Friday, May 4, 2012

May 4, 1970: The Kent State Murders

Uploaded by  on Aug 19, 2011

A sampling of comments posted below this video over at YouTube:

"My best CSNY cut. Recorded totally live in Los Angeles. David Crosby cried after this take".
(Neil Young from the liner notes of his Decade album)

Did anyone go to jail over the killing of the 4 students?

kids who can't afford school these days are still being killed not for protesting a war but for participating in an illegal one...sad....
It was an unfortunate event, nobody should have died. Having said that the students did bring it upon themselves. The crowd vastly outnumbered the troops and the students were throwing rocks, tear gas canisters, etc. at the troops. The troops were trying to drive the students off campus but a chain link fence stopped the students from going any further (unknown by the troops). Believing the crowd was defiant and that they had lost control the troops fired into the crowd without a given order

in 1970 i was working in a factory, just 19, distant from the cauldrons of student turmoil. yet, i worked with older men who had sons and daughters on campus', and son's in viet nam. i will never forget the shear, utter outrage that rose in them when these murders took place. the total disbelief that the us government would unleash it's guns on students.

  • I was in my Junior year in high school when I heard about on Huntley /Brinkey....
  • Same here; I remember it vividly. Pointless deaths protesting a pointless war (except for those in the military hardware business).
    But those four deaths probably did more to shine a light on what was wrong with the government than the comparatively anonymous deaths of our peers in the meat grinder that was southeast Asia.
    If you haven't yet, visit the Vietnam Vets Memorial in DC. All those names; 58,000 of our generation, etched in granite, lost forever... for what?

the kids that were killed probably had rich parents,didn't have to work,lived off mommie and daddy and protested the war.they got what they deserved.fucking commies i love our soldiers
nixon: this bastard president who died a hopelessly insane alchoholic, still takes his toll on american youth thru his hatred of marijuana users and starting his unmerciful genocide war of the plant and the user - pushed by reagan who died brainless - so maybe there is some justice afterall - Karma sucks when youre evil!

I remember when the Kent shootings happened. I was attending Eastern Michigan U. in Ypsilanti. We had a protest that night or a little later. They brought out National Guard and big dogs to chase us off. We were being peaceful, too. My teenage years and early adult years were years of deaths and tragedy. Has it changed?

Those Hippies brought it upon themselves.
it wasn't a peaceful protest.
they were burning down buildings and throwing stuff at the soldiers.
  • honestly its fucking sad ive spent hours of my life teaching my fellow friends about this music they dont fucking understand it
  • In order to see the same scenery, one must travel in the same direction as the passenger. If they don't like or understand it's their choice.The world has changed, the people have changed, the music has changed and that's fine for everyone else. In my humble opinion, nothing will ever be even close to "normal" anymore!
    Let's not forget the massacre at Attica State Prison. They killed the innocent with the guilty.

It's all there in The Prince, do not be surprised by the corruption of politicians and bureaucrats, don't ignore our own complicity. As a democracy, The People are supposed to be the guardians of our own liberty, elites figured out (in keeping with Machiavelli) that the illusion of popular sovereignty is enough to co-opt the majority, who would then ridicule the "malcontents" decrying the system. And that is exactly what has happened: bribed, cajoled, and/or coerced into accepting their program.
Ayer como hoy , yanquis fascistas hijos de puta cobardes
If they had just let JFK live, all this could have been avoided. He was planning a full withdrawal after being elected to a second term as President. Nixon and co knew it and decided to take matters in their own hands. Then they killed RFK because he would have ended the war for sure. This is the result. In a book written before he died Sec of Defense Robert McNamara admitted the Gulf of Tonkin incident NEVER HAPPENED. A ten year long war based on a lie. sound familiar???
How can we forget the one shocking photo that appeared on ever front page right across the country.
On 40th Anniversary of Kent State Shootings, Truth Tribunal Seeks Answers:

"We hear from some of the survivors, and we speak with Laurel Krause, the sister of Allison Krause, one of the four students killed, who is directing the Kent State Truth Tribunal."


