Nonviolence: News

Stop the War on Ukraine: Calls to Action

War Is A Crime Against Humanity (lettering by Liz McAlister)

War Resisters League believes that war is a crime against humanity; we are clear that war is never the answer. As an antimilitarist organization we refuse to take sides between the armed camps. We do recognize and oppose what the U.S. does and is doing to feed this conflict, and other conflicts. We stand with others in War Resisters' International in opposition to war over Ukraine, and support those who refuse to fight.

Escalating tensions between the world's two largest nuclear powers once again points out the pressing need for disarmament, and the dismantling of NATO and other military alliances. Instead of the U.S. building new nuclear weapons, we urge it and others to ratify and implement the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear weapons now signed by 86 countries.

War Resisters League knows that the conflict over Ukraine benefits the weapons suppliers, expanding militaries, and a handful of political elites. Ukranians, caught in the middle, will be first ones to suffer.

We share these statements from others involved in War Resisters' International.

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SOLIDARITY WITH ALL THOSE NONVIOLENTLY RESISTING THE WAR IN UKRAINE (March 11, 2022 - War Resisters' International)

War Resisters' International expresses solidarity with all those resisting war and its causes.

As War Resisters, we stress that we do not support any kind of war and, at the same time, we strive for removal of all causes of war.

We want to express our support and solidarity for those nonviolently resisting the war in Ukraine. In particular, we would like to acknowledge the bravery of all those arrested in Russia recently.

I

The nature of the war in Ukraine is clearly that of a foreign military invasion that is being met with both armed and non-violent resistance. War Resisters’ International demands an immediate end to all military actions in Ukraine, and the immediate return of all Russian troops back to Russia.

We strongly condemn any war activities, especially those that are directed towards civilians throughout Ukraine, including those against civilians in the Russian-controlled Donbass region.

We stand with those in Ukraine who decided to nonviolently resist military activity in Ukraine, as well with those in Russia who took the stand against the war and openly oppose the Russian military intervention in Ukraine. We are glad to see that some members of the Russian and Belarusian militaries have refused to fight, or hindered their ability to do so.

II

We call upon the governments of the world to open their borders to anyone who refuses to participate in the war in Ukraine. Asylum should be granted to anyone whose conscience does not allow them to kill another person – regardless of which side of a conflict they find themselves on.

The same right should be granted to anyone who risks persecution for advocating and/or working against its own governments’ military policies in Ukraine, Russia, NATO countries and elsewhere.

The right to conscientious objection – in all countries, but particularly those in a state of war - must be protected and upheld, and no state should resort to conscription as a means of bolstering their forces.

III

We believe that the causes of the war in Ukraine are much more an object of a debate than the nature of that war itself. The specific conflict we see now is rooted in a much longer, highly militarised history.

Unfortunately, the mainstream media refuses to organize and maintain a serious debate about how we got here in the first place, and what should be done in order to deescalate the conflict as soon as possible.

No one should be forcefully excluded from the debate because they doubt their governments’ policies and actions towards the war in Ukraine. The absence of such a debate is a characteristic of the binary logic of war. We’re talking about a possible nuclear threat and people have the right to know all the aspects and positions towards the situation in Ukraine.

Those who criticize the NATO policies of expanding eastwards or those who criticize the shipment of the NATO military aid to Ukraine, arguing such action adds fuel to the fire, have the right to speak and to be heard.

V

We call upon people everywhere to express their opposition to war in any way they consider it possible. From a single post on social media or a small symbolic action, to organizing or participating in a protest against the war, every action creates a mosaic of the war resistance throughout the world.

STOP THE RUSSIAN INVASION IN UKRAINE!

STOP THE NATO EXPANSION!

STOP ALL THE WARS, INVASIONS AND OCCUPATIONS WORLDWIDE!

Uncovering the roots of Barbara Deming’s revolutionary nonviolence and feminism

Barbara Deming standing in front of a body of water

April 29th, 2021

Uncovering the roots of Barbara Deming’s revolutionary nonviolence and feminism

By Joanne Sheehan

This article has been adapted from a talk on “The Revolutionary Nonviolence by Barbara Deming: Two Handed Practices” which Joanne Sheehan gave with Ynestra King, who is writing a book about Barbara Deming.

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.

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. 

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. 

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