Joe Maizlish—war resister, gentle soul, and dear friend of Bridge the Gap—died March 16, 2022. While a graduate student in history at UCLA in 1968, to protest the Vietnam War, Joe gave up his draft deferment and publicly refused induction. He served 2 ½ years in various federal prisons, a substantial amount of the time in solitary confinement. In the decades since, he worked diligently against war and injustice. He helped found the Southern California Nonviolence Community. He advocated for a peaceful and just resolution of the Israel-Palestinian conflict. He worked for an end to the underlying and systemic causes of violence. In his person, he also embodied the values of gentleness, humility, and caring that he worked for in the world at large. The photo of Joe refusing induction exemplifies who he was at heart: someone who did the right thing, at great personal cost, and who gently asked us all, what are we going to do to help transform a world filled with war?
Addendum: Joe was a conflict resolution counselor who worked with young people and incarcerated people. He was active with Interfaith Communities United for Justice & Peace, in struggles over mass incarceration and unjust imprisonment in LA County, in war tax resistance and many other causes. Here’s a link to a podcast that he was part of about anti-war resistance in the US during the era of the US war on Vietnam and subsequently, mainly in parts 1 and 4: