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US student revolt: make this a turning point

Students rallying against extension of war has often marked a turning point in history.
Issue 2903
Mary Ann Vecchio, taken on 4 May 1970 at Kent State University (Picture: The Post-Crescent. 5 December 1976 edition by Student John Filo)

Mary Ann Vecchio, taken on 4 May 1970 at Kent State University

Sometimes an image can capture a turning point in history.

The photograph of Mary Ann Vecchio kneeling over the body of Jeffrey Miller, who was shot dead by the Ohio National Guard at Kent State University on 4 May 1970, is one of those photos.

On that day 54 years ago, national guards murdered four students who had been rallying against the United States’ extension of its war in Vietnam into Cambodia.

Not two weeks after, the police killed two students at Jackson State University, a historically black university.

Revulsion that the government had brought killing sprees onto US soil spread across the country.

It wasn’t long before millions of students were on strike and protesting on the streets.

It was a disaster for the ruling class and for president Richard Nixon, who eventually could no longer withstand the pressure from the anti-war movement.

Finally he was forced to abandon his plans to expand the ruling class’s war in Vietnam.

The students now fighting for Palestine and battling the cops stand in the same spirit as the anti-war movement in the 1960s and 70s. And their resistance can also help bring the ruling class to its knees.

A mass movement for Palestine that spills out of the campuses, onto the streets and into the workplaces could make it impossible for the US state to continue its support for Israeli slaughter in Gaza. And we have to try to do the same in Britain.

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