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Tin soldiers and Nixon coming...

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posted on May, 3 2010 @ 11:16 PM
May 4, 1970. It is hard to believe that the Kent State Massacre was 40 years ago today. Over 450 college campuses were closed in the aftermath. A show of solidarity and mutual support across the whole of the nation that would not be approached again until 9/11.

29 Ohio National Guardsmen admitting to opening fire, releasing 67 rounds in 13 seconds into an unarmed crowd. Killing 4 and wounding 9. Two of the dead were part of the protests, the other two were just in the area going between classes.

So 40 years later, we have debated would the US military fire on civilians in a time of crisis and uprising. For those of us that have grown up under the shadow of this event, there is no doubt that this scene could indeed be repeated should circumstances come to bear and cooler heads do not prevail.

The most telling quote from the wikipedia article on the event is from Geology Professor Glenn Frank as he pleaded with the students to disperse and not engage the guardsmen in an all out assault after the shootings when he pleaded:
    "I don't care whether you've never listened to anyone before in your lives. I am begging you right now. If you don't disperse right now, they're going to move in, and it can only be a slaughter. Would you please listen to me? Jesus Christ, I don't want to be a part of this...!"

posted on May, 3 2010 @ 11:50 PM
40 years ago, American men in uniform followed orders to shoot a bunch of American kids protesting against a corrupt government, and an illegal war.

Thanks for reminding ATS of what happened, and could very well happen again.

posted on May, 4 2010 @ 01:54 AM
Devo - I'm A Potato

Devo was present at the Kent State Massacre.

1980, Houston, Texas. Devo performance. Devo members arrested for "Inciting a riot".

They didn't return to perform in Houston again until, I believe, 2006.

posted on May, 4 2010 @ 04:32 AM
Skinny Puppy -- Tin Omen

every truncheon hit misguided the peoples army divided united stance amped

out war dance what a ride inner thought of non violent rebellion outside

dare to die stand and fight show faith return all the weapons

government says use them right fixed action set in motion doubting amnesia

potion what to hide red carpet ride guessing right the jokes on

dark corner the square you bath once a week distorted the viewpoint

seldom seen wayback in 68 ohio kent state was nothing so great have of

have not forcing the point shot in the back take it back down trod soldier

away flower power within kill me kill this way of life and be

known one by one they'll be coming down altogether sister machine gun

automatic high what a ride what a trip tripped over the candlestick tanks

arrive fire wall got to keep the camera alive tell the world

whats going on here warning shots are fired at the stomach chest wound

coed falls amped out amped out changing guns for brooms the guards change

to clean up crews way back in 68 every thing was so great no way wrong

date keep up the trade balanced charade close circuit truth used to
remove keep the camera alive

The song covers more subjects than the Kent State Massacre, but I think it's a fitting tribute.

Originally posted by heyJude
Thanks for reminding ATS of what happened, and could very well happen again.



posted on May, 4 2010 @ 05:02 AM
And not a single person was charged. Isn't that interesting?

The years following the shootings (1970 to 1979) were filled with lawsuits filed against the State of Ohio by families of the victims, in hopes of placing blame on Governor Rhodes and the Ohio National Guard. Trials were held on both the federal and state level, but all ended in acquittals or were dismissed. There was one civil trial – for wrongful death and injury – brought by the victims and their families against Governor Rhodes and the National Guardsmen, a case that was originally dismissed, but eventually the dismissal was overturned due to the judge's excluding evidence. The students' families were awarded approximately $63,000 per victim and the defendants agreed to state for the record that they regretted their actions.

[edit on 4-5-2010 by Looking_Glass]

posted on May, 4 2010 @ 06:11 AM
How could anybody kill their own countryman! I thought only Stalin was capable of such hatred.

posted on May, 4 2010 @ 06:39 AM
It was the times. You had to have been there to really understand, but during the 60s and the Viet Nam war, the kids of America gained a great deal of political power through the protest.
Parents, teachers, and even the government was scared of the kids. It was a turbulent time, and I remember Kent State like it was yesterday. Sadly, I think the military would do this again if they became scared enough.

posted on May, 4 2010 @ 07:09 AM
That's pretty messed up.

A lot of younger people don't really know a lot about that.

posted on May, 4 2010 @ 07:38 AM
It was most certainly a tragic day in our history. As a Kent State Graduate, I was certainly educated on the topic of May 4 by the university, in orientation, and by Jerry Lewis in his sociology class. The incident and the events that led up to it are often misunderstood. This brief moment in history was several days in the making.

In response to the US invasion of Cambodia

Protests occurred the next day, Friday, May 1, across United States college campuses where anti-war sentiment ran high. At Kent State University, an anti-war rally was held at noon on the Commons, a large, grassy area in the middle of campus which had traditionally been the site for various types of rallies and demonstrations. Fiery speeches against the war and the Nixon administration were given, a copy of the Constitution was buried to symbolize the murder of the Constitution because Congress had never declared war, and another rally was called for noon on Monday, May 4.

