The Catonsville Nine File
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What led these nine seemingly ordinary Americans - an artist, a nurse, three clergymen among them - to burn draft records in a suburban parking lot?

Baltimore Interfaith Peace Mission
In the mid-1960s, the public largely supported the war in Vietnam. In Baltimore, those who opposed the war formed a small peace movement, mostly adult and faith-based, its members steeped in civil rights and anti-poverty advocacy.

In 1965, Philip Berrigan, a Josephite priest, arrived in Baltimore to assume his duties at the Church of St. Peter Claver. Berrigan soon organized the Baltimore Interfaith Peace Mission and became a catalyst for antiwar activity.

Antiwar Protest
The Interfaith group undertook several antiwar actions, beginning with efforts to reach public officials through letter writing and meetings. Then, in late 1966, twenty members of the group picketed the homes of Secretary of State Dean Rusk and Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara, carrying signs calling for a halt to the bombing and a negotiated settlement to end the war.

During the next months, the group initiated several increasingly bold demonstrations at Fort Myer, Virginia, and Fort Holabird, Maryland, and at local draft boards. Failing in their goal to get arrested, the group began to discuss more radical action.

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