tv Public Affairs Events CSPAN June 18, 2018 6:00am-7:00am EDT
announcer: c-span, where history unlds daily. 1979, c-span was created as a public service by america's cable companies. today we bring you the white house, the supreme court, and public policy events around the country. c-span is brought you by your cable or satellite provider. ♪ announcer: this week, filmmakers joe tropea and skizz cyzyk discuss their documentary " hit & stay" about protesters of the vietnam war.
♪ brian: joe tropea and skizz cyzyk, what would you tell people who'd never heard about the catonsville 9 about it? joe: i would say that it is one of the most effective axis civil disobedience in american history. skizz: i would have to agree. you may not have heard of it, but we've all known of it. brian: you made a documentary in 2015. this is the 50th anniversary. what was the original reason for e documentary? joe: i was a history student working on my masters degree. i needed a topic to write a paper. i had heard of the catonsville 9, but i decided to find out more of what it was all about.
from that one class, first, it turned into a feature story that i wrote for the baltimore city paper. then it blossomed into a documentary film. brian: how did you divide your work on this? skizz: i handled more the filmmaking and joe handled more the content end. i came on as a favor when he was doing the interviews for the paper. i suggested don't just take an audio recorder. take a video camera. that video footage would be valuable to a documentary filmmaker down the road. so he wrote and talked me into coming with my video camera. after a few years, i was getting more work done on his film than mine. so i partnered with him and we finished it. brian: i've got some names you are familiar with. the catonsville 9.
what did they do? skizz: in brief, they formed a plan to attack the selective service system. they found a draft office that was ideal, which happened to be in catonsville, maryland. they formed a plan to enter that office and put drafts into wire baskets and went to the parking lot and burned them with homemade napalm. they did this is a protest of the vietnam war. the notable thing is the age of these protesters ranged from 26 years old to 46 years old. most of them were not in danger of ever being drafted. two of them were veterans.
skizz: they waited around to be arrested. knowing the arrests would make the news and lead to a trial, keeping them in the news. those how many of prison?t to joe: all of them, except one who went underground. four of them decided to go underground after the trial and after sentencing rather than report for their prison sentences. mary stayed underground for nine years and eventually turned herself in. i'm not sure if she actually had to serve prison time, but some of them served up to three and a half years in prison. brian: brian: where is catonsville, maryland? skizz: it's a suburb of
baltimore. right on the outskirts of baltimore county, right outside the city. did they pick that? what's out there? skizz: the draft board there was easily accessed. it was a small, quiet town. the previous action of the baltimore 4 was in the heart of the city at a big government building. this was at a knights of columbus hall that no one was paying attenono. brian: this documentary was five years ago. where can people see it? joe: it is available on several streaming sites, amazon, you can go to our website.
brian: why don't we look at the first clip. stay," whose idea was it to make that title? joe: i think it was my idea. i'm not sure it is an original idea. i heard people use the term and it seemed like a catchy title. people who live washington, patrick mcgrath is a well-known name. you lead off with patrick mcgrath. who is he?
joe: we have returned to the scene of the crime with him. he is after the knights of columbus hall where the selective service have rented a room to have a draft board in. brian: why did you pick you to start your film? joe: he is well spoken. i knew he would know how to be in front of a camera. he covered the story. who better to tell it than the guy that was invited in a clandestine way to cover the event? brian: let's watch a clip. [video clip] >> ran around the building. someone out of breath. that is where the cameraman turned on his camera. you see the shaky footage. you see, i believe it was john hogan who lit the match and started the fire. when we first got there, we had no idea what we were looking at. where you spotted immediately was that there were two catholic priests there. immediately.phil
newss a character in the at the time. it mean, "thoes catholic left." any of the catonsville 9 still alive? skizz: not many of them. george mische and marguerita, who was known then as marjorie melville. brian: what does it mean that there were nine members of the catholic left? skizz: as we understood it, the antiwar movement was scruffy young people. here was the clergy. middle-aged. there were people who thought, well if they are against the war maybe i ought to be against it myself. reconsider it myself. antiwar movement. brian: another clip. this is the catonsville draft for clerk. [video clip] >> i was sitting at my desk and these two ladies were with me and these gentlemen came in the hall. i said, can i help you? with that, the rest of them came in quickly. all of a sudden. one man was a trash burner. he ran to my files and started
dumping files into this trash burner. [end video clip] brian: how many of these kinds of events happened across the country? joe: it is difficult to say. the ones connected to the catholic left or the action community, i charted 40 to 50 actions. the numbers get interesting. one selective service office could have any number of actual draft board files contained in it. 40 to 50 actions that hit well over 200 different draft boards. brian: how did these nine people come together in the first place? skizz: there was a community, the catholic left. knew were people who each other either from the
