Beware deceptive petition anti-50th KSU Commemoration
Beware: this petition includes 4 demands and the second, third and fourth demands are reasonable and legitimate — but issue #1 is an exaggerated, mistaken attack against KSU and the 50 Commemoration.
Read the broader petition letter and notice the May 4 Task Force student organization at KSU since 1975 does not agree with the letter or petition obviously because of the irresponsible attack upon the KSU-organized 50th commemoration.
In addition, 12 of the 13 families of the 1970 Kent shooting victims have endorsed the KSU-organized 50th Commemoration. Among our 13 families, only conspiracy theorist Laurel Krause, sister of martyr Allison Krause, remains opposed to the commemoration.
The 50th commemoration has been organized during the past two years by a programming committee of 21 individuals including Tom Grace, my sister Chic and myself along with May 4 Task Leadership & their faculty advisor, additional KSU faculty members, alumni, administrators and others genuinely motivated to organize a meaningful commemoration.
Chic Canfora is a now top KSU media spokesperson for the 50th Commemoration and Tom Grace is a trusted May 4 advisor to KSU President Todd Diacon, a respected historian, who is perhaps the most sensitive KSU leader regarding May 4 since 1970.
The KSU students behind this petition
are sincere and honest but mistaken to include an errant May 4 issue attack which can only be a distraction as the May 1-4 Commemoration approaches.
Masses of people will attend the Commemoration and pay tribute to our martyrs and remember 2020 as the most significant May 4 Commemoration ever. A small minority of others will choose to remain negative.
Finally, as most of you are aware, many of us stayed around Kent and NE Ohio and remained active during the past five decades fighting for truth and justice at Kent State. We paid a dear price at times including facing arrests and jail time as May 4 activists during the 1975-1990 era while KSU leaders remained insensitive and hostile.
Fortunately, especially during the past 20 years, KSU has evolved favorably regarding May 4 education and commemoration efforts. KSU performs all of the May 4 education on campus for every freshman student, for example, including often showing Danny Miller’s film Fire in the Heartland which includes a focus upon 1970 as well as our own 1968-69 Kent SDS struggle at KSU.
And KSU built the excellent May 4 Visitors Center, a May 4 Walking tour narrated by Julian Bond, four parking lot memorials where our martyrs were shot down and much more.
No doubt, KSU’s evolution regarding May 4 was impacted by our very effective May 4 movement for truth and justice. Somehow, many of us lived long enough to gain respect and a long overdue embrace by KSU leaders who now properly address their longstanding duty regarding May 4 education and commemoration.
Which is why the vast majority of May 4 activists from past 50 years now deeply appreciate KSU’s exemplary 2020 Commemoration role. In large part, the 50th Commemoration is a recognition of the effectiveness of our May 4 movement for truth and justice.
A true spirit of unity and heartfelt tribute to our martyrs will prevail in Kent during May 1-4, 2020 — despite the efforts of a few to remain negative.
So, please consider this bigger picture now and as May 2020 approaches.
See you in Kent!