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RESIST "funds activist organizing and education work within movements for social change.

"RESIST began in 1967 with a “call to resist illegitimate authority,” in support of draft resistance and in opposition to the Vietnam War. That history sustains us as our movement evolves and as our concerns broaden and deepen. We remember what it is like to move forward and beat the odds...

"RESIST is more than a foundation. We're also a resource center, providing grassroots organizations with technical assistance and information about other funding sources. Finding Funding: A Beginner's Guide to Foundation Research gives progressive activists a quick entry-point for grant-writing. Resist also publishes a highly respected Newsletter." [1]

"RESIST began in 1967 with a "Call to Resist Illegitimate Authority," issued to support draft resistance and in opposition to the war in Vietnam. Signed by over 20,000 people, the Call mobilized activists and academics across the country and became a central document (titled "Overt Act #1") in the 1968 conspiracy trial of the "Boston Five" (Rev. William Sloan Coffin, Dr. Benjamin Spock, Michael Ferber, Marcus Raskin, and Mitchell Goodman).

"During the course of the Vietnam War, RESIST evolved into a national funder. Over time, RESIST provided support to hundreds of social change projects each year, starting with anti-war activism and quickly expanding to the civil rights movement, and beyond. By the 1970s, RESIST had broadened its scope dramatically by insisting on a close tie between the unequal distribution of power and money at home with a system of US domination abroad. Today, RESIST remains committed to social change, and the activist groups that are funded reflect RESIST's goal of a much more equitable distribution of wealth and power both within and between nations. As such, RESIST funds small-budget groups in the US who struggle towards a broad vision of social justice, while continuing to oppose political and institutional oppression...

"Lois Gibbs received an early grant from RESIST as she struggled to organize her community to confront the environmental disaster at Love Canal. Now her organization—Center for Health, Environment and Justice—plays a leading role in grassroots struggles for justice.

"RESIST was also one of the first funders of groups like 9to5: National Association of Working Women in its struggle to support low-wage women workers; Farm Labor Organizing Committee mobilizing migrant workers; Infact and its Academy Award-winning production of Deadly Deception; economic justice groups Share the Wealth (now United for a Fair Economy) and Center for Popular Economics.

"Other groups which received RESIST funding in their early years and have now moved on to larger funders include: Grassroots International, the Center for Constitutional Rights, the Child Care Employee Project, United Farmworkers, Center for Third World Organizing, Rethinking Schools, Snake River Alliance, Global Exchange, Montana Human Rights Network and The Women's Project." [2]

"Adopting some of the ideas of French resistance groups, Resist issued a statement, on September 28, 1967, entitled "A Call to Resist Illegitimate Authority." The Call committed Resist to becoming an organization dedicated to the belief "that every free man has a legal right and moral duty to exert every effort to end this war, to avoid collusion with it, and to encourage others to do the same." ("Call to Resist Illegitimate Authority," 1967.) The statement called "upon all men of good will to join us in this confrontation with immoral authority." "Especially," it said, "we call upon universities to fulfill their mission of enlightenment and religious organizations to honor their heritage of brotherhood" ("Call,"1967; see Box 6/1 for full text of "Call.") Signers of the Call therefore pledged themselves to "raise funds to organize draft resistance unions, to supply legal defense and bail, to support families and otherwise to aid resistance to the war in whatever ways may seem appropriate." ("Call to Resist," 1967.) These were the foundations upon which Resist was built at its inception in 1967.

"The "Call" appeared in several publications including the New York Times Book Review and The New Republic. It was signed by the group of founders and many prominent scholars and influential people. The approximately 200 initial signers included Noam Chomsky, Benjamin Spock, the Rev. William Sloane Coffin Jr., Dwight MacDonald, Allen Ginsberg, the Rev. Robert MacAfee Brown, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, W. H. Ferry, Mitchell Goodman, Barbara Guest, and Markus Raskin, among others.

"On October 2, 1967, Resistheld its first meeting at Columbia University in New York, to delineate Resist priorities, to decide how to implement the goals outlined in the "Call to Resist," and to create a temporary steering committee which would be in charge of distributing funds and meeting monthly to report on activities. In addition to influential founding members of Resist, also present at the meeting were members of other currently active organizations including Students for a Democratic Society and The Resistance. The temporary steering committee consisted of: Noam Chomsky, William Davidon, Paul Goodman, Hans Koningsberger, Paul Lauter, Richard Mumma, Richard Ohmann, Marcus Raskin, Sondra Silverman, Gilbert White and Robert Zevin. Paul Lauter would eventually be named national director, a title he would hold for a number of years." [3]


There web site notes: "Pledges account for over 30% of our income." [4]

"Money for Resist grants comes to the organization mainly through monthly pledges and contributions. Support has also been received from some larger donors, who saw Resist as a useful means for disbursing grants from their personal funds. Today, Resist also receives legacies from earlier supporters. Even today, however, pledge contributions remain a main source of Resist income, which is funneled into grants, staff salaries, and other miscellaneous office expenses. Resist became a part of a network of movement-related foundations referring information and, on occasion, applications to one another when the situation seemed appropriate. These foundations came out of what Lauter describes as "young rich people active in the movement" who pooled their money in many cases to fund other activist groups. The Haymarket Fund, a conglomeration of smaller funds, was one such source." [5]


Accessed April 2010: [6]


Accessed April 2010: [7]



Resources and articles

Related Sourcewatch


  1. About, RESIST, accessed April 16, 2010.
  2. History, RESIST, accessed April 16, 2010.
  3. A History of Resist, library.trincoll, accessed April 16, 2010.
  4. Support, RESIST, accessed April 16, 2010.
  5. A History of Resist, library.trincoll, accessed April 16, 2010.
  6. Directors, RESIST, accessed April 16, 2010.
  7. Directors, RESIST, accessed April 16, 2010.