Buffalo Nine

“The Buffalo Nine was a group of nine Vietnam War protesters arrested together on August 19, 1968, at the Unitarian Universalist Church in Buffalo, New York. During the Vietnam War there was a rise in draft resistance as a political statement. A group of students, primarily associated with the University at Buffalo, had been active against the draft and the war. When they and supporters sought sanctuary in the Unitarian church on Elmwood Avenue, U.S. Marshals, FBI agents, and Buffalo Police surrounded the church. The minister, Dr. Paul Carnes, was out of the country in Romania during this time. Eventually, the lawmen ‘stormed’ the church. When the group of lawmen entered the church, they used blackjacks to ‘clear the aisle’. Beyer was arrested, as were seven others, on charges including draft evasion and assaulting an officer. Among those arrested were prominent campus radicals such as Carl Kronberg and Jerry Gross. A later investigation led them to arrest Students for a Democratic Society organizer Bill Yates. The first federal trial began in February, 1969. Around 150 University of Buffalo students and faculty picketed the U.S. Courthouse, chanting ‘Free the Nine — The Trial’s a Crime.’ The defendants and their lawyers used the trial as an organizing tool. Beyer, Gross, and Kronberg and the other defendants informed the court that it was necessary to resist an ‘immoral, illegal, racist, politically insane war on the Vietnamese people.’ The jury was unable to reach a verdict on several of the defendants but Bruce Beyer was convicted and received a three-year sentence. At the second trial, Malak, Yates, and Berry angered the judge and others by raising their fists in power salutes when introduced to the court, guaranteeing a contentious atmosphere. … The series of trials occupied the attention of the university and city. The Buffalo Nine Defense Committee was formed, publishing its own newsletter, Liberated Community News, out of the Urban Action offices, publishers of ‘The Buffalo Broadside’ newsletter, as well as a printing facility for various student newspapers. … A symposium in September drew New York City intellectuals such as Susan Sontag. When Beyer was convicted, the UB campus erupted into violent protests. Hundreds of students stormed the campus and set fire to buildings that housed a navy research project. Others entered Hayes Hall and climbed to the top of the bell tower and relentlessly rang its bells to be heard across the campus. …”
The Vietnam War, Protest, and Liberal Academia: The Buffalo Nine (Audio)
Bruce Beyer Reflects on 50 Years of Activism

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This entry was posted in Draft board, Pacifist, Religion, SDS, Vietnam War and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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