May 4 testimonies will be broadcast online

Nick Glunt

Laurel Krause sat opposite filmmaker Emily Kunstler on May 1, sharing her personal testimony of the Kent State shootings. Though she was not there, Krause’s sister Allison was one of four Kent State students killed by the National Guard on May 4, 1970.

“What do you want the legacy to be for Allison?” Kunstler asks.

“She stood for peace. She got gunned down,” Krause responds, “and it was wrong. And up ‘til now, there’s been no responsibility for that.”

This testimony was the first of about 70 to be streamed live by filmmaker Michael Moore between May 1 and May 4. This weekend, Moore will broadcast at least 20 more live interviews with witnesses from the West Coast.

The Kent State Truth Tribunal, founded by Krause and Kunstler, aims to document and share the truth of what happened that day.

“A lot of people got wounded — not by bullets — on May 4,” said Krause, director of the organizations.

She said sharing their stories can act as a healing tool because some witnesses can finally come forward after 40 years.

However, the Truth Tribunal is not the first archive of May 4 testimonies. The University Library already has more than 100 oral histories and has been operating for 20 years, said Alan Canfora, one of nine Kent State gunshot survivors that day.

“Laurel’s so-called Truth Tribunal is the fourth [documentation of] oral histories,” Canfora said, “and it’s the only one seeking donations.”

Canfora, who earned his master’s at Kent State, said he plans to give his testimony to the library’s archive of oral histories because he feels “a sense of loyalty” to it.

Krause contacted Moore, famous for such documentaries as “Bowling For Columbine” and “Fahrenheit 9/11,” and asked him to help with the Truth Tribunal. Moore agreed, she said, because of his strong interest in the American people and because he wants to see the project succeed.

Live interviews with witnesses will be streamed from between 6 a.m. and 2 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.

“Forty years after the Kent State killings, justice still has not been served,” Moore is quoted as saying on the Truth Tribunal website. “The Kent State Truth Tribunal brings us closer to that goal by sharing first-hand accounts with the public. I am grateful for their efforts and hopeful that some day the truth will come out.”

Moore himself has little involvement in production of the project. He promotes and endorses the project, Krause said, but little else.

The accounts of the shootings given in textbooks, Krause said, are inaccurate. She said some other accounts act as a cover-up. She hopes to correct these mistruths by archiving these witness’ accounts.

“Truth never goes out of style,” she said. “It’s important even 40 years later.”

Contact administration reporter Nick Glunt at [email protected].