WRL History

David McReynolds (1929 - 2018)

David McReynolds  (1929 - 2018)

UPDATE: Hear the presentations from the Memorial for David McReynolds at https://vimeo.com/305110298/686dc0eef2.
The memorial was held on Saturday, December 1 at 12 PM – 3 PM at Judson Memorial Church in New York.

On August 17th, lifetime War Resisters League member David McReynolds - committed pacifist + socialist - passed peacefully at the age of 88. David was on WRL staff for a large part of his life and remained within community long, long after.

On MLK Day: A Special Message from Arun Kundnani

Arun Kundnani

On this MLK day, let us recall Dr. Martin Luther King's deepest legacy. He understood that denouncing the violent extremism of young, angry men in the ghettos could not be done without hypocrisy unless one also condemned the far greater violence of the U.S. war machine in Vietnam. When governments decide political problems can be solved through violence, it is no surprise their citizens reach the same conclusion.

Linda Marie Thurston, rest in eternal power and memory. We love you greatly.

Black and white image of Linda Marie Thurston, with her right fist raised in the air.

To our dear community,

We are grieved to be sharing with you all devastating news: Linda Thurston, War Resisters League's Operations Coordinator passed away unexpectedly this weekend.

Linda first organized with WRL for the Day Without the Pentagon action in 1998 and later joined the national staff collective in 2007 where she was responsible for maintaining daily operations, our office space, the website, technology, and was known to geek out about tech things. She held much WRL history and institutional knowledge. Linda leaves a big void in our hearts.

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.

For our 97th Birthday, take our membership survey for a chance to win raffle tickets!

Jessie Wallace Hughan

On October 19, 1923, New York City educator and queer activist* Jessie Wallace Hughan wrote in her diary:

“Tracy [Mygatt] to dinner—had hair done—organized real War Resisters League.

That was 97 years ago today.

At WRL resisting war has always meant addressing the root causes of violence by forging relationships and building movements that empower individual people to take collective action. Resisting war requires that we trust each other, know each other, and share alignment in values.

Another Death in the Family: Simon Harak, 1948-2019

Simon Harak. Photo by Ed Hedemann

Fr. G. Simon Harak SJ, the exuberantly pacifist Jesuit priest and onetime WRL Disarmament Coordinator, died November 3 in Campion Health Center, Weston, Mass. He was 71 and had dealt for some six years with frontotemporal degeneration (also called frontotemporal dementia).

Simon was the kind of pacifist who sees peace and justice as inextricably bound together; he once defined nonviolence as “a commitment to work for justice so that violence is no longer necessary.” He was a co-founder of Voices in the Wilderness (now Voices for Creative Nonviolence), the U.S. campaign that defied the sanctions against Iraq; Simon led delegations to that country, delivering medicines and other necessities. He was the founding Director of Marquette University's Center for Peacemaking, dedicated to “exploring the power of nonviolence.”

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.

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