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Archive for the ‘Bloody Sunday’ Category

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Editors Note: On October 10, 2013, the US Delegation to the United Nations Human Rights Committee requested a postponement due to the US Government shutdown. The US postponement request set the new date for the US 4th Periodic Review on March 13/14, 2014. News response to the US postponement ~ http://bit.ly/H4M6qD

On April 3, 2013 Kent State Truth Tribunal’s submission to the United Nations was posted online at the UN Human Rights Committee website, including questions related to the the United States’ refusal to open a credible, independent investigation of the Kent State new evidence.  KSTT U.N. Submisstion

UNITED NATIONS NEWS: The United Nations Office of the High Commissioner, Human Rights Committee released their ‘List of Issues’ to be asked of the United States regarding American Leadership’s human rights record. On March 13 and 14, 2014, the United States will participate in its 4th Periodic Review before the UN Human Rights Committee.

The Human Rights Committee ‘List of Issues’ does include broad language inquiring about measures taken by American leadership to address police brutality and excessive use of force, which could serve as impetus for discussion about Kent State later this year, hopefully examining the critical ‘Right to Life’ issue for American protesters remains unexplored.

FIRST CONSULT was held 5/30/13. READ the Kent State Truth Tribunal statement to the United States related to the United Nations, Human Rights Committee culminating in Geneva, March 2014. http://bit.ly/15HhJxO

READ our Kent State Submission for the U.N., Human Rights Committee.

Uncensoring the ‘unhistory’ of the Kent State massacre while also aiming toward justice & healing, a chapter in Censored 2013 from Project Censored http://bit.ly/RQNUWC

More on the 2/9/13 Kent State Truth Tribunal Submission to the United Nation: A Plea for Justice at Kent State. http://bit.ly/WQpjUP

PROGRESS from October 2013:  READ the Kent State Truth Tribunal ‘shadow report’ to the UN, Human Rights Committee  KSTTShadowReportFINAL

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Editors Note: On October 10, 2013, the US Delegation to the United Nations Human Rights Committee requested a postponement due to the partial US Government shutdown. The US postponement request was for the United States 4th Periodic Review and the UN Human Rights Committee Secretariat agreed to the request, setting a new date for the US 4th Periodic Review in March 2014, with the exact dates to be determined. News response to the US postponement ~ http://bit.ly/H4M6qD

On February 9, 2013, the Kent State Truth Tribunal and Allison’s family submitted a list of issues to be considered by the United Nations, including Kent State questions to be asked at the United States’ Report on their Compliance with the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights before the 107th Session of the Human Rights Committee in Geneva, March 11-28, 2013.

AllisonImproved

READ the Kent State Truth Tribunal submission to the UN, HRC full document 130209_ICCPRKentStateFinalA

Kent State Truth Tribunal submission the United Nations, Human Rights Committee

Seeking an independent, impartial investigation into the May 4th Kent State Massacre (Article 2 (Right to remedy); Article 6 (Right to life); Article 19 (Right to fre

edom of expression); Article 21 (Right to peaceful assembly))

I. Reporting Organization

The Kent State Truth Tribunal (KSTT) was founded in 2010 upon the emergence of new forensic evidence regarding the May 4, 1970 Kent State Massacre. KSTT is a non-profit organization focused on revealing truth and bringing justice to Kent State massacre victims and survivors.

Representing Allison Beth Krause, 19-year-old student protester slain at Kent State University on May 4, 1970: Doris L. Krause, mother & Laurel Krause, sister.

II. Issue Summary

On May 4, l970 members of the Ohio National Guard fired between 61 and 67 shots into a crowd of unarmed anti-war protestors at Kent State University in Kent, Ohio, killing four and wounding nine students. For over 40 years, the government has claimed that the Guardsmen did not fire on command, and instead shot in self-defense after hearing sniper fire in the crowd.

In 2010, new forensic evidence emerged debunking this theory. The evidence consisted of a tape recorded by a Kent State student during the shooting. Though the original tape, known as the Kent State Strubbe tape, was destroyed by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (F.B.I.) in 1979, a bonafide copy of the tape was located in 2007 and was analyzed in 2010 by an internationally accredited forensic expert. The analysis, derived using state-of-the-art technology that was not available in prior investigations of the shooting, demonstrates that there was a ‘command to fire’ at the protestors. Moreover, the enhanced tape identified four pistol shots fired 70 seconds before the command as coming from an F.B.I. informant’s pistol to create the ‘sound of sniper fire.’ Although the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) received this new evidence, the Department declined to re-open its investigation of the Kent State shooting.

