[sixties-l] Has Anybody Seen My Old Friend Carlo?

From: radtimes (resist@best.com)
Date: Fri Aug 03 2001 - 15:40:20 EDT

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    Has Anybody Seen My Old Friend Carlo?


    July 28, 2001
    by Jorge Root

    As I stared at the pictures of Carlo Giuliani laying in a pool of blood, I
    couldn't help but wonder about his age. Scanning down the article showed
    that he was 23 years old. Now for sure I would be flashing back, there
    would be no way to stop it. May 4, 1970, more pools of blood, more dead, 4
    dead to be precise and 9 wounded. Yes, they also were young, how young? I
    don't know. Their ages are something I try not to think about.
    That was the scene at Kent State University, 31 years ago when the Ohio
    National Guard
    slaughtered four students and wounded nine others all in the name of
    quelling a student protest.
    Like Carlo, they died from hi-powered gunfire rattling through their
    bodies. Carlo's last breath
    was squeezed from his body as the 275/70-16 tires of a paramilitary vehicle
    rolled over him, not once, but twice, while he lay helpless and possibly
    still alive.
    The pictures of Kent State have stuck in my mind all these years and even
    though I get older, the pictures never fade, they never blur, they are
    always a heartbeat away for instant recall. Now I can add the pictures
    from Genoa to this casket of images. Once again, time has been frozen by a
    cowardly act for the sake of ^A'intolerance of social protest'.
    Looking at KSU and Genoa one sees much the same picture. One can see young
    people who
    greatly embodied the spirit of camaraderie. One sees harmony, fellowship
    and the kindred
    bond of a certain togetherness which only a few of us will ever experience
    in our lifetimes. The
    clothes are different yet alike. The wide bell bottoms have been replaced
    by the hip-hop jeans,
    the over-the-ankle sneakers are now Air Jordans and the logos on the
    T-shirts simply say
    something different. The headbands, then, now and always a sign of protest,
    provide our link to
    the vestiges of 70's youth.
    Our government and its right-wing media would like for us to accept their
    opinion of protesters.
    They have reduced protesters to carefree, good-time youths, driven by
    confusion and
    dedicated to anarchy. This allows for a convenient response to why social
    protest climaxes
    with dissent, disruption and tragedy. They will tell us that the protesters
    brought the bloodshed
    upon themselves. Had they not been there, had they not been disobedient to
    civil order, none of this would have happened. In other words "They
    deserved what they got."
    I would much rather be sitting at my favorite fishing hole or cruising
    along a back road at sunset,
    listening to some Charlie Musselwhite blues than writing this essay. Sadly
    though, there is too
    much still to be said, especially about the blame, the responsibility, the
    sense and reasoning for
    this shameful event.
    We should have learned from KSU that blame is not part of the right-wing
    vocabulary. No one
    was really ever punished for the Kent State shootings. Clearly the blame
    should have gone to
    President Nixon and Governor Rhodes. The protest at KSU was, among other
    things, the
    result of the broken promises of Nixon when our troops went into Cambodia.
    The Ohio
    National Guard was the responsibility of Rhodes. Not only did he bring the
    ONG on the scene,
    he brought his best, a special forces-like bunch known as 'the death squad'.
    Neither Nixon nor Rhodes had any love for KSU. They saw the KSU students as
    the worst
    kind of anti-war protesters. Rumors had it that plans were being made to
    eradicate them. This
    was a perfect opportunity, the KSU students were protesting, buildings were
    burning and
    Rhodes had his elite troops on site. All the ingredients for tragedy. The
    rest is history.
    The Genoa case presents a slightly different picture in that someone is
    being held responsible for the killing of Carlo. Don't let this fool you.
    There is plenty more blame to go around.
    President Bush and his "we will go it alone" agenda is where we should be
    placing the real
    blame. The perception that the protest was about globalization is true in
    the most general sense
    but when you search deeper you see the protest really was about our
    president, his lock-step agenda and how it affects other countries,
    especially the poorer and developing countries.
    Protesters at Genoa are being labelled as ^A'anarchists' and the media is
    portraying them as the
    ^A'bad guys that got exactly what they deserved'. This is truly a sad day
    when our media can no
    longer distinguish between right and wrong. Whether we are talking about
    KSU, Genoa or any
    protest, it only seems reasonable to assume the controlling forces would
    use whatever means necessary to maintain the peace. It may require them to
    thoroughly overwhelm the crowd to reduce it to submission or passivity.
    This approach to crowd control, when done prudently, is acceptable.
    Shooting people in COLD BLOOD is not acceptable.
    I know that someday the guilty parties will pay. Either here in the form of
    a trial and punishment
    or they will answer to whomever or whatever they consider their higher
    power. It will happen,
    count on it. Richard Nixon said in his memoirs, "Those few days after Kent
    State were among
    the darkest of my presidency." Indeed they were dark days as they were the
    turning point
    which put him on a crash course with his real destiny, resigning from
    office as a dishonest,
    defeated and humiliated president. A timeline of events would include the
    Cambodian Invasion,
    the Wategate break-in, investigations, trials and eventually his downfall.
    And maybe, Just maybe, the Genoa protest will be the dark day for George
    Bush, as it should
    be. Meanwhile, Carlo now joins Jeffrey, Allison, Bill and Sandy and as
    usual I will not try to
    make sense of why another young life had to be taken. The best I can do is
    offer my prayers,
    and try not to think of Kent State or Genoa anymore than I have to. Let's
    hope some day the
    whole world will wake up to the fact that young people were "born to run"
    and "born to fly like
    the eagles". Yes we must not let them run too hard or fly too high, lest
    they might hurt themselves. Occasionally we will have to slow 'em down and
    bring 'em back to earth. Let's also hope that we can find a way to do this
    that does not include shooting them in cold blood.

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