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BS: Kent State massacre-40th anniversary

Related threads:
Kent State was 50 years ago-May 4, 1970 (13)
Remembering Kent State (40 years ago) And, Jackson (48)
BS: Kent State (68) (closed)


Michael S 04 May 10 - 08:42 AM
Rapparee 04 May 10 - 10:44 AM
Amos 04 May 10 - 10:50 AM
Will Fly 04 May 10 - 11:08 AM
Michael S 04 May 10 - 11:20 AM
katlaughing 04 May 10 - 12:02 PM
Will Fly 04 May 10 - 02:23 PM
Rapparee 04 May 10 - 02:55 PM
Mrrzy 04 May 10 - 06:40 PM
Greg F. 04 May 10 - 07:08 PM
Rapparee 04 May 10 - 07:15 PM
Richard Bridge 04 May 10 - 07:32 PM
kendall 04 May 10 - 07:51 PM
Bobert 04 May 10 - 08:06 PM
Rapparee 04 May 10 - 09:02 PM
mousethief 04 May 10 - 09:05 PM
Bobert 04 May 10 - 10:14 PM
catspaw49 04 May 10 - 11:39 PM
mousethief 05 May 10 - 12:43 AM
Bobert 05 May 10 - 07:48 AM
theleveller 06 May 10 - 07:18 AM
Bobert 06 May 10 - 07:31 AM
catspaw49 06 May 10 - 09:11 AM
mousethief 06 May 10 - 12:10 PM
LadyJean 06 May 10 - 10:44 PM
gnu 09 Oct 12 - 07:45 PM
Bobert 09 Oct 12 - 07:52 PM
gnu 09 Oct 12 - 08:07 PM

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Subject: BS: Kent State massacre-40th anniversary
From: Michael S
Date: 04 May 10 - 08:42 AM

The Kent State shooting happened on May 4, 1970. I was 16 years-old and I really believed the US was coming apart. The event has had a very long tail culturally. Wiki has an interesting summary of the resulting literature, music, etc.


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Subject: RE: BS: Kent State massacre-40th anniversary
From: Rapparee
Date: 04 May 10 - 10:44 AM

Yes, I was still in the National Guard and our unit was called up at the time. We hung around the Armory for several days and went home. From 1971 to 1983 I lived, literally, five minutes from KSU.

The root causes were many -- using improper equipment, using pissed-off troops, breakdown of command & control -- but the net result was that students learned that the forces of "law 'n' order" had real guns with real bullets which could kill and wound real people AND they would use them. This effectively ended the anti-war protest movement.

Granted, the ONG screwed up big time, REALLY big time, and criminal prosecutions and courts martial should have followed. But then the students shouldn't have trashed downtown Kent the night before either.

By the way, KSU put up a bronze memorial marker about 1975 -- some students stole it; the Kampus Kops found it in the trash.


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Subject: RE: BS: Kent State massacre-40th anniversary
From: Amos
Date: 04 May 10 - 10:50 AM

This effectively ended the anti-war protest movement.


Really? I don't think this is accurate.


A


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Subject: RE: BS: Kent State massacre-40th anniversary
From: Will Fly
Date: 04 May 10 - 11:08 AM

But then the students shouldn't have trashed downtown Kent the night before either.

Did they kill anyone? I recall the whole period very well. The students did what young protesters did at that time - very anti-social, I grant you - but worth being killed for?

I also recall that the KSU massacre sparked off a huge anti-war feeling in many parts of the US and Europe.

The KSU massacre was disgusting - and we also had Bloody Sunday in Ireland, so I'm not just voicing petty anti-US sentiment here.


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Subject: RE: BS: Kent State massacre-40th anniversary
From: Michael S
Date: 04 May 10 - 11:20 AM

Well, before we fly into the ozone here, I don't think Rapaire was suggesting that trashing the downtown justified the killing. In fact, he said that the Ohio National Guard "screwed up ... REALLY big time, and criminal prosecutions and courts martial should have followed."

Just sayin'
Michael Scully
Austin


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Subject: RE: BS: Kent State massacre-40th anniversary
From: katlaughing
Date: 04 May 10 - 12:02 PM

I guess I should have started a new thread like this, rather than re-up an Older One. It is good to see this remembered, regardless. Thanks.


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Subject: RE: BS: Kent State massacre-40th anniversary
From: Will Fly
Date: 04 May 10 - 02:23 PM

No ozone navigation from me, Michael S - just making a comment based on what seemed to be an implication that the Kent students brought about the death and wounding of some of their number by being bad the night before.

Rap was much closer to it than me - and I respect that. The question still remains whether the punishment fits the crime.


