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October 06, 1970 - Image 7

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1970-10-06

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Tuesday, October 6, 1970


Page Seven

Tuesday. October 6, 1970 THE MICHIGAN DAILY Page Seven

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hits students,

Guard at Kent

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Exposing G.M.-University complicity
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dential task force has denounced
the Ohio National Guard's fatal
shooting of four students and
wounding of nine others at Kent
State University last May 4 as
"unnecessary, unwarranted and
the Commission on Campus
Unrest condemned the violent
actions, of some students, term-
ing them intolerable, but said
the confrontation "was not a
danger which called for lethal
The judgments were contained
in a 22,500-word investigative
report, released Sunday night,
which focused exclusively on the
Kent State incident.
"The . . . tragedy must surely
mark the last time that loaded
rifles are issued as a matter of
course to guardsmen confront-
ing student demonstrators," de-
clared the panel.
In Ohio, Gov. James A. Rho-
des, Kent State President Rob-
ert I. White and Adjutant Gen.
Sylvester T. Del Corso of the
Ohio National Guard all de-
clined comment.
They noted they are under
court order not to discuss the
issue until a state grand jury
finishes hearings.
Meanwhile, in Kent, one of
the nine Kent State University

students wounded when four
others were killed May 4 in a
confrontation with Ohio Nation-
al Guardsmen said today the re-
port on the KSU violence by the
President's Commission on Cam-
pus Unrest was "too general."
"The report wasn't specific
enough," said Dean Kahler, of
East Canton. "They generalized
incidents that occurred during
four days and made it sound
like they all happened May 4."
His comments were among the
varied reaction that came from
the Kent State campus to the
commission report.
Kahler, 20, has been paralyzed
from the waist down and con-
fined to a wheel chair since the
shooting. He said he was "only
a spectator" at the demonstra-
tion where the shooting took
place. He is not enrolled at KSU
for fall quarter, but says ne
plans to return next quarter.
Another s t u d e nt, Debbie
Jones, a sophomore, said:
"Burning the ROTC building
and looting downtown had no
bearing on shooting people."
"I don't see how you can
blame one group of people for
what someone else did," said
Jean Whitehill, a freshman.
But James Macek, a soph-
omore, agreed with the commis-
sion, saying "The students who
burned the ROTC building de-
finitely brought the National
Guard on campus and had they
not been there, there would have
been no incident. They all share
the responsibility."
A commission recommenda-
tion that loaded rifles should not
be issued "as a matter of course
of Guardsmen confronting stu-
dent demonstrators," was favor-
ed by Janet Patrick, a soph-
"They don't need loaded guns
on campus," she declared. But
Laura Patrick, a junior, said
she thought the situation on
campus should d e t e r m in e
whether loaded rifles should be
"The National Guard's job is
to protect," said Miss Whitehill,
"and I can't see how they can
protect without guns." She add-
ed, however, "The Guard needs
to be trained as to when they
should use the weapons."
One student who declined to
give his name said that stu-
dents will start carrying loaded
guns if the Guard comes back
on campus with loaded rifles.
The report represented the
completion of the commission's
three-month probe into violence
on the nation's campuses.
General recommendations were

day on the shooting deaths of
two students at Jackson State
College, also termed unjustified.
The Kent State report said
the Guard had committed "a
serious error" in attempting to
disperse what was, at first, a
peaceful gathering.
The subsequent burst of 61,
shots within a 13-second period,
without any apparent order to
open fire, "cannot be justified,"
the commission said.
The report rejected claims of
sniper fire.1
In hundreds of interviews,

Commission Chairman William
W. Scranton, former Republican
governor of Pennsylvania, said:
"Those who wreaked havoc
on the town of Kent, those who
burned the ROTC building,
those who attacked and stoned
National Guardsmen, and all
those who urged them on and
applauded their deeds, share the
responsibility for the death and
injuries of May 4.
"Violence by students on or
off the campus can never be
justified by any grievance, phi-
losophy, or political idea," he

