“Did You Hear What We Are Planning?”

Shawn Francis Peters

in The Catonsville Nine

Published in print July 2012 | ISBN: 9780199827855
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199950140 | DOI:
“Did You Hear What We Are Planning?”

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In Washington in the spring of 1968, George Mische indicated to Phil Berrigan—whose trial in federal court in Baltimore he had been attending—that he was beginning to assemble a group that might be willing to take part in a second demonstration at a draft board. Mische knew that the entire draft couldn't be completely crippled by such protests; there were simply too many boards to attack, too many files to destroy. But he was certain that demonstrations targeting draft boards would at least help to publicize the glaring racial and socioeconomic inequities of the military draft. Mische was eager to strike a blow against the Selective Service Act, the measure that made conscription possible. Hogan sensed “the urgency on Phil's part. He was trying to get another action to happen before he went to jail” for his role in the Baltimore Four protest. Berrigan made clear how he wanted this second protest to proceed. “He wanted to burn files this time,” Hogan recalled, “because the message of blood hadn't gotten through to people the first time.” It would be “a symbol, something that would reach more people.”

Keywords: antiwar protests; draft board; Selective Service Act; Phil Berrigan

Chapter.  7308 words. 

Subjects: Religious Studies

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