Date: Thu, 22 Mar 2001
From: "Nathan Solinsky" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: ACTION ALERT: Kent State right wing tries to bury May 4
Kent State May Fourth Commemoration Denied Funding.
First time in 30 years and only request denied this year by Student Senate
Barbara Bush allocated $60,000 by same committee.
The 31st Annual Commemoration of the May 4, 1970 shootings at Kent State has
been denied funding. For 30 years without exception Kent State has held a
commemoration every May 4th to remember the tragic shooting of 13 students
by Ohio National Guardsman. The volley of bullets which swept
indiscriminately across campus killed 4 students and seriously wounded nine.
This year was to be the 25th commemoration put on by the student
organization the May Fourth Task Force. The May Fourth Task Force had
invited Martin Luther King Jr. III to speak at this years commemoration.
In an outrageous an unprecedented maneuver to further the personal views of
a college republican and right wing dominated Student Senate committee,
funding was denied to the May Fourth Task Force, despite following all the
rules for allocations.
In a May 3, 2000 statement, Student Senate denounced the popular
commemorations which attract thousands of students and families to Kent
State every year:
"According to the statement Executive Director Nic Smith read at the
meeting, 'In the future, we need to make sure the historical aspects of the
May 4 incident are remembered and cease to become a showcase for personal
The statement was specifically targeted at the May Fourth Task Force's
decision to air a taped speech by Mumia Abu-Jamal last year. The speech made
no mention of Mumia's personal political situation. Clearly, some students
made a decision to go after the May Fourth Task Force next year, and they
Ethan Picman, senator for governmental affairs and allocation committee
member, said "he believed the committee made a biased decision because of
personal views against May 4 and the Task Force."
According to the Daily Kent Stater:
"Picman said before the Task Force even spoke to the committee, the nature
of the committee's conversation gave him the impression that other members
had no intention to allocate money to the Task Force.
Picman said questions were raised among committee members about why May 4
needed to be celebrated every year and the group suggested having
commemorations every five or 10 years."
College republican and allocation committee member Mike Chadsey said:
"The event seems redundant," he said. "Kent State has been doing this for
30 years and most students were not born when May 4th happened and want to
move past it."
This contradicts the approximately 4,000 to 5,000 who turned out for the
30th commemoration, one of the best attended and most widely covered events
at Kent State in years. CNN and other national media devoted hours of
programming to the 30th commemoration. The Learning Channel produced a new
hour long documentary on the subject in honor of the anniversary. Tens of
thousands of visitors come to the May Fourth Task Force's web site at
http://dept.kent.edu/may4 and letters continually pour in from young and old
across the world thanking the Task force for their important work. The
families of the slain students attend every year and always offer their
support to the May Fourth Task Force. Does this happen to events that are
"redundant" and nobody cares about?
Contact Student Senate and let them know you are outraged this important
program will go on without student senate's financial support and plans for
nationally renowned and respected speakers will be wrecked because of
personal political disagreements. Also express your feelings about Barbara
Bush, of marginal relevance to Kent State, will receive $60,000 while a 30
year tradition will be starved for money.
Phone: (330) 672-3207
Fax: (330) 672-2517
Undergraduate Student Senate
Office of Campus Life
Kent, Ohio 44242-0001
(This statement in support of, but not by the May Fourth Task Force.)
-- "These students are going to have to find out what law and order is all about." - Brig. General Robert Canterbury, Noon, May 4, 1970 (minutes before his troops shot 13 unarmed Kent State students, killing four) http://www.kent.edu/may4
- rabble (rab'el), n. 1. a disorderly crowd. 2. the rabble, the lower classes. http://rabblerouser.org
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