Friday evening in downtown Kent began peacefully with the usual socializing in the bars, but events quickly escalated into a violent confrontation between protestors and local police. The exact causes of the disturbance are still the subject of debate, but bonfires were built in the streets of downtown Kent, cars were stopped, police cars were hit with bottles, and some store windows were broken. The entire Kent police force was called to duty as well as officers from the county and surrounding communities. Kent Mayor Leroy Satrom declared a state of emergency, called Governor James Rhodes' office to seek assistance, and ordered all of the bars closed. The decision to close the bars early increased the size of the angry crowd. Police eventually succeeded in using tear gas to disperse the crowd from downtown, forcing them to move several blocks back to the campus.

The next day, Saturday, May 2, Mayor Satrom met with other city officials and a representative of the Ohio National Guard who had been dispatched to Kent. Mayor Satrom then made the decision to ask Governor Rhodes to send the Ohio National Guard to Kent. The mayor feared further disturbances in Kent based upon the events of the previous evening, but more disturbing to the mayor were threats that had been made to downtown businesses and city officials as well as rumors that radical revolutionaries were in Kent to destroy the city and the university. Satrom was fearful that local forces would be inadequate to meet the potential disturbances, and thus about 5 p.m. he called the Governor's office to make an official request for assistance from the Ohio National Guard.


Members of the Ohio National Guard were already on duty in Northeast Ohio, and thus they were able to be mobilized quickly to move to Kent. As the Guard arrived in Kent at about 10 p.m., they encountered a tumultuous scene. The wooden ROTC building adjacent to the Commons was ablaze and would eventually burn to the ground that evening, with well over 1000 demonstrators surrounding the building. Controversy continues to exist regarding who was responsible for setting fire to the ROTC building, but radical protestors were assumed to be responsible because of their actions in interfering with the efforts of firemen to extinguish the fire as well as cheering the burning of the building. Confrontations between Guardsmen and demonstrators continued into the night, with tear gas filling the campus and numerous arrests being made.

Sunday, May 3rd was a day filled with contrasts. Nearly 1000 Ohio National Guardsmen occupied the campus, making it appear like a military war zone. The day was warm and sunny, however, and students frequently talked amicably with Guardsmen. Ohio Governor James Rhodes flew to Kent on Sunday morning, and his mood was anything but calm. At a press conference, he issued a provocative statement calling campus protestors the worst type of people in America and stating that every force of law would be used to deal with them. Rhodes also indicated that he would seek a court order declaring a state of emergency. This was never done, but the widespread assumption among both Guard and University officials was that a state of martial law was being declared in which control of the campus resided with the Guard rather than University leaders and all rallies were banned. Further confrontations between protestors and guardsmen occurred Sunday evening, and once again rocks, tear gas, and arrests characterized a tense campus.


At the conclusion of the anti-war rally on Friday, May 1, student protest leaders had called for another rally to be held on the Commons at noon on Monday, May 4. Although University officials had attempted on the morning of May 4 to inform the campus that the rally was prohibited, a crowd began to gather beginning as early as 11 a.m. By noon, the entire Commons area contained approximately 3000 people. Although estimates are inexact, probably about 500 core demonstrators were gathered around the Victory Bell at one end of the Commons, another 1000 people were "cheerleaders" supporting the active demonstrators, and an additional 1500 people were spectators standing around the perimeter of the Commons. Across the Commons at the burned-out ROTC building stood about 100 Ohio National Guardsmen carrying lethal M-1 military rifles.

Substantial consensus exists that the active participants in the rally were primarily protesting the presence of the Guard on campus, although a strong anti-war sentiment was also present. Little evidence exists as to who were the leaders of the rally and what activities were planned, but initially the rally was peaceful.


Shortly before noon, General Canterbury made the decision to order the demonstrators to disperse. A Kent State police officer standing by the Guard made an announcement using a bullhorn. When this had no effect, the officer was placed in a jeep along with several Guardsmen and driven across the Commons to tell the protestors that the rally was banned and that they must disperse. This was met with angry shouting and rocks, and the jeep retreated. Canterbury then ordered his men to load and lock their weapons, tear gas canisters were fired into the crowd around the Victory Bell, and the Guard began to march across the Commons to disperse the rally. The protestors moved up a steep hill, known as Blanket Hill, and then down the other side of the hill onto the Prentice Hall parking lot as well as an adjoining practice football field. Most of the Guardsmen followed the students directly and soon found themselves somewhat trapped on the practice football field because it was surrounded by a fence. Yelling and rock throwing reached a peak as the Guard remained on the field for about ten minutes. Several Guardsmen could be seen huddling together, and some Guardsmen knelt and pointed their guns, but no weapons were shot at this time. The Guard then began retracing their steps from the practice football field back up Blanket Hill. As they arrived at the top of the hill, twenty-eight of the more than seventy Guardsmen turned suddenly and fired their rifles and pistols. Many guardsmen fired into the air or the ground. However, a small portion fired directly into the crowd. Altogether between 61 and 67 shots were fired in a 13 second period.

