On this MLK day, let us recall Dr. Martin Luther King's deepest legacy. He understood that denouncing the violent extremism of young, angry men in the ghettos could not be done without hypocrisy unless one also condemned the far greater violence of the U.S. war machine in Vietnam. When governments decide political problems can be solved through violence, it is no surprise their citizens reach the same conclusion.
WRL's Ali Issa on the protest upsurge in Iraq: "Since a new wave of protest in Iraq — the largest in decades — has forced the Iraqi government to finally begin acknowledging the fundamental problems with the now 12-year-old quota system, Iraqis across sectors and at the grassroots are striving to chart a new political course. It’s also time for the world at large to see Iraqis in a new way. Not as simply Sunni, Shi’ite or Kurd, Gulf-backed or Iran-backed, terrorist or victim. Iraqis are asking us to do much better than that."
Stop Urban Shield is a broad coalition of grassroots community and social justice organizations primarily based in the Bay Area but with partnering community groups across the nation who have come together united against Urban Shield. Urban Shield, a SWAT team training and weapons expo that brings together local, regional, and international police-military units to collaborate on and profit from new forms of surveillance, state repression, and state violence.
Today, the right wing are openly organizing and attacking the political gains made by Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) organizers at the frontlines of racial and economic justice, as well as attacking any sort of attempts to keep fascism at bay— such as the results of the 2020 U.S. Presidential election. In response, centrist and liberal media commentators, along with some organizations are calling for “peace” without a deeper analysis of the root causes of right wing fascism at play. In particular, this is where we diverge from other organizations who use the language of nonviolence to pursue a hollow vision of peace without the commitment to justice. These are acts of conflict avoidance masquerading as conflict resolution, and create a vacuum for the right wing to continue organizing.
We kicked off our year-end fundraising on Giving Tuesday by asking you to help us raise $5,000 for WRL’s antiwar work. With your help and matching funds from a generous donor we raised $8,192! Thank you!
Now, for the month of December we’re setting an ambitious goal to raise $30,000 for WRL and we need your support! Can you make a gift today to help us get to $10,000 by the end of this week?
WRL thanks and honors the Kings Bay Plowshares 7, three of whom (Carmen Trotta, Martha Hennessy, and Clare Grady) were sentenced last week for their bold Trident disarmament action at the Kings Bay nuclear submarine base in south Georgia. Several of the Kings Bay Plowshares are WRL members and have participated in WRL organized nonviolent actions. All are war tax resisters.
50 years to the day after the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., on April 4, 2018, over two and a half years ago, the seven cut a lock and entered the base where nuclear-armed US submarines are home-ported, in a plowshares action which included pouring blood, posting an indictment which charged the US government for crimes against peace, posting crime scene tape and hanging banners, one of which said, "The Ultimate Logic of Trident is Omnicide", and damaging Trident D5 monuments. Plowshares actions seek to enact the prophecy in the Biblical book of Isaiah that nations will beat swords into plowshares and study war no more.
As Leftist and progressive organizers going into this election cycle, we knew our best chances to continue making gains against oppression would not be under a Trump administration. This is why many, like LUCHA in Arizona, PA Stands Up, New Florida Majority, and Working Families Party, worked to get out the vote for the Biden campaign and invest long hours in Nonviolent Direct Action and de-escalation training in the event of a stolen election.
The AP has just called it for the Biden campaign, and we join in commending organizers for holding the line against fascist authoritarianism and creating conditions that hold more possibility for making antiwar gains. We remain on alert for any kind of Trumpist backlash on the streets or elsewhere, and will be amplifying resources in the event of any escalations.
Earlier this month we shared with you our Editorial Committee's letter on 2020 Elections and Antiwar politics. We're pleased to share this piece in response from Joey Ayoub, a Lebanese academic based in Zurich who writes extensively on anti-authoritarian struggles worldwide. He writes: Biden is problematic, but he can be pushed to the left if we intensify our struggles for justice and equality.