There is much to be excited about in the global movement for nonviolent social change. In the enclosed letter, you can see the results of your generous contributions to the Muste Institute.
Thanks to your support, we have exceeded our fundraising expectations. But the grassroots peace and justice movement keeps expanding, and our resources aren’t enough to meet the needs. We received 100 applications for the June cycle of our Social Justice Fund!
People of all ages and backgrounds are out there organizing, mobilizing, and educating to build a better future. With your help, this movement can continue to make real gains.
Please give generously. And please help us spread the word about the Muste Institute by passing this newsletter on to your friends, colleagues, and family members, or posting it at your local library.
P.S. We are deeply grateful to Melissa Jameson for her thoughtful, dedicated service to the Muste Institute since 2003. Melissa stepped down from the Board in June; she had been on leave since late 2008.
Peace activists gathered in New York City in early May 2010 to send a strong message for nuclear disarmament to the United Nations conference on the Nuclear Weapons Non-Proliferation Treaty. On May 2, thousands of people—including a 1,000-strong delegation from Japan—marched from Times Square to the U.N. Our friends from the War Resisters League (WRL) were out in force, calling for "No Nukes—Start with U.S."
At right: Tejaswini Madabhushi of WRL holds a sign that reads: "No excuse for even one nuclear weapon," while Elbina Mathews peers through the eye of a skull representing Russia. Demonstrators carried skulls named for all the countries that have nuclear weapons--including, obviously, the United States. "The march was phenomenal," remarked Tejaswini, "with so many young and really old from various countries, voicing their dream of a nuclear free world." On May 3, WRL members staged a "die-in" action at Grand Central Station; 22 people were arrested. A video of both actions can be viewed on the War Resisters League blog site at warresisters.wordpress.com
At left: Molly Klopot (right) and Phyllis Cunningham from the Granny Peace Brigade and the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF)- NY Metro let the world know they won’t stay quiet about nuclear weapons—or any other injustice. The New York grannies had a strong presence at the May 2 march. WILPF NY Metro is a Muste Institute tenant group, and the grannies often meet and plan actions in the building.
In October 2008, with support from a Muste Institute grant, CASA Collectives of Support, Solidarity and Action began a two-month organizing tour across 15 states using the book Teaching Rebellion: Stories from the Grassroots Mobilization in Oaxaca. The goal of the tour was to engage with U.S. audiences around the grassroots mobilization that took place in Oaxaca in 2006, to share the stories of how people across social groups joined together to fight against a corrupt and brutal government and in support of worker rights. Our hope was that by sharing the voices and experiences of Oaxacans fighting for human rights in their own communities, we could engage in a dialogue about cross-movement organizing, direct democracy, and human rights in the U.S. as well. In addition to sharing the testimonies from the book, the tour also featured an exhibit of photography documenting the movement.
The tour began on October 10 in Los Angeles with CASA board member Melissa Mundt and photographer and human rights activist Gustavo Vilchis. Gustavo and Melissa traveled through eight cities in California, Oregon and Washington, speaking to groups of activists, students and indigenous groups. Highlights included meeting with activists from the Frente Indígena de Organizaciones Binacionales, a binational group of indigenous Mexicans, many of whom are originally from Oaxaca; and a presentation at the University of Washington Law School.
While the Midwest leg of the tour was wrapping up, an East Coast tour was beginning with Sylvia Hernandez, a former political prisoner and Oaxacan activist, and former CASA Coordinator Chris Thomas. The two traveled from Vermont to Virginia, speaking to community bookstores, immigrant organizations, student groups and more. Highlights included a meeting with the Olneyville Neighborhood Association in Providence, Rhode Island (a Muste Institute grantee); and events with People United, an immigrant organizing project in Harrisburg, Virginia.
"I do believe [...] change can occur but it will not happen 'one day' or in one cataclysmic moment. It will happen over time as people, little by little, take over the institutions of society—the economy, the universities, the neighborhoods—and run them democratically. [...] I don't reject the idea of revolution, but I reject the idea of armed struggle, or a military action to achieve it. The revolution must be democratic in means as well as in ends, and this requires building mass support for change by long, persistent struggle." —Howard Zinn (interview by Paul Glavin and Chuck Morse published in Perspectives on Anarchist Theory, Spring 2003.)
Howard Zinn—activist, teacher, historian and longtime Muste Institute supporter—died on January 27, 2010 at age 87. Roslyn Zinn, his wife, died in May 2008. In this photo, Howard is arrested at a May 1971 protest in Boston against the Vietnam war. The image was used in Howard Zinn: You Can't Be Neutral on a Moving Train, a documentary by Deb Ellis and Denis Mueller which the Muste Institute supported with a grant in December 2002.
The Social Justice Fund makes grants for grassroots activist projects in the U.S. and around the world. The next deadline is September 24, 2010. Guidelines are at ajmuste.org/guidelin.htm. If supporting social justice activism is important to you, please donate now to help us expand this important grantmaking program.
