Peace Activist Philip Berrigan Remembered
Interview with Jerome Berrigan, brother of the late peace activist Philip Berrigan, conducted by Between the Lines' Denise Manzari
On Dec. 6, 79-year-old peace activist Philip Berrigan died at Jonah House, a community he cofounded in 1973 with his wife, Elizabeth McAllister, surrounded by family and friends, two months after he was diagnosed with kidney and liver cancer.
Philip Berrigan, who was drafted into World War II, began his 40-year struggle for peace in 1967 when he poured blood on draft files in Baltimore with three other activists. They came to be known as the "Baltimore Four."
He also led the "Catonsville Nine" action staging one of the most dramatic protests against the Vietnam War in 1968 by dousing homemade napalm on a small bonfire of draft records in a Catonsville, Md. parking lot. This action inspired a generation of anti-war dissent.
Berrigan, the first priest to participate in a civil rights movement Freedom Ride in the early 1960s, helped found the Plowshares movement in 1980. The group's tactics included destroying military property in anti-war and anti-nuclear protests, actions which put Berrigan in federal prison for almost 11 years.
Berrigan's brothers, Jerome and Dan Berrigan, a Jesuit priest, also committed their lives to fight for peace and justice. Between The Lines' Denise Manzari spoke with Jerome Berrigan, who remembers his brother Philip, who some called the "prophet of peace."
For more information on the plowshares movement, visit their Web site www.plowsharesactions.org. Memorial donations can be sent to Jonah House, 1301 Moreland Ave., Baltimore, Md. 21216
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