In 1962, it was announced that U.S. planes were bombing South Vietnam—there was no protest. The United States used chemical warfare to destroy food crops and drive millions of people into “strategic hamlets,” essentially concentration camps. All of this was public, but there was no protest; it was impossible to get anybody to talk about it. Even in a liberal city like Boston, you couldn’t have public meetings against the war because they would be broken up by students, with the support of the media. You would have to have hundreds of state police around to allow speakers like me to escape unscathed. The protests came only after years and years of war. By then, hundreds of thousands of people had been killed and much of Vietnam had been destroyed.
But all of that is erased from history, because it tells too much of the truth, which is that it took years and years of hard work by plenty of people, mostly young, to build a protest movement. But the New York Times reporter can’t understand that. I’m sure she’s being and saying exactly what she was taught, that there was a huge antiwar movement and now it’s gone. The actual history can’t be acknowledged. You aren’t supposed to learn that dedicated, committed effort can bring about significant changes of consciousness and understanding. That’s a very dangerous idea, and therefore it’s been wiped out of history.
My name is Kelly Schomburg, I’m the girl with the red hair in these pictures. I was protesting at the Occupy Wall Street march yesterday when I and several other women were sprayed with mace and subsequently arrested. Many have already seen the video, which has been spreading like wildfire over twitter, Facebook, tumblr, and other video feeds, along with hundreds of other photos and videos. This is my recount of what happened.
This is important. Read this and realize that the police too often aren’t on your side.
Kelly Schomburg: hero.