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.
On Monday August 17th five WRL members blockaded the entrance to Combined Systems International — the largest tear gas manufacturer in the U.S.
Our group successfully deterred a shipment from entering Combined Systems Inc. and had many meaningful conversations with neighbors and folks driving by. All five members of the blockade were arrested and kept overnight at Mercer County Jail, where they are still being held.
On Tuesday August 18th we found out: Those five people are now facing multiple charges each for their courageous action and bail has been set at $25,000 each. To get them out we need to cover 10% of bail, which amounts to $12,500 to get all five people released and home safely.
Right now, 5 activists are blockading the entrance of Combined Systems Inc. with giant tear gas cans and gas masks, refusing to move.
These five are with a group of 40 activists from cities across the U.S. who are onsite in Jamestown, PA with the goal of shutting down operations at Combined Systems Inc. for the day. Outside the facility, other activists have staked over a hundred yard signs, each with the name of a different city where tear gas has been used against people.
By shutting down this facility today, we are here to put CSI President Jacob Kravel on notice that his company’s production of tear gas must come to an end. We hope whatever he chooses to produce in this factory can be useful rather than harmful.
August 6th and August 9th this week mark the 75th year since the United States used nuclear weapons on civilians living in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The bombings killed over 200,000 people. To this day, survivors are #stillhere and fighting for the abolition of nuclear weapons.
As we remember the incredible violence of these days, which irreparably changed the course of history, we also look to the future. 75 years later, it is completely unacceptable that nuclear weapons still exist. It's time to abolish nuclear weapons.
We are filled with gratitude for the wisdom and leadership of Rep. John Lewis and Rev. CT Vivian, two people who dedicated their lives to racial justice in the United States and made incredible contributions towards collective freedom, nonviolent struggle, and Black liberation.
In a continued effort to crush the Black Lives Matter movement, Trump sent Federal agents to the streets of Portland to “quell” the weeks of rallies to defund the police. Federal agents in Portland are part of a Department of Homeland Security task force formed in response to Donald Trump’s executive order issued on June 26th, to protect statues and monuments of Confederate leaders and against “left-wing extremism that call for the destruction of the United States system of government.” Now, Trump is escalating beyond Portland and efforts are underway to expand the presence of Federal agents across the country, with Chicago, New York, and many other cities on the list. It's time to abolish the Department of Homeland Security.
War Resisters League is creating a space for accessible antiwar analysis that pushes forward the viewpoints of people struggling for justice around the world in a way that creates more and new opportunities for solidarity. Building on the War Resisters League’s long history as a home for open and honest debate and much-needed analysis of complex issues, we are excited to announce the formation of our new Editorial Committee to better shape the direction of antiwar and antimilitarist discussion in the United States.