Poet, Author, Priest, Activist Dan Berrigan Remembers His Brother Phil

October 03, 2003

Hundreds of people are gathering in New York City to remember the life of legendary peace activist Phil Berrigan who would have turned 80 years old this weekend. His brother, the Reverend Daniel Berrigan, joins us in our firehouse studios to remember him.

Legendary peace activist Phil Berrigan would have been 80 years old tomorrow. He and his brother Daniel Berrigan became household names in 1968 when they and 7 others entered a draft board in Catonsville, Maryland, removed hundreds of A-1 Draft files that were being used to send young men to Vietnam. They took the files to the parking lot and burned them with homemade napalm. Their action became known as the Catonsville Nine.

It was not Berrigan’s first time in prison and it wouldn’t be his last. In fact Phil Berrigan would go on to spend nearly a decade behind bars for his non-violent direct actions against war and nuclear weapons. In 1980, Phil Berrigan, his brother Dan and 6 others entered the General Electric plant in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania and hammered on nuclear warheads with household hammers. This began the movement that would become Phil’s lifework, the Plowshares Movement.

This weekend hundreds of people are gathering in New York City to remember the life of Phil Berrigan. Among the people who will be speaking this Saturday, historian Howard Zinn, former US Attorney General Ramsey Clark, Phil’s wife — Liz McAlister, his daughter — Frida and his brother, the Reverend Daniel Berrigan, who joins us today in our studios.

  • Dan Berrigan, poet, author, priest, activist.