As I write this message to you, I am also responding to voicemail messages describing heavy aerial bombardments near my family’s home in Sana’a, Yemen. Alongside devastating blockades, this is the daily reality for 27 million Yemenis forced to live through the horrors of a U.S.-backed, Saudi-led war. At the same time, these messages remind me of the inspiring possibilities of what solidarity looks like when we put their voices at the forefront.
While Trump escalates long-standing US complicity in the catastrophic war on Yemen through its arming of Saudi Arabia and more, we are deeply inspired by the launch of مجلة صنعاء "Sanaa Review": an e-zine by Yemenis that cuts through silence and distortion, bringing us the brilliance of independent Yemeni journalism, art and thought now. This media work is all the more timely since according to Reporters Without Borders, Yemen has become the second most dangerous place for journalists on earth, due mostly to repression by "rebels" . Below Sanaa Review's editor-in-chief Afrah Nasser describes why this independent project is so needed, and gives us a glimpse of the content they put out in the Fall of 2017. (Translation from the Arabic by Ali Issa.)
Yesterday North Korea fired a ballistic missile at Hokkaido Island-- the first missile of its kind to fly over Japan amidst rising global tensions. Meanwhile, US and South Korean military exercises continue while Trump renews threats of escalation, fueling an all too costly arms race.
As the international community calls for diplomatic solutions, today we turn to our comrades in the global Korean diaspora and members of Nodutdol for Korean Community Development to share their demands for de-escalation and peace.
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.