SHARIF ABDEL KOUDDOUSToday marks the fortieth anniversary of the Kent State shootings. On May 4th, 1970, National Guardsmen opened fire on hundreds of unarmed students at an antiwar rally at Kent State University in Ohio. The students were protesting the US invasion of Cambodia, which was announced by President Nixon on April 30th. The Guardsmen fired off at least sixty-seven shots in roughly thirteen seconds. Four students were killed and nine others wounded. The four students shot dead were Allison Krause, Jeffrey Miller, William Schroeder, and Sandra Scheuer, all between the ages of nineteen and twenty-one. To this day, no one’s been held accountable for what happened. For the survivors of Kent State, the events of May 4th, 1970 remain unresolved even four decades later. 
AMY GOODMANTo mark the anniversary, commemoration events are being held at Kent State, including a candlelight vigil and march in the commons, as well as a truth tribunal, which we’ll talk about in a few minutes. But first we want to go back to May 4th, 1970 and hear from the survivors about what happened on that day. Alan Canfora was a student at Kent State forty years ago and took part in the antiwar protest. He ended up being shot in the wrist. Last year I spoke with Alan Canfora as he took me around the campus. I asked him what happened. 
    ALAN CANFORAMy name is Alan Canfora. I was a member of the Kent State Students for a Democratic Society in 1968, ’69. Forty years ago, we raised hell on this campus. We planted the seeds of revolt, which blossomed a year later, when four days of protests culminated with the shootings by the National Guard. Only bullets could silence our voices here at Kent State in 1970.
    AMY GOODMANWhat did you do?
    ALAN CANFORAWell, we protested vigorously for four days, including turmoil in downtown Kent, where forty-three bank windows were broken on Friday night, May 1st. Saturday night, the ROTC building was burned to the ground. That brought in 1,200 National Guardsmen.
    And on Monday, May 4th, they attacked a peaceful gathering of students, about 300 of us gathered on the commons. And they fired teargas. They chased us over a hill, and they marched back up the hill. And at the peak of the hilltop is where there was a verbal command to fire. One guard officer shouted, “Right here! Get set! Point! Fire!” And they fired sixty-seven gunshots down the hill that killed four students, and they wounded nine, including me. I got shot through my right wrist 225 feet away.
    AMY GOODMANAnd explain what you saw when you were standing there.
    ALAN CANFORAWell, I saw the Guardsmen reach the hilltop, and we expected that they were just retreating. It looked like they were going away, back over the hill where they had come from. But suddenly, at the hilltop, out of seventy-six Guardsmen, only about a dozen from Troop G stopped, turned. They began to fire. They continued to fire for thirteen seconds. The closest student was sixty feet away. He was wounded. Another student ninety feet away was wounded. I was near the bottom of the hill with my roommate. We were both shot and injured. And then, behind us, in a parking lot, is where all of the four students were killed, at distances of between 265 and 400 feet. So it was nothing but a slaughter. They fired into the distant parking lot, because that’s where the most radical and vocal students were gathered.
    AMY GOODMANAnd were you shot first?
    ALAN CANFORAI think I was. I think I was the first student shot. I was waving a black flag of protest that day. I carried that black flag as a symbol of my despair and my anger, because only ten days earlier I attended my friend’s funeral. He was killed in Vietnam at age nineteen. So that was very fresh in my memory, and that’s why I joined the protests and I helped lead the protests May 1st through 4th in 1970. And that’s what led to me being shot.
AMY GOODMANThat was Alan Canfora, one of those shot at Kent State. 
To tell the story of what happened forty years ago, we turn to a documentary that includes interviews with students and National Guardsmen who were there. This is an excerpt of Kent State: The Day the War Came Home. It begins with former Kent State student, Joe Lewis. 
    JOE LEWISSuddenly and without any warning, several of them in the lead wheeled and leveled their rifles back towards my direction. I took it to be a threatening gesture. And so, being eighteen and foolish, I gestured back at them by raising the middle finger of my right hand.
    PROTESTERAnd at this point, it’s like a film playing in slow motion for me.
