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(en) US, The Aftermath of May 4th Kent State Action

From Shaun Godwin <fighttowin@email.com>
Date Mon, 5 May 2003 12:21:27 +0200 (CEST)

A - I N F O S N E W S S E R V I C E

The action was attacked in what I would call the most aggressive and
ferocious attack on a demo I've seen in a long long time. For a
march of only a couple hundred tops, the Kent cops had a helicopter,
at least a hundred riot gear clad cops, and at least one undercover
who fucked up real bad and made his presence real obvious. They just
did not want kent state or the city of kent to be a place where
dissent could be heard. So here's the word as I understand it now.
12 arrests who are being charged with 4th degree misdemeanors (at
least that's what people at the police station were told) 5 arrestees
are already out as I write this. So money will be a need to help
offset the bail costs etc. 2 out-of-State arrestees are being
charged an asinine amount of money $2500 just to get out.

If you can help, MAKE CHECKS PAYABLE TO MOLLY GENA. She is the woman
who is fronting a ton of money right now and will cash the checks.
The money will then go into a legal fund, from which she will be paid
back eventually by the Legal Group which has started and maintains
the fund. Unfortunately making checks out to "Cash" will
no longer work.

Mail donations to:

Legal Fund
P.O. Box 27376
Cleveland, OH 44127

Feel free to forward this.

Legal Team
Burning River Anarchist Collective.


May 4th unpermitted march update
by L.Ross 9:47pm Sun May 4 '03 (Modified on 10:21pm Sun May 4 '03)
Using the area's infamous drum machine as a stage we are presented
with words from: Jello Biafra, Vikki Lovegren, Art Mckoy (Black on
Black crime committee), Lee (NION), Laura (NION).
The speakers have spoken and the march begins, leaving Manchester
Field. Through the campus to the memorial area, stopping to remember
the four casualties, reading a piece of prose at each memorial.
Helicopter hovers all day. Police with video cameras with the march
the whole way.
The march continues through the campus. Before spilling into Main st.
a white van in a parking lot with a large megaphone mounted on top of
the vehicle was used by the 'officer in charge' as a soundsystem to
give the order DO NOT GO INTO THE STREET you may be subject to arrest
if you enter the streets. The majority of the march had already past
this location. VERY few people were within range to hear this. The
officer giving the order was at least 1/2 a football field away from
the march to begin with, not to forget when we march we chant, and we
chant loud.
The march spilled into Main St., past Wilson St., past Sherman St. -
on Sherman St. a State Trooper blocked the way - behind him was a van
and bus of police suiting up in riot gear. Continuing a short ways
further at E.Main and University if you were standing on Main St. you
would see the line of riot police closing in both directions.
This is the point the march moved off the street onto the sidewalk.
The police began arresting what appeared to be anyone within reach
who was an easy picking. On one arrest made I saw an officer point to
him before a group of officers went in to grab him from the crowd.
Similar tactic to what I've recently learned from a wonderful
workshop(wink) as a 'Snatch Squad'.
There was a situation with an undercover/narc officer in the grassy
area away from the street and away from his buddies in blue. This
officer became useless once identified and fled from the crowd taking
no 'prize' with him.
On several occasions I witnessed the police blocking camera lens with
their hands. This would occur near the street at an arrest scene. The
corporate media was positioned mostly behind the police line. It is
said one person with a video camera was arrested. He was unable to
hand off his equipment.
11 arrests were made. All male. From all areas, Cleveland,
Pittsburgh, Columbus...Varity of arrestees, older,
younger,wearing a face cover, uncovered faces, people sitting down,
people standing....
The march made it's way back to the memorial area - in silence and
shock of the injustice that had just occurred. Keeping with
solidarity a womyn was on a megaphone trying to keep everyone
together on the walk back, as it was dangerous to be alone.
At the memorial area the police gave an order to leave the campus,
those that live on campus "are free to go home". If the
crowd did not leave in ten minutes arrests would be made.
Most persons left. Most then went to the jail.
Later those that did stay added one more arrest making it a
even dozen arrested today. (as of 8:00pm)
At the jail the only information obtained is talk of a 4th degree
misdemeanor. This is all I have to report.
At the jail persons began using sidewalk chalk to write things like
fascist police, PEACE, body outlines... the police came out of there
station to tell us we can not 'damage property' or 'vandalize' or we
would be arrested. So some went and got poster board and made signs
that said, Honk against police brutality, Honk if you hate pigs, 2
others also. Lots of honking from the roadway. Lots of peace signs
out the windows.
A police car parked across the police station to observe.
About 30 persons where in front of the police station showing support
for their comrades when I left.

Kent State May 4 Protest Defies Repression, Suffers Arrests
by Carwil James Sunday May 04, 2003 at 06:53 PM

