Thursday, May 4, 2017

Where Were You, May 4, 1970?

Image may contain: one or more people, people walking and outdoor
Today, May 4, is infamously the anniversary of that bloody day in 1970 when the Ohio National guard opened fire on a gathering of protesting students at a small, obscure state school in Ohio called Kent State University, killing four and wounding a half-dozen more, with random fire from more than 100 yards from the demonstrations. No one was ever punished or even held accountable for the murders.
Every year, on this date, the Oligarchs haul out the images from that event to remind us that, yes, they will kill ya, if you piss 'em off enough, even if you're white.
May 4, 1970: I had just turned 24, was a student/veteran activist at UNM...There was a lot of tension on campuses that Spring, and UNM was seething, too.
The week before had come the announcements of the Cambodian incursion/invasion. USer body counts were in the hundreds every week and had been for several YEARS. The draft lottery loomed. Then the four students at Kent State were murdered, and several others were wounded, in a public demonstration by the RMNixon regime that their tolerance had been breached.
Events at UNM escalated, that week, too.
There were multiple demonstrations. The cops had come out once or twice. There were altercations near the campus. The President's Office was besieged, and students took over the Student Union Building. Classes were suspended. 
On Friday that week, May, 8, the NM National Guard got orders to "retake" the UNM campus from "radicals." They fixed bayonets and cleared the Plaza. Their rifles were unloaded, but the bayonets were unsheathed.
A dozen students were bayoneted that day, May 8, in and around the UNM Student Union Building Plaza. You could smell the blood. I was standing near one kid WHEN he was stabbed in the leg and his femoral artery was nicked. Another vet and I got a tourniquet on it and evac'ed him to an aid tent over by Johnson Gym--past ranks of Burque's "good burghers" who had come out to watch the fuckin' dirty hippies get their asses kicked, cursed and spat at us...Some radio station spread the news, as I recall.
My esteem for 'average Americans' did not survive that encounter and subsequent events of the almost 50 intervening years have not restored it.