Rising South: WRL Asheville On the Road through “Dixie”

It is critical to success in our work as activists for social change to forge new alliances, shore up historical ones, share well-honed skills and develop creative new strategies for nonviolent direct action and community organizing.

The Asheville local of War Resisters’ League has received a travel grant from the WRL national office in New York to carry on with our work in the Southeast identifying allies and collaborators for a proposed WRL S.E. Activist and Organizers gathering in 2010. Through in-person conversations and good listening across the southeast, we intend to pull together a rich mixture of serious and seasoned peace workers with emerging and energetic younger activists and organizers from many fronts in the ongoing wars waged against humanity and the Earth.

Charlotte native Coleman Smith (pictured above organizing with Asheville’s Magnolia Watch) and Memphis native Clare Hanrahan (Bicycling in to join the 7-year long Women in Black Asheville vigil) will begin our week-long “Dixie loop” through Tennessee, Alabama, Georgia and South Carolina on Sunday, March 22. We’ll set out along the backroads and through the mountains of Western North Carolina and into East Tennessee for our first stop at the historic Highlander Center where we will have the opportunity for Sunday afternoon on the hill conversations with director Pam McMichael and old friends Guy and Candie Carawan.

Check in often for our on-the-road journal and meet a wide assortment of folks working for a world free of wars and exploitation.

The Asheville chapter of the War Resisters League was formed in 1999. WRL Asheville members have long been on the ground in the Southeast working with many allied groups and issues. In recent months, we have been refocusing and revitalizing our Chapter providing nonviolence trainings for local and national actions and participating in the WRL national conversation through the Organizing Task Force and National Committee. We are working to build a strong WRL presence on the ground, not only in the Carolinas, but throughout the entire Southeast. By confronting all forms of war and human exploitation, we are keeping faith with WRL’s original mission. Contact WRL Asheville at PO Box 2551 Asheville, NC 28802-2551; Coleman Smith 828.277.0758

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