Civil Disobedience

Investigation of a Flame (Film)

B&W photo of Catonsville 9

On May 17, 1968 nine Vietnam War protesters, including a nurse, an artist and three priests, walked into a Catonsville, Maryland draft board office, grabbed hundreds of selective service records and incinerated them with homemade napalm.

The 45-minute documentary film, Investigation of a Flame, offers an intimate look at this unlikely, disparate band of resisters — the Catonsville Nine as they came to be known — who broke the law in a poetic act of civil disobedience.…

Failure to Quit

Failure to Quit | HowardZinn.org By Howard Zinn
This essay, written for Z Magazine in 1990, and reprinted in my book Failure to Quit, was inspired (if you are willing to call this an inspired piece) by my students of the Eighties. I was teaching a spring and fall lec­ture course with four hundred students in each course (and yet with lots of discussion). I looked hard, listened closely, but did not find the apathy, the conservatism, the disregard for the plight of others, that everybody (right and left) was reporting about "the me generation."

Sam Lovejoy and ‘No Nukes’ Activism

In September 1974, Sam Lovejoy went on trial for "malicious destruction" of a weather tower that had been erected to test wind direction at the site for the planned construction of a nuclear power plant. Howard Zinn testified in Lovejoy's case as an expert on civil disobedience (read Lovejoy's letter to Zinn). The following is a summary of these events, including a film clip from Lovejoy's Nuclear War, featuring an interview with Howard Zinn on civil disobedience.

Sam Lovejoy, Anti-Nukes Activist, Requests Howard Zinn to Testify | 1974

Sam Lovejoy, Anti-Nukes Activist, Requests Howard Zinn to Testify | HowardZinn.org
Source: Howard Zinn Papers, housed at New York University’s Tamiment Library
In 1974, anti-nukes activist Sam Lovejoy wrote to Howard Zinn, asking Zinn to testify at his upcoming September 17 trial as an expert on civil disobedience. Earlier that year in February, Lovejoy toppled a weather tower that was the first stage of a proposed nuclear power plant.

Lovejoy’s Nuclear War: Interview with Howard Zinn

Lovejoy’s Nuclear War: Interview with Howard Zinn
Film Clip: Lovejoy’s Nuclear War by Green Mountain Post Films

Includes interviews with community members and their thoughts about Sam Lovejoy’s action of toppling the nuclear power plant’s weather tower, Lovejoy about his trial strategy, Dr. John Gofman on why he is testifying at Lovejoy’s trial and the importance of the nuclear power issue, and Howard Zinn on civil disobedience.…

The Spirit of Rebellion

By Howard Zinn, from The Zinn Reader
Writing a column to appear in the July 4, 1975, issue of the Boston Globe, I wanted to break away from the traditional celebrations of Independence Day, in which the spirit of that document, with its call for rebellion and revolution, was most often missing. The column appeared with the title “The Brooklyn Bridge and the Spirit of the Fourth.”