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A list of demands is sent out, the leaders of the occupation go from floor to floor barking out instructions and encouragement, the scene is surreal and angry, and everyone's smoking. Soon a large group of jocks, beers in hand, assemble, followed by the police and then flanks of National Guard troops in full riot gear. We're surrounded and through bullhorns, are ordered out of the building. The reply is the two-word epithet accompanied by the one-fingered salute...We're not going anywhere! If you want it Pigs, you're gonna have to come and take it! Serious words, but the impending clash turns into a negotiated standoff, we settle in, and as night falls I realize that I'm hungry...
It's Autumn 1969. I'm a 19-year old college
sophomore on a large campus, a political activist and an S.D.S. member in good
standing. The war in Vietnam is raging, chewing up the unfinished young lives
of the men of my generation, and my draft status is I-A (subject to be called
at any time. I hadn't requested a student deferment). Protesting that war was
not only a moral imperative for me, but included a vested interest. I couldn't
see my destiny as being killed in the middle of someone else's civil war
half-a-world away, and I'm still bitter about the 58,000 men whose destinies
entailed exactly that, for no reason, all as a result of the miscalculations
and egos of the civilian fascists who sent them there.
Anger doesn't really capture the feel of the era; We were outraged and eager to enjoin the fight in the streets, if that's what it took. I always wanted to burn down the buildings we stormed, but we never did. Seven months later came Kent State, all Hell broke loose, and we finally started torching stuff. It was a beautiful thing, M----- F-----, and thirty-four years later that war still rages inside of me as Peter Jennings intones...
..."In Iraq today, two more American soldiers were killed when their vehicle was ambushed while patroling the streets of Mosul in the north. This brings to 400 the number of American dead since hostilities began in March...."
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