seminary, or three of the members of the nine had traveled to guatemala to be missionaries. they were part of the same circuit, i guess you could call it. it was a community that stayed in touch and kept each other aware of what was happening. they had similar sympathies being against the war. brian: how did you two meet? skizz: on a sidewalk outside of a rock club in august of 1993. i was showing up to see one of the bands and joe was in one of the bands. i met joe and my partner at the same time all those years ago. we ended up playing in bands together. brian: i read somewhere that you lived in an old funeral home. joe: yes. we lived and a house known as the mansion theater. home. been a funeral time we lived there, it
was a decrepit, rundown house, where bohemian artist types lived. we had a lot of room to work with. the viewing room, our living room, was turned into a screening room. a spare single room was turned into a dark room. there was a waiting room for one of the bathrooms that was turned into a recording studio. it was a great place to be in your 20's and be creative. brian: do you two consider yourselves members of the underground? or dou at one point? underground?he joe: i consider myself a historian. i was a musician. i guess i was an underground musician, although i hesitate to use that term. skizz: i go back and forth on that term. i guess i am an underground artist because most of what i do
is not exactly mainstream or funded or easily available, most of it. but i don't think in terms -- i just sort of do what i like to do and hope it finds a some acceptance. brian: where do you work now? skizz: i work for a company that publishes financial papers. i'm a video producer and i work a block away from joe. joe: i work at the historical society where i curate film. brian: when we saw the lady who was the clerk at the selective service quarters, is she still alive? joe: she is no longer with us. but we had that wonderful archival footage of her explaining her side of the story. i have been in touch with her daughter recently, who wrote an op-ed to "the baltimore sun" about the anniversary of the catonsville 9. it was a touching letter. she disagreed with her mom politically on the vietnam war. but it was her mother and she
understood her side of it. as you can see, ms. murphy felt very attached to the files. she says "my files." apparently boasted that had had drafter her own husband. i can't remember if it was for the koreani or war, but that was one of her sort of claim to fame. brian: how many draft cards were in that pile that they burned in catonsville?
skizz: it was 378 k1 draft card files. it was a relatively low number. brian: did you meet anyone who was able to avoid the draft because their card was burned? sizz: yes, every time there's a viewing. there's no way to prove it. brian: here are nine people from your documentary. [video clip] phiwas trying tcruit more people than nine. he felt the bigger the better. we want a cross-section of america. i guess he felt these should be people who are middle-class, fairly privileged, well-regarded by society. that was his theme for who shoulde acting to commit civil disobedience. [end video clip] brian: what is your sense of talking to people in and around the story?
joe: i believe most of them think it was worth it. i don't see how you can argue that it did not help end the draft. the head of the selective service said publicly they felt they were under attack. clearly, you can draw a line from what they did to the draft ending in 1973. it was a relatively effective action, considering the time it took. brian: what would u do today the same situation arose and you were draftable. skizz: tough question. time such a different lot moreere is a security. you could not get away with something like this. i don't even think you could plan something like this without the authorities knowing what you were up to. brian: how many documentaries did you do before this one?
skizz: this was the second in a series of three documentaries. i finished them the reverse order they were started. brian: what were the others about? skizz: one is called "freaks in love," about aand called alice, that was made quickly, like, two years. and then "hit & stay." all ree of them were being made at the same time. brian: what did you learn about whether or not this thing matters? skizz: there is a great quote in was laura i think it says, you may later whone yar says, that film made me think
and i went out and did something. you are notr is, no wastg your time. every practice will influence someone's opinion. brian: what did it cost you and how did you get the money? joe: we made this film relatively inexpensively in the world of documentary, under $50,000. that was with a lot of generosity from friendand people who wanted their story to be told. we used kickstarter to do a crowdfunding way to put most of the money together. but really, it was a kindness oy told that did a lot of in-kind work. brian: we are going to run a clip of the burning. you pointed out that they used napalm. what is napalm and why was that used? joe: they used napalm because they wanted to illustrate the point that the u.s. government was taking a product used by dow
theical and dumping it on forests and people of vietnam. they got the idea from an army manual explaining how to make napalm in an impromptu way. you take gasoline and laundry flakes and cook them. they decided not to cook them because it sounded dangerous. so they symbolically combined these things together in someone's basement in baltimore and transferred it into the gas canshat yosee in the video. that was their point. if napalm was to be used on people, it should be used on draft records. brian: where did you find this archival material? skizz: all over.
