The Trial of the Catonsville Nine

[NOTE: This is neither a script nor a transcript of the 1971 film version but
a rough adaptation of the play by an anonymous author.]


White letters on a black screen read: A JURY OF PEERS

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The DEFENSE attorney looks up from his papers to address the JUDGE.

		With regard to jury selection, we wish to make 
		one brief statement, your honor.  The 
		defendants will not participate in any way in 
		the selection of the jury.  That will be a 
		matter between the court and the U.S. attorney.

		You do not wish to have the benefit of striking 
		out names you object to?

		We do not wish any strikes whatever.  We are 
		abstaining completely from the jury selection.

		Very well.  All I am going to do is to be sure 
		I get the names.
			(to all)
		I am now going to do a little housekeeping.  

The judge turns to the nearby court CLERK.

		Bring in the prospective jurors.  Swear them in.

The clerk nods and walks off.

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White letters on a black screen: the Main Titles begin over the sound of the 
jurors' FOOTSTEPS and other courtroom NOISES.

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The judge, papers in hand, addresses the prospective jurors.  During this 
address, the Main Titles continue to appear.  

		Members of this panel. In this case, the United 
		States government, by indictment, has commenced 
		a prosecution against nine defendants.  This 
		indictment charges, in three counts, the 
		following offenses: 
		That the defendants did willfully and 
		unlawfully obliterate records of the Selective 
		Service System, Local Board No. 33, located in 
		Catonsville, Maryland; and did willfully and 
		knowingly interfere with the administration of 
		the Military Selective Service Act of 1967, by 
		removing and burning the records of Local Board 
		No. 33 located in Catonsville, Maryland; and by 
		disrupting the official activities at the 
		location of the Local Board No. 33.
			(directly to the jurors)
		The indictment further charges that the 
		defendants aided and abetted one another in 
		committing these alleged offenses. Each of these 
		defendants has pleaded innocent of these charges.  
		Accordingly, the burden of proof is upon the 
		government to prove the guilt of any of the 
		defendants beyond a reasonable doubt.  Now, I 
		want to ask each of the prospective jurors some 

The MAIN TITLES end.  The questioning moves quickly, condensing hours into 
mere minutes.  We RAPIDLY CUT BACK AND FORTH between the judge and whichever 
juror he queries. Occasionally, we see the defense attorney looking on with 
an unconcerned air.

		Mr. Starlings, what is your position?

		I work for the National Security Agency.

		Do you feel that your position in the 
		government would make it difficult or 
		impossible for you to do equal justice between 
		the government and the defendants in this case?

		No, sir.

		You may step down.... Mr. Jones.  You served in 
		World War I?

		Yes, sir.  I was in the Army, American 
		Expeditionary Force, World War I.

		Have you been active in the American Legion or 
		other activities since?  Have you taken any 
		position with respect to protests against the 
		Vietnam war?  Have you taken any position on 
		that war?

		No, sir.

		You may step down.... Mrs. Kilmurray, you say 
		that at one time you worked for the Department 
		of Defense?

		That is right.  I was the Chief of Position 
		Classification at the U.S. Army at Edgewood 

		Do you feel that your experience in that job 
		would make it impossible, or would make it 
		difficult, for you to do equal justice between 
		the government and the defendants in this case?

		No, I do not.

		You may step down.... Mr. Seidel.  I believe 
		that you answered "yes" to the question that 
		you had served in the Armed Forces.

		Yes, sir.  It was in the Second World War.

		Have you taken any position, any public position, 
		with respect to the war in Vietnam?

		No, sir.

		You may step down.... Mrs. Smith, you answered, 
		I believe, that you are now working for the 
		Federal government?

		Yes.  As a management analyst with the Army.

		Is there anything about your job, or anything 
		about your experience, or any other reason at 
		all, which you feel would make it difficult for 
		you to do impartial justice between the 
		government on the one side, and the defendants 
		on the other?

		No, sir.

		You may step down... Mr. Buchanan, you were, I 
		believe you said, in the military service at 
		some time?

		Yes, sir.

		During what conflict was that?

		The Korean War and the Cuban crisis.

		Do you feel that your experience in the service 
		would make it difficult for you to do equal 

		No, sir.

		You may step down... State your name, sir.

		My name is Eric Smith, Jr.

		Mr. Smith, you say that you are the branch 
		chief of the Department of Defense at Fort 

		Yes, sir.

		Are your duties classified? Or can you tell me 
		what the branch chief does, what you do?

		I am an industrial engineer in charge of 
		construction and space allocation for the 
		National Security Agency and the Department of 

		And you served in the Armed Forces heretofore in 
		one of the conflicts?

		I have served in the Armed Forces, yes, sir, 
		during Korea.

		Would your experience as a former Military 
		Policeman make it difficult for you to decide 
		this case fairly?

		No, sir, I don't think it would influence or 
		bias my opinion.

		You may step down... Mr. Austin, you have served 
		in the military?

		World War II for three years, 1942 to 1945, in 
		the U.S. Navy.

		Do you know of any reason why you would not be 
		able to decide the case solely on the evidence?

		No, sir.  I am a very conscientious person.

		I hope all the jurors will be. You may step 
		down... Mr. Raymond Steer.  You have served, I 
		believe, in the Armed Forces?

		I started with the 29th Division here at Fort 
		Meade and I switched to the Air Force.

		Does anything in your experience make it 
		difficult for you to do justice in this case?


		You may step down... Mr. Johnston, have you 
		served in the military service?

		I was in the Army, yes, sir.

		What branch?

		Well, I was on active duty in the Army, then I 
		was in the Army Reserves and I was at the rank 
		of Sergeant E-5 when I got out.

		You may step down... Mr. Bergman, you have a 
		contract with the government, is that right?

		Yes, sir.  With NASA.

		And you also were in the Armed Forces?

		Yes, sir.

		Is there anything about your experience in the 
		Army which would make it difficult for you to 
		do justice between the government on the one 
		side and these defendants on the other?

		I do not believe so.

		Are you prejudiced in any way, for or against 
		the defendants and the position they have 

		Well, I believe I have already formed an 
		opinion, sir.

		I think we have run into difficulties here.  
		You may be excused...  Mr. Fanzone, you have 
		been in the Armed Forces?

		I served three years in the U.S. Army, from 1961 
		to 1964.

		Would anything make it difficult for you to do 
		equal justice here?

		No, your honor.

		Mr. Davis, you have served in the Armed Forces?

		Yes, I was in the U.S. Navy in World War II, 
		between 1943 and 1946.

		Would anything in your experience in the Navy, 
		or since, make it difficult for you to do equal 
		justice between the government on the one hand 
		and these defendants on the other?

		No, sir.

		You may step down... Are the government and the 
		defense ready to have the jury sworn?

Our first view of the PROSECUTION.

		The government is ready.

		We are ready.

			(to the court clerk)
		Swear the jury.

The clerk grabs his Bible.

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White letters on a black screen read: THE FACTS OF THE CASE

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The jury is seated.  They listen attentively to Mrs. Murphy, a WITNESS, 
giving testimony on the stand.  Several boxes of charred papers are nearby.

		We had just come back from lunch.  A gentleman 
		came up the steps.  I looked at him and I said: 
		"Could I help you, sir?"  Before I could say 
		anything else, all of these people came in.  I 
		asked them not to come in.  I begged them not 
		to come in the office but they did.  I was so 
		confused and upset at that point.  They utterly 
		terrified us.  We were just terrified.  Of 
		course, they immediately went to the files.  I 
		noticed one gentleman was carrying a trash 
		burner.  I begged them not to take the files.  
		I begged them.  One of them went right over to 
		the files and I could see him read the label on 
		the 1-A Qualified drawer.  He just emptied all 
		those sheets right into the trash burner.  I 
		begged them and pleaded with them but it was to 
		no avail and I might say that I have never been 
		treated with such bad manners in my whole life 
		and with such disrespect or uncharity.

		Strike it out.  The defendants are not being 
		tried for their manners.

		What happened after they emptied the drawers?

		I took hold of the trash burner and I tried to 
		pull it away but I could not get it away from 
		them, naturally.  And in the scuffle I cut my 
		leg and my hand.  Then they ran down the stairs.  
		I followed to the edge of the building and saw 
		the fire and I came running back up and I said 
		to the girls: "My God, they are burning our 

		And the 378 files taken would include all 
		information necessary to draft young men?

		That is right, everything that concerns a man.

		What effect on the functioning of Local Board 
		33 has the incident of May 17 had?

		It has given us a tremendous amount of work and 
		it certainly has inconvenienced our boys.

		Have you yourself done any work in restoring 
		those files?

		I would estimate that in the general 
		reconstruction, getting the papers from the 
		Armed Forces, making lists, reconstructing the 
		cover sheets, writing them all up again -- all 
		of this -- I would estimate that, myself, alone, 
		I have spent at least eighty hours.  The other 
		clerks spent about forty hours working with me.  
		We also had three supervisors from State 
		Headquarters working for three weeks.

		Have you finished reconstructing these 378 files 
		as of today?

		No, sir.

The defense attorney cross examines the witness.

		Mrs. Murphy, at the time of the action about 
		which you testified, what did the several people 
		who came into the office say to you?

		There was a lot of conversation: "We don't want 
		to hurt you.  We have no intention of hurting 
		you."  Some of it was about the war in Vietnam: 
		that this is not a good war and that we 
		shouldn't be there.  One of them said: "You 
		send our boys away to be killed."  Father Philip 
		Berrigan told me he didn't want to hurt me and 
		I am sure he meant it.

		Can you remember this having been said: "Don't 
		fight." "We don't mean you any bodily harm." 
		"You are helping in the deaths of American 

		That is right.  Yes, I remember that, sir.

		When you speak of an injury you received, would 
		that be an injury for which you treated yourself 
		with a Band-Aid?

		Well, I went to the doctor, really, because it 
		was -- I suppose it was maybe superficial.  But 
		I was very, very, very, very much upset.  Mental 
		anguish, I had.

		Would you concede that the prime purpose of 
		the files, and the work you do, is to serve the 

		Yes, sir, the Army of Defense.  I am part of the 
		Army of Defense.

		Mrs. Murphy, did not some of the defendants 
		while in jail send you flowers and candy?

		Objection, your honor.

		We are not trying the manners of the defendants, 
		neither their good manners or their bad manners.  
		We are trying a specific charge.

		No more questions.

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White letters on a black screen: THE NINE DEFENDANTS

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Our first glimpse of a defendant: Catholic priest PHILIP BERRIGAN testifies 
on the stand.

