A 1970’s Deja-Vu

LCA6GL4BLCA3AB895CAAHML8FCA4VI0QFCAI5XOR4CATXB6JNCAT3WKV8CASDZV2GCAXQL5U5CAB0KMYRCAORIS1RCAXDVU9KCALJ8JOGCAK42ZZXCA4JTYXRCAKAYR9PCAV5K11QCACR2PBTNeda Agha-SultanThe stories in a recent edition of The Santa Fe New Mexican resurrected a déjà-vu.  The headlines referred to an upcoming Rainbow Gathering in a nearby forest (hippies, peace and love); the murder of a young woman in Tehran during the current political uprising (May 4, 1970 Kent State University); hostile political opposition and critique of any action, or non-action, taken by President Obama (Ideologes vs. President Nixon); and the reaffirmation of why our Constitution separates church from state (the far-right’s invasion of politics and governance).  That refers to the collision in Iran of the people’s will versus the brass-knuckled ultimate control of Iran’s political system by the Grand Ayatollah SayyidAli Hoseyni Khāmene’i.


I felt the need to find my old Gibson acoustic guitar and strum a song about peace, or to turn up the volume on any song from that era by Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young.  The recollection of the meaningless deaths of the four Kent State students, including the women Allison Krause and Sandra Scheuer re-surged those powerful emotions of what is it all for.images

The upcoming 38th Annual Rainbow Gathering of the Tribes is at Parque Venado in the Santa Fe National Forest, 24 miles from of Cuba, New Mexico. http://www.welcomehere.org/gathering_of_the_tribes/annual/

It makes front page news here in New Mexico. http://www.santafenewmexican.com/Local%20News/Santa-Fe-National-Forest-120-citations–seven-arrests-at-Rainbo  As the tribes begin arriving for the July 1-July 7 festivities and prayer circles for world peace, the usual hyper-activity by law enforcement officials has ramped up.  Some folks dread the thought of these non-violent gatherings  that stress all the positive elements of the Sixties, taking place in their proverbial back yards—even though this event is deep into the woods.  For those not familiar with this state, there is a lot of way-out countryside here.

But while the colorful tribes began their trek to New Mexico, 26-year-old Neda Agha Soltan was shot in the heart, likely by Iran’s paramilitary force during the street protests in Tehran.  Her family says she loved her country.  As I read her story, the faces of Kent State students, Krause and Sheuer appeared from some distant memory.  Strife.  Strife for peace.  Strife for life.  Violent deaths.

Hawks blacken the sky screeching for more blood; doves flock to the forest cooing for peace.

Some things never change.

 Photos:  1) Neda Agha Sultan; 2) Sandra Scheuer; 3) Allison Krause

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