Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Chapter 4 - I Almost Forgot the Teargas

Featured Author: Stephen Lucas

 As many of us remember, the 60's and 70's were a turbulent time on many college campuses.  The one event that sticks in the minds of many of us is the May 4th, 1970 shooting at Kent State University were Ohio National Guardsman fired 67 rounds in about 13 seconds murdering four students.  Colorado University was not exempt from violence.
 Baker Hall resembled Viet Nam.  The students had the run of it by day, and the Black Panthers had the run of it by night.  It was just like a guerrilla war zone.  One thing that universities have in common is a gutless administration.  My friends and I lived in the basement and we all were packing.
I carried a 38 Smith and Wesson in my briefcase and had a 12 gauge shotgun leaning against my dorm desk.  We let the Panthers know that they were to stay out of the basement if they wanted to avoid problems.  Happily they did.  We met with President Smiley, the board of regents and the university lawyers.  They demanded that we give up our guns or face expulsion.  Our parent, who were also at the meeting demanded that university disarm the Black Panters.  Needless to say the university administration pissed their pants at the prospect of facing armed student militants.  
 The situation kinda of resolved itself.  The Panthers flunked out of the university (they never attended class) and just went away.  The SDS was another matter.  One day they decided to take on the entire wings of the ROTC.  Once a semester, the Air Force, Navy, and Army ROTC would schedule a drill on the large field between the dorms and Folsom field.  I remember watching about four university cops heading to the field to take on the hippies.  Little did they know that shit was about to descend on their heads.
 Several hundred hippies showed up along with several hundred ROTC cadets.  The hippies were simply walking through the cadets who were in formation.  It all was pretty nonviolent till a hippy smacked a cadet with a sock filled with rocks.  At that point, the cadets marched to the west end of the field and formed a ling flanking file.  The calmly fixed bayonets and assumed a charged bayonet formation and began marching toward the engineering building.  The hippies retreated from this threat.
About the time they got to the end of the field, several hundred engineering student came flooding out the doors of the engineering building with ball bats.  The Bolder Police showed up and the tear gas canisters flew everywhere.
 The engineers had the day and the hippies pretty well took a ass whipping.  They were loaded into police vans like cord wood.  Again the university administration did nothing  They later caved in and closed the campus right before midterms.  It took weeks to get the smell of tear gas out of our clothes and out of the dorm.
 As the President of YAF, my job was to debate the anti-war leaders of groups like SDS.  Again, I can't believe that I drank the Kool Aid regarding Vietnam.  However, we all did.  America was caught up in the philosophy of the Domino Theory of the “Cold War.'  The right wing pretty much appealed to “fear”.  If  Vietnam falls then Cambodia will fall and then Laos, Thailand, Korea, and Japan.  Before you know it, the Viet Cong will be invading San Francisco!  We know now this was a pile of crap; however, we bought into it again with George Bush and his so called War on Terror.  
 The neoconservatives are masters of the 'appeal to fear” propaganda technique.  This follows the conservative world view that the world is a dangerous place inhabited by bad people.  Therefore this innate bad nature needs to be repressed by the military.  Thus we have a new colonialism.  We now see the rise of the military industrial complex that Eisenhower warned us about.  We spend over 60 percent of our annual budget on military and security related items.  War is wonderful and the neiocons are good at it.  Long live military contractors and their lobbyists.     If the neocons win the 012 election,  Iran will be next.  They are already planning it.  After all, we need to make sure that top one percent makes more money on the blood of the ninety-nine percents.