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In Remembrance of the Martyrs of Kent State, They Did Not Die in Vain!
by Steven Argue
Saturday May 4th, 2013 9:16 AM
The martyrs of Kent State and Jackson State didn’t ask to die. Yet, in their sacrifice they helped drive the U.S. imperialists out of Vietnam, ending the slaughter of millions and greatly improving the lives of the Vietnamese people. Likewise, they helped save the lives of American youth from continuing to be sacrificed in a war for corporate profit in Vietnam. The martyrs at Kent State were Jeffrey Miller (age 20), Allison Krause (age 19), William Schroeder (age 19), and Sandra Scheuer (age 20). The martyrs of Jackson State were Phillip Gibbs (age 21) and James Earl Green (age 17 and a student at a nearby high school).
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[Photo: Aftermath of U.S. government's slaughter at Kent State]

In Remembrance of the Martyrs of Kent State, They Did Not Die in Vain!

By STEVEN ARGUE

Forty-three years ago, on May 4, 1970, National Guardsmen at Ohio’s Kent State University opened fire on students protesting the US war in Vietnam. The students were shot in the back from distances of 275 to 400 feet, giving lie to claims that the students posed a threat to the Guardsmen. Four students were murdered and nine were injured. Nobody ever did time for those murders.

Eleven days after Kent State, on May 15, 1970, the U.S. government carried out another slaughter of students, this time at Jackson State University in Mississippi. This was a Black University. Racists in Mississippi were outraged that Blacks were even able to attend University. The students faced regular harassment, and just eight years prior to the Jackson State Massacre the students there were forced to endure a sit-in of white racists who tried to shut the university down. On May 15th, 100 students protesting the U.S. War in Vietnam and the Kent State Massacre occupied Lynch Street. Seventy-five State Troopers attempted to break-up the demonstration, but the students fought back against teargas, nightsticks, and bayonets with rocks and bricks. According to eyewitness, the fighting ceased and the situation had then calmed when suddenly, out of the blue, the State Troopers open fire on the protesters, firing hundreds of shots at the protesters and 460 into nearby dormitories. Two students were murdered and 12 were injured.

Those two massacres by the U.S. government on U.S. soil were the beginning of the end of the U.S. slaughter of the people of Vietnam.

Before May 4th, 1970, an anti-war movement had been building in the United States. Draft-age youth and many others were increasingly impatient with the war, and an active anti-war movement helped build that kind of consciousness. People wanted the war to end, and Nixon kept promising a “light at the end of the tunnel.” On April 30, 1970, people could only see darkness when Nixon announced the invasion of Cambodia. This was the opposite of what people wanted to hear. Protests erupted on campuses that had not had them in the past, like Kent State.

Prior to the Kent State massacre there were clashes between the working class youth on campus and the police and the National Guard. Police attempted to beat down the students, but the students fought back. Students also went on to break bank windows and burn down the ROTC center on campus. Ohio’s Governor Rhodes who had just threatened the use of the National Guard against striking teamsters, calling the workers “hoodlums”, sent the National Guard onto the Kent State campus against the anti-war protesters. The day before the Kent State slaughter, Governor Rhodes declared Kent State anti-war protesters to be “the worst type of people we harbor in America, worse than the Brown Shirts and the communist element.”

Meanwhile, the U.S. government was in the process of slaughtering three million people in Vietnam to maintain unpopular U.S. imposed capitalist dictatorships in South Vietnam. American youth were fed-up with being drafted and forced to slaughter innocent people in the name of “democracy”.

Already having faced tear gas and beatings from the National Guard for protesting, on May 4th students were told that all public gatherings on the campus were illegal. Yet, 1,500 students gathered to protest the war anyway, defiantly pumping their fists when ordered to disperse.

Before May 4th, the U.S. government routinely beat protesters demanding an end to the war. Likewise, their FBI infiltrated the movement to spy on, disrupt, and carry out violence against the anti-war movement, Black liberation movement, and other people’s liberation movements. This included on December 4, 1969 the coordinated murder by the FBI and Chicago Police of Black Panther leader Fred Hampton. An FBI infiltrator slipped a drug into Fred Hampton’s drink so that he couldn’t wake-up. That same night the Chicago Police broke into Fred Hampton’s home and murdered him in his sleep. Radical Black leadership was being annihilated and all who would consider following in their footsteps were being taught a brutal lesson.

