Soldiers in the Streets

Protests in Ferguson, MO - August 13, 2014

This week has been hard to watch unfold on TV, much harder for people in Ferguson, Missouri , and horrible for the Brown family who had their son  executed on the streets of their hometown.

I am including a video for all to see of the urban violence that has transpired. Don’t get me wrong, I know and respect the need we all have of police protection, that thin blue line between all of us and the violence and  chaos that is obviously a reality none of us wants to see or even imagine.  But I am against the militarization of police that has happened since 9/11. We have heard that  equipment from the military has been sold to local police departments.  This week we saw it and it was horrible.

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Has this happened before, you might ask?  Sadly it has with rioting in the streets in places like Watts of Los Angeles , and Chicago during the Democrat Convention of 1968.  There were horrible pictures of the police using sticks and dogs to  contain the anti-Viet Nam protesters.  The later is  the comparison I want to share with you .

This time, the late 1960s and early 1970s  in the country was also very divided politically  with the divisor being the Vietnam  War. President Nixon choose to expand  the war after years of  national  disagreement, by ordering the American troops to invade Cambodia , the neighbor of Vietnam .  The explanation given to  the country  was that there would be a domino affect in Southeast Asia of countries  falling into Communism if we didn’t prevent it. Thus the invasion began.   There were very strong demonstrations in the country, with the strongest on college campuses.  After all there was a “draft ” during this time, not a volunteer army.  The college students would be the  ones drafted to serve.

On May 4, 1970, there was an Ohio shooting of unarmed college students at Kent State  by the Ohio National Guard. 67 rounds were shot into the crowd in 13 seconds, killing 4 students and wounding 9 others. One was permanently paralyzed.  Here are the iconic images etched in the minds of everyone old enough to remember!

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National Guard at Kent State

There was an immediate, significant response to this event as hundreds of colleges, universities, and even high schools  were closed because of the 4 million student lead strikes.  This event further affected the public’s opinion about the role of the United States in the Vietnam War.

My husband was at the University of Virginia in Grad School during this time. Mr. Jefferson’s university in Charlottesville.   We saw with our own eyes National Guard tanks parked at U-Hall, the basketball hall. I guess this was the staging area.  There was a curfew and it was strictly enforced.  A pizza delivery man was arrested for  breaking the curfew as he delivered his pies.

On May 5th, we were on the lawn of the Rotunda, the heart of the University as  speakers using bullhorns, lead protests of the war, President Nixon’s invasion of Cambodia on April 30th, and the killings the day before at Kent State.  Mr. Jefferson had to be smiling.

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I remember the confusion and fear that enveloped people in 1970.  I feel it again now.  Here is  John Oliver humor and horror of Ferguson.  What has happened to our country?  We must have the wisdom for a   redo. . . ensuring “liberty and justice for all!”  Lord have mercy!

Is the  United States of America  a country with a culture  of war as one of my WordPress friends says?  

About annetbell

I am a retired elementary teacher, well seasoned world traveler,new blogger, grandmother, and a new enthusiastic discoverer of the wonderfully complex country of India. Anne
This entry was posted in Uncategorized, USA and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

11 Responses to Soldiers in the Streets

  1. shaunynews says:

    100% America is a War country. They sell War. They manipulate tension all over the World so they can sell War and be part of war. Why? So Halliburton the War Machine can make the people in Power money. Make no mistake, Bush and his friends, through the Carlyle group, Halliburton and the ‘Bin Laden Corp’ (Yes the family of Osama Bin Laden) made BILLIONS. With Bush Sr doing the deals. Go search, it is ALL there.

    Anne this is a FANTASTIC blog from a great friend who can see a World unfolding that is kinda Alien to her. I admire your open mind, I admire how you don’t quickly or blindly believe, you go and research, same as I do. If only everyone did this, maybe the USA would change.

    People ask why I blog about the USA. The facts are if the USA Fart, the World smells it, if the USA gets a cold, the World gets ill. People must be aware of this. But also that the world is slowly turning away from the USA for this very reason. Iraq, Libya and Iran stopped trading Oil in the ‘PertroDollar’ we know what happened there. Russia stopped and look what happened. Go look, Ukrainians say they heard American voices in the very start. China stropped also and have experienced terrorist attacks.

    How stupid does a person have to be to not be able to put 2 +2 together to get 4?
    Many get 5

    Great, super article here Anne, 10/10, love it…

    Your pal
    Shaun

    Like

  2. Dr. Rex says:

    Reblogged this on It Is What It Is and commented:
    I remember Vietnam, I remember Jent state, I remember Watts, LA and Rodney King …. Now Ferguson. Seems we never learn & are “condemned” to repeat history. Where does it stop! Reblog ….

    Like

  3. Don Ostertag says:

    Great article, Anne. I remember only too well.
    I have often thought that the two invasions that have gone on longer than any other wars in our history, would have been stopped a long time ago, maybe never even happened, if we still had the draft. We would have protests just like we did in the 60’s.
    And as far as what is happening in Ferguson… I was stationed in the South during the start of the Civil Rights movement. I don’t think the people of all colors who fought for Civil Rights in our country envisioned the length and violence of the Movement, and certainly would not approve of what continues to happen in the name of justice. We have troops in other countries to ‘protect’ the civil rights of the population and yet in our own country…
    Apocalypse Now: ‘The Horror! The Horror!’

    Like

  4. Reblogged this on Amaruvi's Aphorisms and commented:
    A sad spectacle concerning America. Furguson will long be remembered for the dirt value it has brought upon the USA. A great country going down the drain in this manner that too in this century is a sad spectacle.
    I still remember the JFK speech on Civil Rights when a student was not allowed admission into an University. He had to call the Federal Forces to ensure normalcy. After 50 years we are back to where JFK left us.

    Like

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