During a gathering of peace and justice activists at the Kirkridge Retreat Center in Pennsylvania in November 1983, Sojourners magazine drafted a “Promise of Resistance” that was revised and signed by 33 activists, vowing that if the US invaded Nicaragua, they would go there unarmed as a loving barrier. They sent copies of the statement to members of Congress, President Reagan, the Defense Department, and the CIA. In the August 1984 issue of Sojourners the idea was altered to occupy congressional offices and was called a “Pledge of Resistance.”
In Berkeley, CA, a document called “A Commitment to Stop the Killing in Central America” began to circulate. The Sojourners pledge was revised slightly and the local chapter of CISPES began gathering signatures for it. On October 9, 1984 outside the Federal Building in San Francisco seven hundred people signed the pledge in the first hour as two hundred people spoke why they were willing to risk going to jail. CISPES remained involved with “The Pledge” throughout the 80s.