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2019 Staff Reflections

We hope you'll read year-end reflections from WRL’s national staff below and consider making a donation to support our work. Thank you for daring to dream with us, to imagine, and to reshape our very sense of what’s possible in this world.

We were the only voice of dissent that day

My name is Lucia Sandoval, and I am a member of Puente Human Rights Movement, a long-standing grassroots organization that campaigns to bring attention to the realities of policing and surveillance that harm us every day in the borderlands of Arizona. Last year, when we learned the annual National Homeland Security Conference (NHSC) would be hosted by the City of Phoenix in 2019 we knew we had to do something. So, this past June we connected with War Resisters League to co-organize an action in opposition to the NHSC.

Young people are ready to end war

When we were just starting elementary school, the U.S. invaded Afghanistan. And just the other week, the Afghanistan Papers confirmed that political and corporate elites have been lying to us our whole lives, so that they can use our communities for their power and profit.

That’s why we joined a team of young organizers from different movement backgrounds to build a new antiwar organization that connects our global and local struggles for freedom from violence, occupation, and war. The War Resisters League joined this effort because we need an ecosystem of antiwar movements powerful enough to ring in a bright new era of safety and healing. We’ve spent years researching and strategizing. Now, we’re ready to launch Dissenters, a new organization that will lead our generation to stop endless wars.

To be abolitionist is to be antiwar

My name is Maya Jenkins, and I am an organizer with No New Jails in NYC. For the last year, No New Jails has been organizing to stop Mayor de Blasio’s jail expansion plan, close all jails on Rikers Island, and ensure that the $11 billion budgeted for new jails are funding what our communities really need to be safe. 

I’m writing today because WRL is an important partner in our work; they connect our abolitionist organizing against prisons and police with their near-century long struggle against militarism and offer analysis that strengthens all of our work. Can you donate today to support?

I got connected with WRL earlier this spring, after Decolonize This Place launched a 9-week escalation campaign to pressure Warren Kanders, the CEO of teargas manufacturer Safariland and now-former board member of the Whitney Museum, to resign from the Whitney’s board of trustees. But, WRL’s work to end the use of tear gas began years ago. During their Facing Teargas campaign WRL collected testimonies from incarcerated people who were tear-gassed while in prison. In May, my comrades and I with No New Jails read the testimonies WRL collected outside the Whitney Museum, standing next to life-sized tear gas canisters filled with dry ice and our friends at WRL, About Face, and Nodutdol. The next week, we parked these canisters and raised our voices outside Kanders’ lavish home in NYC’s Greenwich Village. Before July was up, Kanders officially resigned. 

Busting Border Patrol's Recruitment Propaganda

I’m Heath Rudd (pronouns they/them/theirs), WRL’s Fall 2019 Bilezikian Intern. Over the past three months, I had the special opportunity to work with WRL to develop a new resource to counter Border Patrol recruitment. As someone who loves interrogating history for the betterment of society, I saw the Bilezikian internship as an opportunity to delve more deeply into research about the history of militarization, imperialism, and surveillance, and appreciated the important leadership opportunities WRL offers to young activists.

December of Dissent: A Message from Bogota

I’m Natalia, and I’m the Right to Refuse to Kill Programme worker at War Resisters’ International (WRI) based in Colombia. Last July, WRI organized the International Conference “Antimilitarismos en Movimiento” along with other grassroots antimilitarist organizations in Colombia. We were so lucky to have War Resisters League’s participation in the conference and to learn more about the amazing work they are doing, from nonviolence training, to campaigns against police militarization, to producing counter recruitment resources. 

December of Dissent: From Turtle Island to Palestine

My name is Sandra Tamari, the Executive Director of Adalah Justice Project and a friend of The War Resisters League. My work is centered around fighting for the rights of Palestinians: as a Palestinian living in the United States, I have spent over 15 years connecting people across borders to resist settler-colonial violence— both domestically and abroad. It’s that work that brings me to ask that you support the work WRL does in this season of giving.

Political Education to Spread Antimilitarism

I’m Citlali Perez, I am a rising sophomore at DePaul University and have worked with the Brighton Park Neighborhood Council as a youth leader. In the spring of 2019, I was part of WRL’s three-day Demilitarization School in Chicago, where I learned a lot about what militarization looks like around the world that I hadn't known before. 

I’m writing because of the positive experience I had with WRL, and my hope that others like me will be able to benefit from WRL’s programs in the future. Read more...

Political Education to Spread Antimilitarism

I’m Citlali Perez, I am a rising sophomore at DePaul University and have worked with the Brighton Park Neighborhood Council as a youth leader. In the spring of 2019, I was part of WRL’s three-day Demilitarization School in Chicago, where I learned a lot about what militarization looks like around the world that I hadn't known before. 

I’m writing because of the positive experience I had with WRL, and my hope that others like me will be able to benefit from WRL’s programs in the future. Read more...

Foresight 2020: December of Dissent

They say hindsight is 2020. As we finish up the end of the decade, we say: don’t look back without looking forward. When we look ahead to 2020 and beyond we see struggle, promise, hope, and victory for self determination, from Gaza to Santiago to Hong Kong to Kafranbel to Baghdad.

When you zoom out over the past decade, you notice how more people in more places around the world have been rising up powerfully, consistently, and with a focused vision for self-determination and against settler colonialism and authoritarianism.

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