The sign was hung out of an NYU dorm window. It read, simply
I want to use that sign as a starting point in talking about some largely unsuccessful emotional archaeology I’ve been doing, trying to reconstruct what it felt like to be 20 years old and a revolutionary in the midst of the first national student strike the country had ever seen.
I know I wasn’t expecting to be killed, even though–forty days ago today-the Kent State murders were only two days in the past and in the forefront of everyone’s thoughts.
And that wasn’t what the dorm room sign was about. Those kids didn’t expect to be killed either. They were celebrating the fact that the scope of our movement, the hundreds of new campuses-including high schools-which had gone out on strike since May 4 had pretty much removed violent repression as an option for the ruling class. I quoted John Kaye on the intensity of those days in yesterday’s installment. I’ve recently spoken with Mirk and Mindy, who, like me, came out of NYU and we all agree that there is a lot, a surprising amount, from these intense weeks that we just don’t remember.