Jan G. Otterstrom F.

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University students during the 1960s
moved on campus in the shadow of war
November 1963 Kennedy dead in Dallas
stopped us in disbelief, anger over Cuba
railed the Mafia, others dispossessed
Lyndon Johnson intensified Vietnam 1964
Gulf of Tonkin Resolution, a blank check
by 1969 came a lottery draft, no volunteers
found, the Cong Tet Offensive failed
but ignited student anti-war rallies
“end in sight” a lie, more friends in body bags.
As the Country stewed, Race was an issue
August 11, 1965, rumored police violence
set off the L.A. Watts Riots, burning, looting
considerable dead, wounded and property
lost in the millions, other ghettos caught fire
Detroit, Chicago, New York had almost the same
uncontrollable rage, the Black neighborhoods
expressed their discontent, Martin Luther King
preached non-violence until April 4, 1968
in Memphis, sniper bullet, Lorraine Motel killed
him still, Bobby Kennedy campaigning in Illinois
heard the news: “those of you who are black
and are tempted to be filled with hatred and mistrust
of the injustice of such an act, against all white people
I would only say that I can also feel
in my own heart, the same kind of feeling.
I had a member of my family killed
but he was killed by a white man."
Bobby, two months later, June 5th was dead
murdered in the kitchen of Ambassador Hotel
where T.V. cameras and National news
covered his campaign stop, I was in Law school.
Great music was made in the 1960s, Bob Dylan
Joan Baez, “Like a Rolling Stone” The Beatles
Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club, Jimi Hendrix
The Rolling Stones, music of change, cast off
oppression of war and hate, Buffalo Springfield
“For What Its Worth” re-sung Stephen Stills
protest song, freedom of speech was restricted
unpatriotic, even criminal to oppose the Asian War
“Hey, Hey, LBJ, how many kids did you kill today?”
Phil Ochs “I Ain’t Marching Anymore” “The war is over”
lit protests around the world, Dylan’s great song
“The Times They Are A-changing” united universities
“Blowing in the Wind” was hummed by almost everyone.

© Jan G. Otterstrom F. February 14, 2015