		I am a member of a family including six boys.  
		All of us were born in Minnesota.  My father 
		was railroading out there and he married my 
		mother who was a German immigrant.  I think 
		perhaps some influence on my life came from 
		these days.  Minnesota was pioneer country.  We 
		lived on the Iron Range.  Most of the people 
		were Scandinavians, Finlanders, Swedes, and 
		Norwegians.  I remember my older brothers 
		telling at great length of the struggles they 
		had to survive in the bitter winters.  We were 
		poor.  I remember the Depression years very 
		well.  I think those years had some bearing on 
		the inclination my life was to take.  I think 
		this is true of my brother Dan as well and 
		other members of our family.  We lived with 
		people and accepted them as they were.  During 
		the Depression years, I remember my mother 
		welcoming people from the road.  There were 
		many men in those days traveling the roads, 
		impoverished and desperate.  Even though we did 
		not have too much to eat, she never refused 
		them.  This made an early and deep impression 
		on us.

		Will you indicate what your early education 

		I come from a devout Catholic family.  Our 
		early years were more or less stereotyped.  All 
		six boys went to parochial school, about two 
		miles away.  We had to walk both ways and pack 
		our lunches.  We were educated by nuns in a 
		rather harsh and authoritarian environment.  We 
		graduated from a Catholic high school.  I went 
		to work and tried to save a little money to go 
		to college.  I was inducted into military 
		service after one semester of college.  I 
		underwent training in the Deep South, first in 
		Georgia and later in Florida and North Carolina.  
		I was perceptive in a dim sort of way, noticing 
		the conditions of Black people in the rural 
		areas where we trained.  I noticed and 
		remembered the dire poverty we encountered.  
		One time when we were out on maneuvers, we 
		happened to be trying out the rations that would 
		be fed us overseas.  The climate was very humid 
		and oppressive and we were famished at the end 
		of the day.  We came upon some Black people who 
		were selling whole chickens for one dollar a 
		piece.  We had some money along.  Five or six 
		of us bought chickens and ravenously ate them.  
		Then a white boy came along, grinned at us.  
		Said we had been eating not chicken, but 

		Did you experience any of the war in Europe?

		I spent about a month in the British Isles.  I 
		saw the devastation of cities, a result of the 
		great German air raids: Bristol, Coventry, 
		Sheffield, London.  I think I should add, in 
		all candor, I was an enthusiastic participant in 
		World War II -- in contrast, of course, to my 
		present attitude, which arose because of the 
		influence of people who have surrounded me.

		What happened after your discharge from military 

		I entered the Society of Saint Joseph for 
		training toward the priesthood.  I lived with 
		Black seminarians.  I learned from them in a 
		graphic way what it means to be Black in this 

		Where did you go after ordination?

		To New Orleans, to teach in a Black high school.

		Did you participate in the social struggles 
		then going on in the South?

		Your honor, how long are we going to go on?

		Very early in New Orleans I became deeply 
		involved in the civil rights struggle.  We did 
		voter registration work.  We worked with the 
		poor in the slums of New Orleans.  We tried to 
		provide some sort of bridge between the Black 
		and White communities.  We tried to attack 
		racism at its roots.  We tried to open minds a 

		We are not trying the racial situation in the 
		United States, nor are we trying the high moral 
		character of this witness.

		At any rate, I began to investigate what was 
		called the Cold War.  I began to study how 
		nuclear weapons were engineered and gotten ready 
		for "duty" on both sides.  There was a loosely 
		formed group of peace people operating on the 
		campuses.  I did some work with them after 
		President Kennedy's assassination.  When the 
		bombing of North Vietnam started, we began a 
		peace organization.  We were doing very 
		unsophisticated and unthreatening things in 
		those days.  We were trying to get a forum on 
		the war, trying to get people to listen.  But I 
		remember even the fierce opposition even to 
		this.  Anyone who spoke out against Vietnam was 
		apt to lose his coattails.  I lost mine.  I was 
		transferred to Baltimore by my superiors because 
		of my peace activity.  The Catholic community 
		in Newburgh where I had been teaching was 
		distraught by what we were doing.  I was 
		ordered by my superiors to keep silent.  But 
		then Pope Paul spoke at the United Nations.  I 
		considered this a mandate to open my mouth 

		What was the nature of your peace activity in 

		We always tried to gauge our activity in terms 
		of the reality of the war.  We started with 
		prayer vigils, with meals of reconciliation, 
		with a few tentative marches in downtown 
		Baltimore.  We began to demonstrate at military 
		bases.  We went to Fort Myers, Virginia.  Fort 
		Myers is the home of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.  
		We tried to contact men like General Wheeler 
		and General Johnson, former Chiefs of Staff of 
		the Army, to tell them of our concerns, to sit 
		down with them, citizen to leader.  The 
		military were immune from any citizen influence.  
		They were a law unto themselves.  General 
		Wheeler ignored our letters.  So we went to his 
		home and demonstrated outside.  We were forced 
		to leave.  We came back in a month's time and 
		were forced out again.  The third time, we were 
		forcibly ejected.  Apart from these attempts, I 
		also tried continually to keep in touch with the 
		Congress.  I made a proposal to Senator 
		Fulbright suggesting it might be a good thing 
		to investigate the war in light of the moral 
		opinion of the nation.  We planned to bring a 
		team of theologians to testify before the 
		Foreign Relations Committee.  Fulbright was 
		partial to the idea but he never had political 
		leverage, particularly from the churches, so, 
		of course, our idea died a-borning.  At 
		Christmas of 1967 I also spent two hours with 
		Secretary Rusk.  I went to his office with 
		another clergyman.  We discussed all aspects of 
		the war.  He was very gracious but he did not 
		tell us anything he had not said before and that 
		was not enough for us.

		Are there any books that influenced your 
		thinking on the war in Vietnam?

		I was influenced by my reading on both sides of 
		the question.  I have read all the authors on 
		the Vietnam war including those who wrote in 
		support of the war.

		I would like to have this book -- "In the Name 
		of America" -- marked for identification.  
		Father Berrigan, I show you Defendant's Exhibit 
		No. 5.  And I ask if you have read this book?

		Yes, I have.

		Did this book influence your thinking as to the 
		legal aspects of the war in Vietnam?

		Yes, it did.

			(to the judge)
		I want to make a formal proffer.  The book "In 
		the Name of America" has to do with the 
		reasonableness of the defendant's views.

		The government has agreed on the sincerity of 
		his views.

			(to the judge)
		The government did not agree as to the 
		reasonableness of his views.

		In that case, I must question the prosecution.  
			(to the prosecution)
		Does the government contend that the 
		reasonableness or unreasonableness of the 
		defendant's view has any bearing on the issue 
		of intent?  You had better think that over 

The prosecuting attorneys consult. 

		Your honor, we say that a reasonable man could 
		have the defendant's views.

			(to the judge)
		Your honor, the defense has scored a capital 
		point.  This is the first time in a trial of 
		this nature that such an admission has been 
		made by the government.  But we shall return to 
		this matter later...
			(to the defendant)
		Father Berrigan, I ask you: did there come a 
		time, then, when you began seriously to 
		consider civil disobedience?

		Yes.  I came to the conclusion that I was in 
		direct line with American democratic tradition 
		in choosing civil disobedience in a serious 
		fashion.  There have been times in our history 
		when in order to get redress, in order to get a 
		voice, vox populi, arising from the roots, 
		people have so acted.  From the Boston Tea 
		Party, through the abolitionist and anarchist 
		movements, through World War I and World War II 
		and right on through the civil rights movement, 
		we have a rich tradition of civil disobedience.

		Now, the action for which you are being tried 
		here was not the first such action you were 
		involved in.  To state it briefly: seven months 
		earlier, in October 1967, you -- along with the 
		defendant Thomas Lewis and two others not 
		present poured blood over Selective Service 
		records in the Baltimore Customs House.

		We were prepared for the blood pouring because 
		we had practiced civil disobedience in 
		Virginia.  In fact, my brother and myself had 
		practiced civil disobedience for years by
		signing complicity statements in support of 
		draft resisters.  So four of us took our own 
		blood -- and when the equipment for drawing 
		our blood broke down, we added animal blood.  
		We attempted to anoint these files with the 
		Christian symbol of life and purification, 
		which is blood.

		Will you explain why, with a jail sentence 
		staring you in the face, you felt compelled to 
		act again at Catonsville?

		Neither at the Customs House, nor at 
		Catonsville, do I wish my actions reduced to a 
		question of acquittal or conviction.  Rather, I 
		-- and all of us -- desire to communicate with 
		the bench, with the prosecution, with our 
		country.  We have already made it clear our 
		dissent runs counter to more than the war which 
		is but one instance of American power in the 
		world.  Latin America is another instance.  So 
		is the Near East.  This trial is yet another.  
		From those in power, we have met little 
		understanding, much silence, much scorn and 
		punishment.  We have been accused of arrogance.  
		But what of the fantastic arrogance of our 
		leaders?  What of their crimes against the 
		people, the poor and powerless?  Still no court 
		will try them, no jail will receive them.  They 
		live in righteousness.  They will die in honor.  
		For them we have one message, for those in 
		whose manicured hands the power of the land 
		lies.  We say to them:  Lead us.  Lead us in 
		justice and there will be no need to break the 
		law.  Let the President do what his 
		predecessors failed to do.  Let him obey the 
		rich less and the people more.  Let him think 
		less of the privileged and more of the poor.  
		Less of America and more of the world.  Let 
		lawmakers, judges, and lawyers think less of 
		the law and more of justice; less of legal 
		ritual, more of human rights.  To our bishops 
		and superiors we say: Learn something about the 
		gospel and something about illegitimate power. 
		When you do, you will liquidate your 
		investments, take a house in the slums, or even 
		join us in jail.  To lawyers, we say: Defend 
		draft resisters, ask no fees, insist on justice, 
		risk contempt of court, go to jail with your 
		clients.  To the prosecution, we say: Refuse to 
		indict opponents of the war, prefer to resign, 
		practice in private.  To Federal judges, we 
		say: Give anti-war people suspended sentences 
		to work for justice and peace or resign your 
		posts.  You men of power, I also have a dream:  
		"Federal Judges... District Attorneys... 
		Marshals... Against the War in Vietnam."  You 
		men of power, you have told us that your system 
		is reformable.  Reform it then.  And we will 
		help, with all our conviction and energy, in 
		jail or out.

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Philip Berrigan is no longer on the stand.  In his place is another defendant:
the bespectacled DAVID DARST.

		I was not in the room when the files were taken.  
		Perhaps I could be called the lookout man.  If 
		anyone came to stop us, I was to hurry in and 
		let the others know.  One might have called it a 
		Bonnie and Clyde act on behalf of God and man.

		Do you recall the substance with which the 
		records were burned?

		They were burned with a kind of crude napalm.  
		We made it from a formula in the Special Forces 
		Handbook published by the School for Special 
		Warfare at Fort Bragg.  We did not use all the 
		ingredients called for.  We made a very crude 
		form of napalm, consisting of two parts 
		gasoline, one part soap flakes.  Nor did we 
		cook our mix into a jelly.  We left it in 
		liquid form so we could pour it on the files.  
		We felt it was fitting that this agent which 
		had burned human flesh in the war in Vietnam -- 
		and in many other places -- should now be 
		poured on the records which gave war and 
		violence their cruel legitimacy.

