July 12, 2010
Your donations to the A.J. Muste Memorial Institute in support of nonviolent action have had a profound impact all across the world. Check out these examples from the past few months:
New York, NY: Nearly 15,000 people rallied in New York’s Times Square and marched to the United Nations on May 2 to demand: “No Nukes, No Wars, Fund Human Needs, Protect the Planet!” The crowd included many of our longtime friends and colleagues from the War Resisters League, a Muste Institute tenant and sponsored project. Activists from Think Outside the Bomb and Multicultural Alliance for a Safe Environment, new grantees of the Muste Institute’s Social Justice Fund, traveled from New Mexico. Other participants came from as far away as Japan and Europe.
Oakland, CA: On May 12, the Youth Manifesto Campaign celebrated a victory when the Oakland Board of Education passed a strong resolution to protect student privacy from military recruiters. The campaign was led by the BAY-Peace Youth Action Team in partnership with American Friends Service Committee, both Muste Institute Counter Recruitment Fund grantees. Another Muste Institute grantee, AYPAL (Asian Pacific Islander Youth Promoting Advocacy and Leadership), helped develop the campaign, which used poetry and video to spread the word. Young activists gathered more than 1,000 individually signed manifestos, folded many of them into origami peace cranes and created a 200-foot long banner that they presented to the School Board.
Hinche, Haiti: At least 8,000 people marched and rallied on June 4 against a “poison gift” from the agribusiness giant Monsanto. The Papaye Peasant Movement (MPP) blasted Monsanto’s donation of 476 metric tons of pesticide-laden hybrid seeds, and pledged to defend biodiversity by rejecting the aid. Supporting organizations included the Haitian Platform Advocating Alternative Development (PAPDA) and Via Campesina Caribe. All three groups received grants from the Muste Institute’s Adalys Vázquez Solidarity Travel Fund that allowed them to forge new relationships and strengthen their work.
Hebron, Palestine: A large contingent of Israeli and international activists joined local residents at a June 26 demonstration to assert local water rights against the illegal diversion of Hebron’s ground water to Israel and Israeli settlements. Volunteers from the International Solidarity Movement, a Muste Institute sponsored project, took part and helped publicize the action. Thanks to your donations, the Muste Institute has played a key support role as activists step up the nonviolent movement against Israel’s apartheid system.
And that’s not all.
U.S. prisoners serving sentences of life without possibility of parole have signed up more than 600 new members in their campaign to abolish “the other death penalty.” With help from the Muste Institute’s Social Justice Fund, members are writing letters to anti-death penalty groups, urging them not to promote “life without parole” as an alternative to capital punishment.
In Johannesburg, South Africa, 32 mixed teams of girls and boys from disadvantaged communities around the globe are gathering in July for the “Football for Hope Festival,” with rules that promote peace, tolerance and conflict resolution. One of the teams, from Ecuador, was selected through a street football championship organized by SER PAZ, a grantee of the Muste Institute’s NOVA Fund since 1999. SER PAZ engages at-risk youth and gang members in nonviolent efforts like graffiti art and “Urban Peace” soccer tournaments.
In the coming months, new grants from the Muste Institute’s International Nonviolence Training Fund will go for intensive trainings to build nonviolent theory, action and strategy with Israeli and Palestinian former combatants working for peace in East Jerusalem, and with Tibetan refugees in India.
Your contributions to the Muste Institute sustain these movements and allow us all to share in their achievements. Each nonviolent action brings us a step closer to the world we want to see.
Please give today: send the largest amount you can afford to the A.J. Muste Memorial Institute, 339 Lafayette Street, New York, NY 10012, or donate through our website by clicking here. As always, your contributions are tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law.
Thank you for standing with us in support of the nonviolent movement for social justice.
Susan Kent Cakars