Over the last month, under the cover of COVID, a new series of Arms Sales were proposed by the Defense Security Cooperation Agency, the section of the Pentagon responsible for handling major arms sales. According to US law, there is a 30 day period to mount a legislative challenge to these sales before they are put into the pipeline for the arms industry to move forward.
WRL, along with International Coalition for Human Rights in the Philippines (ICHRP) and the Malaya Movement, met with Ilhan Omar's office, who sits on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, the oversight body for this type of sale, who has agreed to mount a challenge.
We knew this was going to be a tough and pivotal year politically, but few predicted the extent to which it would be so. Constant updates from the COVID-19 pandemic to the Democratic Primaries to chaos from within the Trump administration are alarming and hyperstimulating. For many young people, this will be the second economic collapse that we’ve lived through in our lives— not to mention the third “conceptual” war (the “war” on the coronavirus follows the War on Drugs and War on Terror).
Our deepest hope for our members is that you are able to take care of yourselves and others right now. Remember to practice asking for help, as well as offering help.
Racial Justice Has No Borders is a new, broad anti-war coalition that seeks to recenter the conversation about U.S. wars and militarization on the needs and leadership of those most impacted.
This coalition puts a focus on diaspora, refugee, veteran, Black, Brown and Indigenous communities who bear the brunt of this country’s militarism to challenge the myth that more police, wars and weapons have made any of us more safe or secure. In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is imperative that we forge new avenues for global solidarity that can lead to real and lasting peace and security. On April 6th at 3 pm EDT, 2 pm CDT, 1 pm MDT, 12 pm PDT the eve of the Wisconsin Democratic Primary, the coalition will host a virtual Town Hall examining where the presidential candidates and their parties currently stand on US military policy, Defense spending, the ongoing 'War on Terror,’ and militarization at home. Register for this town hall today and help us build a movement.
We’re writing to touch base during this time of crisis and uncertainty, to offer an update on WRL’s operations and to share a few resources on what we can be doing to love and protect each other in these strange and difficult times. Like many of our peer organizations, War Resisters League has moved to working remotely, and because we ship directly out of our office and don’t use third-party logistics to ship orders, we’ve temporarily paused shipping from our online store. Here is what you need to know about our current operations:
Every move towards a world free of warfare is a move worth taking.
That’s why I spoke on behalf of War Resisters League at New York City Council on Tuesday - to voice our support for Resolution 0976 and Introduction 1621. These proposals reaffirm New York City as a nuclear-free zone, and instruct the pension funds of all NYC public employees to divest from the companies that profit from nuclear weapons.
Throughout the day, we heard the testimonies of A-bomb survivors from Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Kings Bay Plowshare activists, and lifelong New Yorkers who recalled memories of working and playing on radioactive sites in Manhattan and Staten Island. Bayard Rustin, who previously worked at WRL, was present in the room in spirit through comments sent in their memory by Walter Naegle, their partner. It was moving to be in a room full of people echoing the call for unilateral nuclear disarmament.
End endless wars. It's a phrase we're hearing come up more and more in media, from community leaders to talking heads to presidential candidates— and it's a stance we fully embrace in its truest sense.
Which is why we're alarmed to hear "end endless wars" regularly framed in exclusive terms as withdrawal of ground troops from the Middle East region. The truth is, that's too narrow a scope and obscures the reality of what makes the current state of war endless and ever-expanding, both for the region and elsewhere: airwars.
Early in the morning on January 3rd, in an act of imperial power and disregard for international law, the US assassinated Iran’s General Qassem Soleimani and Kata’ib Hezbollah’s Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis at Baghdad International Airport via targeted drone strike and immediately deployed more troops to the region for “protection.” That same day, police departments around the US indicated plans of increasing local surveillance, and on Sunday Trump “vowed to hit 52 Iranian targets very hard” while dozens of Iranians were reported detained at the US border and airports within the country. On Monday, Iraqi parliament voted to kick out all foreign troops, and on Tuesday Iran’s parliament voted to recognize all US military forces as terrorists and by Tuesday evening Iran launched missiles at Al-Asad airbase in retaliation, reportedly killing Iraqis.
This morning, WWIII was trending on our social media as Gen Z all mentally prepped themselves to be recruited and deployed to Iraq/Iran. How did we get here and what can we do about it now?
After the Pentagon continued to defend troop presence in Iraq to fight ISIS under Obama, we've continually had between 5,000-10,000 soldiers in Iraq on a "support and training" mission. Shoutout to 2008 and the withdrawal timeline that never ends. #fullwithdrawalnow
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.
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.