Direct Action

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!

Emergency Fundraising: Bail them out!

On Monday August 17th five WRL members blockaded the entrance to Combined Systems International — the largest tear gas manufacturer in the U.S. 

Our group successfully deterred a shipment from entering Combined Systems Inc. and had many meaningful conversations with neighbors and folks driving by. All five members of the blockade were arrested and kept overnight at Mercer County Jail, where they are still being held.

On Tuesday August 18th we found out: Those five people are now facing multiple charges each for their courageous action and bail has been set at $25,000 each. To get them out we need to cover 10% of bail, which amounts to $12,500 to get all five people released and home safely.

We're blockading the entrance to a tear gas manufacturer right now

Right now, 5 activists are blockading the entrance of Combined Systems Inc. with giant tear gas cans and gas masks, refusing to move.

These five are with a group of 40 activists from cities across the U.S. who are onsite in Jamestown, PA with the goal of shutting down operations at Combined Systems Inc. for the day. Outside the facility, other activists have staked over a hundred yard signs, each with the name of a different city where tear gas has been used against people.

By shutting down this facility today, we are here to put CSI President Jacob Kravel on notice that his company’s production of tear gas must come to an end. We hope whatever he chooses to produce in this factory can be useful rather than harmful.

Militarized Response Tracker #JusticeForGeorgeFloyd

We’re heartbroken and outraged and like so many of you, refuse to allow the systematic killing of Black people in the United States to continue without a fight for justice. There is a lot to be outraged about: from how the politics of COVID-19 pandemic put the lives of Black and indigenous folks at risk, to how calls for release of prisoners still haven’t been met, to the fact that police brutality has taken the lives of Ahmaud Arbury, Dreasjon Reed, Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, Taylor McDade, and far too many others. 

What We’re Tracking: Militarized Responses to #Justice4GeorgeFloyd

When we talk about police militarization, there is still belief in the notion that if police weren’t militarized, then we wouldn’t have a problem - even within the antimilitarist community. That's not true. We need to push back on this idea and the myth of “a few bad apples in the police force.” The truth is: “regular policing” has always and continues to harass, detain, brutalize, and terrorize Black people. It’s why there are virtually never repercussions for police officers who commit murder. And the militarization of domestic policing isn’t entirely new either - in fact, the history goes back decades.

WRL Activist Update: Linnea Capps, MD

Linnea Capps

Linnea Capps, pacifist activist, physician engaged in liberation medicine (the conscious, conscientious use of health to promote human dignity and social justice), and philanthropist for more than 40 years, recently left her longtime home in Brooklyn, NY, to live in a care facility in Kansas. She, along with her cats Rosie and Flora, is now living close to her hometown and to her sister, brother, and sister-in-law.

Linnea was the chair of WRL’s executive committee between 1983 and 1985, a member of the committee for several decades, and an energetic participant in countless conferences, meetings, and demonstrations to promote nonviolence, an end to war, and social justice. In addition, she served on the board of directors of the A.J. Muste Memorial Institute for several years.

A Message from Movement Elder, Mandy Carter

I graduated high school in the summer of 1966 in Central New York during the tail ends of the Civil Rights Movement and during the height of the U.S.-led wars in Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos. That summer, almost 400,000 men were drafted. Having lived and been raised in two orphanages and a foster home, I left New York and hitchhiked my way to California to attend the Institute for the Study of Nonviolence. I was barely out of my teens when I was first arrested at the Oakland Induction Center in 1967, the same year Dr. Martin Luther King gave his Beyond Vietnam speech. While in jail I was invited by a War Resisters League West staffer to a potluck - my very first introduction to WRL.

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