On May 4th 1970, the U.S. government attempted a similar brutal lesson for the anti-war movement. This time it would backfire and fail. For many, the cold blooded murder of students at Kent State and murders of students soon after at Jackson State, were the final straw.

Immediately after the Kent State Massacre, 8 million students went out on strike, ROTC centers were burned to the ground on campuses across the country, and some Universities, such as UC Berkeley, were taken over by students and faculty as anti-war universities. After May 1970, the majority of those drafted were already opposed to the war before they got to Vietnam. This brought an end to the war. The US government could not win the war because they were facing fierce battles from the Vietnamese and many US soldiers were actively resisting the war. Commanding officers were being fragged as they tried to force soldiers to kill people in a foreign land for a war they did not believe in. Nixon could not win a war with drafted soldiers who refused to fight, and this was a factor that forced the U.S. government to withdraw from Vietnam.

The defeat of U.S. imperialism in Vietnam is a good example of how protests can work. Yet a cop recently complained to this author about protesters "always rioting", complained our protests over the many decades have always "accomplished nothing", smugly pointed out that it is the police and government and not us who have the guns, and who said he loved the T-shirt pictured below (of a cop bragging about beating down protesters) and wants to know where to get one. The following was my response.

“In the United States armed police often violently attack people for exercising our rights to free speech, but the propaganda of the corporate media constantly spew their lies, making the victims of police repression look like the criminals. In reality, it is the capitalist police, and not the people, who are the violent criminals.

“Our protests haven't accomplished a thing? Really? Bullshit. Here is a rundown of our top six accomplishments. Accomplishments made despite your police batons and bullets in the streets:

“In the 1934 three major strikes, including two general strikes in San Francisco and Minneapolis, all led by reds and fighting against you cops, forced the U.S. capitalist class to give us the New Deal. The gains we won included Social Security, a minimum wage, a ban on child labor, and programs that provided jobs. It wasn't the socialism many of us were fighting for, but these things were accomplishments.

“In the 1960s there were accomplishments as well. People fought back in the Black ghettos and across the South standing up in the face of police and Klan terror. Far from accomplishing nothing, we forced an end to legalized discrimination against Blacks. It wasn't an abolition of the racist capitalist system or an end to racist police terror, but important advances were made.

“In the 1960's and 1970s people rose up against the U.S. slaughter of the Vietnamese people. By May 1970 so many people were fed-up with the war and government repression that eight million students went out on strike. This didn't immediately stop the war, but afterward the majority of people drafted opposed the war. Soldiers in Vietnam refused to murder for a war they didn't believe in, fighting in a country where they didn't belong. Many commanding officers that try to force them to fight were fragged. This helped bring victory to the Vietnamese people, enabling them to run their country as they saw fit without U.S. mass murder and U.S. imposed dictatorships. Once again, our struggles did accomplish something. The war was ended and our “boys” (and “girls”), the Viet Cong, were victorious. It wasn't an abolition of U.S. imperialism and U.S. imperialist wars, but the liberation of Vietnam and an end to the U.S. slaughter of three million Vietnamese people was still an important victory.

“In addition, spin-offs from the movement against U.S. war in Vietnam included the women's liberation movement, Gay and Lesbian liberation movements, and the environmental movement. The Equal Rights Amendment still has not been passed, but we have made important headway on basic rights and reproductive freedom due to a mass movement that took to the streets. Gays and Lesbians are still officially discriminated against, including not being allowed to marry and have the same legal rights as straight couples, but they are no longer rounded-up by police vice squads with their names published in the newspapers the next day (and being fired from their jobs as a result), and they are no longer locked up and tortured in mental institutions for homosexuality. The planet is also rapidly being destroyed by greedy capitalists through global warming, but we did get some terrible things like DDT banned and the heightened awareness of earlier movements at least puts us one step closer to possibly rising up and doing something about global warming.

“So as you can see, our work, and our protests, may not have yet brought on the revolution many of us seek, but you are either very naive or lying if you think that our protests have accomplished nothing. After all, if we were accomplishing nothing, why would those who own this country send you pigs out to bust our heads so often when we are simply exercising our legal right to protest. Your bosses are scared of the people; that’s why they send you thugs out against us. We will continue our struggle, always reminded that your anger and disapproval are signs that we are doing something right. -Steven Argue of the Revolutionary Tendency”

The martyrs of Kent State and Jackson State didn’t ask to die. Yet, in their sacrifice they helped drive the U.S. imperialists out of Vietnam, ending the slaughter of millions and greatly improving the lives of the Vietnamese people. Likewise, they helped save the lives of American youth from continuing to be sacrificed in a war for corporate profit in Vietnam. The martyrs at Kent State were Jeffrey Miller (age 20), Allison Krause (age 19), William Schroeder (age 19), and Sandra Scheuer (age 20). The martyrs of Jackson State were Phillip Gibbs (age 21) and James Earl Green (age 17 and a student at a nearby high school).

