|NEW YORK - October 2 - Calling for massive nonviolent resistance to the current U.S. government,
the War Resisters League today urged peace activists to follow more closely
the tactics and philosophy of Mohandas K. Gandhi.
"The government no longer represents the people," said G. Simon Harak, Anti-Militarism Coordinator of the League. "They represent oil companies
and arms manufacturers, and scandal-ridden companies like Halliburton and
Bechtel, but not ordinary people."
The group cites the Declaration of Independence, which proposed that
governments that do not serve the people be either altered or abolished.
"As we celebrate Gandhi's birthday today, we find it deeply significant
that we are in a situation similar to his," says Judith Mahoney Pasternak,
editor of the League's magazine, The Nonviolent Activist. She notes that the United States is now an empire, extending its military and economic
control over much of the world just as the British Empire did during
Gandhi's time. And, just as in Gandhi's time, the ruling government does
not represent the interests of the people it purports to serve.
Gandhi's response to the situation was a nonviolent revolution aimed to
alter or abolish the ruling powers. Over the years, he sought to achieve
massive noncooperation with the government to compel a regime change.
"We believe that because of their duplicity, and their non-representative
nature, our government has forfeited the right to represent us," explains
Harak. "Therefore it is our duty to withdraw our consent from them. As
Gandhi said, 'You assist an evil system most effectively by obeying its
orders and decrees. An evil system never deserves such allegiance.
Allegiance to it means partaking of the evil. A good person will resist an
evil system with his or her whole soul.'"
The complete text of its Gandhi's birthday statement can be found at
Believing war to be a crime against humanity, the War Resisters League,
founded in 1923, advocates Gandhian nonviolence as the method for creating
a democratic society free of war, racism, sexism, and human exploitation.