    FIRST GUARDSMANI heard the word “fire.” I believe that that was a situation of, “Hold your fire, do not fire.”
    SECOND GUARDSMANAt that point, the Guardsman on my right fired his weapon.
    FIRST GUARDSMANWithin, again, milliseconds of that single report, the volley itself began.
    PROTESTERI started screaming, “They’re shooting their guns! They’re shooting their guns!”
    MARY VECCHIOIt hit us all, I’m sure, at that moment. They’re trying to kill us.
    FIRST GUARDSMANI had a person targeted. I pulled the slack out of the trigger —-
    SECOND GUARDSMANI assumed that we were firing warning shots, and I fired my weapon in the air.
    JOHN CLEARYI jumped on the ground, praying I wouldn’t get hit.
    FIRST GUARDSMANHundreds of people were falling on the ground. And I believe that many of them were being hit.
    ALAN CANFORAThere was one tree near me, which was right in the line of fire, and as I got behind the tree at the last second, before my arm reached the safety of the tree, that’s when I was hit.
    JOHN CLEARYThe next thing I know, I got hit just below the shoulder blade in the back on the left side.
    FIRST GUARDSMANThat person that I had targeted was standing in front of me yelling, “Shoot me, mother [bleep], shoot me!”
    SECOND GUARDSMANEverybody else is running away, and there’s this one male coming towards us. His right hand was in the upward position giving an obscene gesture, and his left hand was somewhat behind his back.
    FIRST GUARDSMANMy mind was racing. My mind was telling me that this is wrong, that this is not right.
    JOE LEWISI was giving an obscene gesture for the first time that day, but I wasn’t screaming, and I wasn’t moving.
    FIRST GUARDSMANThis is not right. This is not right. This is not right.
    SECOND GUARDSMANAt that point, I felt that I was in jeopardy, and I fired on the individual, and he dropped.
    JOE LEWISAnd I believe someone said that they heard me say, “Oh, my god, they shot me!”
    SECOND GUARDSMANThe next thing that I remember was there was an order from the rear of where we were, someone yelling to cease fire, which it stopped immediately.
    NARRATORThe shooting lasts a total of thirteen seconds. A total of sixty-seven bullets are fired. One of those bullets has passed through the wrist of Alan Canfora.
    ALAN CANFORAIt was kind of an eerie calm, just for a split second. We waited to hear if there were any more bullets that were going to be fired, and there were none. And then, all you could hear in the air after that was screaming, crying, people shouting for ambulances.
    PROTESTERStay back! Stay back!
    SECOND GUARDSMANAnd we were told to return to the commons area, and that’s when we went back down the hill and back across the commons to where we originally started at our staging point.
    FIRST GUARDSMANWe had no clue as to how many people were hurt. Our fear was that it was awful.
    NARRATORDean Kahler lays face down on the practice field. A bullet has passed through his spine, paralyzing him for life.
    JOHN CLEARYThat’s one thing I’ll never forget about that day, just seeing the looks on the faces of the students who were standing over me, not knowing that there was twelve other people out there shot, four of them bleeding profusely, lying dying on the ground.
    NARRATORJoe Lewis lays bleeding with two bullet wounds, one through his abdomen and one through his left leg.
    JOE LEWISI thought to myself, “Well, this could be it.” And I was afraid that I was going to die, and so I made an act of contrition, to say that I was sorry for my sins, and -—
    MARY VECCHIOAnd I saw a girl being carried into the yard at Prentice Hall, and I ran over there with this rag thinking I could help someone, and I looked down, and it was Sandy. Sandy was a friend, and she was so blue and gray. She had been shot in the jugular vein, and I didn’t even recognize her.
    ALAN CANFORAAnd she was killed within seconds as she walked to her class, 400 feet away from the triggermen.
    PROTESTERI remember the first person I saw was Jeffrey Miller, and he was lying very still.
    NARRATOROne of the first to reach Jeff Miller’s body is fourteen-year-old runaway Mary Vecchio, who only a short time earlier had been protesting with him on the commons.
    MARY VECCHIOI thought it was Alan. I mean, I’ll never forget running toward the body of Jeff Miller, thinking it was Alan, and how I felt when I looked down and saw Jeff lying in this pool of blood. And there was so much blood.
    PROTESTERAnd we walked over toward another cluster of people, and they were standing around Bill Schroeder.
    ALAN CANFORABill Schroeder was an ROTC military science student. He was the all-American boy. He was not a protester, not a radical, not part of the demonstration. He was just there watching.
    BARRY LEVINEShe [Allison Krause] said, “Barry, I’m hit.” And I had no idea what that meant at the time. I mean, in split seconds, I knew, but I didn’t know. And “It couldn’t be. It’s impossible. What do you mean you’re hit?” As I went to stroke her cheek, I saw a smudge of blood on her cheek. And it had come from my hand, which was underneath her. So I realized at that point she had been shot in the back and she was bleeding. And as it turns out, she was dying.
SHARIF ABDEL KOUDDOUSAn excerpt of the documentary Kent State: The Day the War Came Home, directed by Chris Triffo and produced by Ron Goetz. That was Barry Levine talking about Allison Krause, one of the four students killed that day. 
AMY GOODMANWe go now live to Kent State, where we’re joined by Laurel Krause, Allison’s sister. She is the director of the Kent State Truth Tribunal, which has been taking place on the campus for the last three days and convened by family members of students killed at Kent State in order to record and honor the stories of those directly affected by the shootings. 
Laurel Krause, you’re right there on the campus of Kent State. Can you describe what you’ve been doing over these last few days, this Kent State Truth Tribunal? 
LAUREL KRAUSEWell, we’ve been welcoming the original participants and witnesses of the 1970 Kent State shootings. They’ve been coming forward, and we’ve been live-casting as well as asking them to answer questions at laptops. We have questions that were created with the help of the Greensboro, North Carolina tribunal related to the KKK and the killing of five, as well as the Center for Transitional Justice. They helped us come up with questions that were neutral, so that we could get to the truth of what really happened, because we don’t know. 
SHARIF ABDEL KOUDDOUSAnd Laurel, how old were you when your sister Allison was killed? And talk about the legal battle that your family fought for for years. 
LAUREL KRAUSEWell, I was in ninth grade, coming home from school when some neighbors came up to me and said that I should call my parents, because there had been news reporters on the street and that Allison had been hurt at Kent. And so, I immediately called my mom, and I learned that she was on her way home immediately. She whisked home, and we then spent a long time on the phone — she did — trying to find out, but all the phone lines were blocked. There were no cell phones or anything like that then. And we later learned that from the Ravenna Robinson Memorial Hospital that she was DOA, and that’s how they said it to us. 
Right the next day, my father, Arthur Krause, and my mother, Doris Krause, went forward and started a legal fight to learn — you know, actually against the state of Ohio, the governor, National Guard, and everyone responsible for what happened. And that court battle lasted — went all the way through and up to the Supreme Court, in order to have the right to sue Ohio, and then back at the beginning again, over ten years. We finally took it to the Ninth Circuit Court and settled with a statement of regret, and our family received $15,000 for the — related to the death of my sister Allison.
AMY GOODMANLaurel, what are you calling for now? 
LAUREL KRAUSEWell, actually, I’m calling for the truth to be known for the first time. It’s my feeling and the feeling of everyone that’s joining us in our truth tribe — that’s what we’re calling it — basically, we want to hear from the people that were on that hill, because we know that they know what happened. And that includes National Guard, state, federal and civil people, civil servants, related to making decisions, bad decisions. We’d like to hear their stories, as well. I’m personally calling for any National Guardsman to please come forward in our final day, May 4th. Please come and share your truth. You’ll be respected. We want to hear your truth. You can have anonymity. We have a wonderful setup. It’s a healing environment. We’d like you to share your truth and let us know what happened and what made you pull that trigger and kill my sister and three others, and wounding of nine, on May 4th, 1970. 
AMY GOODMANLaurel Krause, we want to thank you very much for being with us, standing in the parking lot where her sister was killed forty years ago today, Allison Krause.

