About Courage to Resist

Who we are and what we do


In the past few years, tens of thousands of service members have resisted illegal war and occupation in a number of different ways—by going AWOL, seeking conscientious objector status and/or a discharge, asserting the right to speak out against injustice from within the military, and for a relative few, publicly refusing to fight.

While there are those who would like to dismiss war resisters as "cowards," the reality is that it takes exceptional courage to resist unjust, illegal, and/or immoral orders. For many resisters, it was their first-hand experiences as occupation troops that compelled them to take a stand. For others, "doing the right thing" and acting out of conscience began to outweigh their military training in obedience.

Although the efforts of Courage to Resist are primarily focused on supporting public GI resisters, the organization also strives to provide political, emotional, and material support to all military objectors critical of our government’s current policies of empire. As a grassroots project with limited resources, Courage to Resist nevertheless has a record of successfully working with many resisters and their families in raising the needed funds for civilian legal representation as well as public education campaigns.

Courage to Resist believes in "informed resistance." It’s important for service members contemplating public resistance to have a basic understanding of both the benefits and consequences of doing so, particularly in the context of the very arbitrary military discipline and justice systems.

Those who decide to resist while in the military have powerful stories to tell about how they came to the decision to take a stand. Courage to Resist makes a special effort to work with resisters to tell their stories, in their own words and from their own unique perspectives. We publish those stories on our website, as well as arrange media interviews and public speaking engagements.


We consider all correspondence with military service members confidential. Unless an individual’s resistance is already a matter of public record, we will not publish information about a service member without his or her expressed and informed consent. Service members should not feel that they have to be ready to "go public" before contacting us.

Courage to Resist is autonomous from and independent of any political organization, party, or group. While we collaborate and share resources, and exist within a very broad anti-war/peace community, our collective members represent only Courage to Resist in our decision-making processes. This allows us to help coordinate broad political support for resisters, while keeping the needs and objectives of specific resisters at the forefront of our efforts.

Courage to Resist is not a member organization of the GI Rights Hotline, although many of our supporters are Hotline counselors. We often refer service members to the Hotline for information about specific military regulations and practices—or just for a second opinion. To contact the GI Rights Hotline toll-free in the United States, call 877-447-4487. From Germany, call 06223-47506. From other locations overseas, call (U.S.) 202-483-2220. On the web, go to: www.girightshotlline.org

Courage to Resist is a group of concerned community members, veterans, and military families. Our office, and most of our decision-making "organizing collective" members are based in the San Francisco Bay Area, with other members mostly on the West Coast. However, we do not limit our efforts to service members only within our geographic area.

Courage to Resist is motivated by a "people power" strategy that we believe can weaken the pillars that maintain war and occupation in Iraq, Afghanistan, and elsewhere. By supporting GI resistance, counter-recruitment, and draft resistance, we hope to diminish the number of troops available for unjust war and occupation.

PDF version for distribution
Statement adopted October 13, 2007




Mission Statement

COURAGE TO RESIST is a group of concerned community members, veterans and military families that supports military objectors to illegal war and occupation and the policies of empire. Our People Power strategy weakens the pillars that maintain war and occupation in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere by supporting GI resistance, counter-recruitment and draft resistance, which cuts off the supply of troops. We are autonomous from and independent of any political organization, party or group.

Our activities include:


3 thoughts on “About Courage to Resist

  1. James Francis Holwell

    This is what I posted today to the American Heroes forum at the open discussion group at chess dot com…

    Bradley Manning has always been one of my heroes.

    Please note, before he was convicted of anything, the US government did something close to torture to him while he was incarcerated.

    Yes, and let us remember Private Manning and the others who somehow picked up the values we espoused in Nuremberg in 1946.
    About the young people who return from their *Service to Country*
    with PTSD, I have known men (and one woman) who are now in
    Veterans For Peace
    (I am the only non-veteran member of the local chapter)
    and my conclusion is that the best thing I can do for the PTSD people
    is to look into their left eye and say this:

    “Hey! It was not your fault. You were only a kid when they hooked you like a fish with all their SERVE YOUR COUNTRY and STOP THE COMMUNISTS NOW [or all those countries of Southeast Asia will tumble over into Communism like Dominoes] horse manure.

    “So we killed three million of them to save them from Communism.
    We defoliated square miles of land with chemicals that make them infertile for generations. What is it when a country ruins the land for generations, isn’t that beyond Act of War, isn’t that a Crime Against Humanity?


    “I was just ten years old then and remember what my mommy said:

    ‘You don’t follow orders. That is no excuse. You have to follow your conscience first. When you know something is wrong, you DON’T DO IT. AND if you see someone doing something wrong, you report it to the higher level. If you do not report it then you are guilty of letting it happen.’

    So when Private Bradley Manning [now known as Chelsea E. Manning] saw the 2007 video of our helicoper gunship taking out a group of passers-by in the street below, AND THEN TAKING OUT THE MEN WHO DROVE UP IN A VAN AND WERE IN THE ACT OF DRAGGING BBODIES TO THE VAN …. Private Manning released that video and other materials to Julian Assange and will serve 35 years of his *natural life* in Fort Leavenworth.”

    Now I am going to post in the American Heroes forum a mailing address for you to write to him. At least he can receive mail there.

    That is my prescription for PTSD … Write letters to Manning and the others who have put their lives on the line.
    AND pay tribute to the suicides.
    Start by learning all you can about Alyssa Peterson:
    First an audio file:

    Then a ten page document:

    [[ will post this at the American Heroes forum later, with that mailing address.]]
    [email protected]

    at Facebook I am James Holwell

    Hee is the mailing address.
    You can send a letter today to Manning:

    Chelsea E. Manning 89289
    1300 North Warehouse Road
    Fort Leavenworth KS 66027-2304

    The good news is the way we can express ourselves with words written by hand on paper.

    that kind soul [Manning] should never have been in the military.
    To Courage to Resist:
    How do I reply to ponz111′ comment that this kind soul should never have been in the military?

  2. Katie Shiban

    I had a letter to the editor published today in the Los Angeles Times:

    If Americans are concerned about freedom of speech, why are they are only rallying to see “The Interview” and not “Citizenfour,” the documentary about Edward Snowden and spying by the National Security Agency?

    Why aren’t Americans championing the causes of Snowden and Chelsea Manning?

    Katie Shiban



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