the actual footage of the action came from pat mcgrath. joe: the tv station, once they ter the trial, they were going to throw it in the dumpster, which is most of where their archival materials went. luy, pat decided, no, this one is cominme witme rather than into the dumpster. a lot of this was done through doing oral histories of people. i would meet one person and they would mention three names. later, when i was transcribing, i would think who is this person? then i would find out and realize that the story went further than i originally thought. brian: here is the brief video of the napalm being used to burn the draft cards. [video clip] >> napalm made from information, formula from the special warfare manual. from the united states.
>> we all had a hand in making the napalm that is used here today. >> napalm is a very old weapon. pictures of napalmed people. that was the kind of quintessential picture of the vietnam.ing babies in [end video clip] brian: in this documentary, how did you segment off which part you were interested in doing? joe: it started out that it was only going to be a documentary of the catonsville nine. i did not know that there was a dc 9 that existed. that led to finding out an action had happened in chicago.
it reached upstate new york and there was a flower conspiracy and the olfaction in providence rhode island. as i was researching the story, there was so much more story to tell. brian: was the catonsville 9 the first of these? joe: no. it was the second. baltimorewas the four. two of the members were repeat offenders and put themselves in double jeopardy and were tried sentencesed longer because of that. brian: how many of the nine were catholic priests? joe: two of them were catholic priests. there was dan and phil berrigan.
two of them were brothers. there was a third priest, thomas melville. three of them had been missionaries. here is from your documentary, no is is not from your documentary. [video clip] >> the result of burning the files. the result is that i didn't remain silent while those files offered open season on human beings in southeast asia. i consider those files like hunting licenses against humans. i did not want that done in my name. [end video clip] brian: did he stay a priest? joe: yes. he was not forced out of the order. he was a jesuit all the way.
brian: that was from the "quest for peace" series from uc irvine. how much did his brother phil have to do with any of this? skizz: his brother phil talked him into doing it. ere were only goto be eight of them. dan and phil stayed up drinking one night in early may. phil sort of convinced and that -- dan that he should do it. dan realized he had to other choice but to do it. brian: he died back in 2002. joe: yes, phil did. brian: here he is, the priest from your documentary. [video clip] >> they forget about the destruction of human beings and they say they got violent over property. and they burned those papers, but when property is to illustrateis
how it is employed to abuse and kill and maim human beings. brian: yave anidea how well known they were in those days? you are not around when this happened. joe: it seems like they were pretty well-known in the antiwar movement. skizz: dan was a well-known poet. he won the lamont prize in 1966 or 1967, which is a prize you win for your second book. he was a pretty established national name, even beyond catholic circles? brian: what was the hardest part of this documentary for you? >> getting it down to a time that worked. it was hard. parts of it were so complicated, we felt like wcan want to make
people sit for a two hour movie. brian: do you have any idea how much video you shop for this? skizz: i used to know. joe: we shot 80 interviews. i suppose a lot of b roll. skizz: probably over a hundred hours of footage. for a feature-length documentary, that's not that much. but it seems like a lot, especially when you have to start editing and watch all of it. brian: what kind of equipment did you use. skizz: we mostly shot with a panasonic. at the time, it was a state-of-the-art camera. but while we were shooting, hd
cameras were made and made these useless. we continued to use it, but by the time we finished the film, hd was it and we were not making an hd film. brian: is there any hd in this as well? skizz: yes. joe: it is amazing how much technology changed in the course of seven years of making this. brian: what did you edit it on? skizz: final cut pro. the last thing i edited on that. brian: there are two people we are going to see, dave everhart and james mingle. joe: they are members of the
baltimore 4, the two that did not go on to do the catonsville 9. they went to the courthouse in baltimore and poured blood on the draft records and then waited to be arrested. brian: where did they get the blood? joe: it was a combination of berrigan's blood and blood that they got at a market from a polish meat stand. brian: did you ask why they used blood? joe: it was a very symbolic action, very catholic, the blood of christ. they wanted to implicate the church and not just shock america, but shock the church. they felt the church was complicit in the war, condoning the war in vietnam. so it was a purely symbolic action. for the catonsville 9, they felt that it was too symbolic, that using blood freaked people out and cause them to miss the point. by then, they realized fire would work much better than blood. brian: here is dave everhart and james mengle. [video clip] >> we went to the clerks and told them we wanted to look at the files.