75 yards away when the firing
-The specific student assem-
bly in a legitimately busy cam-
pus area which prompted the
guard action was peaceful at the
-The guard itself became the
transcendent issue, and it never
did disperse the crowd as it set
out to do.
-Nothing was found to suggest
that SDS, Students for a Demo-
cratic Society, had a hand in
the disturbances. However, FBI
information indicates the burn-
ing of the ROTC building Sat-
urday night may have been
planned since, "railroad flares,
a machete, and ice picks are not
customarily carried to peaceful
rallies." Also "a significant pro-
portion" of those at the burning
were not Kent State students.
-There was no evidence to
suggest drug use among demon-
strators. Only one marijuana
cigarette was found - in a
pocket of someone else's jacket
used to cover a shooting victim.
The 61 shots were fired from
M-1 30-caliber high velocity
rifles, a shotgun and two 45-
caliber pistols in 13 seconds at
about 12:45 p.m., hitting the
13 students.
-The nearest students wound-
ed, two of them, were 20 yards
from the guardsmen. The near-
est killed, Jeff Miller, was 85
to 90 yards away. All told, 11
of the 13 were from 76 to 250
yards away. Dean Kahler, 100
yards away, was prone when he
was- hit in the left side of the
small of his back. Kahler was
paralyzed from the waist down.
-Guardsmen had bullets in
the chambers of their weapons
"loaded and locked" from the
moment they stepped on cam-
pus Saturday night. All that
was needed to fire was a finger
..flick of a switch near the trig-
ger. Twice before in the 35.
hours before the shooting,
Guard detachments had knelt
and leveled their rifles without
En route to it conclusions,
the report reflected the confus-
ion, the emotions, the rumors
and flared tempers that so heav-
ily influenced the event sur-
rounding the tragedy.
It noted that'each guardsman
that day at Kent State had an
average of just three hours
sleep, that their move to clear
"Blanket Hill" - the assembly
area - was jeered roundly, that
they were cut and bruised by
rocks, and some were scared.
Guard Lt. Alexander D. Stev-
enson had testified that "the
crowd was acting like this whole

thing was a circus. The crowd
must have thought that t h e
National Guard was harmless.
They were having fun with the
Guard. The circus was in town."
Often it was like a game, wit-
nesses said, tear gas coming
from the troops, a student hurl-
ing a canister back to a round
of cheers. Most thought t h e
Guard had no ammunition, some
thought the shots were blanks.
When it was over Steven-
son said he felt like he was
"swallowing dry lumps" as he
checked weapons after, He saw
tears in a number of guards-
men's eyes. The mood, he said,
was as "having a lump in your
throat and, although your lips
were wet, you swallow dry."
For the students the U.S.
move into Cambodia of April 30
had ceased to be an issue once
the Guard moved in.
The feeling had spread among
students that they were being
harassed as a group, that state
and civil officials had united
against them and that the uni-
versity had either cooperated or
acquiesced in their suppression,"
the commission said. "They re-
acted to the guardsmen's march
with substantial solidarity."
The students used the words
"pig" and "fascist" incessantly,
spicing their shouts with obscen-
ities and gestures, the commis-
sion said.
Many passing students watch-
ed the actions of a comparative
few on Blanket Hill and the
amphitheater-like c o m m o n s,
the commission said. Not every-
one was directly involved. Can-
celed classes, the noon hour,
the. casual interest in "what's
happening" brought m a n y
Many students who describ-
ed themselves as "straight" or
conservative said they were
there - at the assembly begin-
ning - to protest the presence
of the Guard.
One coed who stayed though
she was on her way to class said:
"Well, I just couldn't believe
the guards were on campus. It
was mostly just outrage and
disgust and fear, and all sorts
of crazy things . . . You know,
they said I couldn't cross t h e.
campus, that we can't assemble
on the campus.
There was intense emotional
heat. "I have never in my 17
years of teaching," said Prof.
Glenn W. Frank, a volunteer fa-
culty marshal at the ROTC
burning, "seen a group of stu-
dents as threatening or as arro-
gant or as bent on destruction
as I saw and talked to that