		Would you explain you intent in acting at 
		Catonsville other than destroying the files?

		First of all to raise a cry -- an outcry -- at 
		what was clearly a crime, an unnecessary 
		suffering, a clear and wanton slaughter.  
		Perhaps this is similar to the case of a man in 
		his home who sees a crime, someone is being 
		attacked outside.  His impulse, I think, his 
		basic human impulse is to cry out, to call for 
		help.  That was one intention: an outcry that, 
		hopefully, would stop the crime I saw being 
		perpetrated.  Another intention was to halt the 
		machine of death which I saw moving and killing.  
		In the same way, perhaps, a person in 
		Czechoslovakia, when tanks invade his country, 
		throws bricks into the wheels of the tanks, and 
		sometimes a puny effort stops a tank.  This was 
		my hope, to hinder this war in a literal way, 
		an actual physical way.

		Do you have any other basis for the intent you 
		have described?

		An outcry against the fact that our country can 
		spend eighty billions a year chasing imaginary 
		enemies all around the world.  I was living 
		last year in a poor ghetto district.  I saw 
		many little children who did not have enough to 
		eat.  This is an astonishing thing, that our 
		country cannot command the energy to give bread 
		and milk to children.  yet it can rain fire and 
		death on people ten thousand miles away for 
		reasons that are unclear to thoughtful men.

		Did your religious belief have any influence on 
		your decision?

		Well, I suppose my thinking is part of an ethic 
		found in the New Testament.  You could say 
		Jesus too was guilty of assault and battery 
		when he cast the money changers out of the 
		temple and wasted their property and wealth.  
		He was saying it is wrong to do what you are 
		doing.  And this was our point.  We came to 
		realize draft files are death's own cry.  We 
		have not been able to let sacred life and 
		total death live together quietly within us.  
		We have cried out on behalf of life.  The 
		government has chosen to see our cry as anarchy 
		and arrogance.  Perhaps real anarchy lies in the 
		acts of those who loose this plague of war upon 
		a proud people in face of a great and burning 
		doubt.  This doubt cries to Heaven.  Our cry, 
		too, goes out in the name of life.  Men around 
		the world hear and take heart.  We are one with 
		them.  We believe that today we are at a joyful 
		beginning.  We are together and we are not 

The prosecution cross examines the defendant.

		You have said elsewhere that draft files have 
		no right to exist.  Do you believe that slum 
		properties have no right to exist?

		Slum properties, I would say, have no right to 

		Would you symbolically burn down slum 

		How could I symbolically burn down slum 

A ROAR of laughter, followed by much COMMOTION: our first glimpse of the 
audience viewing the trial.  The judge BANGS his gavel angrily.

		If we have any more demonstrations, we are 
		going to clear the courtroom.

					CUT TO:


A bearded defendant, THOMAS LEWIS, testifies.

		Let me speak of an experience that has bearing 
		on why I am here.  As you recall, some years 
		ago, there were civil rights demonstrations at 
		Gwyn Oak Park here in Baltimore.  The issue was 
		the right of the Black man to use the park.  I 
		went there to do some sketches of the 
		demonstrations.  When I arrived, they had just 
		arrested some clergymen.  You know I had a 
		feeling that I should be where they were.  I 
		was slowly drawn into things.  I picketed for 
		awhile.  But I was in no position 
		psychologically to consider civil disobedience.  
		Later, I became active in the Catholic 
		Interracial Council and in CORE.  I was slowly 
		becoming educated in the realities around me.  
		My schooling went forward with my experience.  
		In a sense, I could have been called a very 
		conservative person coming out of high school, 
		going into art studies.  It is a shocking thing, 
		walking a picket line for the first time, 
		sensing the hostility of the people, the White 
		people particularly when we went to suburbia to 
		demonstrate for open occupancy.

		What first motivated you to become interested 
		in the issue of Vietnam?

		Well, there were many factors.  It is 
		unfortunate, reflecting on it now...  In 
		Christianity, we are taught that all men are a 
		human family.  Yet I was not profoundly moved 
		about Vietnam until my younger brother was 
		there, an immediate relative.  Of course, in a 
		Christian sense, one's family is much more 
		broad than the immediate family.  The war 
		helped educate me.  I began to read and go to 
		lectures about the war.  Of course, on an 
		artist, the visual impact of the war is 

		What opinion did you come to with respect to 
		the war in Vietnam?

		I came to the conclusion that the war is 
		totally outrageous from the Christian point of 
		view.  But it is not enough to say this.  You 
		know, those terms have become almost 
		meaningless.  The war is outrageous, 
		unChristian, and it is a great deal more than 

		On the strength of these beliefs, did you then 
		engage in peace activity?

		Yes, after the speech of Pope Paul at the U.N., 
		a group of us began what we called the 
		Interfaith Peace Mission of Baltimore.  We were 
		a group of concerned people attempting to 
		express to others what we felt about the war.  
		We began with a peace vigil at one of the 
		churches here.  We prayed for peace in response 
		to the invitation of religious leaders 
		throughout the world.  We  followed this with a 
		walk demonstrating visually our hope for peace.  
		Things progressed.  We had visits with Maryland 
		Congressmen and Senators.  We wrote letters to 
		them and delivered them personally in 
		Washington.  We met with silence from all of 
		them.  We met with hostility and apathy.  One 
		of the vigils in Washington was at the home of 
		McNamara, another was at the home of Rusk.  
		Particularly Rusk indicated his lack of concern.  
		He said it was not his job to deal with moral 
		matters.  He said to the clergymen in the group 
		that it was their responsibility to deal with the 
		morality of the war.  We did not need his 
		homilies.  We had been doing that for years.  
		So, we turned toward the military.  With engaged 
		in conversations with the military hierarchy.  
		They accepted no responsibility for the 
		direction of the war.  The responsibility was 
		not theirs.  They were just taking orders.

			(to the defendant)
		You said "no response." You mean, they did not 
		do what you asked them to do, is that it?

		No response, your honor.  We were standing 
		there.  We were speaking on behalf of the 
		suffering.  We were speaking as Americans.  We 
		were proud to be Americans.  Yet we have 
		representatives in Vietnam who do terrible 
		things in our name.  We were saying to the 
		military: This is wrong.  This is immoral.  
		This is illegal.  And their response to this 
		was, they were only obeying orders.

			(to the defendant)
		But they did respond to you, did they not?

		It was an atrocious response.

		You are an artist, are you not?

		Yes, sir.

			(to the defense)
		We are not trying his ability as an artist.

		Would you indicate, Mr. Lewis, where your work 
		has been exhibited?  And what prizes you have 

			(to the defense)
		This has nothing to do with the issue.  We are 
		not trying his ability as an artist.

		So be it.  I then moved into civil disobedience.
		This is a legitimate form of social protest.  
		It is well documented in Christianity.  Civil 
		disobedience was practiced by early Christians.  
		The spirit of the New Testament deals with a 
		man's response to other men and with a law that 
		overrides all laws.  The one law is the primary 
		law of love and justice toward other men.  As a 
		Christian, I am obligated to the primary law of 
		brotherhood.  Men have responsibilities not only 
		to their immediate families but to the world.

		Yes, you have said that.

		So I made a decision to protest.  This protest 
		involved the pouring of blood, a strong 
		indictment of those records.  Blood, in Biblical 
		terms and in contemporary terms, is a symbol of 
		reconciliation -- related to the blood that is 
		being wasted in Vietnam, not only American 
		blood but the blood of Vietnamese.  We acted -- 
		Father Phil Berrigan, Dave Eberhart, Reverend 
		Mengel and myself -- in Baltimore in October of 
		1967.  For that, I received a prison sentence 
		of six years in a Federal penitentiary.

		After the conviction and while you were 
		awaiting sentence, you also engaged in the 
		Catonsville action, did you not?

		Yes.  It was the response of a man, a man 
		standing for humanity, a man, a Christian, a 
		human being, seeing what was happening, not 
		only in Vietnam, but beyond Vietnam.  There was 
		a difference in my mind between the two 
		protests.  The draft records on which we poured 
		blood were records of the inner city, the ghetto 
		areas.  Part of the protest was to dramatize 
		that the war is taking more cannon fodder from 
		the poor areas than from the more affluent 
		areas.  The symbolism was perhaps clearer in the 
		second case.  We used a contemporary symbol -- 
		napalm -- to destroy records which are potential 
		death certificates.  They stand for the death of 
		the men, they represent men who are put in the 
		situation where they have to kill.  But beyond 
		this, napalm manufactured in the United States 
		is part of our foreign aid.  We supply weaponry 
		to more than eighty countries.  We have troops 
		in more than forty countries.  These troops are 
		backed up with our weaponry.  So I was speaking 
		not only of Vietnam.  I was speaking of other 
		parts of the world.  The fact is, the American 
		system can flourish only if we expand our 
		economy in these other countries.  The fact is 
		we produce more goods than we are capable of 
		consuming.  We must have new markets.  We must 
		bring our industries, our way of life into 
		Vietnam and Latin America.  We must protect our 
		interests there.  But we asked at Catonsville:  
		Whose interests are these?  Who represents the 
		interests of Latin America?   Who represents 
		the interests of Vietnam?  I was well aware 
		that, in civil disobedience, you take an action, 
		you stand, you are arrested, you attempt to 
		express your views, you are prepared to take 
		the consequences.  The consequence to me was a 
		six year sentence for pouring blood.  I was 
		aware too that if I became involved in 
		Catonsville, I would be summoned once more for 
		trial.  This is the trial and a greater sentence 
		may follow.  I was fully aware of this at the 
		time.  It was a very thoughtful time.  In a 
		sense, it was a choice between life and death.  
		It was a choice between saving one's soul and 
		losing it.  I was saving my soul.

		Did you consider that others like you might hold 
		a view about Vietnam that was contrary to yours?

		Well, that has happened, as we all know.  I 
		don't see any of these people in jail.  I don't 
		see any of these people suffering as we are 

		That was not my question.  That was not my 

		I don't see any of these people in prison.  What 
		do these people represent?  Such people are 
		defending their economic interest.  They are 
		defending their personal interests.  They are 
		gaining because of the war.  The whole weaponry 
		industry is enormous because of the war.  The 
		Sentinel Missile System would not be possible if 
		it were not for this war.  Who are gaining from 
		the war?  They are an elite minority who are 
		very wealthy.  But what is happening to the 
		poor in this country?  I am not trying to 
		belabor the point.

		I think the question could be answered yes or 
		no, could it not?  Yes or no, were you aware 
		that it was against the law to take records 
		from the Selective Service and burn them?

