News and Media

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On MLK Day: A Special Message from Arun Kundnani

Arun Kundnani

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.

Massive Protest Wave in Iraq Challenges Sectarianism

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 2015!

WHAT IS THE STOP URBAN SHIELD COALITION?

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.

Meet WRL's Communications Coordinator - Shiyam Galyon!

What does a U.S.-based antiwar movement look like that has deep connections across the country and around the world? That is agile and responsive under systems of settler colonialism, under authoritarian systems, and towards refugees and migrants whose bodies are on the line between borders? That dismantles systems of oppression in the United States and builds power around people’s struggle for self-determination?

These are the questions I’ve asked myself for the past six years as a Houstonian born in the United States to parents from Homs, Syria. Today I’m writing to you as WRL’s newest staff member because WRL is asking these questions too, and together, we’re finding answers.

Another Death in the Family: Simon Harak, 1948-2019

Simon Harak. Photo by Ed Hedemann

Fr. G. Simon Harak SJ, the exuberantly pacifist Jesuit priest and onetime WRL Disarmament Coordinator, died November 3 in Campion Health Center, Weston, Mass. He was 71 and had dealt for some six years with frontotemporal degeneration (also called frontotemporal dementia).

Simon was the kind of pacifist who sees peace and justice as inextricably bound together; he once defined nonviolence as “a commitment to work for justice so that violence is no longer necessary.” He was a co-founder of Voices in the Wilderness (now Voices for Creative Nonviolence), the U.S. campaign that defied the sanctions against Iraq; Simon led delegations to that country, delivering medicines and other necessities. He was the founding Director of Marquette University's Center for Peacemaking, dedicated to “exploring the power of nonviolence.”

WRL Activist Update: Linnea Capps, MD

Linnea Capps

Linnea Capps, pacifist activist, physician engaged in liberation medicine (the conscious, conscientious use of health to promote human dignity and social justice), and philanthropist for more than 40 years, recently left her longtime home in Brooklyn, NY, to live in a care facility in Kansas. She, along with her cats Rosie and Flora, is now living close to her hometown and to her sister, brother, and sister-in-law.

Linnea was the chair of WRL’s executive committee between 1983 and 1985, a member of the committee for several decades, and an energetic participant in countless conferences, meetings, and demonstrations to promote nonviolence, an end to war, and social justice. In addition, she served on the board of directors of the A.J. Muste Memorial Institute for several years.

It's our 96th!

Chocolate cake with the words "Imagine and End to War" piped in blue frosting.

Today on our 96th birthday, War Resisters League is as energized and hopeful as ever in working to dismantle the military industrial complex. When people ask us why, we say: it’s because the life and dignity of everyday people are worth fighting for, across the United States and around the world. 

We are deeply moved by the joys that a dignified life can bring: the ability to pursue knowledge, the ability to spend time with friends and family, and the ability to provide for those you love.

Peter Kiger, 1938 – 2019

Image - Peter Kiger Before Sentencing, WRL News May-June 1969

Former WRL staff member Peter Kiger died on August 19 in New Castle, Indiana. He was 80 and had Parkinson’s disease.

Born and raised in Spiceland, Indiana, Peter became a Quaker whose life mission was peacemaking. But during his freshman year at DePauw University (1956) — before becoming a pacifist — he won a Chicago Tribune medal as an outstanding Air Force ROTC student. Then in his junior year he went to Germany for pre-med studies, living with a German family who had suffered great losses during World War II. This, along with seeing the war’s devastation first hand, was life-changing. He came home an avowed pacifist. After graduating with honors from DePauw in 1960, Peter spent a year in medical school at Northwestern, followed by a year in Springfield (IL) Federal Penitentiary in 1961 as a conscientious objector for having refused alternative service to the military.

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