Baltimore Press

Group Protests Balkan War

Banner Placed on Bridge at Rush Hour

Southbound commuters on Interstate 83 had something to see during rush hour last night. Large signs with slo­gan’s such as “Feed The Children, Don’t Bomb Them” hung off the 28th street bridge in Reservoir Hill, thanks to the Baltimore Coalition Against War in the Balkans.

This was the second such protest in two weeks. Last Thursday, about sixty people were demonstrating the United States’ involvement in the Serbian bombing, but only about 24 people attended last night’s demonstration.

Activist Michael Bardoff attributed the lack of attendance to poor outreach.
Nevertheless, a large slice of Baltimore’s pacifist left were repre­sented: Quakers from both Story Run and Homewood, Jonah House, The Baltimore Emergency Response Network, All People’s Congress, and Worker’s World, a socialist newspa­per.

According to Gary Gillespie, of the Homewood Quakers, they were there to show support for the anti-war groups already inside Serbia, particu­larly the Women in Black and the Sexual Assault Center in Belgrade.
The two groups, along with a num­ber of other smaller groups, had recently issued a statement welcom­ing the ethnic Albanians back into Serbia to setup a pluralistic society. Gillespie pointed out the similarities of this group to Poland’s Solidarity, which was a democratic-pacifist movement that helped defeat the com­munist regime (before it degenerated into the nationalistic conservative organization it is today.)

Elizabeth McAllister of the Jonah House Community also attended. Originating in 1973, Jonah House is one of the oldest protest groups in the city. A former nun, McAllister was part of the .Catonsville 9, which gained national notoriety in the late sixties for pouring blood on draft records.

In 1971, the group was arrested for a supposed plot to kidnap Henry Kissinger; the highly publicized case ended in a hung jury. In the late eight­ies, she — with husband and former priest Philip Berrigan and his brother Daniel — gained national attention when they protested nuclear warfare by sneaking onto a military installa­tion and hitting a warhead with a hammer.

The group will protest outside the White House this afternoon, and at an undisclosed military installation in the near future.

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