News and Media

For interviews and all other media inquiries, please call our office at 212.228.0450, or contact us by email at wrl [at] warresisters.org or via our Contact page.

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."

Linda Marie Thurston, rest in eternal power and memory. We love you greatly.

Black and white image of Linda Marie Thurston, with her right fist raised in the air.

To our dear community,

We are grieved to be sharing with you all devastating news: Linda Thurston, War Resisters League's Operations Coordinator passed away unexpectedly this weekend.

Linda first organized with WRL for the Day Without the Pentagon action in 1998 and later joined the national staff collective in 2007 where she was responsible for maintaining daily operations, our office space, the website, technology, and was known to geek out about tech things. She held much WRL history and institutional knowledge. Linda leaves a big void in our hearts.

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. 

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.

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.

Long-time WRL member Dr. Linnea Capps, MD, MPH passes away on April 19th, 2021

April 21st, 2021

Dear friends,

War Resisters League is saddened to learn of the passing of our long-time member, Dr. Linnea Capps, MD, MPH. She will be dearly missed. We will be sharing reflections about her, starting with this one from Matt Meyer:

It is with deep sadness (and some relief that she went without pain and is done with her worldly ordeals) that I have to report on the passing of Linnea Capps, an extraordinary spirit—a quiet and unassuming, humble yet persistent, absolute world-changing force. Linnea was a friend for forty years, and I write this now, with some photos collected through the years, to heal myself by reflecting on her beauty and strength and list some of the many accomplishments she was involved in. Thus, this is a personal as well as political remembrance to one of the most committed and true healers I have ever know, who also happened to be a medical doctor.

Take action tonight before Mumia's heart surgery tomorrow.

April 14th, 2021

Dear friend,

Earlier in March, we wrote to you with calls to action for Mumia Abu-Jamal as his health took a serious decline after contracting COVID-19.

Tomorrow, Mumia is scheduled to have heart surgery. This call to action was put together by the International Movement to Free Mumia. Please read, take action, and share:

URGENT CALL TO ACTION: MUMIA ABU-JAMAL (ID = AM8335) TO UNDERGO HEART SURGERY

Call for Pitches | A Critical Look at Authoritarianism(s)

Call For Pitches: A Critical Look at Authoritarianisms. Email pitches@warresisters.org by May 2nd 2021

Authoritarianism is a driving force of war, both at home and abroad. But what exactly is authoritarianism and what are the strategies to resist it? The War Resisters League’s Editorial Committee invites pitches for articles that can help us both amplify ongoing work resisting this political phenomenon and clarify opportunities for antiwar and antimilitarist movements to understand and organize against it.

When we sat down to discuss rising authoritarianism around the world, we quickly realized it would be helpful to think in the plural authoritarianisms to account for the myriad forms of authoritarianism. Authoritarianism can manifest itself through the state or through privately organized groups, under the banner of explicit fascism (such as the Golden Dawn in Greece or the Alternative for Germany), as counter-revolutionary forces (like Hezbollah, which worked against both the Syrian and Lebanese revolutions), and as reactionary forces (like the Sisi regime in Egypt). Authoritarians can come into power via a military coup like the one in 1973 that brought the long-ruling Pinochet regime into power in Chile. Some authoritarians are also monarchs, like Mohamad Bin Salman of Saudi Arabia but they can also be elected, like right-wing demagogue Donald Trump. Another category are those presidents who are “elected” in sham elections like Cameroon’s Paul Biya, who has been in power for over 45 years and is the world’s longest-ruling, non-royal politician. It is important to name this because there are false perceptions of who can be authoritarian and how they come into power—indeed, authoritarians and authoritative culture can exist under any political context.

Guidelines on how to pitch the Editorial Committee

Image description: Text says "War Resisters League Pitching Guidelines." The background is a pale yellow, and there are black and golden abstract shapes on the left-hand corners. The are a pair of pencils with flames on the lower right hand corner.

War Resisters League’s Editorial Committee regularly puts out calls for submissions to foster conversation on a variety of antiwar/antimilitarist topics. We want to hear from people directly impacted by war: grassroots activists, academics, our membership, and freelance journalists and writers from around the world who are committed to resisting the root causes of war: racism, sexism, and all forms of exploitation. Your art, your voice, your documentation, your research, and your analysis are all forms of that resistance.

The Editorial Committee puts out calls for submissions on our Movement Updates email list, which you can join here. Accepted submissions are published on our War Resisters community page on Waging Nonviolence.

We regularly receive questions on how to write a successful pitch. Here are some tips:

Pages