BANNER contents
koi sidebar

A Quarterly Journal
Jeffrey Woodward, Founder & General Editor
Volume 6, Number 3, September 2012

line


Stephen W. Leslie
Schohaire, New York, USA


Kent State

One student, in blue jeans and a colored tee shirt pulled the fire alarm for one of the large classroom buildings and students began filing out creating a large crowd. I was standing at the crosswalk to Route 1 and in a moment of inspiration walked halfway out and sat down in the road. Immediately twenty or thirty others students joined me and within minutes two hundred other students joined in. Within an hour we had over a thousand students sitting in the road blocking traffic. The local Prince George’s County police reacted violently. When the police alert went out two police officers were driving so fast to get to the scene to “beat up” hippies that they wrecked their police cars. Sixteen state police officers arrived along with the national press. With cameras rolling the state police made a majestic, but ineffective sweep down Route 1. The students cleared out in front of them but then just stepped back in the road after they passed. This went on the rest of the day.

in the lab
the blood smears
dry

As dark descended the state troopers went back home as did the TV cameras. In the dark the Prince George’s County police arrived in force with riot gear, wooden clubs and tear gas. The students fled to the dorms. The riot police broke out the dorm windows and fired tear gas canisters into the rooms forcing the students to come out then they were brutally beaten. Fleeing students were shot in the back with shotguns loaded with salt pellets. Students who were not involved in the protests were dragged in unwillingly. The next day five thousand students occupied Route 1. The state troopers did their majestic sweeps and the students filled in behind them, the cameras rolled. The governor of the State of Maryland declared a state of emergency and brought in hundreds of National Guard troops who arrived with fixed bayonets and gas masks. With the presence of the national press, photos of the protests spread across the country. With the situation growing worse instead of better the governor abruptly closed the campus sending all the students home.

long black wall
searching for
one name

line

end

| contents page | next haibun |

koi sidebar r