For Immediate Release
Noncooperation for Liberation
NEW YORK, NY - We are inspired by, supportive of, and active in the growing anti-racist and Black liberation movement against the violence of policing. The police and media are now using the concept of “peaceful protestor” to discipline and discourage political activity and free expression, to isolate people, and to legitimize state violence. We reject the ongoing criminalization of resistance, using arrest, brutality, bounties, and coercion of witnesses as tools of repression. As an organization committed to revolutionary nonviolence, the War Resisters League (WRL) refuses to let our principles be enlisted as a weapon to attack the movement.
Police violently enforce racialized borders and property relations. Consequently, their attempt to define the boundaries of legitimate protest intends to divide and channel the movement down two mutually-reinforcing paths: reformism and repression. WRL believes that neither of these can open a course for what we have been working toward for over 90 years, a future free from militarism and war.
WRL is committed to supporting bold action and growing powerful nonviolent movements for transformative change. In the last few months, we have seen thousands of people do just that – many for the first time in their lives – resisting isolation to join with masses of people, overcoming fear to reclaim their power and space, challenging the assumption that nonviolent strategies are synonymous with pacification. We believe our aspirations for a more peaceful future must be combined with visionary struggle to uproot the violence deeply embedded in our present.
From the moment of the first vigil to mourn the police killing of Mike Brown to the Ferguson community's rigorous defense against militarized occupation to the spread of spontaneous blockades across the United States, the power of this movement relies on the connections we create and sustain. The movement weakens when we allow or enable the state to systematically sever these vital connections by enforcing tactical differences as social divisions.
From Ferguson and Oakland to New York City and beyond, WRL stands with all political prisoners from this wave of resistance and all those currently targeted by political repression.
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The United States’ oldest secular pacifist organization, the War Resisters League has been resisting war at home and war abroad since 1923. Our work for nonviolent revolution has spanned decades and has been shaped by the new visions and strategies of each generation’s peacemakers.