Friday, May 4, 2012

Kent State

Troops roll through Kent St. May 4, 1970
42 years ago today, following Nixon's invasion of Cambodia, National Guard troops fired on peaceful student anti-war protesters at Kent State University, killing four and wounding nine. We had become, as the Presidential Commission on Campus Unrest put it, “a nation driven to use the weapons of war upon its youth.”

Today, as survivors of the Kent State massacre call for a new investigation into the shootings, the drums of war are beating again with Chicago the focus of another gathering storm.  Rahm Emanuel, with little more in mind that filling the hotels of his friends and cronies, has invited the war makers to town for their NATO summit. Once more, thousands are expected to take part in peaceful protests. As they did 42 years ago, the government is preparing to meet these protests with violence.

By next week, the downtown area of Chicago will be under virtual martial law. Thousands of heavily-armed federal troops and police are being massed against the demonstrators. Constitutional rights are being suspended. They're talking about special prisons being opened to hold thousands of protesters. Warnings have gone out that any civilian aircraft caught in the "no-fly zone" will be shot down. Downtown businesses, supposedly the beneficiaries of Rahm's great scheme, will be sealed off and put out of business during the Summit.

The cost for all this will amount to hundreds of millions of dollars

No nation can make war on others without ultimately making war on its own people. Something to consider as we reflect back on the Kent State massacre.

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