Since the people’s victory in Vietnam, the world has suffered new Vietnams at the hands of U.S. imperialism. These include the U.S. war against the people of Iraq (1990-to present). This has been both a shooting war and a war of economic sanctions that has left nearly two million Iraqis dead. The U.S. war and occupation of Iraq continues with the brutal and corrupt U.S. imposed puppet governments in the central government as well as in Kurdish Iraq; Continued presence of U.S. troops and thousands of mercenaries (euphemistically called “private contractors”) paid for through U.S. tax dollars; and the continued profiteering of imperialist corporations that profit from the invasion, privatization, and corruption of the puppet governments.

Despite official propaganda, Obama continued that war against the Iraqi people when he came into office and he continues it to this day. Likewise, the Obama administration has troops fighting to prop-up the death squad governments of the Philippines and Colombia and troops fighting to prop-up the corrupt and anti-woman Karzai government in Afghanistan. Obama has also been involved in supporting coups that have overthrown the democratically elected governments of Honduras, the Maldives, and Paraguay. Obama was involved in giving military support for the overthrow of the government of Libya to impose a racist government that has carried out ethnic cleansing of Black Africans, but is friendlier to imperialist looting of oil resources. In Syria, Obama is presently giving military backing to similar murderously chauvinistic Muslim Brotherhood forces that are anti-Kurd, anti-Alawite, and anti-Christian. And, of course, U.S. imperialism continues to prop up many of the worst dictatorships in the world, including in Saudi Arabia and Bahrain while also giving billions of dollars every year in military aid to the murderously chauvinistic government of Israel. Obama has vowed to increase U.S. military aid to Israel. And anywhere people are Muslim and brown, Obama freely sends out drones to murder the entire families of people put on kill lists in extrajudicial executions.

U.S. imperialism is a system, not just the policy of one or another ruler “elected” under America’s undemocratic system which only allows candidates with massive capitalist backing to win. It is a system designed to defend and extend U.S. capitalist investments around the world, murdering anyone who gets in the way if they can get away with it. This system can only be abolished through smashing the capitalist state and the overthrow of the capitalist profit system in a proletarian revolution. The Revolutionary Tendency is committed to this goal of proletarian revolution. Join us.

This is an article of Liberation News, subscribe free
https://lists.riseup.net/www/info/liberation_news

To join discussion of the Revolutionary Tendency (no longer part of the SP) check us out on Facebook:
http://www.facebook.com/steven.argue.1?ref=tn_tnmn#!/groups/RevolutionaryTendency/

Also by this author see:

End U.S. Support for the Death Squad Government of the Philippines!
http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2013/03/12/18733511.php

End U.S. Imperialist Attacks on Liberated Syrian Kurdistan!
http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2013/03/03/18733059.php

Afghanistan: Misogynistic Hell Hole Made in the U.S.A.
http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2012/07/16/18717635.php

Why The Russian Revolution is Still Important
http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2012/03/03/18708611.php

Comments  (Hide Comments)