Defying a university and city refusal to grant a permit, 300-600
people honored the memory of those shot on May 4, 1970, by continuing
to demand an end to global war. Hundreds of police blocked the march
from entering downtown, arresting at least 6.
As the official commemoration for the 4 students shot dead by the
National Guard on May 4, 1970 was winding down there was a rhythm in
the background: half a dozen people pounding out a beat on a 7 foot
high "drum machine" calling people together to protest the
war and to defy university and city attempts to ban ant-war dissent
from the day in Kent.
And they gathered by the hundreds: students from as far away as
Chicago and Lansing; those who had lost friends in 1970 who are still
resisting war by the American empire; and people of all ages from the
Kent[, Ohio] community. Spoken word performer Jello Biafra and a Kent
peace activist who spent her weeks before the war visiting Iraq
addressed the gathering crowd, before organizers turned to the issues
of the day: ending the occupation, reclaiming free speech, and
honoring the dead of the 1970 student strike at Kent State and
Jackson State.
Four poets offered pieces challenging war and calling for people to
rise up at the final living place of the four students who were
felled by Federal bullets 33 years ago. And then the march was off:
winding its way around campus, often led by Black and Red blocks of
anti-capitalists and shouting to all the world that the movement to
end the Iraqi people is alive and well in northeast Ohio. They
shouted for peace, they shouted for democracy, they shouted:
"Bush, you liar: your cowboy ass is fired!"
As the march turned onto the main road outside campus, police
bullhorns were met with a louder cry from the crowd: "Whose
streets? Our streets." And for a brief time they were. Far more
than on campus, the march was greeted by waves, peace signs and
smiles from fast food workers and people on their front porches. The
police waited behind vans on the side streets and assembled a line in
riot gear ahead of the march.
The crowd veered left, towards campus, as they approached the police
line, coming filling in on the sidewalk as if to outflank. But then
the first snatch occurred. Police ran in and grabbed an African
American man known for anti-police brutality work in Cleveland. With
everyone on sidewalks or the campus lawn, and cries of
"shame" in the air, arbitrary arrests continued on the
sides of the group. Scores of police pressed in from two sides.
An uneven retreat coalesced into a march back to the site of the May
4 killings. There the police helicopter flew low and buzzed the
crowd, sending dirt flying our way as we gathered to regroup. Even
there, in the middle of campus a dispersal order was issued. Two
marches led to the edge of campus, escape, and waiting buses, cars
and homes. Some joined Jello Biafra's gathering audience, while packs
of riot police roved campus.
All tolled at least six people were arrested perhaps more. The words
of protesters on the once-bloodied ground sum it up best: "May
4, 2003: Still killing democracy."

May 4th Protest and Arrests, Commemoration at Kent State: Quick
About 7 people were arrested as a spirited anti-war march tried to
leave the Kent State campus and head downtown, much like they did
last year with not much trouble. There were about three hundred
marchers boxed in by about a hundred police, in full Robocop regalia,
a State Police helicopter circling overhead.

It looked like a mixed collection of arrestees; I think I counted 7
people, most arrested in a fray back on campus after the march had
already been blocked from going downtown. The police appeared to have
arrested several older people, not exactly the vanguards of street
action. I was told a couple was sitting on the grass, not a part of
any group. It looks like the police were out to make arrests for the
same reason a dog licks his dick, "because he can". Don't
know yet what the charges are.

There were two gatherings this May 4th, the conventional May 4th Task
Force 1970 shootings commemoration, and the following anti-war rally,
a Not In Our Name Youth regional convergence.

The May 4th Commemoration always focuses on the casualties of the
1970 uprising, principally the four dead students. This year it
focused more than usual on current events because the overarching
presence of the Iraq War and all the striking parallels between the
Iraq War and the Vietnam War. There were about 3 to 4 hundred people
scattered about the Commons at Kent State. Older people were heavily
represented in the crowd, a function of the day falling on a weekend
when many students were gone from campus and many older people did
not have to work.

The words of truth and wisdom by several fine speakers were marred
for me by the loathsome presence of Kent State University President
Carol Cartwright, who was allowed to give an introduction to the
speech by the President of Jackson State University. Cartwright was
in charge this week when the KSU administration suddenly yanked the
permits for the May 3 meeting and the May 4th antiwar convergence.

It's a fact that the powers-that-be would prefer that all opposition
to their rule take place in a closet with the lights out. It's an old
trick to cite nameless fears of trouble to cancel a permit and
another old trick to wait until the last minute to do it so the
oppositional forces have no time to respond.

The May 4th Task Force should have given Cartwright the boot. It is
no tribute to the people who were fighting for free speech and
stopping the war in 1970 to allow as an honored presence on the
podium a person who has acted in 2003 to suppress people trying to
stop another war of aggression. It was just plain disgusting to hear
her hailed by the Task Force as a person who had improved the
atmosphere on campus. They should be ashamed of themselves.

The second gathering, the one Cartwright had tried to stop, took
place anyway afterward on Manchester Field. There was no permit, but
so what!

About three hundred people showed up. It was a life-filled and
positive celebration of the anti-war sentiments of people of all ages
from all over the region. People shared food, renewed old
acquaintances, listened to drumming and spirited and
"rabblerousing" speakers before heading off on a protest
march against the Iraq invasion and the ruling class that wages such

Flags were flying and drums were drumming. The anarchist group had
black flags and black masks. The blue earth flag NION uses was
waving. The red flag of the working class was hoisted by several
marchers. I didn't see a single stars-and-stripes. The helicopter was
hovering overhead.

Marchers stopped and read poetry over the 4 spots where students had
been murdered in 1970, and then regrouped and headed towards
downtown. As they were leaving campus, the police loudspeakers began
warning of pending arrest if people did not get off the street. The
march continued on the street. A few blocks later, the cops spilled
into view from in front, behind and on both sides of the march. The
cops tied up traffic for blocks.

Under the Nuremburg War Crimes precedents, citizens of a country
involved in the international crime of Waging Aggressive War have an
unbounded duty to oppose that war which is superior to any laws or
regulations of the aggressive power. It is a crime to interfere with
their efforts. The police turned this High Law on its head and moved
in to suppress the protest. The arrests I wrote about above

Later that afternoon a platoon of cops again in full riot regalia
showed up at a completely authorized Spoken Word performance at the
KSU Kiva where Jello Biafra was to perform and swept away a small
group waiting to get in. A squad then intruded into the Kiva and
stood menacingly in the aisle. This was absolutely uncalled for. The
demonstration was clearly over. But when such displays become routine
people soon learn not to be intimidated.

The Kent State administration appears to have learned nothing from
the events of 1970 and has decided to be obvious little lap-dogs of
the super-rich right wing war making masters. But the struggle of the
people goes on.....

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