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The Catonsville NineAn American Story$
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Shawn Francis Peters

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199827855

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199827855.001.0001

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“Come to Agnew Country”

“Come to Agnew Country”

(p.158) 13 “Come to Agnew Country”
The Catonsville Nine

Shawn Francis Peters

Oxford University Press

While the Catonsville Nine readied for their trial, a group of dedicated supporters pieced together plans to make the proceedings—slated to begin early in October 1968—a galvanizing event for antiwar and social justice activists. Over the summer and early fall of that year they formulated a wide-ranging effort that would complement the courtroom activity in Baltimore with a variety of marches, rallies, and speeches. These events were designed to energize opponents of the war and draw public and media attention to their cause. As the trial date drew closer, the FBI kept tabs on antiwar activists living as far away from Baltimore as Southern California. While the FBI kept tabs on their activities, backers of the Nine stepped up their efforts to augment the defense fund and organize protests. A few weeks before the trial was slated to begin, the Baltimore Defense Committee (BDC) was organized as a successor organization to the Interfaith Peace Mission in Baltimore, which had brought together many peace activists in the area. The BDC's primary goal was to underscore the message of the Catonsville Nine and foster an activist community that would build upon the momentum generated by the trial. But its call made clear that it had broader aims as well. One of these was to embarrass the Republican presidential ticket, which featured Maryland's combative governor, Spiro Agnew, in the vice presidential slot.

Keywords:   Catonsville Nine, activists, Baltimore Defense Committee, Spiro Agnew

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