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“WARNING: You Are Under Martial Law
By Karen Kilroy
The title of this article is what the notice read on the morning of May 4, 1970 – it sat largely unread in the mail boxes of Kent State University students. Later that day, four students were murdered when the Ohio National Guard opened fire on a hillside filled with students – some protesting, some watching, others merely changing classes.
Whether or not you are old enough to remember the tragedy at Kent State (http://www.may41970.com), please pay attention to this history. As we head into the age of aggressive protests, the police response is becoming more violent, such as in Saturday’s actions in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (http://pittsburgh.indymedia.org/) and Salt Lake City, Utah. (http://homepage.mac.com/apexgrin/FileSharing2.html) In Pittsburgh, protestors marched the wrong way up a one way street to close down an army recruiting office. Police used both tear gas and tasers to subdue the protestors, and one 68-year-old woman was even bitten by a police dog – she was also arrested. In Salt Lake City, a crowd of 1,500 was tear gassed from helicopters.
This is a war against war. This is a war to end all wars – as the saying goes. We are on the side that is not armed. But just like the students at Kent State a few short years ago, if our right to protest is denied we have little choice other than to assert ourselves. If we are brutalized, we must fight it in the courts, call Congress, and insist that the brutality come to light in the media before it is allowed to progress to even more severe levels.
Many people in Kent, Ohio want everyone to remember what happened there in 1970 so it will never be allowed to happen again. When political spoken-word artist Chris Chandler and I went to Kent to recruit volunteers for an anti-war music video for Chris’ song “Something’s In the Air / But It’s Not on the Airwaves,