Besides being a Civil Rights activist, Rustin also supported many other progresssive movements. These included several anti-nuclear
demonstrations around the world, along with an active membership in organizations such as the Fellowship of Reconciliation,
the War Resister's League, and the Congress of Racial Equality, an organization which, in part, stemmed from various local
organizations Rustin had helped to create earlier.
One of the larger movements Rustin became involved in was the Free India Movement; Rustin learned by example from Gandhi's
nonviolent protests, and applied them to the battle for equal rights in America. Rustin also formed the Free India committee,
which contributed to India's eventual acquiring of independence from Britain.
Rustin also protested the internment of Japanese-American citizens during World War II, for which he was later arrested
and made to serve 28 months in jail. He was also a pacifist, and refused to serve in the military; for this, too, he was
arrested. Soon after the atomic bombings on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Rustin lectured and petitioned against the further production
and use of these powerful weapons.