BS: Kent State
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 14 May 00 - 06:03 PM

"There is only one noble cause, that is survival" - not quite. There is also a duty not to cause harm to other people. That applies to individuals and to countries.


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Subject: RE: BS: Kent State
From: InOBU
Date: 15 May 00 - 08:04 AM

My dear, Evelyn the Modified Dog:
What a wonderful name! Well, them and us is often a problem, but when you remember the photograph of a little girl running down a road from her burning village with her clothes burned off (she now lives in Canada, I believe - short tangent...) Well in the balance napalm or bear bottles, I find it hard to equate the two. Peaceful protest if fine if it does the job, but powerful agressive heartless nations need an angry mob every once and awhile - and that is Thomas Jefferson not Karl Marx.
I must ask, are you from England? Like my brother the Popular Halfwit, England produces some of the best names!
Larry


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Mudcat time: 8 August 9:47 PM EDT

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