The victims of the Kent State massacre and their families have been unable to obtain access to meaningful redress. In 1974, federal charges against eight members of the Ohio National Guard of willfully violating the rights of the dead and wounded students were dismissed because, according to the judge, the government had failed to prove its case. In 1979 a civil rights settlement was reached with the issuance of a signed Statement of Regret and $15,000 for Allison B. Krause, one of the victims of the Kent State shooting. However, the settlement did not include an apology. Moreover, the federal charges and settlement were centered on civil rights and constitutional violations – there has yet to be a criminal indictment for murder. Additionally, as investigations of the shooting have thus far only been conducted by government entities, there has yet to be a credible, impartial, and independent investigation of the Kent State shooting. Moreover, the U.S. military has failed to address the use of live ammunition on college campuses and whether appropriate force was used on protestors at Kent State.

Failure to ensure justice and accountability for the Kent State massacre has set a precedent that the U.S. can continue to harass, abuse, and even kill protestors. Just ten days after the Kent State massacre, two student protesters were murdered by state police as they protested the Vietnam War on the Jackson State University campus. American authorities have stated ‘snipers’ prompted the firing of military weapons at student protesters, just as at Kent State University. Unfortunately suppression of peaceful assembly continues today. Since the ‘Occupy’ movement began in 2011, protestors have been labeled as ‘domestic terrorists’ by the F.B.I. and have been arrested in massive numbers for peaceful protests and assemblies. Until the U.S. conducts a credible, impartial and investigation into the Kent State shooting, and provides redress for victims and their families, protestors in the U.S. will continue to be at risk of being deprived of their fundamental rights without accountability.

III. U.S. Government Report and Prior Recommendations

Although the U.S. has not addressed the Kent State shooting in its periodic reports to the Human Rights Committee, it has professed support for the right to remedy, compensation for victims of crimes, and the obligation to conduct independent, credible, and thorough investigations into violations of rights, especially the right to life.

In 2010 and after two failed investigations, the United Kingdom finally organized a legitimate, impartial investigation into Bloody Sunday, a 1972 massacre that was strikingly similar to the May 4 Kent State shooting. The Bloody Sunday investigation overturned all prior examinations and admitted to wrongdoing by the State. At the time, the U.S. welcomed the publication of the resulting Bloody Sunday Inquiry report and expressed hope that “the completion of the independent inquiry’s work and publication of its report will contribute to Northern Ireland’s ongoing transformation from a turbulent past to a peaceful future.”

On the international stage the U.S. has called upon nations to uphold the rule of law and respect the right to peaceful assembly. This was particularly evident during the ‘Arab Spring,’ as the Obama Administration called for accountability when government officials suppressed speech and killed and injured protestors. What the Administration has preached abroad, however, is not always practiced at home.

IV. Other UN and Regional Bodies Recommendations

In November 2012, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) released a report conveying concern about the use of excessive force and undue restrictions on peaceful assembly in 11 countries, including the U.S. The report mentioned specific abuses with regards to Occupy Wall Street and recommended U.S. authorities ensure the right to free assembly, take efforts to limit the use of force by law enforcement officials, and ensure that allegations of police misconduct are promptly and thoroughly investigated. In a letter to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in December 2011, the U.N. Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression and U.N. Special Rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association called on U.S. officials to “explain the behavior of police departments that violently disbanded some Occupy protests last fall” and reminded the U.S. government of its obligations under international law to “take all necessary measures to guarantee that the rights and freedoms of all peaceful protesters be respected.”

V. Recommended Questions

1. Given the new forensic evidence emerging in 2010 related to the murders at Kent State, for what reasons has U.S. Department of Justice chosen to refuse to conduct a new, independent, impartial inquiry into the killings?

2. What lessons have American leadership learned from the May 4th Kent State Massacre? Under what circumstances will deadly, lethal force and war-grade weapons be used against peaceful American protesters, including on university and college campuses?

3. What steps will the U.S. government take to ensure that protestors are allowed to protest and assemble freely, without fear of intimidation, arrest, physical injury or – more seriously – murder?

4. Will the United States conduct an impartial, independent examination of the Kent State massacre?

5. What steps will the U.S. government take to ensure that the F.B.I. does not violate the fundamental rights of protestors, including the right to life?

VI. Suggested Recommendations

1. Conduct a full, independent and credible investigation into the May 4th shooting and killing of 13 American protesters at Kent State University. Such an investigation must consider the new evidence and ensure that victims and their families have the right to be heard and given an opportunity to present evidence and testimony.