we had expense draft counselors so they sent us back. we had mr. clean bottles with blood under our coats that were filled with blood. the clerks were very agitated and upset. >> then we just sat and waited until the guards came. brian: which one is which? joe: the first one was dave everhart. the second person with a white beard is reverend james mengle. brian: how intense are they about all this to this day? skizz: they are pretty intense. some of the people did not want to talk about certain things. they are worried about there being no statute of limitations for some of the crimes. joe: they are a disciplined group. once you get them talking, they are very passionate about it. it takes some doing.
but some people never even talked to us is worried about getting in trouble even decades later. brian: when you approach the inteiew, what were the ground rules? joe: i approach everyone as a historian. i let them know that they should nosaanything in my interview that they would not want the world to know, that i would be transcribing their interviews and making them available to people in an archive. most people understood that. we did have one or two people ask -- and i offered everyone to see the transcript afterwards. i wanted to make sure the things they told me were accurate. and in one case, that caused someone to realize that a large part of what they said was not accurate. and in another case, someone got cold feet about some of the things they said and asked us to consider not using the footage. brian: when they would not talk
to you, what was there reason? and how often did it happen? people differently otheffects course of time. some people seemed very traumatized by not what they had done, but what they had lived through and lived with the fear of being caught or being prosecuted for what they had done. so, yeah, some people were hesitant. there were plenty of the talk to. these actions we chronicle in the film take way more than the number the name the catonsville 9 would indicate. the catonsville 9 was pulled off by well over a dozen and a half people. in many cases, we got to speak with support activists, people who never intended to stand up and take responsibility and be arrested. they just wanted to play a small role and help and not have to spend years in prison.
brian: who is the most memorable person you talked to? and why? skizz: there's a tie for first place between howard zinn and noam chomsky. because they are so well known in and well respected did and it might hurt. it was a real thrill to meet both of them. ian: what was the gist of the conversation? skizz: there is a part of the film that was cut out, and in the dvd about howard zin going rescue somerigan to of our soldiers. luckily, we had some archival footage of howard then as well as the interview that we shot, whenever that was -- 2007? 2008? brian: for people who don't
know, who are they? joe: howard zin was a famous historian, a personal idol of mine. aam chomsky is technically linguist, but he is also a political theorist and an expert on nearly everything. we approach them through the universities they were working for. zin was at boston, and chomsky was at m.i.t. i found their university address. they were both very approachable and agreeable to talk to us. they were a big part of the story. both of them came to baltimore for the trial of the catonsville 9 and testified. they were eager to talk. brian: where would you say that you got your early political views?
skizz: i did not think of it at the time, but i was raised unitarian. since i did not know much about other religions, my senior year in high school, i had to write a report. everyone in the class had to take their religion and write a report on it. so i did research on the unitarian church and realized it was kind of a radical church. it had never really dawned on me. it was all i knew. it was around the same time that i got into punk rock. we are talking early 1980's when punk rock was still this kind of threatening thing for the mainstream. so those two things combined, and a lot of the lyrics in the music i was listening to, made me rethink how i was reading the newspaper. brian: what did you do about it beside the music? skizz: there were protests, writing. brian: what have you protested the most? skizz: war, antiwar. brian: is there any time you see the united states going to war
for anything? skizz: what do you mean? are you a pacifist, a conscientious objector? skizz: i had to register for the draft and i registered as a conscientious objector. that's a tough question. i can't really think of anything offhand unless we were threatened in a way that was no other way. but it seems like there is always another way other than violence. brian: joe, when did you begin to form your own views about all this? joe: i was raised catholic. but my parents were what you would call reagan democrats. so i guess i had been living in rebellion of that since the 1980's. i vividly remember -- i was born in 1969. the chances of me ever being drafted were very, very, very
low. but i always worried that they might bring the draft back. there was talk of it. it seemed a real possibility in my young mind. and i suppose that influenced my political views. to answer the same question, i haven't seen many examples in u.s. history where we have justifiably gone into war. i would describe myself as a pacifist. brian: when you registered for the draft, did you put conscientious objector on it? joe: i did not. i was not that politically aware or awake at 18. i knew that i wanted to try to go to college and get loans, so i registered. brian: one of the men from the documentary is still alive, stephen sachs, he was an
attorney general of maryland and also assistant u.s. attorney. who is he? skizz: he prosecuted the --he baltimore 4 for their action. but was not a hands-on prosecutor ding the trial of the catonsville 9. he is a very nice man. i met with him since we filmed him in the film. he still stands by his beliefs. for someone who i disagree wh on this particular topic, he is a wonderful human being and i'm glad to know him. brian: he is a democrat and would be a liberal? joe: you can describe in that way. he did run for office, i don't
think successfully, in the 1980's. [video clip] >> we are not talking about trials here in the normal sense of the word, skill and examination and witnesses, objections that are appropriate. this was theater. this was in litigation in the normal sense. it was intended to be theater. that is why they did it. [end video clip] brian: how many of the catonsville 9 went to prison? skizz: all of them, except for mary moylan who successfully went underground for nine years. i'm not 100% sure that she ever had to serve time. i think by the time she turned herself in, they may have shown leniency. i think her health was fading at that point. brian: how many of the catonsville 9 married each other? [chuckling] joe: as far as i know, just tom and margie melville, which happened on their way out of guatemala, before the catonsville 9 took place.
both: here's some video of of them. >> [indiscernible] -- was the sole focus of my participation in catonsville. >> what i saw the united states do in guatemala, that was a democratic government that they overthrew. >> it was a similar situation. you are fighting against peasants. all they want is freedom to work their land and make a family. clip]ideo brian: what was the catholic church's reaction to this film? joe: they were not thrilled. they expelled, banished, i'm not sure with the proper term is. they sent dan barry ganaway for being too politically active. -- they sent dan away for being too politically active. they sent him to france where he was slightly politically activated. then they sent them to latin
america, which was probably a very bad idea if they wanted him to calm down. this was before the catonsville 9. he had been sent away for acting in a way that they were not thrilled with. for speaking up. around the active civil rights movement. lot.was moved around a he was stationed in new orleans with a parish and they moved him to newburgh, new york, because he had been too politically active in new orans antoo politically active in newburgh, new york. they sent him to baltimore, which in hindsight was not a good idea. but he was not excommunicated. he was stripped of his priesthood officially when he married liz mcallister. so he did marry, but liz mcallister did a lot of other political activism but was not a member of the catonsville 9. brian: what was the farthest you
had to go to do one of your interviews and how did you afford to do this and work at the same time when you only spend $50,000 on this? skizz: hawaii. [laughter] skizz: we shot an interview in hawaii, except we did not go there. we got someone else there to shoot it for us via skype, we sat in joe's apartment in baltimore and gave direction and asked the questions. and they sent us the footage. so that is the farthest away. joe: that was the farthest away we did not have to go. we shot most of it on the east coast. we were trying to keep our jobs and we were trying to do this inexpensively. so i would write to people and say, if you have any plans to visit the east coast, new york,
d.c., baltimore, i would love to speak to you. and we did a number of interviews that way. the farthest we had to drive was vermont. brian: remind us what you do skz: i am a video producer for a company that produces financial newsletters. brian: how long? skizz: four years. brian: do you still should you do documentaries on the side? is it a way to make money? skizz: it's a way to make money for some people, but i have not mastered that yet. i still make films on the side. in fact, the day job has allowed us to keep making our films because i have access to a video year we can lot of use for our own projects. brian: and, joe? joe: i am a curator of photographs at the maryland historical society where i do writing and digitize our materials. and they are very supportive of my filmmaking efforts. it is the kind of thing where i have to have a day job and it is a good day job for that.
aturrently have an exhibit the historical society called "activism and art, the catonsville 9, 50 years later." the exhibit uses artwork from one of the nine, tom lewis, and segments of the film, "hit & stay." that exhibit will be up for the next year. brian: where is the historic society? historicalltimore society is in baltimore, a block from the washington monument. yes, we have a washington monument as well. it is in the mount vernon neighborhood. brian: who are these in the clip? joe: she is currently in priso for a plowshares action that she did, which was an anti-nuke protest.