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Subject: RE: BS: Kent State massacre-40th anniversary
From: Rapparee
Date: 04 May 10 - 02:55 PM

The ONG, as I remember it from this distance, moved onto the KSU campus to put down the "rioters." The troops were "fresh" from dealing with a truckers' strike and so could be considered pissed off at an extension of their state duty.

They used burning-type tear gas grenades in an attempt to disperse the demonstrators; the demonstrators picked them up and threw them back.

QUESTION: From about 1964 on the Federal Government had supplied the National Guard with various pieces of riot gear, including exploding tear gas grenades (about like an M-80 or smaller firecracker) and equipment which could be used on spray CS (tear gas) from backpack, vehicle- and helicopter-mounted spray units. Why weren't these used?

The ONG troops were forced into a position where their backs were against a wall, actually a sort of L-shaped area formed by buildings.

QUESTION: Why were they permitted to get into this position, especially since the ONG's own commanding officer was with them?

The troops, including the CO, felt they were trapped and used massed unit fire on the students, resulting in what we all know.

QUESTION: Standard Operating Procedure at the time call for troops with UNLOADED weapons (ammo in the ammo pouch and not in the rifle), with ONE designated sharpshooter with a loaded weapon to deal with snipers (if any). The sharpshooter could not return fire without a direct command from the commissioned officer in charge, and the troops in general could not even load without such a command. Mass unit fire was (and is) the absolute last resort, used only when you are pinned down by hostile gunfire (or firebombs, etc.). Why wasn't SOP followed? Who gave the command to load and fire?

Other questions also arise, such as: Why were there no small unit to larger unit radios (such as the venerable Prick-Six (AN-PRC 6, or walkie-talkie) in use? Why was the Governor of Ohio so involved in the subsequent Grand Jury investigation? Why WAS it a Grand Jury investigation and not a military Court Martial? Even in 1970 ballistics identification was far enough developed to determine which gun shot which bullet -- why wasn't such an analysis done?

As I said before, it was a breakdown in Command & Control, in SOP -- a total meltdown, if you will, by the ONG.

And I understand that it is still used today as the best possible example of how not to ever do "riot control."


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Subject: RE: BS: Kent State massacre-40th anniversary
From: Mrrzy
Date: 04 May 10 - 06:40 PM

"The ONG troops were forced into a position where their backs were against a wall, actually a sort of L-shaped area formed by buildings."

Not so - see the pix at NPR.org, under Talk of the Nation.

The troops ran past the building up the hill, then at the top of the hill, turned around and shot into the parking lot where most of the demonstrators weren't. That's why they mostly shot people who weren't protesting.

At Jackson State 10 days later, they shot into a women's dorm! And again, the people they killed weren't the protesters.


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Subject: RE: BS: Kent State massacre-40th anniversary
From: Greg F.
Date: 04 May 10 - 07:08 PM

This effectively ended the anti-war protest movement.

Not only is it "not accurate", its utter bullshit.

as is students learned that the forces of "law 'n' order" had real guns with real bullets which could kill and wound real people AND they would use them.

"Forces of law n' order?" Gimmie a break.

They were plenty aware that these "forces" as you call 'em, could, and WERE killing and wounding real people.

That's what the demonstration was about, actually.


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Subject: RE: BS: Kent State massacre-40th anniversary
From: Rapparee
Date: 04 May 10 - 07:15 PM

NPR has a picture of the NG advancing on the students. They are NOT firing; their weapons are a port arms. For the actual shooting, see this, this, and especially this. Note that the ONG had worked itself into a very bad tactical location, with little place to retreat.

IN NO WAY DO I SUPPORT WHAT HAPPENED OR MAKE ANY EXCUSE FOR IT!!! It was FUBAR beyond all recognition, and I think it's a blotch on Ohio that the shooters were never brought to trial -- and I feel that way about Jackson State as well (and always have).


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Subject: RE: BS: Kent State massacre-40th anniversary
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 04 May 10 - 07:32 PM

I recollect a very fine Beach Boys' record about it - a re-working of cell-block Number 9 - and I was working as a DJ at the time and made it my record of the week and played it to death.

The corollary of the resident right's positions above would be the proper application of the right to bear arms. That way lies civil war.

To some extent I am reminded of the other great disgrace in US history (apart from Wounded Knee) - 1792


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Subject: RE: BS: Kent State massacre-40th anniversary
From: kendall
Date: 04 May 10 - 07:51 PM

It was manslaughter. Pure and simple.


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Subject: RE: BS: Kent State massacre-40th anniversary
From: Bobert
Date: 04 May 10 - 08:06 PM

The Kent State shootings set off the a largest anti-war demonstrations in Virginia Commonwealth University's history... The entire campus from Monroe Pral to the east to Harrison Street to the wset between Park and Grace was nuthin' but a student takeover... It was the most memorable couple weeks of my life...

