To the Editor:
Regarding the Jan. 31 staff editorial: your youth and lack of research are both showing.
On the same day as the Kent State riots, there was an anti-Vietnam war protest on the CSU campus, and Old Main burned. The arsonist was never caught. That was a terrifying night in Fort Collins. I know, I was here, and though I am as much against a war in Iraq as I was against a war in Vietnam, I am reluctant to urge students to protest.
Peaceful student protests often end, as have protests in Boulder, with law enforcement officers from the off-campus community, determined to keep control over the large crowd of students and non-students, appearing in riot gear. Someone yells at the “pigs”, someone throws a rock or a beer bottle, and suddenly the peaceful protest is a full-blown riot.
Officers in helmets and shields are spraying pepper spray, launching tear gas grenades, dragging anyone they can catch away in handcuffs, and videotaping all present for possible future prosecution. People are throwing more rocks and bottles, running, helping their friends who are coughing and retching from the tear gas and pepper spray. Maybe someone with severe asthma is rushed to Poudre Valley Hospital, but doesn’t survive. Later, some get suspended or expelled from the university for taking part in the riot that started from the peaceful protest.
Be careful what you ask for; you may get it!
Lela L.-K. Criswell,
Graduate Student in the Dept. of Health and Exercise Science