		I wasn't concerned with the law.  I wasn't even 
		thinking about the law.  I was thinking of what 
		those records meant.  I wasn't concerned with 
		the law.  I was concerned with the lives of 
		innocent people.  I went in there with the intent 
		of stopping what the files justify.  The young 
		men whose files we destroyed have not yet been 
		drafted, may not be drafted, may not be sent to 
		Vietnam for cannon fodder.  My intent in going 
		there was to save lives.  A person may break the 
		law to save lives.

		If these men were not sent, other people would 
		have been sent, who would not otherwise have been 
		sent, would they not?

		But why, your honor?  Why this?  Why does it 
		have to be like this?  You are accepting the 
		fact that if these men are not sent, other men 
		will be sent.  You are not even asking what can 
		be done to stop this insane killing, what can be 
		done to stop the genocide, what can be done to 
		stop the conditions in Latin America.  You are 
		not dealing with these things.  You are 
		accepting this as in Nazi Germany people 
		accepted the massacre of other people.  This is 
		insane.  I protest this.

		Your honor, I move that all this be stricken.  
		I don't know how long he is going to continue.

		How long?  I have six years, Mr. Prosecutor. I 
		have lots of time.

					CUT TO:


We CUT BACK AND FORTH between the testimony of THOMAS and MARJORIE MELVILLE, 
a married couple.  

		I am Thomas Melville, priest.  In August of 
		1957, I went to Guatemala.  My work there was 
		the work of any Christian minister, trying to 
		teach the people the truths of the Christian 
		faith.  I was not there very long when I felt I 
		was getting a little ahead of myself.  The 
		material circumstances of the people -- I 
		hesitate to use the word poverty.  They were 
		living in utter misery.  So I thought, instead 
		of talking about the life to come and justice 
		beyond, perhaps I could do a little to 
		ameliorate the their conditions on this earth 
		and at the same time could give a demonstration 
		of what Christianity is all about.  So we 
		decided we would join the revolutionary 
		movement, knowing that perhaps some of us would 
		be killed:  myself, Marjorie my wife who was a 
		nun at the time, John Hogan, and five others, 
		joined in this agreement.  We were all finally 
		expelled by the American ambassador who was 
		recently assassinated.  I know you are bored by 

		Nobody is bored by this.  It is an extremely 
		interesting story.  But we cannot try the last 
		ten years in Guatemala.

		I am Marjorie Melville, wife of Thomas Melville.  
		We first met in Guatemala.  We were trying to 
		find out our role as Christians.  Was it to see 
		to people's needs and get involved or were we 
		to say, Well, this is too difficult.  It is too 
		hard to know what to do.  Do we stand back or do 
		we go in on the side of the people and say, What 
		can I do to help?  We were in anguish trying to 
		figure out what to do with people who needed our 

		I put up the title of the church property so we 
		could get a loan -- without the permission of 
		the Bishops.  I got into trouble for it.  I 
		signed the loan myself.  There was simply no 
		organization in the country that would help the 

		We are not trying the state of Guatemala.  We 
		are not trying the Church in Guatemala.

		I had been living a very sheltered life in 
		Guatemala City.  I never went out.  I dealt 
		only with the parents of school children.  Then 
		I took a course in Christian social doctrine.  
		I went into the slum areas.  I began to 
		understand and to show the students what life 
		in Guatemala City was about.  Through working 
		with the students, I began to realize my 
		country's involvement in Guatemala.  Every time 
		we asked for help for very simple projects like 
		putting water in a village or setting up a 
		cooperative, we found that funds were not 
		available.  Money was always available but only 
		in areas where the peasants were in active 
		despair.  Money was available so they would 
		stay quiet.

		Under one government, land that belonged to the 
		United Fruit Comapny was distributed to 
		peasants.  But a later President, Castillo 
		Armas, took the land from the peasants and gave 
		it back to the United Fruit Company.  There 
		were about three thousand people who did not 
		want to move off the land.  They were killed or 
		moved forcibly off the land.

		We are not trying the United Fruit Company.

		I went to the President, Ygidores Fuentes, to 
		ask for land for the people.  He had eighty 
		national plantations.  He was giving them to 
		his political cronies.  He was very courteous 
		but he said there was no land for these 
		peasants.  They did not have capital.  They did 
		not have know-how to work the land.

		We are not trying the government of Guatemala, 
		nor the Catholic church in Guatemala.

		The group of students I was working with chose 
		a name which in English means "Crater" because 
		they felt that our spirit should be like a 
		volcano which erupts forth love for men.  Our 
		superiors got a little nervous about our desire 
		to work with the peasants and they thought it 
		would be better if we left the country before 
		the thing got too big.  We were asked to leave 
		Guatemala in December of 1967.  We went to 
		Mexico trying to help the peasants and student 
		leaders who had also been expelled.  There lives 
		were in danger.  Being associated with us put 
		them in danger.  In fact, I found out that their 
		names were on the Secret Police lists and they 
		would have been murdered as four thousand people 
		had been murdered in the last two years.  It is 
		impossible to describe that.

		Well, we are listening.

		Eighty-five percent of the people of Guatemala 
		live in misery.  Perhaps that is why you don't 
		worry about it.  They live in misery because 
		two percent of the population are determined to 
		keep them that way.  These two percent are 
		aligned with business interests in Guatemala, 
		especially with the United Fruit Company.  The 
		United States government identifies its 
		interests in Guatemala with the interests of 
		American big business and with the Guatemalan 
		two percent who control the country.  So if any 
		peasant movement does not conduct itself 
		according to their wishes, that is to say, if 
		such a movement is not completely ineffective, 
		they start yelling "They are communists!" and 
		begin executing these people.

		You mean to say that the United States 
		government is executing Guatemalans?

		Yes, your honor.

		Has the United States government sent troops 
		into Guatemala?

		Yes, your honor.


		At the end of 1966 and in January of 1967.

		And you say that the United States executed 
		people there?

		Yes.  It was reported even in Time magazine.

		Well, we are not trying the series of 
		Guatemalan revolutions.

		No, the court is quite busy trying us.
		We wanted to participate in the revolutionary 
		movement.  We knew it would not look good if an 
		American priest or nun were killed in Guatemala 
		by American Green Berets.  We wanted to 
		complicate things for the United States in 
		Guatemala because we did not want to see a 
		slaughter there like the one in Vietnam.  There 
		are all kinds of communists in Guatemala, beyond 
		doubt.  I was accused of being a communist.  
		Good people who want a piece of land are 
		accused of being communists.  Thousands of them 
		have been killed in the last few years and I 
		wanted to stop that.

		I did not want to bring hurt upon myself but 
		there comes a moment when you decide that some 
		things should not be.  Then you have to act to 
		try to stop those things.  On my return, I was 
		very happy when I found other people in this 
		country concerned as I was.  I know that 
		burning draft files is not an effective way to 
		stop a war but who has found a way of stopping 
		this war?  I have racked my brain.  I have 
		talked to all kinds of people.  What can you 
		do?  They say "Yes, yes..." but there is no 
		answer.  No stopping it.  The horror continues.

		We wish to say lastly why we went to 
		Catonsville.  Americans know that their nation 
		was born in blood.  We have expanded our 
		frontiers and pacified the Indians in blood.

		The creature of our history is our fatherland 
		today.  The history we create today will form 
		the minds and hearts of our children tomorrow.

		I hear our President confuse greatness with 
		strength, riches with goodness, fear with 
		respect, hopelessness and passivity with peace.  
		The cliches of our leaders pay tribute to 
		property and indifference to suffering.  We 
		long for a hand of friendship and succor and 
		that hand clenches into a fist.  I wonder how 
		long we can endure.

		We wash our hands in the dirt of others, 
		pointing to the invasions or the atrocities of 
		others, certain that our own invasions and 
		atrocities are more excusable because more 
		subtle, though indeed far more devastating.

		We ask this court and this nation today: Will 
		you acknowledge our right to work for change?

		We do not ask for mercy.  We do not ask that 
		history judge us right.  That is a consolation 
		for more visionary souls than ours.

		We ask only that Americans consider seriously 
		the points we have tried to raise.

		If they do this, we have been successful.  Our 
		act has been worth the expense, the suffering.

					CUT TO:


A woman, MARY MOYLAN, testifies.

		I went to Uganda in 1959.  I worked as a 
		nurse-midwife.  I also went on safaris.  I 
		trained students in nursing.  I taught English 
		to secondary school girls.  While I was in 
		Africa, I took courses in African history and 
		anthropology.  I was working toward Fort Portal 
		up near the Mountains of the Moon.  In the 
		summer of 1965, American planes piloted by 
		Cubans bombed Uganda, supposedly by accident.  
		This made me very interested in our foreign 
		policy and exactly what was going on.  Finally, 
		a serious conflict developed between myself and 
		the Administrator of Hospitals.  I said that I 
		loved Fort Portal very much but there were 
		several things I must object to.  I felt that 
		the Africans should have more responsibility.  
		Much of our role seemed to be to provide a 
		white face in a black community.  I also felt 
		that the students should have broader training 
		than they were getting.  There was a large 
		government hospital right down the road.  It 
		could use our help.  The administrator broke my 
		contract and asked me to leave.  I stayed in 
		Uganda for two months so that I could tell the 
		people why I was leaving.  When I returned 
		home, I became director of the Women Volunteers 
		Association in Washington, D.C.  Through my 
		involvement in Washington it became obvious to 
		me that we had no right to speak to foreign 
		countries about their policies when things at 
		home were in very sad shape.  I was aware of 
		the militant Black community in Washington.  It 
		became obvious that "law and order" is a 
		farcical term.  In instances which I know of, 
		the law was broken by the government.  In fact, 
		justice for a Black person is just about 
		impossible.  It became obvious to me that our 
		politicians are right: Our foreign policy is 
		indeed a reflection of our domestic policy.  In 
		Washington, a Black youth was shot by a white 
		policeman.  A verdict of justifiable homicide 
		was handed down.  I remember, too, a protest 
		staged by a young leader who had a juvenile 
		record.  A southern congressman then read into 
		the Congressional Record this man's juvenile 
		record.  This is absolutely forbidden by law.  
		It was pointed out to the congressman that his 
		procedure was illegal.  His answer was: "I did 
		it once and I will do it again."  I think when 
		you see the imperatives placed on you by such 
		events at home, by the lives lost in Vietnam, 
		lost in Latin America and in Africa, then it is 
		time to stand up.  This is what it means to be 
		a Christian, that you act on what you say you 
		believe.  This is what Christ meant when He 
		lived.  We have not only to talk but, if we see 
		something wrong, we have to be willing to do 
		something about it.  This is my belief.  As a 
		nurse, my profession is to preserve life, to 
		prevent disease.  To a nurse, the effect of 
		napalm on human beings is apparent.  I think of 
		children and women bombed by napalm, burned 
		alive by a substance that does not roll off. It 
		is a jelly.  It adheres.  It continues burning.  
		This is inhuman, absolutely.  To pour napalm on 
		pieces of paper is certainly preferable to 
		using napalm on human beings.  By pouring napalm 
		on draft files I wish to celebrate life, not to 
		engage in a dance of death.

