How far would you go to stop a war? “The Camden 28” recalls a 1971 raid on a Camden, N.J., draft board office by “Catholic Left” activists protesting the Vietnam War and its effects on urban America. Arrested on site in a clearly planned sting, the protesters included four Catholic priests, a Lutheran minister, and 23 others. “The Camden 28” reveals the story behind the arrests – a provocative tale of government intrigue and personal betrayal – and the ensuing legal battle, which Supreme Court Justice William Brennan called “one of the great trials of the 20th century.” Thirty-five years later, the participants take stock of the motives, fears, and costs of their activism – and its relevance to America today.
“The Nixon administration feared the Catholic wing of the antiwar movement, we learn, because its members couldn’t be depicted as irresponsible hippies. The FBI sought to make an example of the Camden 28, but the jury, sickened by the war and the Nixon White House, turned the tables on them… While the powers behind the war machine are presented as dishonest and sinister, the documentary persuasively reveals the essential decency of both the FBI agents and the Vietnam-era activists they sought to deter.”
Tuesday, September 11, 2007 at 10PM (90 minutes)
(check local listings)
“The Camden 28 action and trial is worthy of being remembered because it will help educate the American public about civil disobedience, the importance of protest and the citizen’s role in a democracy.” – Historian Howard Zinn