As the American involvement in Vietnam escalated in 1966 and 1967, members of the Baltimore Interfaith Peace Mission felt more and more that mass demonstrations were too safe and unimaginative. They sought a more symbolic act of civil disobedience - a non-violent attack on the machinery of war.
Customs House Raid
On October 17, 1967, Phillip Berrigan, artist Tom Lewis, poet David Eberhardt, and United Church of Christ minister James Mengel entered the draft board and poured blood on several hundred draft records. They were arrested and later tried and convicted for the action.
The press statement included these words: "We shed our blood willingly and gratefully....We pour it upon these files to illustrate that with them and with these offices begins the pitiful waste of American and Vietnamese blood ten thousand miles away"