News and Media

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Nonviolence is an exploration- Join us!

March 22, 2021

Dear friends,

I often quote Barbara Deming’s reminder that “nonviolence is an exploration, one that has just begun” at trainings with groups looking to achieve justice using nonviolence strategies. By engaging in this exploration, we continue to both learn new aspects of the power of nonviolence and develop more creative ways to use it to reach our revolutionary goals: dismantling white supremacy, sexism, and all forms of exploitation.

Your Submissions, Published: A Critical Look at Borders

An image of a lightbulb, outlined in gold, with the text: your submissions, published. The background is black, the text is white.

In December, War Resisters League’s Editorial Committee put out a letter taking a critical look at borders where we discussed how borders motivate both conflict and cooperation between states, and discussed their impact on Indigenous communities. We asked you to join in the conversation through our call for submissions.

We received many strong pitches, more than we had the capacity to accept. Today we are happy to share with you the pieces that were published on our community page, War Resisters, on Waging Nonviolence. We hope you enjoy reading:

Order WRL’s famous pie...chart.

Image of pumpkin pie with whipped cream. Text says: Order our famous pie chart

March 14th, 2021
 

Dear friends,

It's Pi day and we couldn't resist a little pun. For almost 40 years, War Resisters League has researched and produced an annual pie chart flyer to call attention to the vast amount of our income tax dollars spent on the military and war. Since World War II, roughly 50 percent of every income tax dollar goes to wars, preparations for war, and costs of past wars, no matter whether the president is Republican or Democrat. 

Action Alert | Free Mumia, bring him home to heal!

Today we write to you with serious news. Mumia Abu-Jamal is experiencing a severe decline in health and we must act now to secure his release from prison.

While Mumia Abu-Jamal— the 66 year old award winning journalist, former Black Panther, and US political prisoner— has been ill for years with Hepatitis C and other ailments, he is having difficulty breathing and chest pains. Like so many incarcerated elders, he is vulnerable to COVID-19 behind bars. We must act now.

For 39 years, a wide coalition of solidarity organizers have worked tirelessly to release Mumia from prison, where he is unjustly incarcerated for a crime he did not commit, and to abolish the prison industrial complex. After 25 years, organizers were successful in removing him from death row— but the fight continues for his release and the abolition of the prison industrial complex. 

Today we must make phone calls and demand Mumia's release.

Biden dropped seven 500lb bombs last night. Here is what you need to know.

Last night, Biden dropped seven 500-pound bombs on a small cluster of buildings on the Syrian side of the Syria-Iraq border¹. The bombings destroyed these buildings, ammunition and weapons stored inside, and killed at least 17 militia members affiliated with Kataib Hezbollah and other groups.² These militia members are Iraqi, backed by Iran through Iran’s policy of expansionism in the region.³

We knew Biden would continue the U.S. War on Terror, despite decrying “forever wars” in the presidential debates,⁴ because war is a bi-partisan effort in the United States. The U.S. Led Coalition— started by Obama and carried forward by Trump and Biden— is responsible for over 13,000 civilian casualties across Iraq and Syria.⁵ Yesterday’s targeted airstrike from the Biden administration is a continuation of our proxy war with Iran: last year, Donald Trump ordered targeted strikes against Qassem Suleimani and members of Kataib Hezbollah. Our political analysis is the same: No war with Iran. No war with Iraq. No war with Syria.

The Roots of Revolutionary Nonviolence in the United States are in the Black Community

A photo of Bayard Rustin standing near a poster that reads: Integration Means Better Schools For All! This photo is on a golden background, and there is text underneath the photo that reads: "read: the roots of revolutionary nonviolence are in the Black community"

Many are wondering how to respond to the current white supremacist threat. We only have to look to history — to those who organized against the brutal culture and laws of segregation in this country — for inspiration on the importance of relationship building, creative strategies and training to dismantle it today. Few people today know that it was transnational solidarity between Black and white Christian clergy in the United States and Indian activists fighting for independence from British colonial rule that introduced the philosophies and strategies of revolutionary nonviolence to the United States, and that this work would build the foundation leading towards the civil rights movement.

In the late 1930s, Black people around the United States were searching for leadership and methods to end racial discrimination. Black publications were reporting on the Indian liberation movement with great interest. Indians and others involved in the movement for Indian independence brought the story to the United States. And Black leaders traveled to India to meet with Gandhi, with growing interest in the method of satyagraha, which translated into “nonviolence.” 

We need to strategically eliminate fascism, not engage in hollow calls for peace.

Black background with gold corner. Broken Rifle logo in the top center. Text says: No Justice, No Peace. The only way forward is to confront who we are as a nation and dismantle white supremacy.

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. 

December of Dissent: Help us raise $30K to resist war!

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?

#GiveToResistWar

This Giving Tuesday we’re asking you to #GiveToResistWar! We have a goal of raising $5,000 by the end of Giving Tuesday to support WRL’s antimilitarist work.

Thanks to a generous donor, when you give this Giving Tuesday every dollar you give will be matched! Will you make a gift right now to make your gift go twice as far and help us reach our goal?

War Resisters League Commends Kings Bay Plowshares

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.

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