Archive - June 26, 2013

Those Were The Days! RPCVs Shut Down The Peace Corps

Those Were The Days! RPCVs Shut Down The Peace Corps

Jack Prebis (Ethiopia 1962-64) who was later an APCD in Ethiopia (1965-67) sent me this photo from his days working in ACTION. This ‘sit in’ happened in 1975, I believe. RPCVs  were protesting Nixon/Ford Administration cutting the Peace Corps budget. Some Volunteers occupied Peace Corps offices when the agency was located in its original site, the Maiatico Building at 806 Connecticut  Ave. They hung banners out the windows. The office then closed and the staff went home. No one called the police. The head of ACTION at the time was Mike Balzano. Balzano was an avid Nixon supporter. Walking down the halls one time, he was heard to say “I can just smell the hate the RPCVs have for me in the air.” Balzano made a concerted effort  (complete with mandatory seminars and questionnaires) to ID and get rid of the Kennedyites and fill the Peace Corps with folks of his own political ilk. He personally . . .

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