ALTERNATIVES TO INCARCERATION COUNCIL (ATIC)
AUSTIN IMMIGRANT RIGHTS COALITION
CONNECTICUT NETWORK TO ABOLISH THE DEATH PENALTY
MULTICULTURAL ALLIANCE FOR A SAFE ENVIRONMENT (MASE)
THINK OUTSIDE THE BOMB
The Muste Institute's Counter Recruitment Fund makes small grants for grassroots efforts to inform young people about the realities of military service, help them protect their privacy from recruiters and refer them to non-military education and employment options. Our next deadline for proposals is October 11, 2010. Guidelines are on our website at www.ajmuste.org/counter-recruit.htm.
Iraq Veterans Against the War (National Office), New York, NY: $1,500 for regional counter-recruitment networking in Chicago and Albuquerque; and "truth in recruiting" efforts, especially with Native American and low-income youth. http://www.ivaw.org
The Adalys Vázquez Solidarity Travel Fund enables grassroots social movements from Latin America, the Caribbean and indigenous territories throughout the hemisphere to expand their presence at regional gatherings in order to share experiences and coordinate strategies.The next deadlines are August 1 and October 1, 2010. Guidelines are on our website in English at ajmuste.org/novaintro-eng.html and in Spanish at ajmuste.org/novaintro.html.
Asociación Civil de Corazón Tandilense , Tandil, Argentina: $1,422.40 in April for Stella Maris “Cacha” Cena of this organization addressing poverty issues to participate in the United States Social Forum held June 22-26 in Detroit, Michigan. Cacha flew to New York City--her first time on a plane--and traveled to Detroit on a bus caravan with activists from Community Voices Heard, joining up along the way with community activists and farmworkers in Cleveland and Toledo, Ohio.
Asociación Multiétnica de Mujeres Xna Ixim, San Pedro Carchá, Alta Verapaz, Guatemala: $700 in February for Mayan activists Ericka Gabriela Caal Chen and Sandra Eugenia Aguilar of this multi-ethnic women’s association to participate in the Conferencia Mundial de los Pueblos sobre el Cambio Climático y los Derechos de la Madre Tierra (World People’s Conference on Climate Change and the Rights of Mother Earth), held April 19-22, 2010, in Cochabamba, Bolivia.
Centro de Formación de Misioneras Indígenas, Ibarra, Imbabura, Ecuador: $700 in February for Olga Carlosama Pupiales to participate in the Congreso de Teología por Mons. Romero y Asamblea Mundial SICSAL (Mons. Romero Theology Congress and SICSAL World Assembly) held March 16-26 in San Salvador, El Salvador.
Centro de Investigación y Formación de Movimientos Sociales Latinoamericanos, Buenos Aires, Argentina: $700 in February toward expenses of a solidarity delegation from Argentina to Honduras March 5-15 (including an International Women’s Day action on March 8), with the goal of building support for the struggles of the women’s movement and other social movements resisting militarism and the de facto regime in Honduras. www.cifmsl.org
Colectivo de Coordinación de Acciones Socio Ambientales (Colectivo CASA, Coordinating Collective of Socio-Environmental Actions), Oruro, Bolivia: $724.06 in April for rural organizers Guadalupe Fernández Gonzáles of the Sub Central de Campesinos Acre Antequera and Carolina Ayala of the Central Provincial de Trabajadores Campesinos de la Provincia Saucarí to participate in the Seminario Internacional Asunción TRans Antimili (International Seminar Asunción Trans Antimilitarism), held May 8-16, 2009 in Asunción, Paraguay. This and three other grants (see below) to groups attending this gathering were supported in part by a gift to the Adalys Fund from War Resisters International.
Grupo de Objeción de Conciencia del Ecuador (GOCE), Quito, Ecuador: $818.88 in April for Juan Carlos Obando Pazmiño to represent GOCE, the Conscientious Objection Group of Ecuador, at the Seminario Internacional Asuncion TRans Antimili held May 8-16 in Asunción, Paraguay.
Marcha Mundial de las Mujeres Macroregion Norte Perú, Piura, Peru: $1,000 in February for Rosa Elvira Rivero Reyes and María Suluco to participate in the World People’s Conference on Climate Change and the Rights of Mother Earth, held April 19-22 in Cochabamba, Bolivia.
Organización Sociedad Civil Las Abejas, Chenalhó, Chiapas, Mexico: $700 in February for a group of Tzotzil indigenous people from this radical nonviolence community (45 of whose members were killed in a December 1997 paramilitary massacre) to travel to El Salvador for a March 21-26 gathering, “Promoting Community Reconciliation Processes Starting with the Victims,” hosted by CRIPDES Community Development Association. acteal.blogspot.com
Periódico El Libertario, Caracas, Venezuela: $756.82 in April for Lexys Elena Rendón Limongi from this newspaper supporting autonomous social movements to participate in the Seminario Internacional Asuncion TRans Antimili held May 8-16 in Asunción, Paraguay. www.nodo50.org/ellibertario
Pobladores A.C., Xalapa, Veracruz, Mexico: $700 in February for Aurora Castillo Reyes to participate in the Foro Urbano Mundial Alternativo (Alternative World Urban Forum) held March 20-26 in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil.
Red Juvenil de Medellín, Medellín, Colombia: $894.30 in April for Sandra Miledi Isaza Giraldo to represent the Medellín Youth Network at the Seminario Internacional Asuncion TRans Antimili held May 8-16 in Asunción, Paraguay. www.redjuvenil.org
Total: 11 grants, $9,116.46