Militarized mentalities rely heavily on cultures of fear, white supremacy, heteropatriarchy, and warfare logic of “us vs. them,” while successfully permeating through agencies, such as police departments, normalizing violence against those already deemed disposable, dangerous and/or “radical,” and dramatically amplifying the force of militarism through our communities.
Over the last year we have deeply researched 6 SWAT trainings/weapons expos across U.S. regions (Southern California, the Bay Area, the Midwest, and Upstate NY, among others), seeding cross-community campaigns to resist them, as inspired by solidarity work with movements facing tear gas in Egypt, Chile, and beyond. This work has offered many takeaways we find valuable for organizing.
WRL stands with all migrants in the U.S., especially the many facing renewed threats of mass deportation under the new Trump administration. Criminalization of many communities and nationalities is on the rise, but most prominently the release of executive orders in the new administration’s first week targets Latinx and refugee communities in expanded ways, and defense must be a priority for our collective and intersectional movements.
“What next?” The big question after our weekend of resistance. Movements are made of large demos, lobbying and grassroots campaigns. But nonviolent actions are most effective as part of nonviolent campaigns and we need build our skills to build campaigns.
I'm Sky Hall, a member of WRL's National Committee, sustainer at WRL, and neighbor to WRL as a member of the AJ Muste Institute's staff union in our new shared office space.
In this year of transitions—some exciting and others foreboding on a presidential scale—WRL bid farewell to our beloved home of more than 40 years at 339 Lafayette Street, fondly dubbed The Peace Pentagon, and joined many of our longtime neighbors in the Muste Institute's new NYC shared office space.
I'd be quick to tell you that I'm queer. HIV positive. Puerto Rican. But antiwar?
This past February, yearning for a political home rooted in social justice, I found the War Resisters League. As an intern with WRL I branded the launch to WRL's No Swat Zone campaign. I spoke at a press conference in New York. I was even on the radio! (Alright, a podcast, but hey. Those are cool, too.) And while at WRL, I found out I was more antiwar than I knew.
Hot off the press: Check out Ali Issa interviewing Dhrugham al-Zaidy: "There are indeed a range of political perspectives on the ground that act independently from the Iraqi government towards progressive aims, and that there are many approaches to key questions such as that of Sadr’s role. To go deeper into one perspective, what some call the “civil wing” of the protest movement, and to counter the media blackout that so intensely hides these voices, I spoke with Dhrugham al-Zaidy, brother of famed shoe-thrower Muntazar al-Zaidy, last week. He is the Baghdad coordinator of an unaffiliated group called “The Popular Movement to Save Iraq.”
Normally, WRL takes no stance on electoral politics. As we watched the field of candidates narrow to two enthusiastic friends of war-making and militarism over the past year, we are now just beginning to learn how the President-elect will go about unleashing the kind of violence that ruptures the lives of entire countries, turns communities into refugees and hardens the relationship between borders and people who must migrate.
My name is Ana Conner, and I’m a fundraiser at Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice. I’m also a volunteer and monthly sustainer at WRL. Specifically, as someone who is a part of the movement and works to secure funding for social justice, I’m calling on you to join me in supporting WRL. Here’s why.