John Grueshow, of The War Resisters League, speaks about the work to resist military recruitment in Portland Public Schools.
John became a peace activist as a result of his resistance to the military draft during the Vietnam War. He moved to Portland in 1979 and soon took up "counter-recruitment" organizing and G.I. rights counseling. He also serves as a resource for individuals seeking information about conscientious objection. This is his 39th year of doing this work.
The War Resisters League is an international organization based in New York City. Its core mission is to oppose all wars and a federal budget that prioritizes military spending over human needs. WRL's focus has broadened over the years to include social justice and human rights work as well. Locally, we focus primarily on restricting military recruiting in area schools and monitoring the behavior of military recruiters as they interact with our students. To this end, we regularly staff literature tables alongside the military and speak in the classes of sympathetic teachers. And we are currently lobbying the Portland school board in opposition to a proposal to start up JROTC in some or all of Portland's high schools.