WRL History

Memorial for long-time WRL staff member Karl Bissinger

A memorial for long-time War Resisters League staff member Karl Bissinger will be held on Thursday, January 29, 6 pm in the Community Room at Westbeth (155 Bank Street) in the west Village. Karl, who died last November, began his involvement with WRL and the peace movement 50 years ago and was on the WRL staff from 1973 to 2006. In the 1940s and 50s he was a noted photographer before getting involved in the peace movement.

Thoughts on Elections - Matt Meyer

For those of us working for radical and lasting change, as opposed to just a change in Washington, the significance of the Barak Obama campaign has already occurred. Whatever the outcome on November 4 (and there are many of us doing more than simply hoping that a Black man will soon occupy the White House), the real change is one of attitude and expectations. All over the US, amongst disenfranchised people in historically oppressed communities, there is a new sense of hope, a sense of the possible.

Thoughts on Elections - Clare Moen

Any time there is an election, I am reminded that voting is a privilege and not a right. The very folks whose votes many believe would be for the greatest change are the ones who are disenfranchised through incarceration, intimidation, unfair legislation (e.g., requiring citizenship documentation), and more. Some risk losing badly needed jobs if they take time off to vote; older folks might not have anyone to accompany them to the polling place, etc.

Thoughts on Elections - Liz Roberts

I think between the elections and the crumbling of the major institutions of capitalism, I can't remember a period when I was as perpetually starved for news all day every day for weeks on end, as I am now. It feels like things are so intense and there are drastic and surprising developments each day. It's obvious that neither major party candidate is going to challenge the entire structure of capitalism and imperialism, the dominant systems and ideologies that necessitate and generate war. I am still surprised to see Obama ascend  to the presidency, in this white supremacist country.

Death and Taxes . . . and a whole lot of fun

by Ruth Benn


It’s like a double whammy losing Ralph at this time of year.

He died on February 1, early on in tax season and just as Ed and I were working on the “Where Your Income Taxes Really Go” flyer. It’s also just when baseball season is starting up. Players are heading to spring training and tickets are on sale. Normally, Ralph and I would be talking about how many pie charts to print and whether we would be able to get tickets for opening day at Shea.

Remembering Ralph

by David McReynolds

(from EdgeLeft: An occasional column which can be freely used, sent on, etc.)

This afternoon, February 1st, I got a call from Ruth Benn that Ralph DiGia, 93, had died at St. Vincent’s here in New York City. I had visited him this past Saturday and sensed he was losing his battle — he had fallen and broken a hip about two weeks ago, got an infection in the hospital (hospitals in the US are notoriously dangerous places for the sick and wounded to go!), and despite rallying several times, died.

Ralph DiGia: 1914-2008

Ralph DiGia in 1992

Ralph DiGia, lifelong war resister and pacifist died February 1 in New York City. Ralph had a bad fall a couple of weeks ago, broke his hip, and has had a series of serious health problems following his admission to St. Vincent's Hospital.

Ralph, 93, has been the heart and soul of War Resisters League since he came on staff shortly after the end of World War II and his release from federal prison, where he had served a term for refusing service as a conscientious objector.

War Profiteers

Individuals, companies and corporations have always taken advantage of warfare to make enormous economic profit. For centuries, ordinary people, who suffer most from war, have resisted these war profiteers. One of the major factors in Harry S. Truman's rise to the U.S. presidency was his relentless ("Give 'em Hell, Harry!") pursuit of war profiteers.


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