Phoenix Eye View
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Ethnicity and Territory in the Inner City
Gerald D. Suttles
Winner of the 1969 C. Wright Mills Award.
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CULTURE AND POVERTY Critique and Counter-Proposals
Charles A. Valentine
The author takes issue with previous studies of "the poor" by social scientists, pro-
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unveiled a week ago, land detail-
ed findings were released Thurs-
three days of hearings and 8,000
pages of FBI reports, "nothing
was found to indicate that any-
one other than a guardsman dis-
charged a firearm during the
incident," it said.
But Lt. Col. J. E. P. McCann,
an aide to Del Corso, said in
Ohio Sunday, "Our policies
haven't changed. We still feel
the individual at the very least
is entitled to protect himself,
realizing, of course, that when
they put ammunition in the
rifles is up to the commander
on the scene. The men will be

armed and issued ammunition."
Of the violence committed by
some of the Kent State students,
said. "There can be no sanc-
tuary or immunity from prose-
cution on the campus . . . ."
Among other findings of the
-The weight of evidence
shows no order was given to
National Guardsmen to fire that
Monday at the students or any-
thing else.
-Aggressive people in the
crowd were not closer than 20
yards to the guardsmen-never
at bayonet point as one said-
and the main body was some
catch up
throughout t h e country, con-
centrating in areas which are
near activist campuses.
Last spring, a special contin-
gent of FBI agents infiltrated
Yale, before a n d during the
May Day demonstrations on be-
half of a student strike a n d
Black Parpther leaders then
coming to trial in New Haven.
And at virtually every march
-j, (including the Vietnam Mora-

FBI rushes to

Shop Jacobson's Mon.-Tues.-Wed.-Sat. 9:30 A.M. to 5:30 P.M.
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By Dispatch News
News Analysis
not waiting for more money or
congressional approval to in-
vestigate student unrest. Its
agents are already on campus.
The evidence indicates the
FBI, because of miscalculation
and what some claim to be its
myopic view of radicalism, is
struggling desperately to catch

up with developments in t h e
student left.
When FBI Director J. Edgar
Hoover, with support from Pres-
ident Nixon, asked for 1000 new
agents for use in cases of cam-
pus violence, the back to school
movement among t h e federal
agents had already begun.
In the last six months the
FBI has quietly created n e w
"new left desks" in its offices


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:.rium's candlelight procession
..: past the White House last fall),
FBI agents, some of whom pose
as newsmen, have taken pic-
tures of demonstrators.
Despite these efforts, the FBI
has been apparently unprepared
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with Ne
a visible a dent in the growing
The clandestine routes to
Canada and elsewhere for ac-
tivists and draft dodgers a r e
intact. Most of the Weather-
men who slipped out of sight
around the first of this year
have remained in this country,
traveling undetected. And the
four members of the New Year's
Gang, who claim responsibility
for the University of Wisconsin
bombing, have apparently suc-
ceeded in fleeing the country.
Many of the fugitives figure
they will eventually be caught
- because of accident or an in-
former. But they have succeed-
ed in one of their missions -
demonstrating that it is not dif-
ficult to remain underground in,
this country, eluding capture.
Ironically, some criticism for
the FBI's failures has come
from its friends on congression-
al internal security committees
and among local and state po-
There is the old complaint
from local police that the FBI
eagerly takes their information
and gives none in return. In
the Wisconsin bombing case, for
example, local police twice ar-
rested the suspects (on routine
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traffic investigations) b u t let
them go because the FBI didn't
tell anyone they were wanted.
More important, in the opin-
ion of the few existing sophisti-
cated police observers of t h e
radical movement the FBI has
spent so many years infiltrat-
ing and watching the old left it
has no idea what the new left
is thinking.
It was relatively easy for the
FBI to understand the old left,
meaning the Communist Party,
and to infiltrate its ranks with
informers and agents over 30.
But it is not so easy to fright-
en or red-bait the young, and
find agents a n d informers
youthful enough to infiltrate to-
day's radical groups, especially
as they become tighter and
more disciplined,
Also the FBI's old, monolithic
view of the left (that of a sin-
gle, co-ordinated conspiracy),
has made it unable to !discern
important strategic differences
among the organizations of the
new left.
In its 1968 report, for exam-
ple, the FBI commented on the
claim of Students for a Demo-
cratic Society that they were
"a brand apart from those in
the old-line communist move-
"While the distinction may
seem important to them, it is
irrelevant to the rest of Ameri-
ca because the basic objective
of both New Left and old-line
communists a n d their adher-
ents in our society is to com-
pletely destroy our form of gov-
ernment," Hoover's report said.
As a result of this sort of an-
alysis, the FBI, during 1968-69,
concentrated on the American
Communist Party's attempts to
influence the course of the mod-
erate and radical new left, rath-
er than on the left's search for
its own direction and tactics.
Thus the federal government
apparently misunderstood the
post-Mobilization silence of the




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