On Monday May 4th, 1970, National Guardsmen opened fire on unarmed students protesting on the ground of Kent State University. Four students were killed and nine were injured. Some of the injured students weren’t even involved in the protest. They had been watching from afar or walking to classes. The shooting resulted in a Nationwide student strike involving over four million students from high schools and colleges. The slideshow/song tells the story of what happened. There are obviously similarities with what is happening in the Arab world today. All over the news we hear and read stories of protesters in various countries being shot and killed while protesting. However I feel that this is where the similarities stop. While it is a scary thought, are you actually that shocked that a country run by a dictator would open fire on protesters? I honestly doesn’t really surprise me. However, what does surprise me is that National Guardsmen in the United States of America (where we have freedom of speech) would open fire on unarmed student protesters with live ammunition. This clearly should not have happened. Another difference between the two is that in the Arab world, the protesters are shot to maintain order or to quell the protest. Apparently the reason the national guardsmen opened fire was because they were being confronted by students and some may have feared for their lives.
While the first topic I wrote about involved music being used to teach us about past protests and transgressions by our National Guard, the next topic talks about music being used by protesters as a weapon. The article/video talks about a protest in Britain involving students protesting the various changes that are about to occur involving their tuition. The problems stem from the fact that because of the changes, many of the lower class students won’t be able to afford to go to University. The article/video talks about one of these protests. During the protest, the students marched towards parliament. When they got there what they did next was quite surprising-they danced. The students began blasting music through a set of large speakers using and AUX cable and their ipods. While the protests themselves aren’t peaceful (the students often use violence) this part is. I feel that the music is an incredibly important part of the protest because it helps show that these protesters for the most part, are just teenagers. The music they were playing is modern and electronic, not something older generations would have listened to. It also helps people in other countries connect with them. Once people realize that they listen to the same music, they may begin to feel compassion and join the side of the protesters. I personally feel that music should be an important part of every protest.