					CUT TO:


A moustached man, GEORGE MISCHE, testifies.

		Mr. Mische, you worked in Latin America for 
		four years?

		Yes.  I worked in Central America and in the 
		Caribbean.  I organized labor groups, housing 
		programs, land programs.  We would work up 
		through the grass roots.  I would submit our 
		proposals to Washington for approval.  I went 
		to Latin America with the idea that the Latins 
		would be there waiting at the boat to greet me 
		because I was an American.  That is the naivete 
		we have, I guess, until we arrive overseas.  
		Then I realized how wrong I was.  We were not 
		only not welcome, now and then we had bricks 
		thrown at us.  This confused me but after I 
		became involved at a higher level, I started to 
		understand why bricks were thrown at us.  I was 
		working in two countries where revolutions had 
		taken place.  I should not say "revolution," I
		should say "coup d'etat" military overthrow of 
		governments.  Two democratically elected 
		governments were overthrown by the military 
		with Pentagon support.  At that point, I felt I 
		could not in conscience go on with this work 
		because John Kennedy had said we would not deal 
		with military dictatorships.  At the overthrow 
		of democracy, we would stop all military 
		support and all economic support.  We would 
		withdraw our people to force the leaders to 
		return to democracy.  Well, when I saw the 
		opposite occur, I resigned.  This reversal of 
		things had most impact on me in the Dominican 
		Republic.  That was such a tragedy as to be 
		unbelievable.  A man like Trujillo ran that 
		country for thirty-two years.  When someone 
		dared talk about social change or social reform, 
		they would go into his house, take the head of 
		the family out of the house, cut off his penis, 
		put it in his mouth, cut off his arms and legs, 
		drop them in the doorway...

		I have to object.  I am trying to be patient.  
		I would suggest that we get to the issues.

		I am trying to speak as a human being to the 
		jury who I hope are human beings and can 
		understand us.  Will the jury dare to deal with 
		the spirit of the law and the issues we are 
		talking about?  If not, we can expect no peace, 
		no solutions -- only disorder and riots, in our 
		country and in the world.

		Mr. Mische, after you left the Alliance for 
		Progress, what did you do?

		I came back to the United States and went 
		around this country.  I talked to university 
		students.  I talked to religious groups.  I 
		talked at businessmen's clubs.  I spoke to 
		eighty Catholic Bishops.  As a Catholic, I 
		apologize to you for their cowardice.  I asked 
		them, since they have eighty billion dollars 
		worth of property and ten times as much in 
		investments, if they were really to live in the 
		spirit of the stable in which Christ was born, 
		then why not get rid of the buildings and give 
		them to the poor?

		Your honor, may I object again?

		We are not trying the bishops of the United 

		It seemed to me that the war in Vietnam was 
		illegal because only Congress can declare a 
		war.  The President cannot legally take us into 
		a war.  We should never have let him.  He 
		should be on trial here today.  In the peace 
		movement, one of the most powerful things I 
		knew of was Philip Berrigan's first trial for 
		the blood pouring.  A six year sentence for 
		pouring blood on files.  Men walk our streets 
		pouring blood continuously and they walk free.  
		I also had a feeling, a strong feeling, about 
		what happened in Germany during the last war.  
		My father was from Germany.  The United States 
		in 1945 supported the Nuremberg trials.  I 
		thought that was the finest precedent this 
		country ever set.  I said, Good.  You are right.  
		All of us Christians share the responsibility 
		for having put those Jews in the ovens.  If 
		this was true, then it is also true that this 
		is expected of me now as a Christian.  Because 
		the Vietnamese people are crying out.  Stop the 
		bombing.  Stop the napalming.  Stop the death, 
		day in and day out.  But now we want to forget 
		the precedent we set in 1945.  There is a 
		tendency to say: That was another country, 
		another time.  It is said in times of crisis.  
		We cannot make black and white decisions.  
		Everything is gray.  That is the problem.  It 
		is easy for us on Monday morning to tell how we 
		should have played Sunday's game.  We say that 
		it is too complicated.  It is too obscure.  So 
		nothing happens.  The violence continues.  I 
		felt that the crisis this country is in needed 
		something drastic, something people could see.  
		But the act had to be nonviolent.  We were not 
		out to destroy life.  There is a higher law we 
		are commanded to obey.  It takes precedence 
		over human laws.  My intent was to follow the 
		higher law.  My intent was to save lives, 
		Vietnamese lives, North and South American 
		lives.  To stop the madness.  That was the 

		Is it your position that those who take a 
		contrary view to yours are insane?

		No, sir, you did not hear.  I was trying to say 
		that the style of one's action must coincide 
		with the style of his life.  And that is all.

					CUT TO:


A man named JOHN HOGAN testifies.

		I have something of a comparison, an analogy.  
		If there were a group of children walking along 
		the street returning home from school and a car 
		came down the street out of control, even 
		though there was a driver in that car, if I 
		could divert the car from crashing into those 
		children, I would  feel an obligation to turn 
		the car from its path.  Of course, the car is 
		property and would be damaged.  It is even 
		possible something would happen to the 
		individual in the car.  But no matter.  I would 
		be thinking ten times more of those children 
		than of the driver of that car.  And I know, 
		too, if I were driving that car and it were out 
		of control, I would hope and pray to God that 
		somebody would smash the car so that I might 
		not destroy those children.

		If there were, Mr. Hogan, one phrase in which 
		you could sum up your intent in going to 
		Catonsville, how would you express it?

		I just want to let people live.  That is all.

		I did not hear it.

		I said, I want to let people live.  That is all.

					CUT TO:



		What was the impact of the act of your brother 
		Philip Berrigan when he poured blood on draft 
		files in Baltimore?

		I began to understand one could not 
		indefinitely obey the law while social 
		conditions deteriorated, structures of 
		compassion breaking down, neighborhoods slowly 
		rotting, the poor despairing, unrest forever 
		present in the land, especially among the young 
		people who are our only hope, our only resource.  
		My brother's action helped me realize from the 
		beginning of our republic, good men had said no 
		-- acted outside the law when conditions so 
		demanded.  And if a man did this, time might 
		vindicate him, show his act to be lawful, a 
		gift to society, a gift to history, and to the 
		community.  A few men must have a long view, 
		must leave history to itself, to interpret 
		their lives, their repute.  Someday, these 
		defendants may be summoned to the Rose Garden 
		and decorated, but not today.

		Could you state to the court what your intent 
		was in burning the draft files?

		I did not want the children or the 
		grandchildren of the jury or of the judge to be 
		burned with napalm.

		You say that your intention was to save these 
		children, of the jury, of myself, when you 
		burned the records?  That is what I heard you 
		say.  I ask if you meant that.

		I meant that.  Of course, I mean that.  Or I 
		would not say it.  The great sinfulness of 
		modern war is that it renders concrete things 
		abstract.  I do not want to talk about 
		Americans in general.

		You cannot think up arguments now that you would 
		like to have had in your mind then.

		My intention on that day was to save the 
		innocent from death by fire.  I was trying to 
		save the poor who are mainly charged with dying 
		in this war.  I poured napalm on behalf of the 
		prosecutor's  and the jury's children.  It 
		seems to me quite logical.  If my way of putting 
		the facts is inadmissible, then so be it.  But I 
		was trying to be concrete about death because 
		death is a concrete fact as I have throughout my 
		life tried to be concrete about the existence of 
		God -- Who is not an abstraction but is someone 
		before me for Whom I am responsible.

		Was your action at Catonsville a way of 
		carrying out your religious beliefs?
		Of course it was.  May I say, if my religious 
		belief is not accepted as a substantial part of 
		my action, then the action is eviscerated of all 
		meaning and I should be committed for insanity.  

		How did your views on the Vietnam war take shape?

		My views on war and peace arose in me slowly as 
		life itself pushed hard and fast.  I should like 
		to speak of five or six stages in my development.  
		I was invited to South Africa around Easter of 
		1964.  There, I had a bout two weeks of intense 
		exposure to a segregationist police state.  At 
		one meeting in Durbin, I remember the question 
		being raised:  What happens to our children if 
		things go so badly that we have to go to jail?  
		I remember saying I could not answer that 
		question not being a citizen of that country but 
		I could perhaps help by reversing the question:  
		What happens to us and our children if we do not 
		go to jail?

		I visited eastern Europe twice in 1964, meeting 
		with Christians in Czechoslovakia, Hungary, 
		Russia.  This had bearing on my development.  I 
		was coming to realize what it might cost to be a 
		Christian, what it might cost even at home if 
		things were to change in the direction I felt 
		events were taking even then.  In the summer of 
		1965, I went to Prague to attend the Christian 
		Peace Conference.  This was a kind of 
		breakthrough.  For the first time, a Catholic 
		priest sat in that vast assembly of Christians 
		from all over the world -- from Marxist 
		countries, from India, from Africa, from the 
		east and west -- talking about things that 
		diplomacy and power and the military were not 
		talking about.  That is to say: How can we 
		survive as human beings in a world more and 
		more officially given over to violence and 
		death.  I think the imperceptible movement of 
		my conscience was pushed forward by that 

		I returned in the summer of 1964 and was 
		assigned as editor and writer at a magazine in 
		New York named "Jesuit Missions."  I was quite 
		convinced that the war in Vietnam would 
		inevitably worsen.  I felt that a cloud no 
		larger than a man's hand would shortly cover 
		the sky.  In the autumn of 1964, I began to say 
		no to the war, knowing if I delayed too long, I 
		would never find the courage to say no.  In 
		that year, I underwent a kind of boot camp in 
		the "new man" -- becoming a peaceable man in a 
		time of great turmoil. New York was not an 
		auspicious place to be a peaceable Catholic 
		priest.  Cardinal Spellman was living.  He had 
		always supported American wars.  He believed -- 
		I think this states his thought -- that the 
		highest of expression of Christian faith was to 
		bless our military.  By his Christmas visits to 
		our foreign legions he placed official approval 
		on our military adventuring.  I had to say no to 
		that, too. I had to say no to the church.

		Finally, in the autumn of 1965, I was exiled 
		from the United States to Latin America...

		What do you mean, "exiled"?

