The Camden 28 (2007)

Synopsis: By 1971, the “Catholic Left” movement had conducted over 30 draft board raids, destroying close to a million Selective Service documents.  But they were hardly a centralized or structured movement. Actions were carried out by independent groups of activists, angered by the war’s mounting toll and its collateral effects on impoverished cities like Camden. On the evening of August 21, 1971, Father Michael Doyle and a group of twenty Catholic antiwar activists were arrested attempting to break into a Camden, New Jersey draft board office to destroy records after the group was betrayed by a member of their own group acting as an agent provocateur for the F.B.I. This PBS documentary recounts their act of civil disobedience and the ensuing legal battle, which Supreme Court Justice William Brennan labeled “one of the great trials of the 20th century.” Political scientists like Howard Zinn provided expert testimony on the time honored American tradition of civil disobedience, resulting in the eventual acquittal of the activists on the grounds of jury nullification.

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