The War Resisters League affirms that all war is a crime against humanity.  We are determined not to support any kind of war, international or civil, and to strive nonviolently for the removal of all causes of war, including racism, sexism and all forms of exploitation.

Mourning Linda M. Thurston: Funeral Service Info

May 31st, 2021

For people who are in New York, there will be a public viewing and funeral service scheduled for Wednesday June 2nd from 6 PM - 8 PM ET and Thursday June 3rd at 11 AM ET this week at T.C. Carrillo Funeral Service in the Bronx, respectively. The details are posted on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, and also available at the end of this email. Note the venue is wheelchair accessible, however does not have childcare.

For people who are not able to make it to the physical funeral, there will be a digital livestream of the service starting at 11AM ET on Thursday June 3rd. You can watch at bit.ly/LinsDigitalHomeGoing

For people who are able to make a financial contribution to honor Linda's life, you may participate through this GoFundMe set up by Linda's family: bit.ly/LinHomegoingGFME

For folks who have photos to share of and with Linda, please upload them here: bit.ly/SendPhotosOfLin

And last, but certainly not least: You can join us in honoring Linda's life by engaging in solidarity work with incarcerated folks this week. Linda worked extensively in support of incarcerated folks, including on campaigns to free Mumia Abu-Jamal, political activist and WRL Peace Awardee. Take action to press decision-makers for Mumia's release, and the release of all prisoners and read Mumia's article "From Bases to Bars," published in WRL's WIN magazine in 2009.

War Resisters League and Linda’s family will be planning a Celebration of Life in August, details to follow.

In grief and with love and solidarity,

War Resisters League

She Wove Us Together: Linda Marie Thurston, 1958-2021

Linda Marie Thurston, who spent a lifetime forging connections between and among people, organizations, and ideas in peace and justice movements, passed away in her Brooklyn, NY home due to natural causes. She was 62 years young.

Linda was born in Providence, Rhode Island, on August 7, 1958, the oldest child of James Thurston Sr. and Barbara Thurston (née Oliver). She attended Classical High School and excelled academically, where, as she liked to tell it, a bet between guidance counselors led to Linda applying and being accepted to Harvard University. Linda graduated from Harvard in 1980 with a B.A. in Cultural Anthropology where she was a student organizer against South African apartheid and was the president of the Black Community and Student Theater. After working for some years at the American Friends Service Committee, Linda took time out to attend grad school at Temple University where she obtained an M.A. in Sociology in 1994. 

Linda was a visionary, intellectual, activist, and social weaver who committed her life towards ending the violence of policing, imprisonment, and militarism, and building systems that promote community restoration, reconciliation, accessibility, and invest in life-affirming resources. Her contributions to the movement to abolish the prison industrial complex are vast and significant. As Director of the American Friends Service Committee’s National Criminal Justice Program, Linda worked with advocates and former prisoners on developing curriculum and organizing conferences, community forums, and workshops promoting prisoner rights and alternatives to imprisonment. Serving in this capacity, Linda edited the 1993 book A Call to Action, by the National Commission on Crime and Justice. As Director of Amnesty International’s Program to Abolish the Death Penalty, she coordinated their strategy to abolish the death penalty, and toured the U.S. to build their campaign. In addition to this advocacy, Linda steadfastly supported campaigns to acknowledge and free U.S.-held political prisoners, including her involvement in co-founding the International Concerned Family and Friends of Mumia Abu-Jamal in 1992. Linda also participated in the founding of Critical Resistance, a national organization working to abolish the prison industrial complex, supporting their work nationally and in New York City in the late 90’s and 2000s and, most recently, serving on their Community Advisory Board.  

One of Linda’s skills was effortlessly communicating her capacious vision across a wide variety of audiences: as a radio host at W.I.L.D, giving testimony on C-SPAN, and meeting with religious congregations, to name a few. But even deeper than public speaking, Linda communicated her abolitionist vision through the way she treated others, every single day. She held firmly to the understanding that people were “not all good, and not all bad,” and was able to hold the complexity of what it meant to be human without romanticization nor disposability. And it’s this energy that brought people together around her, and sustained relationships for decades, and in some cases helped cross-pollinate political ideas, such as the necessity to be both abolitionist and antimilitarist. As her cousin, Kristine Keeling, said, "Linda was committed, she was committed to her community, to the disenfranchised, the displaced, and those who struggled to be heard. She moved with grace, integrity and joy, regardless of the heavy mantle she carried."

We're Hiring! Development & Membership Coordinator

WRL Development & Membership Coordinator: Job Posting
May 2021

The War Resisters League seeks to hire a passionate and dedicated individual to create and implement a development and membership program to continue supporting nearly 100 years of challenging all wars.

About WRL: The War Resisters League (WRL) affirms that all war is a crime against humanity. We are determined not to support any kind of war, international or civil, and to strive nonviolently for the removal of all causes of war, including racism, sexism, and all forms of exploitation. 

As a leading radical voice in the antiwar movement, WRL's revolutionary nonviolent strategy builds cross-movement analysis and international solidarity, supports conscientious objectors and GI resisters, challenges military recruitment, advocates for war tax resistance, against the use of teargas in prisons or against nonviolent demonstrators, and trains for and organizes nonviolent direct action.

WRL’s organizational culture highly values collaboration and consensus. We work closely not only as a staff collective, but also as part of a larger constellation of coalitions, organizations, and political projects committed to resisting war. WRL is multi-generational and seeks to be accountable to a plurality of bases directly impacted by militarism. We work to sustain a culture rooted in our principle of revolutionary nonviolence.

Position Summary: The Development & Membership Coordinator works as a team member within the nonhierarchical Staff Collective to support the daily work of the organization, including strategizing about programs, administrative work, office maintenance, email, and social media communications with membership. The Development & Membership Coordinator works closely with the Fundraising Committee. 

Uncovering the roots of Barbara Deming’s revolutionary nonviolence and feminism

Barbara Deming standing in front of a body of water

April 29th, 2021

Uncovering the roots of Barbara Deming’s revolutionary nonviolence and feminism

By Joanne Sheehan

This article has been adapted from a talk on “The Revolutionary Nonviolence by Barbara Deming: Two Handed Practices” which Joanne Sheehan gave with Ynestra King, who is writing a book about Barbara Deming.

An update on Mumia: Freedom is the only treatment

Mumia Abu-Jamal: Freedom is the only treatment

Dear friends,

We are relieved to share that Mumia Abu-Jamal— journalist, author, and WRL Peace Awardee— is recovering from heart surgery and that, thanks to continued pressure, he was able to speak with his wife Wadiya after the operation.

But, we need to keep the pressure on. Mumia's doctors remain very concerned about his treatment in the prison. He should be released immediately so that he can be properly taken care of.

Please continue to call, email, tweet, fax the people below and let them know that freedom is the only treatment. Details below.

Share this call to action on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram.