Tag Archives: Allison Krause

Sister of Slain Kent State Protestor Responds to Urban Outfitters’ Blood Spattered Sweatshirt Stunt

Sister of Slain Kent State Protestor Responds to Urban Outfitters’ Blood Spattered Sweatshirt Stunt

MENDOCINO, CA — On Monday, September 15, 2014, in a crass marketing exercise, —shoddily enveloped in deniability— Urban Outfitters made available on their website, a sweatshirt, with a Kent State University insignia, appearing to be tattered and blood spattered.  The launch of this item cut deep with many, triggering painful thoughts of contemporary school shootings, ugly reflections of the current state of police violence in communities, and worse yet, it seemed to relegate the memory of the Kent State University protestors who were brutally murdered by the national guard into a frame of hipster irony.  Pushback was inevitable —a petition was quickly created, media was quick to indict UO on the move, and shortly thereafter the company issued a half-cocked apology.

Perhaps the most disturbing moment in the exchange came on Tuesday September 16, 2014 when Urban Outfitters CEO Richard Hayne refused to speak to Laurel Krause, sister of slain Kent State University student Allison Krause, presumably because he was busy conjuring up this email to UO staff about how the sale was a mistake.

Since Richard Hayne has prioritized courting controversy over reading a letter from a family member of a young woman whose life was stolen by the predicate tragedy, we are posting the complete text of Laurel Krause’s letter here:

“My sister Allison Krause was one of four students killed at Kent State University in May 1970 when United States military personnel opened fire on unarmed students protesting against the Vietnam War. I was 15 at the time and Allison was 19, the age range of many Urban Outfitters customers.

“I was absolutely stunned and appalled to see what appeared to be a blood-splattered Kent State sweatshirt on sale at your online store this week. It brought back the horror of May 4, 1970 and the death of my sister, murdered in a Kent State campus parking lot on that day.

“My family and I were deeply dismayed that no staff member at Urban Outfitters was able to recognize the insensitivity of selling this garment and we question the staffing decisions and product selections of a company meant to be at the forefront of youth culture in America.

“We also feel that your official apology made light of the gravity of the incident. Urban Outfitters failed to recognize their responsibility in this matter. You put profit above people when you sought to make money with this horribly offensive garment and online marketing stunt.

kent state

“We ask Urban Outfitters to make every effort to rectify our injury by acknowledging the true history and significance of the Kent State massacre, which lead to the largest campus protest and strike in US history. Urban Outfitters should turn this disturbing event into an opportunity to educate their customers and greater community about the Kent State Massacre and the lessons that can be learned from it.

“The Kent State Truth Tribunal primarily focuses on education and spreading Kent State truth and justice. We strongly encourage Urban Outfitters to take a meaningful step in the right direction by returning our phone calls so that we may work together to rectify this insult and injury. Many Americans stand by us in our call for Urban Outfitters’ accountability.

Sincerely, Laurel Krause

To arrange an interview with Laurel Krauss please contact Andy Stepanian via email at andy@sparrowmedia.net or by phone at 631.291.3010.

Sister of Slain Kent State Student Testifies in Front of United Nations Human Rights Committee

Sister of Slain Kent State Student Testifies in Front of United Nations Human Rights Committee

[GENEVA, SWITZERLAND]  At 10am EST, Laurel Krause, whose sister Allison was among those killed at Kent State, addressed the United Nations Human Rights Committee (UNHRC) as part of its 4th Periodic Review on Human Rights in America. Laurel asked the UNHRC to press the US to initiate a new and independent investigation into what occurred at Kent State, with a particular focus on forensic evidence that emerged in 2010. Attached below is Laurel’s full statement as read to the committee at 3pm Geneva Time, a livestream of the session is available HERE.

“My sister Allison Krause was one of four students shot to death by American military personnel in the parking lot of her university campus at Kent State, Ohio on May 4, 1970 as she protested the Vietnam War. I was fifteen years old when this happened. I have come here today to ask that the United States be held accountable for failing to fully investigate this incident and its own complicity in the crimes that took place and to deliver justice to the victims and their families. Allison stood for peace and died for peace on May 4th.

“My mother Doris Krause, now 88 years old, is not able to travel due to her failing health. Even though Mom’s not here, she helped write these words and believes in them. Our sentiments are shared by family members and by many others present at Kent State at the time of the shootings, as well as concerned citizens who have also longed for accountability for the historic, and tragic, series of events at Kent State.

