Berrigan defends anti-war protester

February 03, 1991

Baltimore anti-war activist Philip F. Berrigan appeared i Pittsburgh last week to protest Operation Desert Storm and testify on behalf of a fellow protester.

Mr. Berrigan, 67, testified Wednesday in the Allegheny County Common Pleas Court trial of Vincent Eirene, 38, of Pittsburgh, who was charged with assault after a courthouse scuffle last May 4. Deputy Leo Campbell was bitten when he tried to force protesters to take down placards.

Mr. Berrigan, a former Josephite priest and member of the Plowshares Eight anti-war group, said outside the courthouse, "If peace comes, it will draw power away from a tiny nucleus of very powerful people in this country."

He addressed about 25 people on the courthouse steps.

Protesters carried a sign that said,"Disarm Carnegie Mellon."

Mr. Eirene and others have picketed outside the Carnegie Mellon University's Software Research Institute.

In 1981, Mr. Berrigan and seven others were convicted of burglary, criminal mischief and conspiracy for pouring blood on documents and damaging nuclear missiles at a General Electric Co. plant in King of Prussia, Pa.

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