Almost 44 years after Ohio National Guardsmen fired into a crowd of unarmed Kent State students protesting the Vietnam War, killing four, wounding nine and galvanizing anti-war protests nationwide; four years after newly uncovered forensic evidence refuted the longtime government claim the Guard’s actions were prompted by a sniper but no command-to-fire; and two years after the Justice Department declined to reopen the case, despite that evidence, citing “insurmountable legal and evidentiary barriers” – a claim critics called “beyond ludicrous” – the Kent State Truth Tribunal is traveling to Geneva next week to the 25th Session of the UN Human Rights Committee to seek justice for the victims of Kent State. Arguing that the stunning events at Kent State continue to represent “a glaring example of government impunity….when lawful protest was pushed into the realm of massacre,” tribunal members want a credible, impartial investigation of U.S. government complicity – likely including the FBI and COINTELPRO – in the killing of peaceful protesters, or at the very least an acknowledgement the government has failed to hold any agency responsible. They cite ongoing examples of the same lack of accountability, often despite egregious abuses: the growing militarization of police forces, the violent suppression of protesters and the Occupy movement, the recent revelations of FBI surveillance of 1960s anti-war activists, the omnipresent, probably illegal abuses of the NSA. With video, photos and remembrances of that chilling day.
“Allison stood for peace and died for peace. May no other protestor in the U.S. ever have to pay the price she paid for her peaceful political expression and dissent.”- Tribunal founder Laurel Krause, sister of 19-year-old Allison Krause, killed “by U.S. bullets” while protesting U.S. miltary violence.