by Steven Argue
Saturday May 4th, 2013 9:22 AM

A cop with a t-shirt bragging, proud to beat us down. At the heart of the capitalist state are it's repressive cops, prisons, military, and courts of injustice. They are part of a system that cannot be reformed, but must be smashed in proletarian revolution.
by unchained
Saturday May 4th, 2013 1:45 PM
oinkers oinkers oinkers. oink bastards.
First, before republishing the story below, THE SINGLE LARGEST ACCOMPLISHMENT OF THE PEACE MOVEMENT OF THE 1960S AND 1970S WAS ENDING THE DRAFT WHICH HAS NOT BEEN RE-ACTIVATED YET. While it is true that the poor fight all wars, the primary driving force of all the protests against the US War Against Vietnam was the draft, as people who were not in college full time could be drafted, and often were. There were exceptions and deferments (political for people who joined socialist organizations and admitted it in a time when being openly socialist or communist was impossible in most of the USA as they were all on the Attorney General's subversive list; psychiatric if you were willing to state you were gay at a time when being gay was illegal and you could easily lose your job and home if you came out as gay; physical problems, among others.) When the draft ended in 1973, THAT WAS THE END OF MOST OF THE PROTESTS AGAINST THE US WAR AGAINST VIETNAM. Vietnam was finally liberated on April 30, 1975, and the US was a very different place in terms of social mores,distrust of the US government, and a weakened economy than before the phony Gulf of Tonkin incident of August 1964, which was the pretext for bombing North Vietnam and increasing grounds troops in South Vietnam. The Kent State and Jackson State shootings caused a reaction of a nationwide student strike of millions of college students. Governor Reagan in California closed all of the state universities for a few days in anticipation of a strike. For those of us who went to college in the 1960s and early 1970s, college was always associated with turmoil, even if we did not have daily tear gas on campus as UC Berkeley did, and find it strange that the campuses today are so quiet. Of course, they only appear quiet. The battle over the budget is a direct result of the existence of the war machine as we cannot have guns and butter.
From:
http://www.michaelmoore.com/words/mike-friends-blog/allison-stood-peace-against-vietnam-war-may-4-1970

Laurel Krause is the co-founder and director of the Kent State Truth Tribunal. Her sister Allison Krause was killed at Kent State University on May 4th, 1970.
May 3rd, 2013 2:03 PM
Allison Stood for PEACE & Against the Vietnam War on May 4, 1970

By Laurel Krause

Allison Beth Krause, my sister, was one of four students killed in the May 4th Kent State Massacre. On May 4, 1970 joining millions of young Americans, Allison stood for peace and against the Vietnam War. Allison protested against the military occupation of her Kent State University campus. More than 40 years later, emerging evidence indicates Allison was gunned down for taking her peaceful stance against President Nixon’s announcement of the Vietnam War’s Invasion of Cambodia. Kent State was a coup for American masters of war. http://bit.ly/11dOuB0

The Kent State Truth Tribunal (KSTT) was founded in 2010 upon the emergence of new forensic evidence regarding the May 4, 1970 Kent State Massacre. The new evidence consisted of a tape recorded by a Kent State student during the shootings. Though the original tape, known as the Kent State Strubbe tape, was destroyed by the FBI in 1979, a bonafide copy of the tape was located in 2007 and was analyzed in 2010 by internationally accredited forensic expert Stuart Allen. The analysis, derived using state-of-the-art technology not available in prior investigations into Kent State, demonstrated that there was a ‘command to fire’ at the student protesters. Moreover, the enhanced tape identified four pistol shots fired 70 seconds before the command as coming from a FBI informant’s pistol to create the ‘sound of sniper fire.’ Although the U.S. Department of Justice received this new evidence in 2010, the Department refused to examine the tape. http://bit.ly/IOvOO7

Now going on 43 years, truth at Kent State and Jackson State continue to be censored, thwarted and obfuscated. Yet just recently on April 3, 2013, Kent State made it to United Nations, Human Rights Committee in the posting of KSTT’s submission. At the United Nations, every five years participating countries must go before the High Commissioner of the Human Rights Committee to answer submitted questions. On a related note, the UN HRC’s ‘List of Issues’ includes questions on police brutality and excessive use of force. http://bit.ly/WQpjUP

Cycling back to our initial efforts, in May 2010 Emily Kunstler, an award-winning filmmaker and daughter of Bill Kunstler, and I organized a first tribunal of three in Kent, Ohio at the 40th anniversary with a goal to honor, record and preserve truth from Kent State witnesses, participants and those meaningfully-involved. Please WATCH http://TruthTribunal.org/testimonials with more than 70 more KSTT testimonials awaiting final edit and production.

Truths Uncovered by the Kent State Truth Tribunal:

1) Even before President Nixon announced the Cambodian Invasion on April 30, 1970, Ohio National Guardsmen were arriving at Kent State University directly from an Akron wildcat strike, continuing as ‘federalized’ guardsmen at the command of the US federal government.

2) From research on Kent State and Jackson State, we now see they were domestic, stateside military battles planned and orchestrated before the Cambodian Invasion announcement and as part of the overall action to slaughter student anti-war protest yet also bringing the Vietnam War home.

3) As a result of Kent State and Jackson State, American Leadership inoculated more than a generation with post-traumatic stress disorder as young Americans protested the war, experienced the grief of the massacres firsthand, believing ‘it could have been them.’