I was the "rector" of the Radical Student Union and I had my hand full juggling permits, PA syetems, PR and even booting out a couple of FBI plants who wanted to "torch" the presdient's house (VCU's Warren Brandt)... We had rock bands playin' every night for days upon end and speakers and marches and, and, and...

If anything, Kent State breathed new life into the anti-war movement because people, like my Nixon Republican father, joined in the movement...

But it's hard to believe that it has been 40 years...

Geeze, I'm gettin' old...

B~


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Subject: RE: BS: Kent State massacre-40th anniversary
From: Rapparee
Date: 04 May 10 - 09:02 PM

Yes, but after the initial shock and protesting wore off and reality settled in (remember good old John Mitchell?) the protesting sort of petered out. Yes, it went on, but not like before. No more occupation of college buildings, no more mass rallies at the Pentagon.


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Subject: RE: BS: Kent State massacre-40th anniversary
From: mousethief
Date: 04 May 10 - 09:05 PM

While looking at sites about Kent State, I came across a delightful quote from Ronnie Raygun. Referring to student protests in general, the Great Communicator said, "If it takes a bloodbath, let's get it over with." Bi-la kaifa.


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Subject: RE: BS: Kent State massacre-40th anniversary
From: Bobert
Date: 04 May 10 - 10:14 PM

Actually, Rap.... Reality set in in '68 when both Martin Luther King and Robert Kennedy were assasinated... The Kent State thing was one last leftest gasp... It's true tho that Kent State turned the older generation against the war... These weren't the folks who were going to do all that much marchin' but Nixon knew that he had just lost the last remnants of support for the war...

We on the left??? We had allready figured out just how serious Boss Hog was in keeping ***his*** country ***his***... And that hasn't changed one iota since then... Boss Hog will kill yer ass in a heartbeat if he thinks that you really possess the power to take his kingdom away...

B~


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Subject: RE: BS: Kent State massacre-40th anniversary
From: catspaw49
Date: 04 May 10 - 11:39 PM

Every year we run a thread and every year I spend a miserable few days thinking what was accomplished.......and what was not. I was back in college and working in an Associate VISTA program in Kentucky. I had recently left Petersburg after serving my time for refusing to serve my time. I had friends at Kent State since I grew up in Ohio..........It was a sad time, a bad time, and a mad time.

I've written long and with some passion on these threads about those times and I have learned a great deal from the experiences of others. One of the best things that came to me here on the 'Cat was the understanding, friendship, and camaraderie, of so many who lived through those very divisive times. I hope they have learned something from me.

The forces of division were so strong then that I am amazed we got through those decades at all. Kent State shows us much.........On the day before the shootings there were students and guardsmen talking to each other. They were all about the same age and many had wound up where they were due to things a bit beyound there control.   I had high school friends in the Guard who were there to avoid the army and VietNam. These groups had something in common.

But as Rap said, there was a total and complete meltdown of the command structure and I wonder now that if left to their own devices they might have gone for a beer instead of a bullet. What is clear is that no one from Nixon on down can be rendered blameless for what happened on a bright Spring day in the heartland. Certainly our dimbulb governor had a part in it.

James Rhodes was a politician through and through and had always been a moderate type. He didn't really believe in anything at all unless there was a vote attached to it.   When the boys in the back room looked away for second, he would run amok in a heartbeat. He launched a campaign to build a bridge across Lake Erie. He built giant archways where the Interstates entered welcoming all to Ohio. At that time, Ohio was ranked 45th in money spent on education. I guess the back room boys went for a piss the day before the shootings as he gave a fiery speech in which he said:

"They're worse than the brownshirts and the communist element and also the nightriders and the vigilantes … They're the worst type of people that we harbor in America. I think that we're up against the strongest, well-trained, militant, revolutionary group that has ever assembled in America."

He was speaking not of some fascist militia but of college students and a few dreaded "outside agitators." I don't know how many ONG or students heard that speech or how it affected them, but 40 years later I have to believe that Rhodes was not without sin.

Kent State was not the end of protest but rather those who continued on in the movement did so with a new feeling of purpose.


Spaw


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Subject: RE: BS: Kent State massacre-40th anniversary
From: mousethief
Date: 05 May 10 - 12:43 AM

And the US involvement in Vietnam ground on for another 5 miserable years.


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Subject: RE: BS: Kent State massacre-40th anniversary
From: Bobert
Date: 05 May 10 - 07:48 AM

Yeah, Nixon's "Secret Plan"... So secret that he himself didn't know it...


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Subject: RE: BS: Kent State massacre-40th anniversary
From: theleveller
Date: 06 May 10 - 07:18 AM

I was 21 at the time and, living in the UK, absolutely astonished that a state, and individual soldiers, would kill their own unarmed children. What kind of people would do that just to stop others expressing their views? I'd experienced the force that British police used at the anti-American Grosvenor Square protests and that was scary enough – especially the mounted police – but at least no-one carried guns.

