Hit and Stay is a feature-length documentary about the antiwar movement. It takes an in-depth look at the Vietnam War era activists who attacked the Selective Service system and attempted to throw a wrench into the U.S. war machine.
Hit and Stay will be the definitive documentary about the Catonsville Nine and the actions that followed—the so-called Catholic Left, a group comprised largely of priests and nuns who destroyed draft records and raided the corporate offices of companies that profited from the war. This documentary tells their story in their own words with more archival footage and activists interviewed than any prior film. Interviewees include Noam Chomsky, Howard Zinn, Bill Ayers, Amy Goodman, and over 30 activists from draft board actions. Hit and Stay seeks to be a major conversation-starter about the antiwar movement (then and now). But we need your help to finish the project.
We, Joe Tropea and Skizz Cyzyk, have been working on Hit and Stay since fall 2007; it’s been a labor of love. We’ve kept a shoestring budget until now and could really use your help in getting the film to post production. Funds raised in this first pledge drive will enable us to travel to the West Coast to finish shooting interviews, secure permissions and usage fees, and edit the film.
In 1967, the Baltimore Four poured blood on a few hundred A-1 draft files and waited peacefully to be arrested. They hoped not only to spare a few lives by denying the Selective Service system recruits, but also to start a discussion about the morality of war and conscription and to inspire others to take similar action.
The following year, the Catonsville Nine, Milwaukee 14, and D.C. Nine followed up with similar actions carried out by groups of priests, nuns, and their friends. Their tactics and goals moved beyond symbolic action; in doing so they subjected themselves to serious prison sentences. They sought to put the war on trial as they were being tried for their acts of resistance.
Hundreds more soon joined in as a flood of similar actions followed throughout the early 1970s. Their tactics changed: Symbolic action gave way to concerted efforts to disrupt the Selective Service system, state by state. Activists stopped waiting around to be arrested and started trying to destroy as many induction files as possible and evade capture. Many of them took part in multiple actions. Many ended up serving lengthy prison terms.
Actions like the Catonsville Nine received massive media attention, others went uncovered by the press and unreported or even downplayed by government officials. But the government took notice and Hoover’s FBI set out to infiltrate the movement and nullify it as it did the Black Panthers, Weather Underground, and other organizations. By the mid-1970s, it seemed the government had succeeded.
But these actions inspired untold numbers of people around the world. And many of the so-called Catholic Left or Ultra Resistance activists have continued the struggle and are working toward a variety of causes today. This is their story in their own words.
Interviews and archival footage includes: (so far)
Joel Andreas, Assistant Professor of Sociology, Johns Hopkins University
William Ayers, Weather Underground Organization
Les Bayless, Silver Spring Three
Dan Berrigan, Catonsville Nine
Frida Berrigan, daughter of Phil Berrigan and Liz McAlister
Jerry Berrigan, son of Phil Berrigan and Liz McAlister
Phil Berrigan, Catonsville Nine
Willa Bickham, support activist Catonsville Nine
Dick Bidwell, East Coast Conspiracy to Save Lives
Noam Chomsky, Professor of Linguistics, MIT
Thom Clark, The Four of Us
Frank Cordaro, Des Moines Catholic Worker, Gods of Metal Plowshares
Kate Doyle, Senior Analyst, National Security Archive
Dave Eberhardt, Baltimore Four
Jerry Elmer, participated in 4 draft board actions
Sarah Fahy, support activist East Coast Conspiracy to Save Lives
Jim Forest, Milwaukee 14
Carol Gilbert, Gods of Metal Plowshares
Ted Glick, participated in 4 draft board actions
Amy Goodman, Democracy Now
Jim Harney, Milwaukee 14
John Hogan, Catonsville Nine
Kathy Kelly, Voices for Creative Nonviolence
Steve Kelly S.J., Gods of Metal Plowshares
Joann Malone, D.C. Nine
Doug Marvy, Milwaukee 14
Father Paul Mayer, Hoover Vacuum Conspiracy
Liz McAlister, cofounder of Jonah House
Patrick McGrath, news reporter, WBAL-TV
Thomas Melville, Catonsville Nine
George Mische, Catonsville Nine
Helene Mische, supporter Catonsville Nine
Patrick O’Neil, Father Charlie Mulholland Catholic Worker House
Dean Pappas, support activist Catonsville Nine
Ardeth Platte, Gods of Metal Plowshares
Stephen Sachs, former U.S. Attorney for Maryland
Marc Steiner, radio host WEAA-FM
Joby Taylor, Director, Shriver Peaceworker Programs, UMBC
Brendan Walsh, support activist Catonsville Nine
Rev. Joseph Wenderoth, East Coast Conspiracy to Save Lives
Laura Whitehorn, former political prisoner, Weather Underground Organization
Grenville Whitman, support activist Catonsville Nine
Howard Zinn, Historian and Professor of Political Science, Boston University
Music (so far) by Bean (Sine Jensen), Ala Muerte, and Darsombra.
- (62 days)