brian: where she and prison? joe: i forget which prison she is in. i do get emails on the progress of her case. brian: what do you mean by "plowshares"? joe: plowshares is a movement that sprang off in the 1980's, maybe as early as 1970's by phil berrigan and liz mcallister from a community that they started in baltimore called jonah house, which is a resistance community, still in existence today. they planned actions inspired by their previous section where they would sneak onto nuclear facilities, taken vials of blood and hammers and symbolically hammer on nuclear warheads and put blood on them and wait to be arrested. liz is still active in this activity today. brian: here they are from your
documentary. [video clip] >> there were over 100 draft board actions in this country. the director of the selective service center knowledge that that they hadd really undercut their ability to ope. the combination of my nd when theyicago 15 went into the ghettos of cells such a condo and are draft cards. vietnam was mainly being filed by blacks and latinos in this country while white kids would go to college. [end video clip] brian: that's a video that you shot. skizz: yes. brian: it looks like you had to -- two cameras. skizz: yes. joe: bob good is one of the first people you see in our film. they were motivated to take part in these draft board rates because their brother had been drafted and killed in vietnam. brian: bob good is still alive. joe: bob good is still alive. i believe he is in the rochester area. [video clip] >> he went on to talk about the
pentagon papers. so he went through a time where he started giving a litany of what the american people and been told about the war and what the pentagon papers said about the war and what the american people had been told about why we were there. and what the american people been told about the progress of the war and what the pentagon people said. and it keeps coming back over and over like a greek chorus.
10, oil, and rubber. tin, oil and rubber. [end video clip] brian: it keeps coming back to this. he is talking about the testimony that howard zin gave before the trial. how much of your involvement is motivated solely by your politics? skizz: i am definitely in agreement with all the politics in the film. i probably would not have done this myself joe had not invited me. so far, my other documentaries have been music documentaries. but the politics of the music is to the left as well. brian: when did you learn about the vietnam war in this? skizz: i already knew that the vietnam war was bad. i had an uncle that i never knew before he came back from vietnam. i always heard how much the war had affected him. i grew up knowing him after he came back. i did not know how many vietnamese had been killed. i don't think i knew how many americans had been killed.
i didn't realize how much life was lost for that war. brian: there was an fbi informant in all of this. who was it? explain the situation? vy complicated. because the catonsville 9 happened then they were sent to prison and because other actions started springing up, j a girl who forgot very upset. not only were draft boards rated but people were starting to go over fbi offices. bothne planned to go after when they were stored in a federal building. agitated andry wanted to name someone has the leader of this movement and paint them as dangerous
criminals. it was said by one prosecutor that they were as dangerous as organized crime. he basically painted the berrigs, who had painted kept appearing in hisic, sort of thumbing hoover. hoover and the fbi attempted to paint the berrigans as the leaders of this catholic left movement. they accused him specifically phil berrigan and other conspirators of trying to blow up condos in washington, d.c., and kidnapped henry kissinger. none of these things were 100% true. these are things people had been talking about doing, but there was an informant that got a hold of this information and had been feeding it to the fbi.
it culminated in a case known as "the harrisburg conspiracy." brian: this is back in 2007, not from your documentary. we just want to show him apologizing for his involvement. [video clip] >> michael, i can't respond because i did wrong to you. and i'm sorry. i can do nothing else. >> is that good enough for you? >> a no. >> it is a hard question. it takes time for fractures to heal. [end video clip] brian: did you meet bob hardy? joe: i did not meet bob hardy. that was from the camden 28 trial in and which bob hardy had
been an informant and had been fed information and funds from the fbi to make sure that actually down. i did not get to meet bob hardy but one of the members of the camden 28 wanted to make one of his own documentaries and had filmed interviews with bob hardy and with other people. he graciously allowed us to use interview footage and our film. i believe that footage was from a film called the camden 28. that is an excellent film are also ended certainly influenced our work. brian: the last clip from your documentary. liz mcallister was married to phil berrigan for how many years? joe: they married in probably 1969 or 1970's secretly, and until phil passed away in 2002 or 2003. brian: this is about the harrisburg conspiracy, trying to
kidnap henry kissinger. in the end, there was something called the love letters back and forth between these two, phil berrigan and liz mcallister. let's watch this. [video clip] >> not saying that it wasn't talked about or approached, but it was no. that was it. of course, howard got back to j edgar hoover in december. that's obvious. the letters. >> just stupid letters i wrote to phil about some of the things people were talking about, not realizing they were always monitoring his mail. but also, no matter how subtlely you try to say something, they will try to make something of it. >> when the revelation came out of what they were really about, that was a shocker. and that was across the board, especially when you are sitting back and knowing what the government knows more about
their relationship than you do. brian: how surprised were you to find out the fbi was reading the mail of the prisoner? skizz: not very. the interview with liz was the first time we heard about the letters. joe: i knew nothing about the story and just asked her questions and this came out. it probably took me six months to realize what we had just talked about, to fully appreciate what we had just talked about. these were not letters that she mailed to the prison. there was an informant named boyd douglas who was in prison on work release. he positioned himself as a leftist symth and he reached out to her and said, if
you want to get messages to phil, i will be glad to get them to him. unfortunately, she fell for that. he and she had a connection, she wanted to keep his spirit up and let him know people were still planning actions and agitating against the war. of course what boyd douglas did was take the letters, have them transcribed, and give copies to the fbi. brian: people can still get the catonsville 9 documentary, how? websitey can visit our which will show them how to purchase the dvd and where you can see it online? brian: what is something called the jennifer's?