		I was sent out, your honor, with no return 
		ticket.  As one of my friends expressed it, 
		sending me to Latin America was a little like 
		tossing Br'er Rabbit into the briar patch.  I 
		visited ten countries in four and a half months 
		from Mexico to southern Chile and then up the 
		western coasts.  I discussed American 
		involvement in the political and social scene 
		of those countries.  I spent time with the 
		students, the slum dwellers, with whatever 
		government officials would talk as well as with 
		church leaders.  In Mexico, a student said to 
		me:  We hate you North Americans with all our 
		hearts but we know that if you do not make it, 
		we all come down, we are all doomed.  I arrived 
		in Rio in January 1966 in the midst of 
		devastating floods.  In the space of a single 
		night, the rains came down with torrential 
		force, whole towns collapsed, people and shacks 
		fell into a stew of death.  I remember the next 
		morning slogging through the mud in the company 
		of a slum dweller who was also a community 
		organizer.  He looked at me and said:  My 
		friend, millions for war in Vietnam and this 
		for us.

		What?  Are you saying that the United States 
		government caused the flood?

		I think the fact was a bit more subtle than 
		that.  I think he was saying the resources of 
		America which belong, in justice, to the poor 
		of the world, are squandered in war and war 

		Now, may I ask about your writings and 

		What difference does it make how many books he 
		has written?

		I show you the book "Night Flight to Hanoi."  
		Will you outline the circumstances out of which 
		this book was written?

		The book marks the next stage of my development.  
		In January of 1968, an invitation came from the 
		government of North Vietnam.  Professor Howard
		Zinn and myself were invited to Hanoi to bring 
		home three captive American airmen.  For me to 
		go to Hanoi was a very serious decision.  I 
		believe -- I have always believed -- that the 
		peace movement must not merely say no to the 
		war.  It must also say yes to life, yes to a 
		possibility of a human future.  We must go 
		beyond frontiers, frontiers declared by our 
		country or by the enemy.  So I thought it would 
		be important to show Americans that we were 
		ready to risk our lives to bring back American 
		prisoners because we did not believe that in 
		wartime anyone should be in prison or should 
		suffer separation from families -- simply, we 
		did not believe in war.  And so we went.  In 
		Hanoi, I think we were the first Americans to 
		undergo an American bombing attack.  When the 
		burned draft files were brought into court 
		yesterday as evidence, I could not but recall 
		that I had seen in Hanoi evidence of a very 
		different nature.  I saw not boxes of burned 
		papers, I saw parts of human bodies, preserved 
		in alcohol, the bodies of children, the hearts 
		and organs and limbs of women, teachers, 
		workers, peasants, bombed in fields and 
		churches and schools and hospitals.  I examined 
		our "improved weaponry."  It was quite clear to 
		me during three years of air war, America had 
		been experimenting upon the bodies of the 
		innocent.  We had improved our weapons on their 

		He did not see this first hand.  He is telling 
		of things he was told in Hanoi, about some 
		things that were preserved in alcohol.

		French, English, Swedish experts -- doctors -- 
		testified these were actually the bodies whose 
		pictures accompanied the exhibits.  The 
		evidence was unassailable.  The bombings were a 
		massive crime against man.  The meaning of the 
		air war in the North was the deliberate, 
		systematic destruction of a poor and developing 

		We are not trying the air war in North Vietnam.

		I must protest the effort to discredit me on the 
		stand.  I am speaking of what I saw.  There is a 
		consistent effort to say that I did not see it.

		The best evidence of what some "crime 
		commission" found is not a summary that you give.

		So be it.  In any case, we brought the flyers 
		home.  I think as a result of the trip to Hanoi 
		I understood the limits of what I had done 
		before and the next step that must come.  On my 
		return to America, another event helped me to 
		understand the way I must go.  It was the 
		self-immolation of a high school student in 
		Syracuse, New York in the spring of 1968.  This
		boy had come to a point of despair about the 
		war.  He had gone into the Catholic cathedral, 
		drenched himself with kerosene, and immolated 
		himself in the street.  He was still living a 
		month later.  I was able to gain access to him.  
		I smelled the odor of burning flesh.  And I 
		understood anew what I had seen in North 
		Vietnam.  The boy was dying in torment, his 
		body like a piece of meat cast upon a grill. He 
		died shortly thereafter.  I felt that my senses 
		had been invaded in a new way.  I had 
		understood the power of death in the modern 
		world.  I knew I must speak and act against 
		death because this boy's death was being 
		multiplied a thousandfold in the Land of 
		Burning Children.  So I went to Catonsville and 
		burned some papers because the burning of 
		children is inhuman and unbearable.  I went to 
		Catonsville because I had gone to Hanoi, 
		because my brother was a man, and I must be a 
		man, and because I knew at length I could not 
		announce the gospel from a pedestal.  I must 
		act as a Christian sharing the risks and 
		burdens and anguish of those whose lives were 
		placed in the breach by us.  I saw suddenly 
		and it struck with the force of lightning that 
		my position was false.  I was threatened with 
		verbalizing my moral substance out of existence.  
		I was placing upon young shoulders a filthy 
		burden, the original sin of war.  I was asking 
		them to enter a ceremony of death.  Although I 
		was too old to carry a draft card, there were 
		other ways of getting in trouble with a state 
		that seemed determined upon multiplying the 
		dead, totally intent upon a war, the meaning of 
		which no sane man could tell.  So I went to 
		Hanoi and then to Catonsville and that is why
		I am here.

		Did you not write a meditation to accompany the 
		statement issued by the nine defendants at 

		Yes, sir.

		Would you read the meditation?

		"Some ten or twelve of us (the number is still 
		uncertain) will, if all goes well (ill?) take 
		our religious bodies during this week to a 
		draft center in or near Baltimore.  There we 
		shall of purpose and forethought remove the 
		1-A files, sprinkle them in the public street 
		with home-made napalm, and set them afire.  For 
		which act we shall beyond doubt be placed 
		behind bars for some portion of our natural 
		lives in consequence of our inability to live 
		and die content in the plagued city, to say 
		'peace, peace' when there is no peace, to keep 
		the poor poor, the thirsty and hungry thirsty 
		and hungry.  Our apologies, dear friends, for 
		the fracture of good order, the burning of 
		paper instead of children, the angering of the 
		orderlies in the front parlor of the charnel 
		house.  We could not, so help us God, do 
		otherwise.  For we are sick at heart, our 
		hearts give us no rest for thinking of the Land 
		of Burning Children and for thinking of that 
		other Child of whom the poet Luke speaks.  The 
		infant was taken up in the arms of an old man 
		whose tongue grew resonant and vatic at the 
		touch of that beauty.  And the old man spoke: 
		this child is set for the fall and rise of many 
		in Israel, a sign that is spoken against.  
		Small consolation, a child born to make trouble 
		and to die for it, the First Jew (not the last) 
		to be subject of a 'definitive solution.'  And 
		so we stretch out our hands to our brothers 
		throughout the world.  We who are priests to 
		our fellow priests.  All of us who act against 
		the law turn to the poor of the world, to the 
		Vietnamese, to the victims, to the soldiers who 
		kill and die, for the wrong reasons, for no 
		reason at all, because they were so ordered by 
		the authorities of that public order which is, 
		in effect, a massive institutionalized disorder.  
		We say: killing is disorder -- life and 
		gentleness and community and unselfishness is 
		the only order we recognize.  For the sake of 
		that order, we risk our liberty, our good name.  
		The time is past when good men may be silent, 
		when obedience can segregate men from public 
		risk, when the poor can die without defense.  
		How many indeed must die before our voices are 
		heard, how many must be tortured, dislocated, 
		starved, maddened?  How long must the world's 
		resources be raped in the service of legalized 
		murder?  When at what point will you say no to 
		this war?  We have chosen to say, with the gift 
		of liberty, if necessary, our lives:  The 
		violence stops here, the death stops here, the 
		suppression of the truth stops here, the war 
		stops here.  Redeem the times!  The times are 
		inexpressibly evil.  Christians pay conscious, 
		indeed religious tribute, to Caesar and Mars, 
		by the approval of overkill tactics, by 
		brinkmanship, by nuclear liturgies, by racism, 
		by support of genocide.  They embrace their 
		society with all their heart and abandon the 
		cross.  They pay lip service to Christ and 
		military service to the powers of death.  And 
		yet... and yet... the times are inexhaustibly 
		good, solaced by the courage and hope of many.
		The truth rules.  Christ is not forsaken.  In a 
		time of death, some men -- the resisters, those 
		who work hardily for social change, those who 
		preach and embrace the truth -- such men 
		overcome death, their lives are bathed in the 
		light of the Resurrection, the truth has set 
		them free.  In the jaws of death, they proclaim 
		their love of the brethren.  We think of such 
		men in the world, in our nation, in the 
		churches, and the stone in our breast is 
		dissolved, we take heart once more."
		Nothing further.

					CUT TO:

White letters on a black screen read: SUMMATION

					CUT TO:


The defense and prosecution address the judge.

		Your honor, the government's concession with 
		reference to the reasonableness of the views 
		held by these defendants, has, in the opinion 
		of the defense, made it unnecessary to call 
		expert witnesses.  Since the government 
		concedes that reasonable men can hold that the 
		war is illegal, unconstitutional, and immoral, 
		the proffered witnesses no longer have any 
		relevance to this case.

		Your honor, I want it understood for the record 
		that I don't accept his use of the word 
		"concession."  If we accept the version of the 
		defense, they would have it believed that the 
		government feels that any person who thinks the 
		war in Vietnam is illegal would be insane.  We 
		never took this position, so there is no 
		concession to make.

		Your honor, I might indicate that the government 
		has never before publicly made the statement 
		that was made in this court... There is a great 
		difference between saying that "a man is insane 
		to hold these views," and saying, "a reasonable 
		man can hold these views."

		The government is certainly not conceding that 
		those views are correct, and the court will have 
		to rule on those as a matter of law.  And that 
		is the test case that you want.

		I am making the record clear.  The argument now 
		is not the correctness of the views, but whether 
		a reasonable man could hold them...
		At any rate, the defense has its test case.  Now 
		I ask: Is the government ready to begin the 
		final argument?

