A recent dispatch from the War Resister’s League!
On March 26th, War Resisters League joined activists from across the movement spectrum at INCITE’s Color of Violence 4 (COV4): Beyond the State: Inciting Transformative Possibilities in Chicago, IL. Fifteen years in the making, COV4 brought together social justice practitioners who are building strategies to “end colonial, racial, and gender-based violence against women of color, trans and queer people of color, and our communities.”
WRL traveled by van from NYC to Chicago, riding with organizers from the Audre Lorde Project, FIERCE, Mutant Legal, YA-YA Network and Ayotzinapa Caravan. Thank you for everyone who supported us in getting to Chicago and shared in difficult political and personal conversations.
We are still in awe of having shared space with many beautiful and transformative leaders including Angela Davis, Rasmea Odeh, CeCe McDonald and Andrea Smith, walking with each other towards the vision of the world we need.
At the conference, we debuted our interactive workshop Buy 10 Guns, Get 2 Tanks Free—aiming to build a global/local understanding of militarism while creating collective strategies to uproot violence in its many forms. Highlighting the Oakland-based cross-community Stop Urban Shield coalition we anchor nationally, participants were able to build on our shared analysis of militarism and inspire collective action. Here’s some of the feedback we got:
“WRL’s workshop was interactive and informative. The facilitators were thoughtful in both presenting the content and allowing for difficult conversations during the workshop.” –Angel Sutjipto
“I decided to attend WRL’s workshop on resisting police militarization so that I might bring back the lessons and incorporate them into my work with Mutant Legal and Just Info. It opened with a wonderful breakdown of police militarization and how it ties into and supports existing systems of oppression that transcend borders. Through empowered learning, me and other participants challenged the notion that police militarization and other forms of systemic violence are separate issues.” –Nathan Sheard
“The contextualization of police militarization as a fruit on the capitalist tree rooted in sexism, racism, hetero-patriarchy, imperialism and the like is perhaps one of the most important connections to understand. This understanding underscores all the work we do and serves as the pinning of efforts toward real freedom.” –Denise Romero
INCITE’s COV4 conference was momentous for our movement looking to uproot violence by creating space to prefigure our visions through organizing. We will continue drawing on lessons learned there as we strive to end all war and its roots causes.