4) The FBI’s use of snipers in creating violent scenarios against American protesters is still being utilized in 2013, prompting the need for a formal examination of FBI activities, files involving sniper practices and the targeting of American protesters. See Jason Leopold’s article on FOIA FBI files re Occupy. http://bit.ly/RWuIto

5) Kent State was planned, executed & covered-up by American Leadership, also stonewalling every attempt for a credible, independent investigation into May 4th. In 2013 the government-instituted Kent State cover-up remains fully intact.

Yet KSTT efforts to uncover truth at Kent State revved up last summer with an invitation from Project Censored to write a chapter in ‘Censored 2013′ to uncensor the ‘unhistory’ of the Kent State Massacre while also aiming toward justice and healing: Was Kent State About Civil Rights or Murdering Student Protesters? http://bit.ly/RQNUWC

All harmed by Kent State remain thwarted from obtaining access to meaningful redress. Failure to ensure justice and accountability has set a precedent that the U.S. may continue to harass, abuse and even kill protesters. Ten days after Kent State, two Jackson State University students were murdered by state police. American authorities pointed to ‘snipers’ prompting military gunfire at student protesters, just like Kent State. http://bit.ly/UGhRJb

Unfortunately suppression of peaceful assembly in America continues and is growing in brute, violent force. Since the ‘Occupy’ movement began in 2011, protestors have been labeled ‘domestic terrorists’ and arrested in massive numbers for peaceful protests and assemblies. Scott Olsen nearly died protesting at #OccupyOakland.

Until the U.S. conducts a new investigation into the Kent State Massacre, and provides redress for victims and their families, American protesters will be at risk of being deprived of their fundamental rights without accountability. http://bit.ly/10xZebQ

The wrongs of Kent State continue to be whitewashed. At Kent State on May 4, 2013, authorities will focus on dedicating a $1.1 million visitor center at Kent State that does not include the new Kent State evidence, government involvement at May 4th nor any mention of the Kent State FBI sniper provocateur, Terry Norman. Organizers have invited Oliver Stone, Bill Ayers, Tom Hayden and many others to ‘dedicate’ a monument to keep the cover-up intact. Truth uncovered by the Kent State Truth Tribunal has found no home in the Visitor Center. http://bit.ly/TzxBdt

Let’s break this miscarriage of justice wide open, especially as America’s might and brute force delivered and condoned in May 1970 is now clearly on the horizon again.

There’s a Chance Peace Will Come http://bit.ly/10FzDOa

On May 3, 1970 Allison Krause offered, “What’s the matter with peace? Flowers are better than bullets.”

Kent State Truth Tribunal
http://TruthTribunal.org/
by Steven Argue
Monday May 6th, 2013 7:12 AM
As I pointed out in my article, the anti-war movement of the 1960s and 1970s helped bring on the rebellion of U.S. soldiers in Vietnam which helped bring the liberation of Vietnam, ending the U.S. imperialist slaughter of millions of people and ending the U.S. imposed capitalist dictatorships of South Vietnam. It also buoyed the movements for women's liberation, Gay and Lesbian liberation, and for the environment in the United States. Around the world the victory in Vietnam helped inspire others to throw of the shackles of U.S. imposed capitalist dictatorships, as happened in Nicaragua in 1979. The Vietnamese victory also gave countries like Cuba breathing space from the attacks by U.S. imperialism. These were all incredible gains, but far short of stopping the murderous wars of U.S. imperialism. Likewise, ending the draft hasn't stopped the the blood thirsty U.S. imperialists from murdering millions since Vietnam. While I'd agree that ending the draft was also a gain of that movement, I'd say it was one of several.
by Steven Argue
Monday May 6th, 2013 10:51 AM
I do, of course, go into a lot more detail on those points in my article, which you seemed to disagree with by putting in caps that the single most important gain of the "peace" movement was ending the draft.

Ending the draft, while being an important gain of the movement against the U.S. imperialist war in Vietnam, has done little to stop the U.S. imperialist system from continuing wage war against the people of the world and continue to murder human beings on a massive scale. If one depends only on the corporate news, the only casualties in Iraq were U.S. and other "coalition" soldiers. Little is said of the over one million Iraqis who died as a result of that invasion. While it is good that draft aged youth are not presently threatened with being sent off to murder for Uncle Sam, the fact that the crimes carried out by U.S. imperialism are done by a volunteer army rather than by draftees probably offers no consolation for the primary victims of U.S. imperialism.