		The government is ready, your honor.
			(to all)
		May it please the court and members of the jury.  
		It is now my responsibility to attempt, in 
		summary fashion, to review with you the 
		evidence that has been produced in this 
		courtroom.  First of all, I want it clearly 
		understood that the government is not about to 
		put itself in the position -- has not 
		heretofore and is not now -- of conducting its 
		policies at the end of a string tied to the 
		consciences of these nine defendants.  This 
		trial does not include the issues of the 
		Vietnam conflict.  It does not include the 
		issue of whether the United States ought to be 
		in the conflict or out of it.  The government 
		quite candidly admits that the position these 
		defendants took is reasonable -- as to the fact 
		that the war is illegal, that it is immoral, 
		that it is against religious principles, that 
		any reasonable man could take that view.  We do 
		not even say that a person has to be insane to 
		have the views that they have.   No, we don't 
		say that.  But this prosecution is the 
		government's response, the law's response, the 
		people's response, to what the defendants did.  
		And what they did was to take government 
		property and throw flammable material upon it 
		and burn it beyond recognition.  And that is 
		what this case is about.  There are people who 
		rely upon the files in Local Board No. 33 in 
			(off the defendants)
		Suppose you were to acquit these people on the 
		only basis possible, in view of everything they 
		have conceded?  Acquit them, that is, although 
		they did those acts with the intention of 
		hindering the Selective Service System and of 
		burning the files and records.  Suppose that 
		because of their sincerity, their conscience, 
		their religious convictions, they were entitled 
		to be acquitted in this courtroom?  If these 
		people were entitled to be acquitted by virtue 
		of their sincerity and religion and conviction, 
		then according to the same logic, should no the 
		man who commits any other crime be also 
		entitled to acquittal?  We also heard about 
		unpleasant things happening, or about to happen, 
		in other areas of the world.  Among these nine 
		defendants, there are four or five 
		justifications floating around.  One defendant 
		is upset about one ill in the world and that 
		justifies his going to Catonsville.  Another is 
		upset about another ill in the world and that 
		justifies his going to Catonsville.  And so on.  
		The possibilities are infinite.  There could in 
		fact be fifty defendants, each upset about 
		fifty different supposed ills in the world.  And 
		each one of them could say: this is why I 
		violated the law.  Ladies and gentlemen of the 
		jury, the government has never contended that 
		this country is perfect, that it is without 
		flaw, without ills and problems and failings.  
		To assert that would be absurd.  But I would 
		suggest to you that, to the extent that this 
		country has problems, those problems will be 
		solved.  We will progress.  We will get better.  
		The country will get better.  But our problems 
		are not going to be solved by people who 
		deliberately violate our laws, the foundation 
		and support for an ordered and just and 
		civilized society.  It is our sworn duty to 
		assert, by finding the defendants guilty, that 
		our problems will not be solved but will be 
		increased beyond imagining, by people who 
		deliberately violate the law under which we all 

		Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, this is an 
		historic moment for all of us -- for the judge, 
		the jury, the counsel, the defendants.  
		Undoubtedly, a great measure of personal 
		reflection is required even to begin to 
		appreciate the meaning of this trial for those 
		who participated in it.  As for those who did 
		not, only the passage of time can tell whether 
		the events of this courtroom will strike 
		responsive chords both in our country and 
		around the world.

		I must beg your leave to inject a personal 
		note.  In law school, I was repeatedly warned 
		never to identify too closely with prospective 
		clients.  Perhaps under other circumstances, 
		this might be considered sound advice.  But as 
		your honor acknowledged during the trial, these 
		are not ordinary clients; and this is hardly a 
		run-of-the-mill prosecution.  For myself, I 
		must confess with more heartfelt pride than I 
		could adequately describe, that in the course of 
		this litigation, I have come to love and respect 
		the men and women who stand before this court.  
		Like them, I make no plea for mercy.  I dare 
		not tarnish the transcendent witness they have 
		given, in an attempt to persuade this court to 
		bend in their direction.  Still, there are some 
		things I must say if I am to remain faithful to 
		my obligations as a lawyer, as an American, and 
		as a human being.

		The court has agreed that this is a unique case.  
		It shares the historic meaning of other great 
		contests of law.  The trial of Socrates was not 
		merely a question of a man sowing confusion and 
		distrust among the youth of Athens. the trial of 
		Jesus could not be reduced to one of conspiracy 
		against the empire.  In a parallel way, there 
		are overriding issues at stake.  I hope to 
		bring them to your attention, within the limits 
		the defense is allowed to touch on.

		In the first place, we agree with the 
		prosecutor as to the essential facts of the 
		case.  The participants did participate in the 
		burning of records.  You must have understood, 
		because it was pointed out here, that the 
		Selective Service System is a branch of the 
		Federal government, for the procurement of 
		young men for military service, as decided by 
		the authorities of the United States.  In other 
		words, such young men are to be used, as one 
		defendant said, for cannon fodder, if the 
		government so dictates.  It is not a question 
		of records which are independent of life.  We 
		are not talking about driving licenses or 
		licenses to operate a brewery.  We are speaking 
		of one kind of records.  No others so directly 
		affect life and death on a mass scale, as do 
		these.  They affect every mother's son who is 
		registered with every Board.  These records 
		stand quite literally for life and death to 
		young men.

		The defendants did not go to Catonsville to act 
		as criminals, to frighten Mrs. Murphy, or to 
		annoy or hinder her.  They were there to 
		complete a symbolic act, first of all, which we 
		claim is a free speech act.  And secondly, they 
		were there to impede and interfere with the 
		operation of a system which they have 
		concluded -- and it is not an unreasonable 
		belief, as the government has told you -- is 
		immoral, illegal, and is destroying innocent 
		people around the world.

		The defendants weren't burning files for the 
		sake of burning files.  If they were, I would 
		not stand in this court to defend them.  They 
		burned the files at Catonsville for two 
		reasons, both of which they admitted.  They 
		wanted, in some small way, to throw a roadblock 
		into a system which they considered murderous, 
		which was grinding young men, many thousands of 
		them, to death in Vietnam.  Also, they wanted, 
		as they said, to reach the American public, to 
		reach you.  They were trying to make an outcry, 
		an anguished outcry, to reach the American 
		community before it was too late.  It was a cry 
		that could conceivably have been made in Germany 
		in 1931 and 1932, if there were someone to 
		listen and to act on it.  It was a cry of 
		despair and anguish and hope, all at the same 
		time.  And to make this outcry they were 
		willing to risk years of their lives.  The 
		government has conceded that the defendants 
		were sincere, it has conceded their truthfulness.  
		The government has also conceded that it is 
		reasonable to hold the views held by the 
		defendants as to the illegality of this war.  
		So we come to the only issue left for you to 
		decide: whether, in your opinion, they are 
		guilty or innocent of crime.

		I want to point out to you, in some detail, a 
		case which offers parallels to this one, a case 
		which affected the character of American 
		history, some two hundred years ago.  The 
		defendant was a printer, Peter Zenger, by name.  
		He was accused of seditious libel.  Andrew 
		Hamilton, the defending lawyer, spoke the 
		following words during the course of the trial. 
		It seems to me that they are of point here.

		"Jurors are to see with their own eyes, to hear 
		with their own ears, and to make use of their 
		conscience and understanding in judging of the 
		lives, liberties, and estates of their fellow 

		Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, that is what we 
		are asking you to do.

		You are urging the jury to make their decision 
		on the basis of conscience.  This morning, I 
		said to you that if you attempt to argue that 
		the jury has the power to decide this case on 
		the basis of conscience, the court will 
		interrupt to tell the jury their duty.  The 
		jury may not decide this case on the basis of 
		the conscience of the defendants.  They are to 
		decide this case only on the basis of the facts 
		presented by both sides.

		I would like to say to the jury: I am appealing 
		to you, as Andrew Hamilton appealed to a jury, 
		to consider all the facts of the case before 
		you.  All the words, writing, marching, fasting, 
		demonstrating -- all the peaceable acts of the 
		defendants over a period of some years -- had 
		failed to change a single American decision in 
		Vietnam.  All their protests had failed to 
		prevent a single innocent death, failed to end 
		the anguish of napalm on human flesh, failed 
		even momentarily to slow the unnatural, 
		senseless destruction of men, women, and 
		children, including the destruction of our own 
		sons -- a destruction wrought in a policy that 
		passes all human understanding.  Perhaps in the 
		last analysis, this cataclysm of our times can 
		be understood only in the lives of a few men 
		who, for one moment, stand naked before the 
		horrified gaze of their fellow men.  Anne Frank 
		did this for six million Jews.  And it may be 
		that the thousands of American and Vietnamese 
		ghosts created by this war can best be spoken 
		for by three small children who crouched in a 
		Hanoi air raid shelter, before the 
		compassionate eyes of an American priest.  He 
		saw in these children, as many of us saw in Anne 
		Frank, the waifs spawned by an incomprehensible 
		and savage war, a war that envelops and affects 
		each of us, and makes us partners in the common 
		tragedy which brings me before you.  Perhaps in 
		this poem by Daniel Berrigan, who stands in 
		judgment before you, some understanding of the 
		truth of things can come through.
		Imagine; three of them.

		As though survival
		were a rat's word
		and a rat's end
		waited there at the end

		and I must have
		in the century's boneyard
		heft of flesh and bone in my arms

		I picked up the littlest
		a boy, his face
		breaded with rice (his sister calmly feeding him
		as we climbed down)

		In my arms fathered
		in a moment's grace, the messiah
		of all my tears.  I bore, reborn

		a Hiroshima child from hell.

		The jury may now begin their deliberations.

					CUT TO:

White letters on a black screen read: THE VERDICT

					CUT TO:


The jury box is empty.

		Now then, let the defendants or their counsels 
		be heard from.  Have I said something I should 
		not have said, or left unsaid something I should 
		have said?

		Your honor, the defendants have requested to be 
		permitted to say something to the court.

		I want to hear the defendants.  I do not want to 
		cut them off from anything they may want to say.  
		Mr. Melville, will you begin?

		Your honor, we feel that the overriding issue 
		in the case has been obscured by the treatment 
		given us.  If our intention was to destroy 
		government records, we could very easily have 
		gone in at nighttime and taken the files out 
		and burned them.  As it was, we went in the 
		middle of the day, and, after burning the files, 
		waited around for fifteen minutes until the 
		police came, to give public witness to what we 
		did.  Our intention was to speak to our country, 
		to the conscience of our people.  Now, during 
		these few days we have been in this court in an 
		attempt to speak to the conscience of the 
		American people.  We feel that the twelve 
		jurors have heard all kinds of legal arguments, 
		which I suppose they must hear.  But we feel 
		that the overriding issue has been obscured.  
		You have sent the jury out to judge whether we 
		committed the acts which we admitted from the 
		beginning that we had committed. 

		The jury are not the representatives of the 
		American people.  Also, nobody has cut you down 
		on the evidence you wanted to present.  You 
		have made your case in public.  It is quite true 
		that I have not submitted to the jury the 
		question you would like to have submitted, in a 
		way you would like.  I have told the jury if 
		they find that you intended to burn the records 
		and hinder the draft board, then it was 
		immaterial that you had other good purposes.  
		And it was immaterial how sincere you were and 
		how right you may ultimately be judged by 
		history.  I am not questioning the morality of 
		what you did.  I disagree with the theory of 
		law which you are presenting and which was 
		argued very eloquently by your counsel, as far 
		as I would permit him to do it.  I cannot allow 
		someone to argue something which is entirely 
		contrary to the law.  That would be to ask the 
		jury to disregard their oath.  I cannot allow 
		that.  If you had gone to Catonsville and taken 
		one file under some token arrangement, you 
		might have had something to argue.  But you 
		went out and burned three hundred and 
		seventy-eight files, according to your own 
		admission.  And every one of you, I think, said 
		that you did it in order to hinder the 
		operation of the draft.  I am not questioning 
		the highness of your motive.  I think that one 
		must admire a person who is willing to suffer 
		for his beliefs.  But people who are going to 
		violate the law in order to make a point must 
		expect to be convicted.

