“Hit and Stay” – 40th Anniversary of Vietnam War Era Civil Disobedience Against the Draft

by on May 14, 2008 · 1 comment

in Civil Disobedience, Organizing, Peace Movement, War and Peace

The Catonsville Nine and Baltimore Four Actions Revisited

By Joe Tropea

The Catonsville Nine - drawing by Okan ArabaciogluForty years ago this week during the Vietnam War, nine Catholic peace activists took a draft office in Catonsville, and the nation, by surprise.

On May 17, 1968, the men and women who would come to be known as the Catonsville Nine entered Selective Service Local Board No. 33, located on the second floor of the Knights of Columbus Hall at 1010 Frederick Road, and removed 378 draft files. The files were mostly 1-A records, which corresponded to young men considered available for immediate and unrestricted military service. Together the men and women took the draft files to a grassy patch behind the building where tipped-off reporters were waiting for them. They then set the files ablaze with homemade napalm, recited a prayer, made statements to the press, and waited peacefully to be arrested. This was a “hit and stay” action. Simply put, this means committing an illegal act of defiance and then waiting around for the police to be arrested. [Go here for the remainder of this wonderful, but long essay.]

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Dave Sparling May 14, 2008 at 12:24 pm

For sure today under the Bush dictatorship you would have to go to Club Gitmo to visit those 13 brave Americans.


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