It just reinforces what I've always believed – let a dickhead carry a gun and he'll kill someone. That's a lesson that is still to be learned in the US.


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Subject: RE: BS: Kent State massacre-40th anniversary
From: Bobert
Date: 06 May 10 - 07:31 AM

It part of the US culture, leveler... Hey, don't ask me??? We have al kinds of stuff here that don't make a lot of sense... One of the problems is "nationalism" where we always have a certain number of folks ready to sign up as our version of "brownshirts" and go out and do stuff that is rather inhumane to other people... Yes, it can be argued that we all have a little of that in us and that given the right circumstances we all can do things we wouldn't ever think to do but...

...the difference is that here in the "Wild West" there seem to be an inordinant number of folks who's threshold ain't all that high???

I'm sure that many a sociologist has pondered this issue...

B~


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Subject: RE: BS: Kent State massacre-40th anniversary
From: catspaw49
Date: 06 May 10 - 09:11 AM

America........I love what it could be. Sometimes I hate what it is............

Spaw


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Subject: RE: BS: Kent State massacre-40th anniversary
From: mousethief
Date: 06 May 10 - 12:10 PM

Amen, Spaw. Amen.


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Subject: RE: BS: Kent State massacre-40th anniversary
From: LadyJean
Date: 06 May 10 - 10:44 PM

After the shootings at Kent State students at Ohio University in Athens rioted. It was so bad they had to close down the University. I wasn't there, then but I heard stories. The air was mostly teargas, nearly killing a couple of asthmatics. The riots did in a couple of local businesses, and one very earnest graduate student had to admit that she regretted missing the Siglympics and the Miss Watermelon Bust contest.

In the spring of 1976, the O.U. Post published an article about the riots after Kent State. That night the students rioted again. (Not me, I had an assignment due that Monday.)


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Subject: RE: BS: Kent State massacre-40th anniversary
From: gnu
Date: 09 Oct 12 - 07:45 PM

Another thread inspired me to read up on this. I remember when it happened. It was tragic... shocking... I was a pup. I read Wiki and was surprised by this snippet :

"In 2007 Alan Canfora, one of the wounded, located a copy of a tape of the shootings in a library archive. The original 30-minute reel-to-reel tape was made by Terry Strubbe, a Kent State communications student who turned on his recorder and put its microphone in his dorm window overlooking the campus. A 2010 audio analysis of a tape recording of the incident by Stuart Allen and Tom Owen, who were described by the Cleveland Plain Dealer as "nationally respected forensic audio experts," concluded that the guardsmen were given an order to fire. It is the only known recording to capture the events leading up to the shootings. According to the Plain Dealer description of the enhanced recording, a male voice yells "Guard!" Several seconds pass. Then, "All right, prepare to fire!" "Get down!," someone shouts urgently, presumably in the crowd. Finally, "Guard! . . . " followed two seconds later by a long, booming volley of gunshots. The entire spoken sequence lasts 17 seconds. Further analysis of the audiotape revealed that four pistol shots and a violent confrontation occurred approximately 70 seconds before the National Guard opened fire. According to The Plain Dealer, this new analysis raised questions about the role of Terry Norman, a Kent State student who was an FBI informant and known to be carrying a pistol during the disturbance. Alan Canfora said it was premature to reach any conclusions.[50][51]

In April 2012 the United States Department of Justice determined that there were "insurmountable legal and evidentiary barriers" to reopening the case. Also in 2012 the F.B.I. concluded the Strubbe tape was inconclusive because what has been described as pistol shots may have been slamming doors and that voices heard were unintelligible. Despite this, organizations of survivors and current Kent State students continue to believe the Strubbe tape proves the Guardsmen were given a military order to fire and are petitioning State of Ohio and U.S. Government officials to reopen the case using independent analysis. The organizations do not desire to prosecute or sue individual guardsmen believing they are also victims.[52]["


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Subject: RE: BS: Kent State massacre-40th anniversary
From: Bobert
Date: 09 Oct 12 - 07:52 PM

The people who shot those students will go their graves with their guilt and...

...their secrets...

Me??? This was a final kicking of sand in the face of the liberal movement... The right had already wiped out it's leaders and then had to have that last thrusting of the proverbial stake thru the heart of liberalism...

B~


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Subject: RE: BS: Kent State massacre-40th anniversary
From: gnu
Date: 09 Oct 12 - 08:07 PM

I read the whole thing. I did not know about the other violence and killings. That never made it to our newspapers or TV. Thank goodness the message got to Nixon. I was surprised by the stuff about Hoover.


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