that is a band that formed in the early 1990's. joe joined the band. around 2001, i joined the band. i guess she left around 2010 and i is still in the band. i play drums. joe: i play bass. brian: i'm not sure what clip this is. [video clip] ♪ >> music not -- best laid plans are slipping through our hands because this is not a well-intentioned world ♪ [end video clip] brian: what did we just see? skizz: that is a music video that i made for the band.
joe: he's done a lot of animated films and videos and music videos. that was all his doing. he designed the shirts that we wore and changed them to appear that they were singing the song. brian: how long did that take to do? skizz: 18 months. from the day we started to making the video to the day we finished, it was 18 months. brian: what is the film? joe: that is our new documentary that premiered in february at the big sky documentary film festival. it is the history of the censor board in the u.s. we look at the maryland board of censors to tell the story
because they were the longest lasting censor board in the country. they operated from 1960 until 1981. we look at all the reasons why films were censored and band and banned. and they were not all because of sex. [video clip] >> anything that restrains or restricts or prohibits freedom of expression. that includes things like the state boards of censorship, like the one in maryland. >> i do remember the seal so vividly. >> in maryland, deciding what is and is not obscene is the job of an official censorship board. one member is a very outspoken 70-year-old grandmother. >> regardless if anybody says that it's my constitutional right. a deal. big deal. did they have these type of films that were being shown?
clip clip] brian: what were you trying to accomplish? joe: obviouslywe had a great star to work with in archival footage. i was trying to look at the reasons people want to ban things. it was another research journey for me. i figured that sex was a big reason the films would have been banned. i was surprised to learn that race was a reason why we banned films. politics was a reason. sacrilege against religion was a reason that we banned films. and it occurred to me that it was an interesting story that oftentimes was comical. that's why i wanted to tell the story. brian: what are you working on now? skizz: i'm not really working on anything i just finished a documentary that to 19 years to make. i am currently working on getting that scene. it's called "ice pick to the moon." joe: i have a couple of projects that i am working on. but i am not quite ready to talk about them. so mostly techies making films is what i am trying to get out to the world.
brian: our guests have been joe tropea and skizz cyzyk. thank you for coming and talking about your film about your documentary "catonsville 9. ♪ [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2018] ♪ announcer: for free transcripts or to give us your comments about this program, visit us at qanda.org. programs are also available as program transcripts. [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2018]
q&a, law: on the next theessor amy >> talks about limits on free expression on campuses in the u.s., including backlash shias received. here onxt sunday c-span. later this afternoon we take you to capitol hill where the inspector general and f.b.i. ray testifyistopher about the f.b.i.'s handling of investigations during the 2016 presidential election. up on today's journal" joins us to talk about a recent report from
the treasury department that deficit has eral grown by almost 25% over the last year. later, we look at the week ahead washington with roll call reporter lindsey macpherson and "the atlantic m magazine." [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2018] host: good morning. welcome to "washington journal." melania trump es, bush adding their voice. they say a face-off is looming to resident trump prepares head to capitol hill tomorrow to talk about house members about two competing bills. get your thoughts on immigration this morning. specificly thepresident's so-called zero tolerance policy. immigration. here are the numbers to call if president's the policy, which is being called zero tolerance, call