The War Resisters League was founded in the aftermath of a horrendous European war by those who resisted conscription and their supporters. They united around a powerful affirmation: war is a crime against humanity. Over the course of almost 100 years since that time, our commitment to this principle has been tested by many political struggles and military conflicts in different parts of the globe, yet we have continued to affirm our founding principles. Today, the eyes of the world are again fixed on war in Europe because of Russia’s devastating invasion of Ukraine, and we are challenged again to articulate what it means for people in the United States to resist war.
Join us for Nonviolence in Action: Antimilitarism in the 21st century an online conference bringing together activists from across the international peace movement to learn, strategise and build solidarity.
WRL has long challenged military and police recruitment. Our newest counter-recruitment resource, Beyond Border Patrol, takes on the lies of Border Patrol recruiters - particularly in the borderlands - and debunks them with the realities of the job and the agency's legacy of abuse. Like military and police recruiters, Border Patrol recruiters target poor people and young people of color in border communities, and promote careers in law enforcement as a stable way of life and a means to "protect" your community.
History professor, pacifist and WRL member (since 1940) jailed during World War II, prison abolitionist, jazz aficionado, birder, vegetarian. Gara died at age 97 on November 23, 2019, in his hometown of Wilmington, Ohio. He was a professor of history at Wilmington College from 1962 to 2002, when he retired from teaching.
Former WRL staff member Peter Kiger died on August 19 in New Castle, Indiana. He was 80 and had Parkinson’s disease.
Born and raised in Spiceland, Indiana, Peter became a Quaker whose life mission was peacemaking. But during his freshman year at DePauw University (1956) — before becoming a pacifist — he won a Chicago Tribune medal as an outstanding Air Force ROTC student. Then in his junior year he went to Germany for pre-med studies, living with a German family who had suffered great losses during World War II. This, along with seeing the war’s devastation first hand, was life-changing. He came home an avowed pacifist. After graduating with honors from DePauw in 1960, Peter spent a year in medical school at Northwestern, followed by a year in Springfield (IL) Federal Penitentiary in 1961 as a conscientious objector for having refused alternative service to the military.