Saturday, May 2, 2009

Kent State Redux

When a drunken crowd of 400 Kent State University students got out of control last week during a "college fest," police responded with rubber bullets and pepper spray. Sixty students were arrested. It brought back unpleasant memories for a friend who, at the age of 15, was on campus 39 years ago Monday when National Guardsmen opened fire during an antiwar demonstration. Authorities are understandably defensive:
The University for its part said in a statement that they were “disappointed in the events that have occurred” and described student behavior “inexcusable.”

Police were aware of the event and say that they were better prepared for the festivities, with Kent Police Chief James Peach saying the police response was “excellent.” The incident was the first clash between Kent State authorities and students since four students were killed by the Ohio National Guard during a campus-wide protest of the invasion of Cambodia.

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