Resist, Inc. was founded in Boston in 1967 during the Vietnam War as an effort to support and promote resistance to the draft and the war. The Resist Collection was gifted to the Watkinson Library by Trinity Professor and Resist Founding member Paul Lauter in July, 1997. Allan K. and Gwendolyn Miles Smith Professor of Literature, Emeritus, Lauter has served as director of American Studies and the American Studies graduate program, and as chair of the English department. He was also one of the founders of The Feminist Press, acting for many years as treasurer and editor.
The Resist Collection consists of documentation relating to the operations of Resist. This includes meeting minutes, financial reports, correspondence, grant applications, newsletters, and more. Resist issued a statement titled "A Call to Resist Illegitimate Authority" on September 28, 1967 in the New York Review of Books. Primary signers of the first “Call” included intellectuals and scholars; among those were Noam Chomsky, Benjamin Spock MD, William Sloane Coffin Jr., Dwight Macdonald, Allen Ginsberg, and Rev. Robert MacAfee Brown. The “Call” asked for universities, religious institutions, groups and individuals 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 seem appropriate" ("Call to Resist," 1967).
Monthly pledges and contributions to Resist were primarily channeled into grants for deserving organizations, on top of paying basic Resist staff salaries and other expenses. Much of each monthly steering committee meeting was dedicated to accepting or denying the extensive grant applications that arrived. Resist also put out a bi-monthly newsletter detailing international and political events and activities, and updating readers on issues and crises.
Over the years, the "Call" has been adapted to include women's rights and has been otherwise modified as political priorities have shifted.
Today Resist remains an active foundation which funds grassroots organizations that continue to "resist."
Please see the Paul Lauter 'Sixties Archive in the Watkinson Library for more related materials, as well as the Trinity Tripods from 1968-1970.