Todays images are in honor of the four Kent State students (Allison Krause, Jeffrey Miller, William Schroeder, Sandra, Scheuer) shot down by the National Guard during a protest against the VietNam war, 44 years ago, on May 4th, 1970.
I remember this day very well. I was a senior at Ridley High School in the suburbs of Philadelphia, sitting in study hall, when another student came in and told everyone what had happened. Even though I had been against the war for almost a couple of years by then (the 1968 Democratic Convention in Chicago & Ramparts magazine being major influences), my first reaction was disbelief. How could this have happened? In the next couple of years I would attend anti-war marches in Philly, one in DC in April '71 attended by 500,000 people, and here in Boulder when Nixon escalated the bombing and mined the harbors in North VietNam.
Last summer, on my way back home from a 2 month trip back east, I made a point of stopping in Kent, Ohio to visit the site of the shootings. The first 5 images above are from the May 4th Memorial Visitors Center, which features a fantastic collection of artifacts from that time, including newspapers, albums, clips of TV shows, as well as displays documenting the nationwide protests against the war in VietNam and detailed accounts of the protests on the Kent State campus in the days leading up to the shootings. A small theater in the Center also shows a video giving a minute by minute account of the shootings on May 4th, 1970. The last picture, I took while walking around the "Commons", where the shootings took place, a very eerie and moving experience.
If you are traveling back east near Kent, Ohio, a visit to the campus is well worth the time! Also check out the May 4th Memorial web site.
The Kent State Truth Tribunal, founded by the family of Allison Krause, one of the students killed, works to establish a clear record of that day's events and in their words, seek a "restorative justice that comes from collective sharing and healing."
Happy May Day! Celebrated throughout most of the world as International Workers Day, the holiday's American roots are often overlooked and here in the US the day itself is mostly ignored.
Originating in Chicago in 1886 as part of the fight for an 8 hour work day, by 1890 it had become an internationally recognized event and a national holiday in 80 countries. You can read more about the history of International Workers Day HERE.
The photographs above are from a variety of union actions from the last couple of years including a Denver rally in support of workers in Wisconsin and a march for the rights of custodial workers at Denver's Auraria Higher Education Center.
Go to the Unions/Workers Rights page for more images of union actions.