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The Timeline [from Wikipedia]

Thursday, April 30

President Nixon announced to the nation that the "Cambodian Incursion" had been launched by United States combat forces.

[edit]Friday, May 1

At Kent State University a demonstration with about 500 students[10] was held on May 1 on the Commons (a grassy knoll in the center of campus traditionally used as a gathering place for rallies or protests). As the crowd dispersed to attend classes by 1 pm, another rally was planned for May 4 to continue the protest of Nixon's expansion of the Vietnam War into Cambodia. There was widespread anger, and many protesters issued a call to "bring the war home." As a symbolic protest to Nixon's decision to send troops, a group of students watched a graduate student burning a copy of the U.S. Constitution while another student burned his draft card.
Trouble exploded in town around midnight when people left a bar and began throwing beer bottles at cars and breaking downtown store fronts. In the process they broke a bank window, setting off an alarm. The news spread quickly and it resulted in several bars closing early to avoid trouble. Before long, more people had joined the vandalism and looting.
By the time police arrived, a crowd of 120 had already gathered. Some people from the crowd had already lit a small bonfire in the street. The crowd appeared to be a mix of bikers, students, and transient people. A few members of the crowd began to throw beer bottles at the police, and then started yelling obscenities at them. 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 Ohio Governor Jim 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.[7]

[edit]Saturday, May 2

City officials and downtown businesses received threats while rumors proliferated that radical revolutionaries were in Kent to destroy the city and university. Mayor Satrom met with Kent city officials and a representative of the Ohio Army National Guard. Following the meeting Satrom made the decision to call Governor Rhodes and request that the National Guard be sent to Kent, a request that was granted. Because of the rumors and threats, Satrom believed that local officials would not be able to handle future disturbances.[7] The decision to call in the National Guard was made at 5:00 pm, but the guard did not arrive into town that evening until around 10 pm A large demonstration was already under way on the campus, and the campus Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) building[11]was burning. The arsonists were never apprehended and no one was injured in the fire.[12] More than a thousand protesters surrounded the building and cheered its burning. Several Kent firemen and police officers were struck by rocks and other objects while attempting to extinguish the blaze. Several fire engine companies had to be called in because protesters carried the fire hose into the Commons and slashed it.[13][14][15] The National Guard made numerous arrests and used tear gas; at least one student was slightly wounded with a bayonet.[16]

[edit]Sunday, May 3

During a press conference at the Kent firehouse, an emotional Governor Rhodes pounded on the desk[17] and called the student protesters un-American, referring to them as revolutionaries set on destroying higher education in Ohio. "We've seen here at the city of Kent especially, probably the most vicious form of campus oriented violence yet perpetrated by dissident groups. They make definite plans of burning, destroying, and throwing rocks at police, and at the National Guard and the Highway Patrol. This is when we're going to use every part of the law enforcement agency of Ohio to drive them out of Kent. We are going to eradicate the problem. We're not going to treat the symptoms. And these people just move from one campus to the other and terrorize the community. They're worse than the brown shirts and the communist element and also the night riders and the vigilantes", Rhodes said. "They're the worst type of people that we harbor in America. Now I want to say this. They are not going to take over [the] campus. I think that we're up against the strongest, well-trained, militant, revolutionary group that has ever assembled in America."[18] Rhodes can be heard in the recording of his speech yelling and pounding his fists on the desk.[19][20]
Rhodes also claimed he would obtain a court order declaring a state of emergency that would ban further demonstrations and gave the impression that a situation akin to martial law had been declared; however, he never attempted to obtain such an order.[7]
During the day some students came into downtown Kent to help with cleanup efforts after the rioting, which met with mixed reactions from local businessmen. Mayor Satrom, under pressure from frightened citizens, ordered a curfew until further notice.
Around 8:00 pm, another rally was held on the campus Commons. By 8:45 pm the Guardsmen used tear gas to disperse the crowd, and the students reassembled at the intersection of Lincoln and Main Streets, holding a sit-in with the hopes of gaining a meeting with Mayor Satrom and President White. At 11:00 p.m., the Guard announced that a curfew had gone into effect and began forcing the students back to their dorms. A few students were bayoneted by Guardsmen.[21]