With all of this being said there are still many unanswered questions surrounding the event.

The following question has always bugged me because these events were the tipping points that led to the disaster.

Who was responsible for the violence in downtown Kent and on the Kent State campus in the three days prior to May 4th? As an important part of this question, were "outside agitators" primarily responsible? Who was responsible for setting fire to the ROTC building?

My answer to the above question is YES and YES.
The fact that outside/non student agitators were present and even bussed into Kent has been talked about by many. My grandparents lived in Kent during this time and often talked about the violence and the fires in the streets prior to May 4. Without these agitators the whole event could have been avoided.

There is a famous photo of a young girl kneeling over a body screaming. That young girl was a 14 year old runaway who was most likely traveling with the agitators.

Vecchio, who had taken a bus from Florida to participate in the antiwar demonstrations on the Kent State campus during that May in 1970, was kneeling with her arms raised in shock and screaming above the body of student Jeffrey Miller a few seconds after the shots were fired at 12:24 p.m.

Agitators still exist today. We see evidence of them most recently in some of the larger Tea Party rallies and in the calls to agitate prior to the demonstrations. Time to learn from our past.

For probably the best account of the event in detail read Lewis' article.

[edit on 4-5-2010 by jibeho]

posted on May, 4 2010 @ 07:41 AM
This should be a reminder to everyone that people in Uniform always follow orders.


posted on May, 4 2010 @ 07:53 AM
One thing to keep in mind regarding the shooting, is that these young and green guardsmen were most likely the same age as those who were hurling rocks and bags full of human feces at them. They were also fatigued, poorly trained and they were issued live ammo for some stupid reason. All it takes is one panic shot to incite more shots.

posted on May, 4 2010 @ 07:56 AM
Thanks for the post, I had never heard of the Kent State Massacre, as it was before my time.

This is part of the reason I love ATS. Aside from the usual conspiracy & ufo threads that are fun to read, you can actually learn a lot if you read the right posts.

posted on May, 4 2010 @ 07:58 AM
That wouldn't fly these days. Imagine what hell the government would be putting itself into if they had military fire into a 9-11 truth demonstration.

posted on May, 4 2010 @ 08:10 AM
Thank you for starting this thread.. I would have started one but seen this first.

My mother was a student at Kent State when this happened. She never really talks much about it. I know it has shaped her political and social views more directly than the Vietnam War ever did.. I suppose because it was more personal and real than something going on thousands of miles and another world away. I guess in turn it has shaped my own views.

Again, thank you.

In Memory of the 4:

Resistance is Peace.


Edit: Thanks to Sauron for the help with the picture problem.

[edit on 4-5-2010 by broahes]

[edit on 4-5-2010 by broahes]

posted on May, 4 2010 @ 08:14 AM
Click the link to Light a virtual candle for the victims of Kent State.

May they be at rest; may the world find its way towards peace.

posted on May, 4 2010 @ 08:18 AM
reply to post by silent thunder

I think that is the best link I've clicked on in a while.. what a great site.

Thank you.

posted on May, 4 2010 @ 08:24 AM
Of course this will happen again. Soldiers do not care if their enemy is American or not. They are trained to kill their enemy. They do not hesitate for one second to pull the trigger. If they hesitate, they are dead. Any veteran or current soldier in any of the military branches can tell you this.

[edit on 4-5-2010 by fordrew]

posted on May, 4 2010 @ 08:29 AM
reply to post by Ahabstar

Difference between then and now:

Back then, the soldiers and protesters were on different sides, politically and mentally.

Today they are not.

Just saying.

[edit on 4-5-2010 by Gorman91]

posted on May, 4 2010 @ 08:46 AM
God bless the 4 dead that day and let them be an ever present reminder of just how far the government will go to quell us when the SHTF! While I have no evidence to back this up I whole heartedly believe that these people died because of the actions of agents provacuteurs. The govt had a history of planting agents within various groups it deemed subversive or felt they needed to keep a watchful eye on. This program was known as COINTELPRO. There is evidence to show that if the infiltrated groups were too peaceful that these govt agents would indeed agitate and increase the volatility with the groups and push for more extreme action. Make no mistake about it good folks of ATS this program is still alive and well today. They infiltrate all kinds of groups from militia to political organizations such as the tea party. It is my firm belief that by the time the Kent State Massacre occurred the govt really needed a way to instil fear into the heart of the citizenry. What better way than by shooting protesters and innocent women goin to class? So the next your at a meeting or rally and the one or two guys that are really pushing to escalate things to the next level or an extreme level stop and think for a moment. Has the govt infiltrated you? Now time to make the coffee

posted on May, 4 2010 @ 08:51 AM
reply to post by fordrew

I just don't see that happening anymore. With the right to refuse an unlawful order i.e. opening fire on a peaceful protest. Most, maybe not every soldier would/could do that to his fellow citizens. I know this was brought up during some of my training in the Air Force.

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