2. The U.S. government must ensure that all incidents involving the killing, injuring or unlawful use of lethal force against protesters are promptly and impartially investigated, the perpetrators held accountable, and the victims and their families are provided with adequate information on the investigation and full redress. This should include a criminal investigation and prosecution of perpetrators in addition to other legal remedies for violations of civil and constitutional rights.

Read the full document ~ 130209_ICCPRKentStateFinalA

Kent State Makes It to the U.N., Human Rights Committee http://bit.ly/10xZebQ

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LAUREL KRAUSE, MendoCoastCurrent, July 13, 2010

My sister Allison Krause was one of four students killed in the 1970 Kent State shootings. You may have heard about that day in American history – May 4, 1970 – when the Ohio National Guard opened fire on unarmed students protesting the invasion of Cambodia. Some of those killed or injured were just walking to class. After the guardsmen fired their weapons, four students lay dead, and nine others were wounded by gunfire. Forty years have passed and no one has ever been held accountable.

When courts fail to bring justice to the injured and when governments prefer to neglect their role in such tragedies, families sometimes turn to alternative means of gathering the truth. So after years of exhausting efforts to find out what happened on the day of Allison’s death, and failure to receive any meaningful recognition for the injury suffered by our family, we decided to establish the Kent State Truth Tribunal on the 40th anniversary of the killings. We felt the imperative to do this for our family and also to come together with others to create an accurate historical account of what happened at Kent.

The Kent State Truth Tribunal (KSTT) teamed up with a remarkable filmmaker named Emily Kunstler, who has dedicated her work to the pursuit of criminal justice in this country. Her father Bill Kunstler was a larger-than-life civil rights attorney who had stood with the Kent State students in the difficult years that followed the shootings. Emily is carrying on his work by harnessing the power of storytelling to establish and memorialize the truth about Kent State.

The KSTT was held on the first four days of May in Kent, Ohio and we recorded and preserved over 70 personal stories of original participants and witnesses. A number of the wounded students shared their truth of what happened that horrific day in American history, along with faculty, student witnesses, Kent townspeople and friends and family of those killed. Some spoke publicly for the first time in four decades. The stories that emerged are powerful narratives about a day that changed America and helped us understand what happened on that historic day. As we filmed the interviews, they were broadcast live on MichaelMoore.com and were viewed throughout the country. This is the first time that a truth-telling initiative in America set out to use new media in this way and it was remarkable to broadcast these accounts live throughout the country.

Little did we know that as we wrapped our project in Kent, the Cleveland Plain Dealer and ace reporter John Mangels would break a key piece of news long sought after by those eager to learn the truth about Kent State. The journalist uncovered evidence of an ‘order to shoot’ given to the National Guardsmen on Blanket Hill that May 4th so long ago.

Over the ten years that the families pursued justice in Ohio state and federal courts, the testimonies from the Ohio National Guard and ranking decision-makers supported the ludicrous claim that no order to fire was given. An order would have implicated higher-ranking officers and would have led to court-martials for those involved. Since an admission of command responsibility for the shootings was not forthcoming, it became our job to prove them wrong. This was almost impossible…until now.

The Plain Dealer investigation produced a copy of an audio tape recorded by a student using a microphone on his dormitory room window ledge. This tape surfaced when Alan Canfora, a student protester wounded at Kent State, and researcher Bob Johnson dug through Yale Library’s collection on 1970 Kent State to find a CD with the tape recording on it from the day of the shootings. Paying $10 to have a duplicate made, Alan listened to it and immediately knew he probably held the only recording that might provide proof of an order to shoot. Three years after the tape was found, the Plain Dealer commendably hired two qualified forensic audio scientists to examine the tape. They verified an order for the guards to ‘prepare to fire’.

Shortly after the tape was publicized a remarkable event unfolded in another part of the world with direct parallels to Kent State. British Prime Minister David Cameron formally apologized before Parliament for the events and killings of Bloody Sunday.

As you may recall this event occurred on January 30, 1972, when British paratroopers opened fire on demonstrators in Northern Ireland and 14 civilians were shot and killed and others wounded. The bloodshed led to a major escalation of the “Troubles” in Northern Ireland, which have only recently largely subsided. Like Kent State, the military shot and killed its own unarmed citizens.

After 12 years of exhaustive study by an independent judicial commission set up by the British government, the findings spurred this apology from Prime Minister David Cameron. I am moved to think how these words could apply to Kent State in our country:

What happened should never, ever have happened.

The families of those who died should not have had to live with the pain and hurt of that day, and with a lifetime of loss.