[edit]Monday, May 4

On Monday, May 4, a protest was scheduled to be held at noon, as had been planned three days earlier. University officials attempted to ban the gathering, handing out 12,000 leaflets stating that the event was canceled. Despite these efforts an estimated 2,000 people gathered[22] on the university's Commons, near Taylor Hall. The protest began with the ringing of the campus's iron Victory Bell (which had historically been used to signal victories in football games) to mark the beginning of the rally, and the first protester began to speak.
Companies A and C, 1/145th Infantry and Troop G of the 2/107th Armored Cavalry, Ohio Army National Guard (ARNG), the units on the campus grounds, attempted to disperse the students. The legality of the dispersal was later debated at a subsequent wrongful death and injury trial. On appeal, the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit ruled that authorities did indeed have the right to disperse the crowd.
The dispersal process began late in the morning with campus patrolman Harold Rice,[23] riding in a National Guard Jeep, approaching the students to read them an order to disperse or face arrest. The protesters responded by throwing rocks, striking one campus Patrolman and forcing the Jeep to retreat.[7]
Just before noon, the Guard returned and again ordered the crowd to disperse. When most of the crowd refused, the Guard used tear gas. Because of wind, the tear gas had little effect in dispersing the crowd, and some launched a second volley of rocks toward the Guard's line, too distant to have any effect, to chants of "Pigs off campus!" The students lobbed the tear gas canisters back at the National Guardsmen, who wore gas masks.
When it was determined the crowd was not going to disperse, a group of 77 National Guard troops from A Company and Troop G, with bayonets fixed on their M-1 rifles, began to advance upon the hundreds of protesters. As the guardsmen advanced, the protesters retreated up and over Blanket Hill, heading out of The Commons area. Once over the hill, the students, in a loose group, moved northeast along the front of Taylor Hall, with some continuing toward a parking lot in front of Prentice Hall (slightly northeast of and perpendicular to Taylor Hall). The guardsmen pursued the protesters over the hill, but rather than veering left as the protesters had, they continued straight, heading down toward an athletic practice field enclosed by a chain link fence. Here they remained for about ten minutes, unsure of how to get out of the area short of retracing their path (an action some guardsmen considered might be viewed as a retreat)[citation needed]. During this time, the bulk of the students congregated off to the left and front of the guardsmen, approximately 150 ft (50m) to 225 ft (75m) away, on the veranda of Taylor Hall. Others were scattered between Taylor Hall and the Prentice Hall parking lot, while still others (perhaps 35 or 40) were standing in the parking lot, or dispersing through the lot as they had been previously ordered.
While on the practice field, the guardsmen generally faced the parking lot which was about 100 yards away. At one point, some of the guardsmen knelt and aimed their weapons toward the parking lot, then stood up again. For a few moments, several guardsmen formed a loose huddle and appeared to be talking to one another. The guardsmen seemed to be unsure about what to do next. They had cleared the protesters from the Commons area, and many students had left, but some stayed and were still angrily confronting the soldiers, some throwing rocks and tear gas canisters. About ten minutes later, the guardsmen began to retrace their steps back up the hill toward the Commons area. Some of the students on the Taylor Hall veranda began to move slowly toward the soldiers as the latter passed over the top of the hill and headed back down into the Commons.
At 12:24 pm,[1] according to eyewitnesses, a Sgt. Myron Pryor turned and began firing at the students with his .45 pistol.[24] A number of guardsmen nearest the students also turned and fired their M1 Garand rifles at the students. In all, 29 of the 77 guardsmen claimed to have fired their weapons, using a final total of 67 rounds of ammunition. The shooting was determined to have lasted only 13 seconds, although John Kifner reported in the New York Times that "it appeared to go on, as a solid volley, for perhaps a full minute or a little longer."[25] The question of why the shots were fired remains widely debated.

The shootings killed four students and wounded nine. Two of the four students killed, Allison Krause and Jeffrey Miller, had participated in the protest, and the other two, Sandra Scheuer and William Knox Schroeder, had been walking from one class to the next at the time of their deaths. Schroeder was also a member of the campus ROTC battalion. Of those wounded, none was closer than 71 feet to the guardsmen. Of those killed, the nearest (Miller) was 265 feet away, and their average distance from the guardsmen was 345 feet.