“For 44 years the United States government has refused to admit that four young students … children … were killed at Kent State. There has not been a credible, independent, impartial investigation into Kent State. No group or individual has been held accountable. Even in 2010 upon the emergence of undeniable, credible forensic evidence pointing to direct US government involvement, there has still not been a full accounting of the events on and near that day, and no remedy delivered to the victims.

“Because of the failure of the US government to pursue accountability and deliver redress to victims, we ask the UNHRC to press the US to initiate a new investigation of Kent State, with a particular focus on the forensic evidence that emerged in 2010. The right to assemble and protest is professed as a cherished American value and is a fundamental facet of our democracy. The Kent State precedent has cast a shadow over this democracy for over 40 years. If Kent State remains a glaring example of government impunity, it sends a message that protestors, especially young men and women, can be killed by the state for expressing their political beliefs. My sister died protesting for peace and I would like to honor her memory by ensuring that this never happens to another American protestor again.”

Laurel Krause will be available for limited comment in Geneva from Monday 3/9 to Friday 14/14 via # 0763 639 033 or # 01141 763 639 033. Upon returning from Geneva Laurel will be in New York City for media interviews on March 16th, 17th and 18th. To arrange an interview with Laurel Krauss please contact Andy Stepanian via email at andy@sparrowmedia.net or by phone at 631.291.3010.

Sister of Kent State University Student Slain by National Guard will be Deposed by the United Nations Human Rights Committee

Sister of Kent State University Student Slain by National Guard will be Deposed by the United Nations Human Rights Committee

[GENEVA, SWITZERLAND]  The 1970 shooting of unarmed students at Kent State University will for the first time be brought before the United Nations Human Rights Committee in Geneva on March 10-14, 2014. Laurel Krause, whose sister Allison was among those killed at Kent State, will address the UNHRC at its 4th Periodic Review on Human Rights in America. She will be representing the Kent State Truth Tribunal (KSTT) that she founded to pursue truth and accountability for the Kent State shootings.

The Kent State Truth Tribunal (KSTT) is seeking US government accountability for the killing of four unarmed students and the injury of nine others by US military personnel on May 4, 1970 at a Kent State University anti-Vietnam war rally. The Kent State killings gained national attention in 1970 leading to mass protests and student strikes across the United States. Witnesses and historians have asserted a pronounced role by the FBI before and during the shootings, and command responsibility that pointed to Ohio governor James Rhodes’ collusion. In response to the surge of activism following Kent State, on May 5, 1970 President Nixon said: “This should remind us all once again that when dissent turns to violence it invites tragedy. It is my hope that this tragic and unfortunate incident will strengthen the determination of all the nation’s campuses, administrators, faculty and students alike to stand firmly for the right which exists in this country of peaceful dissent and just as strong against the resort to violence as a means of such expression.”

The KSTT will present its claims of a violation to the UN’s International Covenant on Civll and Political Rights (ICCPR) treaty by the US government related to Freedom of Assembly and the Right to Protest in America. The KSTT will ask the UNHRC to press the US to initiate a new and independent investigation into what occurred at Kent State, with a particular focus on forensic evidence that emerged in 2010. KSTT founder Laurel Krause said: “For 44 years the United States government has refused to admit that four young students, including my sister Allison, were killed at Kent State. There has never been a credible, independent, and impartial investigation into Kent State. Recent forensic evidence has revealed a Kent State order to shoot, suggesting command responsibility for the killings. We are asking the US government to independently examine this new evidence and provide accountability for this tragic and unsolved chapter in US history”.

kent state

The United Nations Human Rights Committee is a body of independent experts that monitors implementation of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights by its State parties. Every five years UN-participating countries must participate with the UN Human Rights Committee in plenary session. This year during the week of March 10-14, 2014 and culminating on March 13 and 14, the United States will participate in its mandatory human rights review for activities over the last five years where non-governmental organizations may have their US human rights issues addressed.

Laurel Krause will be available for limited comment in Geneva from Monday 3/9 to Friday 14/14 via # 0763 639 033 or # 01141 763 639 033. Upon returning from Geneva Laurel will be in New York City for media interviews on March 16th, 17th and 18th. To arrange an interview with Laurel Krauss please contact Andy Stepanian via email at andy@sparrowmedia.net or by phone at 631.291.3010