The Catonsville Nine — forty years on
In the USA people are thinking about the 40th anniversary of the assassination of Martin Luther King, who advocated nonviolence in protest against injustice. Others, perhaps in part inspired by him, protested against violence.
On May 17, 1968, nine men and women entered the Selective Service Offices in Catonsville, Maryland, removed several hundred draft records, and burned them with homemade napalm in protest against the war in Vietnam. The nine were arrested and, in a highly publicized trial, sentenced to jail.
This act of civil disobedience intensified protest against the draft, prompted debate in households in Maryland and across the nation, and stirred angry reaction on the part of many Americans. It also propelled the nine Catholic participants – especially priest brothers Daniel and Philip Berrigan – into the national spotlight.
And it’s good to know that some are planning to observe that anniversary too.
What’s changed in 40 years?
I think the weapon of choice for killing children is now cluster bombs rather than napalm.