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Have You Kept a Secret For More Than 40 Years? These 8 People Did

Last week, the Tribeca Film Festival wrapped up in New York City. One of the featured films was “1971” by Johanna Hamilton. It’s a true story about eight American citizens involved in the anti-war movement.

While the Vietnam War was going on overseas, back at home protesters were taking to the streets in a battle of their own. It was not uncommon for protesters to break into draft boards, destroying the paper system that was used to draft young men. But no one had ever attempted to break into an FBI office.

These eight people became known as the “Citizens Commission to Investigate the FBI.” On March 8, 1971, they broke into a small FBI office in Media, Pennsylvania and stole classified documents that revealed shocking activities of the FBI. For more than 40 years, the burglars remained anonymous – until January 7, 2014.

Fusion spoke with two of the members of the Citizens Commission, John and Bonnie Raines, and to Betty Medsger, the journalist who received these FBI documents in 1971 – and released her book, “The Burglary,” earlier this year. We also spoke with Johanna Hamilton, the director of the documentary.

Credit: Jessica Blank, Angela Barajas

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