News and Media

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Important Message Regarding WRL’s store + Mutual Aid resources

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:

Welcome News: NYC set to divest city pension funds from Nuclear Weapons

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. 

What you need to know about ending endless wars

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.

Against War With Iran, Against WWIII

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.

Against War with Iran

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

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.