The poster above called for a student strike on May 4, 1970. Students across the United States protested in response to President Richard Nixon’s bombing of Cambodia. The most infamous of these protests was at Kent State University where four students were shot and killed.
Guitarist Joe Walsh, a Kent State alum, remembers the day well and has some thoughts about how it applies to a country that remains as divided today as it was 50 years ago:
“Today is May 4th and it marks 50 years since the shooting at Kent State University. Those of us who were there remember that day graphically, when our classmates, our friends, got shot down. We were naive young people who had left our parents nest and were just starting our lives by going to college and furthering our education. And we were peacefully demonstrating but because of a total dysfunctional authority trying to handle a situation they didn’t understand, it mutated into elevated emotions and anger, chaos and fear escalated into violence. It was a long time ago but the reason it is so important and should be remembered is because history repeats itself – and we are as divided as a country now as we were then – and people demonstrating have no chance against people with guns. The solution then, as it is now, is to be able to peacefully assemble and understand each other and accept our differences, without fear, without hatred, without violence.” — Joe Walsh
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