Globalization: Social & Geographic Perspectives

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Blog#5 2 CSNY Videos

May 17th, 2011 · 6 Comments
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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.

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6 responses so far ↓

  • 1    peterjun // May 17, 2011 at 6:08 pm

    Any aggression by a government should and can only be warranted by armed civilians. The Kent State incident is a forever stain on the American integrity and its stand on freedom of speech and non violence course of action. I cannot think of a single justification where American citizens should be shot at for any reason. Armed National Guards should not have reached a limit of “fear to a point of shooting”.

  • 2    Josh Jacobson // May 17, 2011 at 7:24 pm

    I assumed that I worded by paragraph to sound like I was on the side of the protesters. I in no one condone what happened and obviously there was no reason to shoot unarmed civilians. However one thing the video doesn’t show was that the protests weren’t just peaceful protests. Cars were set on fire, there were fights and riots and the remaining protesters were marching onto the troops when they were shot at.

  • 3    ahsana // May 17, 2011 at 9:36 pm

    It’s really sad that protestors were shot and killed no matter what country. As citizens, one of the actions we can take to voice our opinion against government rules and regulation is through protesting. In a democratic society we have the power to vote for government officials and once they are in power that’s it. We don’t get a vote on which bills should be passed or what laws should be made and if majority disagrees on an issue they should be allowed to protest freely without the threat of possibly being shot or killed. But if a protest is going to take place I think it should be conducted in the most peaceful manner. Setting cars on fire, creating fights and riots is not going to solve anything but rather create more hostility and violence. So why have a protest if nothing is going to get resolved? In today’s society students should know better than to have a hostile and violent protest! And as for Armed National Guards, they were up against “unarmed civilians” so I’m sure they could have found other methods to protect themselves such as tazers or something or could have handled the situation differently and did not have to resort to killing.

  • 4    cynthiaaa // May 17, 2011 at 10:14 pm

    Its a tragedy when the lives of innocent people are taken away especially when they had nothing to do in the situation. Reading what you wrote i was just as surprised to find out that the national guardsmen in the united states were shooting people that were unarmed. We all have freedom of speech and a protest is designed to come foward with your thoughts and opinions, under no circumstance do i believe firing a gone to people speaking their minds is acceptable. In regards to using music during protests i completely agree. When words aren’t enough music speaks and i believe it does. The fact that the music they were playing was more modern could give the protesters a benefit because maybe they can relate to more people. I think music is a great way to express what you are trying to say.

  • 5    Josh Jacobson // May 18, 2011 at 12:19 am

    I don’t think you can completely ignore violent protests as a weapon of protesters. Sometimes protests simply can not be conducted in a peaceful manner. Also a number of protests occur without anything being resolved. In fact a number have taken place protesting various changes to the CUNY budget system…and nothing has been done about it.

  • 6    Jessica Sorensen // May 23, 2011 at 10:41 am

    I think it is unfortunate that these protesters lost their lives, but the protests were not all that peaceful. As said in one of the above comments, protesters set cars were set on fire, fighting, rioting, and marching onto the troops when they were shot at. The law enforcement felt threatened, and therefore took action.

    Unfortunately, not all protests are peaceful or end with the protesters getting what they desire. In many cases, protests begin and end with violence, causing an even bigger issue afterwards.

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