Some members of our armed forces acted wrongly, the government is ultimately responsible for the conduct of the armed forces, and for that, on behalf of the government, indeed, on behalf of our country, I am deeply sorry.

While news of the Bloody Sunday apology begins to spread and settle, original participants are beginning to call for even greater steps to condemn the higher-ranking officers that made this deadly decision to shoot and kill.

As I watch from my perch in America, I ponder the complexities of apologies and our need for truth in the Kent State killings of 1970.

From conversations with others who were present at and witnessed the shootings at Kent State, I know that we all wish to have the truth revealed in 2010 and applaud Britain’s important first step to address the harm caused by Bloody Sunday. And I have to ask: what will it take for America to heal the wounds of Kent State?

To learn more about the Kent State Truth Tribunal, please visit our website at http://TruthTribunal.org

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MendoCoastCurrent, July 27, 2010

On Aug 7-8, 2010 filmmaker Michael Moore will livecast the hearings of the Kent State Truth Tribunal, streaming in real-time the accounts of participants and witnesses to the events surrounding the 1970 Kent State shootings, that left four students dead and nine injured. This livecast is a continuation of the first real-time broadcast of a truth-seeking initiative on Kent State and will be broadcast on www.MichaelMoore.com from 9am-5pm PT. The Tribunal in San Francisco follows a four-day tribunal in Kent, Ohio in early May which marked the 40th anniversary of the campus shootings and assembled over 70 testimonies.

The Kent State Truth Tribunal in May resulted in an outpouring of original participant testimonies, some who shared their stories for the first time since the shootings, forty years ago. Demand for participation was immense at the 40th anniversary yet many witnesses and participants in the events surrounding the shootings were not able to travel to Ohio.

“San Francisco was a cultural and political hub in the sixties and seventies and it is no accident that so many young people scarred by the events of Kent State headed west after the tragic events of May 1970. Forty years later, the west remains a progressive mecca and many Kent State participants made the west coast their home, like me. We will collect their experiences of the Kent State shootings to continue to try to learn the truth about Kent State in 2010,” said Laurel Krause, tribunal founder and sister of Allison Krause, one of four students killed at Kent.

The Kent State Truth Tribunal was convened by family members of students killed at Kent State in order to record and preserve the stories of those directly affected by the shootings and reveal the truth of what happened on that day 40 years ago. The Ohio National Guard, who opened fire on the protesters, has never publicized the findings of its internal investigation into command responsibility for the shootings.

Michael Moore commented on the truth tribunal: “40 years after the Kent State killings, justice still has not been served. The Kent State Truth Tribunal brings us closer to that goal by sharing first-hand accounts with the public. I am grateful for their efforts and hopeful that some day the truth will come out.”

Three days after the original Kent State Truth Tribunal the Cleveland Plain Dealer broke a major story about a recorded order to fire given to the Ohio National Guard on May 4, 1970. Then on June 15th, in the U.K., British Prime Minister David Cameron apologized for the killings of Bloody Sunday, a strikingly similar event in 1972 where British paratroopers fired on demonstrators, killing 14 people.

Tribunal organizers are asking the United States government to acknowledge the ‘wrongs’ of May 4, 1970, in the hope of reclaiming what was lost that day – freedom to protest and to peacefully assemble and the democratic right to question the government and hold it accountable for wrongdoings.

The Truth Tribunal is generating a comprehensive historical record of the Kent State massacre. Interviews are being conducted by award-winning filmmaker Emily Kunstler and like the 40th anniversary hearings, will be simultaneously livecast on the home page of www.MichaelMoore.com. Archived interviews can be found on http://TruthTribunal.org/testimonials. The footage and mementos from the tribunal will be physically archived and available for viewing by the public as part of the permanent collection at the renowned Tamiment Library at New York University.

The west coast tribunal will take place over the weekend of August 7 & 8, 2010 at 150 Green Street, San Francisco, California. Organizers are asking for all original participants and witnesses of the event surrounding the 1970 Kent State shootings to pre-register at www.TruthTribunal.org/preregister. An East Coast Tribunal will follow in New York City on October 9 & 10.

On May 4, 1970 the Ohio National Guard opened fire on unarmed students protesting America’s invasion of Cambodia during the Vietnam War. In a day that changed America, four students were killed and nine were wounded as they protested against the war. The incident triggered national outrage in a country already divided. In immediate response to the Kent State shootings, more than four million students rose up in dissent across 900 campuses, generating the only nationwide student protest in U.S. history. No one has been held responsible for the deaths and injuries that resulted from the shootings.

For more information, visit: http://www.truthtribunal.org

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