WRL 90th Anniversary Conference

WRL 90th Anniversary Logo



Building Bridges Across Generations and Communities

War Resisters League
90th Anniversary National Conference

August 1 – 4 · 2013
Georgetown University | Washington, DC.

Couldn't make it to the conference?
Watch the plenaries online!

  • REGISTERING? Please register on-site at the ICC Building starting at 5 on Thurday, all day Friday and Saturday! 
  • Need info on how to get to the conference? How get around at the conference? Check out directions and get a campus map on our Travel page.
  • Have questions? Contact us at 90thanniversaryconference [at] warresisters.org

This summer, just weeks before the 50th anniversary of the historic 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, WRL members and friends will gather in our first national conference in 10 years. Events around the world and at home this past decade have kept the War Resisters League busy, and our work is far from complete. We will come together to honor our history, acknowledge our current struggles and re-energize ourselves for the work ahead…and we invite you to be here with us!

As was true 90 years ago, there is a need for the insights and activism of the War Resisters League. We bring decades of experience in nonviolent resistance to the broader movement for peace and justice. We know our work is made stronger through the ties we build with other communities. And our own history is living proof that a multi-generational movement is a pre-requisite for durability and growth.

We live in dangerous times. The assertion that the Iraq and Afghanistan wars are beyond us, or coming to an end, is riddled with falsehoods. A global economic crisis coupled with escalating environmental degradation – both with roots in militarism – means millions of people around the world are living in desperate situations. Here at home, the culture of violence has exploded on our streets and horrendous cuts in spending for the social programs our communities need unfold every day. The military machinery thrives while in the name of fighting terrorism our liberties are eroded.

But we also live at a moment when there is a sense of hope and possibility. Throughout the country and around the world, people are reaching past what has divided them and developing new ways to work together. We saw it in the Arab Spring and in the Occupy Movement, and in the daily struggles unfolding in our communities.

In August we will take a few days to come together to share our work, challenge our thinking, sharpen our analytic and organizing skills and lay the foundation for the next decade of our work.

This 90th anniversary national conference is an opportunity for WRL members and our allies to reflect on our past as we prepare for the future. We will strengthen our understanding of and commitment to nonviolence as a foundation for the direct action resistance we engage in. And we will address the need to open the definition of “we” as we struggle to help build the broad and diverse movement that’s waiting to be created.

Our conference will include a healthy balance of small group discussions, full conference gatherings, plenty of music, poetry and time to relax with friends old and new. Much of our time will be in workshops organized in threads – a series of small group discussions tied together by a common theme that is a foundation of our work: Disarm, Restore, Build, Learn, and Resist. The workshops will be opportunities to delve into specifics while making links, all aimed at learning from our past, understanding our present and preparing for our future. Our aim is to be specific and focused, and at the same time we’ll make connections and weave issues together.

Our larger plenary sessions will include presentations clustered along these lines: Revolutionary Nonviolence – What is it and how do we build it?; Global Hot Spots and Grassroots Solidarity; Unraveling the Knot of Militarism, Class, Gender and Race; Saving the Planet – Wars, the Attack on the Environment and Global Capitalism; and The Culture of Violence.

As important as all of these presentations and discussions will be, perhaps most important will be the ways this gathering reinforces our community and reinvigorates our work. We hope you’ll join us!