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The Plowboy Interview: Masanobu Fukuoka

Ohio



Tin soldiers and Nixon's coming,
we're finally on our own
This summer I hear the drumming,
four dead in Ohio


Gotta get down to it soldiers are gunning us down
should've been done long ago
what if you knew her and found her dead on the ground
how can you run when you know?


Gotta get down to it soldiers are gunning us down
should've been done long ago
what if you knew her and found her dead on the ground
how can you run when you know?


Tin soldiers and Nixon's coming,
we're finally on our own
this summer I hear the drumming,
four dead in Ohio
four dead in Ohio

On May 4, 1970, soldiers in the Ohio National Guard opened fire on a group of defenseless students at Kent State University in Kent, Ohio. I've pieced together the rough story:



the following information was obtained from various news documents and memories of the event, ....


The VIETNAM War was something our generation grew up with. It was in the living room EVERY night through our TVs. Words like "The Demilitarized Zone" / "TET Offensive" / "Saigon" / "Hanoi" / "Ho Chi Menh Trail" / "Da Nang" / "Phnom Penh" (sp?), etc., were all familiar everyday terms.


It was also quite normal to see and feel the unrest in the U.S. concerning the War. There wasn't any "middle of the road" stance: the lines were drawn definitively. So, we also were kept abreast of the civil uprising as a result of the War.


On April 30, 1970, President Nixon announced to the American public that he had ordered an "incursion" into Cambodia by U.S troops. This was the proverbial "straw that broke the camel's back".


On May 1, 1970, The first "organized" protests were held on college campuses across the United States.


Sometime, on the morning of May 2, the Mayor of Kent declared his town "under a state of emergency", as "riots" were breaking out all over town and the campus. Ohio Governor James Rhodes dispatched an officer of the Ohio National Guard to assess the situation at Kent. He arrived in town at approximately 5PM.
Within a couple of hours, a "police action" was invoked by the mayor. Kent students declared "arbitrary harrassment". Within hours, the Ohio National Guard began arriving in town and set up OCCUPATION. The ROTC building on campus was burned to the ground in protest of the arrival of the Guard. Somehow, a "skirmish" occured at around 10PM between the Guard and Kent students. Rocks were thrown, one student was BAYONETED by a Guardsman.
(while all of this was going on at Kent State, we personally watched the Guard arriving and setting up HQ at our hometown of Athens which is home to Ohio University, along with our own student/police confrontations)

On May 3, Governor Rhodes arrived in Kent and immediately held a news conference which was carried nationally.
He is quoted as saying:
"WE'RE GOING TO USE EVERY WEAPON POSSIBLE TO IRRADICATE THE PROBLEM"
He described the students on campuses nationwide as:
"THE WORST TYPE OF PEOPLE WE HARBOR IN AMERICA"
Martial Law was declared with no issuance of a decree. A new curfew was effected for 8PM. HELICOPTERS and TEARGAS were immediately put into use by the Guard and police. Several more students were BAYONETED in confrontations.


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