In May 1968, a group of nine Roman Catholic men and women entered Selective Service Local Board #33 in Catonsville, Maryland, just down the road from the newly opened UMBC campus. As a protest to the violence and death in Vietnam, they burned almost 400 draft files in a parking lot. During their trial in downtown Baltimore that October, thousands marched daily through the city. In the wake of these events, scores more draft board actions were staged around the nation, effectively ending the draft by the early 1970s. We gather this May to remember, reflect, and consider the ongoing lessons of this dramatic and controversial act of nonviolent civil resistance.
Speakers will include Kathy Kelly, of Voices for Creative Nonviolence, and Margarita Melville, one of the two living members of the Catonsville Nine action, and many others who will share perspectives on the history and lessons of one of the most dramatic anti-war actions in U.S. history.
Additional events will follow the May 4 symposium at UMBC, including Catonsville commemorative events (May 5), an Action and Prayer and Music Service (May 6), a film series (May 12 – 21), a performance of Trial of the Catonsville Nine by the Salem Players (May 17 – 27), and public exhibits at UMBC and the Maryland Historical Society (continuing through May 31). For a detailed schedule of the symposium and other events, please visit Catonsville9.org.
The symposium at UMBC on May 4 is free and open to the public.
Open Year Round: