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Twenty-eight National Guard soldiers fired 67 rounds over 13 seconds, killing four Kent State students and wounding nine others. — May 4, 1970

Sister of Murdered Kent State Protester Allison Krause Speaks out Against use of Militarized Police Responses on College Campuses Amidst Nationwide Pro-Palestine Protests

54 Years After Ohio National Guardsmen Killed Four Vietnam War Protesters at Kent State University, Sister of Slain Student Allison Krause Warns About the Danger Militarized Police Poses to Student Safety and Well-Being

Mendocino, CA — As protests demanding University divestiture from Israel’s war on Gaza ramp up across college campuses nation-wide, calls from right-wing politicians and media figures for protesters to be met with militarized police responses have also increased. This afternoon during a press conference held at Columbia University, House Speaker Mike Johnson called for pro-Palestinian protests on college campuses to be shut down, utilizing military means if needed. Johnson’s statements echo similar pleas made by Senators Tom Cotton and Josh Hawley, who earlier this week called for the National Guard to be deployed against students protesting Israel’s ongoing genocide in Gaza. 

The introduction of armed police and national guard, often equipped in riot gear with deadly weapons, adds dangerous elements to these otherwise peaceful campus protests and echoes a dark chapter in American history where in 1970 failures of University leadership enabled escalations that led to the deaths of six student protesters in the May 1970 Kent State and Jackson State massacres.

The following is a statement from Laurel Krause, sister to Allison Krause who was a 19-years-old honors student when she was murdered at Kent State University: 

“On May 4, 1970 my sister Allison Krause was killed by the Ohio National Guard on the campus of Kent State University as she protested against the Vietnam war and Cambodian invasion. 

“Three other students were shot dead that day by guardsmen and many other students were injured. As the family member of a peaceful student protester killed by the state, I am aghast at the way that Columbia University President Minouche Shafik, along with administrators at other U.S. institutions of higher education, have endangered the lives and well-being of student protesters by inviting militarized police onto campuses to disperse protesters.

“I urge President Shafik, and other University administrators across the country to hear the demands of ALL student protesters, to encourage and facilitate zones of free expression, and to support the right of your students to protest an ongoing genocide on campus without the threat of state violence and militarized force. 

“In 1970 failures of Kent State University leadership enabled the massacre which left ‘Four Dead in Ohio.’ Our institutions must learn from these past mistakes to not use militarized responses against unarmed, peaceful student protesters by calling in the National Guard, bringing in State Troopers or deploying Police in riot gear. 

“We must not repeat the horrors of Kent State 54 years later.” 


Laurel Krause is the co-founder of the Kent State Truth Tribunal and the Allison Center for Peace