Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Kent State Massacre Of Unarmed Students Remembered

  • Video: Kent State Massacre

  • Order To Kill Unarmed Students: 67 Shots, 13 Seconds

  • Four Dead In Ohio: Neil Young

  • Kent State Wikipedia

  • Cool Justice Column, 2005
    Government Fires New Warning Shots

    "I find it hard to believe it could happen now," Stein said. "But, you never know."

    By ANDY THIBAULT, Columnist
    Law Tribune Newspapers
    October 10, 2005

    Every once in a while the government sends a message.

    The last time we had a serious anti-war movement, the police and the National Guard killed protesting students at Jackson State in Mississippi and Kent State in Ohio.

    Michael Stein, now a professor of fine arts at Housatonic Community &Technical College in Bridgeport, was a graduate student at Kent State on May 4, 1970 as soldiers on campus - with fixed bayonets - fired 67 shots at protestors in 13 seconds. Four students died and nine were seriously injured, some paralyzed. Stein's photos show National Guardsmen marching with fixed bayonets on a college campus, firing their rifles at students and wearing gas masks as they hurled canisters of tear gas.

    Kent State became a turning point in the Vietnam War as the government killed - many say executed -- its own citizens with impunity. Awareness heightened about the lies that sent our young people to die and the diversion of our country's resources from human needs such as health care, housing and education to the war effort and corporate profits.

    I talked with Stein recently about the photos he took 36 years ago and about the mood of the country then and now. He said the government has become much more sophisticated in selling its messages through the corporate media while steadily chopping away at our basic constitutional rights, particularly freedom of speech and assembly.

    The iron hand that crushes protest nowadays is more subtle. Sometimes it is unseen or hidden in plain sight.

    In New York City last month, an antiwar speech by Cindy Sheehan was halted as the organizer was arrested. His alleged crime: unauthorized use of a sound device and
    disorderly conduct.

    "We did used to have a First Amendment," Stein said. "It's more covert now. In terms of silencing kids, it's not like [former Vice President] Spiro Agnew aggressively attacking kids. His rhetoric was that the Kent State kids had it coming - that more should have been shot."

    Sheehan, the mother of an American soldier killed in Iraq, will be marginalized by the modern techniques of public relations and government influence.

    "I'm sure the government is sending a message," Stein said. " I'm sure there's a lot going on behind the scenes to make Cindy Sheehan look bad. It's organized, but it's made to look like it's not organized."

    On another front, the federal government aggressively prosecuted four Iraq war opponents who had escaped conviction by arguing jury nullification during their trial in New York state court.

    The St. Patrick's Four spilled two cups on blood in a recruiting station on March 17, 2003, just days before the United States invaded Iraq. They argued that war was not a video game as portrayed on network TV: "The blood we brought to the recruiting station was a sign of the blood inherent in the business of the recruiting station … We are obligated, as citizens of a democracy, to sound an alarm when we see our young people being sent into harm's way for a cause that is wholly unjust and criminal."

    The government we allow to operate today sees this as treason. Opposition to the so-called war on terror is unacceptable. Nine members of the state jury, however, saw through that smoke. They voted to acquit. Then, the federal case went to trial last month.

    As for another Kent State, Stein doesn't want to think about it.

    "I find it hard to believe it could happen now," Stein said. "But, you never know."

  • Stein Photos & Interviews In CT Post 5-4-10

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