Strike 1970 - 12/1/2014

Tin soldiers and Nixon's comin'
We're finally on our own
This summer I hear the drummin'
Four dead in Ohio
 
Gotta get down to it
Soldiers are gunning us down
Should have been done long ago
 
What if you knew her and
Found her dead on the ground?
How can you run when you know?
 
- "Ohio" by Crosby, Still, Nash & Young
 
Neil Young wrote these lyrics in 1970 after seeing the now-famous photographs of the Kent State massacre in Life Magazine. The photos depicted Ohio National Guardsmen shooting four students at Kent State University who were protesting the US military's invasion of Cambodia during the Viet Nam War on May 4, 1970. The event spurred additional protests throughout the country within days.  
 
 
 
At the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque, local anti-war activists called for a strike, and students took over the Student Union Building. On May 6, four anti-war protesters were stabbed by pro-war students, causing the regents to shut down the university and obtain a restraining order to vacate university buildings. When students ignored the order, police started arresting activists on May 8. Upon hearing false rumors that the protestors were armed, then-Governor David Cargo called the New Mexico National Guard.  The chaos escalated in several protestors being bayonetted by the National Gardsmen. Unlike at Kent State, no one at the UNM strike was killed. Yet the event is still felt deeply by those who were present.  
 
A group of graduate art students formed the Visual Coalition to photographically document the UNM strike. One of these students, Paige Pinnell, donated several of these photographs to the museum, currently in the exhibition Hunting + Gathering. The photographs are all untitiled and the photographer is unknown, forcing the viewer to focus on the subject.
 

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