		Your honor, we are not arguing from a purely 
		legal standpoint.  We are arguing to you as an 
		American with your obligations to society, to 
		those jurors as Americans and in their 
		obligations to our society.  If it is only a 
		question of whether we committed this act or 
		not, we feel it would be better if the jury is 
		dismissed.  We can save ourselves a lot of time 
		and money by receiving an immediate sentence 
		from you.

		Mr. Mische next.

		My question, your honor, concerns conscience.  
		Did you tell the jury they could not act 
		according to their conscience?

		I did not mention conscience.  I did not talk 
		about conscience.  I do not mind saying that 
		this is the first time the question of 
		conscience has been raised in this court.

		But was the jury told they could not use their 
		conscience in determining--

		I certainly did not tell them they could 
		disregard their oath and let you off on sympathy 
		or because they thought you were sincere people.

		Your honor, we are having great difficulty in 
		trying to adjust to the atmosphere of a court 
		from which the world is excluded, and the 
		events that brought us here are excluded 
		deliberately, by the charge to the jury.

		They were not excluded.  The question--

		May I continue?  Our moral passion was excluded.  
		It is as though we were subjects of an autopsy, 
		were being dismembered by people who wondered 
		whether or not we had a soul.  We are sure that 
		we have a soul.  It is our soul that brought us 
		here.  It is our soul that got us in trouble.  
		It is our conception of man.  But our moral 
		passion is banished from this court.  It is as 
		though the legal process were an autopsy.

		Well, I cannot match your poetic language.

The audience breaks into APPLAUSE.

			(to all)
		Any further demonstration and the court will be 
		cleared.  And I mean that.  The whole crowd.
			(to Daniel Berrigan)
		Father Berrigan, you made your points on the 
		stand, very persuasively.  I admire you as a 
		poet.  But I think you simply do not understand 
		the function of a court.

		I am sure that is true.

		You admitted that you went to Catonsville with 
		a purpose which requires your conviction.  You 
		wrote your purpose down in advance.  Your 
		counsel stood and boasted of it.  Now I happen 
		to have a job in which I am bound by an oath of 
		office.  If you had done this thing in many 
		countries of the world, you would not be 
		standing here.  You would have been in your 
		coffins long ago.  Now, nobody is going to draw 
		and quarter you.  You may be convicted by the 
		jury and if you are, I certainly propose to 
		give you every opportunity to say what you want.

		Your honor, you spoke very movingly of your 
		understanding of what it is to be a judge.  I 
		wish to ask whether or not reverence for the 
		law does not also require a judge to interpret 
		and adjust the law to the needs of the people 
		here and now.  I believe that no tradition can 
		remain a mere dead inheritance.  It is a living 
		inheritance which must continue to offer to the 
		living.  So, it may be possible, even though 
		the law excludes certain important questions of 
		conscience, to include them nonetheless and, 
		thereby, to bring the tradition to life again 
		for the sake of the people.

		Well, I think there are two answers to that.  
		You speak to me as a man and as a judge.  As a 
		man, I would be a very funny sort if I were not 
		moved by your sincerity on the stand, and by 
		your views.  I agree with you completely, as a 
		person.  We can never accomplish what we would 
		like to accomplish, or give a better life to 
		people, if we are going to keep on spending so 
		much money for war.  But a variety of 
		circumstances makes it most difficult to have 
		your point of view presented.  It is very 
		unfortunate but the issue of the war cannot be 
		presented as sharply as you would like.  The 
		basic principle of our law is that we do things 
		in an orderly fashion.  People cannot take the 
		law into their own hands.

		You are including our President in that 

		Of course, the President must obey the law.

		He hasn't though.

		If the President has not obeyed the law, there 
		is very little that can be done.

		And that is what this trial is all about...

		Your honor, you have referred to the war 
		question as one which may be either political 
		or legal.  Supposed it were considered as a 
		question of life and death.  Could that be 
		appropriately raised here?

		Well, again, that is poetic speech.  I am not 
		sure what the legal proposition is.  I 
		understand why it seems a matter of life and 
		death to you.  Of course, the war is a matter 
		of life and death to all boys who are in it.  
		It is a matter of life and death to the people 
		in Vietnam.

		Your honor, I think you said previously that 
		you had a great deal of respect for the law and 
		the Constitution of the United States.  I would 
		like to call this respect into question if you 
		are unwilling to do anything about a war which 
		is in violation of our legal tradition and the 
		United States Constitution.

		Well, I understand your point.  But I cannot 
		appoint you either my legal or spiritual 

		We have people from the peace movement here.  
		Will you, then, allow them to file in your 
		court, calling into question the entire Vietnam 
		war?  And will you be willing to review the 
		charge in its entirety?  Whatever decision you 
		make then can be submitted to the Supreme Court.

		But you have to have a case...

		You have to break a law first.

		... that can be brought in court.

		You have to break a law.  It seems that, before 
		we can get a judge to face the situation, you 
		have to break a law, as Dr. King found.

		If you had gotten legal advice, I am sure you 
		would have been advised that there are better 
		ways to raise this question than the way you 
		raised it at Catonsville.

		Your honor, one question.  I have been called 
		an honest and just man in this courtroom.  I 
		appreciate that.  But the reality is that I 
		leave this room in chains.  I am taken back to 
		prison.  How do you explain this?

		Good character is not a defense for breaking the 
		law.  That is the only way I can explain it.

		Your honor, the instructions you gave to the 
		jury bound them to the narrow letter of the 
		law.  And a verdict according to the spirit of 
		the law was strictly prohibited.  It is my 
		feeling that the spirit of the law is 
		important, particularly in American legal 
		tradition and in American life.  It is the 
		spirit which counts.

		I am not God almighty.  I did what the law 
		required me to do.  All we can do is our best...

		Your honor, I think that we would be less than 
		honest with you if we did not state our 
		attitude.  Simply, we have lost confidence in 
		the institutions of this country, including our 
		own churches.  I think this has been a rational 
		process on our part.  We have come to our 
		conclusion slowly and painfully.  We have lost 
		confidence, because we do not believe any 
		longer that these institutions are reformable.

		Well, if you are saying that you are advocating 

		I am saying merely this:  We see no evidence 
		that the institutions of this country, 
		including our own churches, are able to provide 
		the type of change that justice calls for, not 
		only in this country, but around the world.  We 
		believe that this has occurred because law is 
		no longer serving the needs of the people; 
		which is a pretty good definition of morality.

		I can understand how you feel.  I think the 
		only difference between us is that I believe the 
		institutions can do what you believe they cannot 

		Our question remains: How much time is left 
		this country, as our casualties inch upward, as 
		Vietnamese casualties mount every day?  And 
		nuclear war is staring us in the face?  That is 
		the question we are concerned about -- man's 

		I assure you I am concerned about your 
		question, for my grandchildren, as well as for 
		everybody else.  It is a serious thing.

		Change could come if one judge would rule on 
		the war.  If one judge would act, the war could 
		not continue as it does.

		I think you misunderstand the organization of 
		the United States.  One judge ruling on it would 
		not end the war.  Each judge must do his best 
		with what comes before him.

		We want to thank you, your honor.  I speak for 
		the others.  But we do not want the edge taken 
		off what we have tried to say, by any 
		implication that we are seeking mercy from this 
		court.  We welcome the rigors of this court.  
		Our intention in appearing here after 
		Catonsville was to be useful to the poor of the 
		world, to the Black people of the world and our 
		country, and to those in our prisons who have 
		no voice.  We do not wish that primary blade of 
		intention to be honed down to no edge at all by 
		a gentleman's agreement, whereby you agree with 
		us and we with you.  We do not agree with you, 
		and we thank you.

		All right.

		Could we finish with a prayer?  Would that be 
		against your wishes?  We would like to recite 
		the "Our Father" with our friends.

		The Court has no objection whatsoever, and 
		rather welcomes the idea.

The defendants, the defense, and others in the courtroom rise and begin to
join in the prayer.



Some time later.  The judge reads a note to himself.

			(to all)
		I have just received a note from the foreman.  
		The jury has concluded its deliberations and is 
		ready to report its findings.  The jury will 
		come in now and the clerk will take the verdict. 
		There must be no demonstrations from the 
		audience.  If there are, I may clear the room.  
		Or I may instruct the marshal to take 
		appropriate action with respect to any 



Minutes later.  The jury is seated.  All look on with interest.

		The taking of the verdict in Criminal Action 
		No. 28111, the United States of America against 
		Philip Berrigan, Daniel Berrigan, Thomas Lewis, 
		James Darst, John Hogan, Marjorie Melville, 
		Thomas Melville, George Mische, and Mary Moylan.
			(to the Jury)
		Members of the jury, what say you?  Is the 
		defendant John Hogan guilty of the matters 
		whereof he stands indicted?

		We find John Hogan guilty.

		Members of the jury, what say you?  Is the 
		defendant Marjorie Melville guilty of the 
		matters whereof she stands indicted, or not 

		We find Marjorie Melville guilty.

		Members of the jury, what say you?  Is the 
		defendant Thomas Melville guilty of the 
		matters whereof he stands indicted, or not 

		We find Thomas Melville guilty.

		Members of the jury, what say you?  Is the 
		defendant George Mische guilty or not guilty
		of the matters whereof he stands indicted?

		We find George Mische guilty.

		Members of the jury, what say you?  Is the 
		defendant Mary Moylan guilty of the 
		matters whereof she stands indicted, or not 

		We find Mary Moylan guilty.

		Members of the jury, what say you?  Is the 
		defendant Philip Berrigan guilty of the 
		matters whereof he stands indicted, or not 

		We find Philip Berrigan guilty.

		Members of the jury, what say you?  Is the 
		defendant Daniel Berrigan guilty of the 
		matters whereof he stands indicted, or not 

		We find Daniel Berrigan guilty.

		Members of the jury, what say you?  Is the 
		defendant Thomas Lewis guilty of the 
		matters whereof he stands indicted, or not 

		We find Thomas Lewis guilty.

		Members of the jury, what say you?  Is the 
		defendant David Darst guilty of the 
		matters whereof he stands indicted, or not 

		We find David Darst guilty.

		Members of the jury, you have just found Jesus 
		Christ guilty!

Much COMMOTION and similar outbursts from others in the audience.

		Marshals, clear the courtroom.



Not long after.  The audience has been cleared out.

		Now, is there anything else that the government 
		or the defendants wish brought to the attention 
		of the court?

		We would simply like to thank the court and the 
		prosecution.  We agree that this is the greatest 
		day of our lives.