Supporting Nonviolence and Social Justice Since 1974.
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December 14, 2011

Victoria Sobel, at right, marching with the Granny Peace Brigade on September 30. (Photo by David Shankbone.)

Dear Friends of the Muste Institute,

My name is Victoria, and I’m writing to ask you to join me in supporting the Muste Institute as we work together to create a better world, with justice, equality and freedom for all.

Recently the A.J. Muste Memorial Institute opened up its building to the Occupy Wall Street Media Working Group and Global Revolution TV, where I am one of dozens of activists helping to live-stream the “Occupy” revolution around the world.

I’m an art student concerned with environmentalism and sustainability issues, but until recently I wasn’t involved in activism. The opportunities for my generation to engage in social and political discourse seemed to be shrunken, the conversations narrowed, and it seemed like we were getting “told” things instead of engaging in a dialogue. All that changed on September 17 when I joined hundreds of people in a grassroots effort occupying Zuccotti Park.

Since that fateful day, the Occupy movement has grown in leaps and bounds. Despite increased police repression in recent weeks, the movement continues to grow and become more sustainable. There are still well over 2,500 Occupy sites around the U.S. and the world... and counting! As the new “Occupy” slogan says, “you can’t evict an idea whose time has come.”

The seeds for the “Occupy” movement have been planted over previous decades, through the labor movement, campaigns for nuclear disarmament and to end U.S. intervention overseas; efforts to abolish the death penalty and challenge the prison industrial complex; the fight for global economic justice and in defense of civil liberties and immigrant rights at home.

Since 1974, thanks to your support, the A.J. Muste Memorial Institute has been there to nurture, shelter and fund this crucial work, through grantmaking and by providing space for radical organizing at the “Peace Pentagon.” We are here because the Muste Institute has provided this fertile ground where hope can germinate and grow, even through tough times. Together we are swimming against a tide of sentiment that says nonviolent grassroots resistance is not feasible, is too slow, or can’t possibly bring about meaningful change. We are proving today that it not only can work, but is working.

We can all feel that the world is reaching a critical juncture. The Arab Spring and the Occupy movements are being built by people all over the world who are fed up with an endless war economy, rampant systemic economic injustice, and the racism of the prison/military industrial complex.

People are renewing demands that the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan be ended, that healing and justice be worked for, and that the troops be brought home and cared for. Global energy is building to end the violence and bring about justice in the Middle East. We are working to open a dialogue about how we can address the fundamental injustices of our corporate-dominated economic system.

In this moment of renewed hope, I know we can count on you to contribute the resources we need to make our movements successful, so together we can sustain what we have built in just a few short months. We have a once-in-a-lifetime chance to do this—to turn the tide—and we can’t do it without your help.

Please join me in supporting the Muste Institute. Your gift, large or small, goes to sustain nonviolent action around the globe. Please give as much as you can today.


Victoria Sobel

P.S. Donate online by clicking here or mail your check to A.J. Muste Memorial Institute, 339 Lafayette Street, New York, NY 10012. As always, your contributions to the Muste Institute are tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law.