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 31st, 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.

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.

Peter Kiger, 1938 – 2019

Image - Peter Kiger Before Sentencing, WRL News May-June 1969

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.

WRL at 95: Redefining our Base, Building our Power

“We’re acknowledging the many ways militarization shows up in our lives and neighborhoods.”
by Eleanor J. Bader | October 24, 2018

What kind of world are we trying to build and whose leadership should we look to in these times? Read how WRL's been internally shifting after 95 years of antiwar movement building, and the directions we need to take into the future to create the world we need:

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.

A Death in the Family: David McReynolds, Pacifist, Socialist, Ailurophile

 David McReynolds under arrest at "Shadows and Ashes" Direct Action for Nuclear Disarmament, New York City, April 28, 2015. Photo by Felton Davis

By Judith Mahoney Pasternak

A great force for a peaceful world left the planet when WRL's—and the nation's—David McReynolds, who for decades was the best-known voice of American radical pacifism, died August 17 of injuries from a fall in his East Village home. He was 88 and had spent almost 40 years on the staff of the War Resisters League as a self-described “movement bureaucrat.”

Pages

Subscribe to RSS - WRL History