Supporting Nonviolence and Social Justice Since 1974.
339 Lafayette Street, New York, New York 10012 (212) 533-4335 Fax: (212) 228-6193 [email protected]

Muste Notes Summer 2009Muste Notes
Vol. 17, No. 2 — Winter 2010

Dear Friends
Protesting Militarism in Europe
Building Program Takes New Steps
Social Justice Grants, December 2009
Counter Recruitment Grants, October-December 2009
Adalys Travel Grants, August-October 2009

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Past editions of Muste Notes are here

December 7 , 2009

Dear Friends,

As you consider making year-end contributions, we ask you to reflect on the unique work that the Muste Institute has done for the past 35 years, and continues to do:

• providing thousands of grants to the most grassroots local, national and global projects promoting nonviolent action for social and economic justice, helping people like you to spread your giving to groups you might otherwise never have even heard about;

• providing tens of thousands of dollars in rent support to activist groups including War Resisters League and Met Council on Housing through the sheltering mission of our building program;

• sustaining dozens of organizations and projects such as SOA Watch, United for Peace and Justice and International Solidarity Movement through our sponsorship program;

• launching exciting grantmaking initiatives bolstering nonviolence training around the world, counterrecruitment education here at home, and grassroots gatherings in Latin America.

The new year will bring new challenges, but with your help, the Muste Institute will continue to strengthen the global movement opposing war and militarism and building economic and social justice.

Please renew your commitment by making a generous contribution today.

Jeanne Strole and Jane Guskin

Protesting Militarism in Europe

War Resisters’ International (WRI) activists participate in a blockade against the NATO Summit in April 2009 in Strasbourg, France (above: photo by Elke Steven), while a “Clown Army” of activists satirizes NATO’s war-mongering (right: photo by D. Viesnik). More than 1,000 people took part in a nonviolent direct action campaign coordinated by WRI and other groups in Europe under the name NATO-ZU. The ongoing campaign will be on the agenda of a WRI meeting planned for January 2010 in India and supported by the Muste Institute. See Social Justice Grants. "clown army"

Building Program Takes New Steps
by Peter Muste, Board Chair

As we have reported in past issues of Muste Notes, the building at 339 Lafayette Street in downtown Manhattan that houses the Muste Institute and our social justice movement tenants is in need of serious structural repair.

After investigating several alternatives, consulting with architects and engineers, and engaging in a great deal of deliberation and personal and organizational soul-searching, the board has voted to move toward a sale of the property and the purchase of a new home for the Institute and our tenant organizations.

While we are saddened to leave our current home, we look forward to new opportunities, and a chance to refocus our energies and resources on strengthening all of our program work, including our mission of providing low-cost office space to grassroots groups dedicated, as we are, to nonviolent social change. The dialogue on this matter has generated several interesting long-term possibilities, and we
will keep you informed of them, as well as the progress of this process.

Your continued support is not only valuable, it is indispensable as we face the challenges of this transition.

Social Justice Fund Grants, December 2009

Our Social Justice Fund makes grants for grassroots activist projects in the US and around the world, giving priority to those with small budgets and little access to more mainstream funding sources. The next deadline is April 19, 2010. Guidelines are at http://ajmuste.org/guidelin.htm. If supporting social justice activism is important to you, please DONATE NOW to help us expand this important grantmaking program.

ELF action

May 2003: Nukewatch activists participate in a Mothers’Day blockade of the Navy’s Extremely Low Frequency (ELF) submarine warfare transmitter in northern Wisconsin. After years of protests, the ELF system was finally shut down in September 2004. Photo by Mary Mechtenberg.

apples and corn role play
Participants in the “Corn and shoes—free trade and immigration in 5 minutes” role-play exercise, part of a “kNOw US AND THEM” workshop by PICA at the Maine state AFL-CIO convention in November 2009. The workshop led to the state AFL-CIO adopting a strong resolution in solidarity with immigrant rights. Photo by Daphne Loring.
Death Penalty Project
An image from The Other Death Penalty Project’s powerpoint presentation: Life without parole “exposes our society’s concealed beliefs that redemption and personal transformation are not possible for all human beings, and that it is reasonable and just to forever define an individual by his worst act.”

Luck,WI: $1,000
Founded in 1979, Nukewatch is an environmental and peace action group dedicated to the abolition of nuclear power and weapons. This grant goes for Resistance for a Nuclear Free Future, a national gathering scheduled for the July 4th weekend, 2010, with the goal of increasing awareness and action around nuclear issues through discussions, workshops, nonviolence training, celebration and direct action. The gathering will be hosted by the Oak Ridge Environmental Peace Alliance, another past Muste Institute grantee. www.nukewatch.com


Bangor, ME: $1,000
PICA is a grassroots, member-based organization in Bangor, Maine which has been working for more than 20 years for human rights and a fair economy. This grant goes for “Getting it together in the Global Economy,” an event scheduled for April 2010 which will bring together labor, immigrant and community activists, people of color, educators and students to build broader alliances in Maine for worker and immigrant rights and fair trade. The event is part of “kNOw US AND THEM,” a program of education and grassroots organizing connecting immigrants, displaced workers, and their allies. www.pica.ws

Lancaster, CA: $1,000
Operating out of a state prison in Los Angeles County since 2000, the Honor Program gives imprisoned people an opportunity to work on specific self-improvement and rehabilitative goals and projects which benefit the community. Our grant goes for the Other Death Penalty Project: led and comprised solely of prisoners serving life without the possibility of parole, this project organizes prisoners to raise awareness about how life without parole sentences comprise an unjust “other death penalty.” www.theotherdeathpenalty.org

London, UK: $2,000
Since 1921, War Resisters’ International (WRI) has been promoting nonviolent action against the causes of war, and supporting and connecting people around the world who refuse to take part in war or in preparations for war. Our grant goes for an international conference investigating the links between local nonviolent livelihood struggles and global militarism, to be held in India in late January 2010. www.wri-irg.org

military recruiter in Chicago

AFSC Summer Institute students have a candid talk with a military recruiter at the Taste of Chicago festival following a counter-recruitment training. Photo by Jesus Palafox.

Counter Recruitment Grants, October-December 2009

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 February 8, 2010. Guidelines are on our website at www.ajmuste.org/counter-recruit.htm.

American Friends Service Committee, Chicago Chapter, Chicago, IL: $1,500 for the Social Justice Spring Break and Summer Institutes, a plan to offer social justice activism training to 40 high school students during spring break and summer vacation. www.afsc.org/chicago/ht/display/

Bash Back! Denver, Denver, CO: $1,000 to develop materials and resources that speak directly to LGBTQI youth considering joining the military.

Cleveland Peace Action Education Fund, Cleveland, OH: $1,000 for Alternatives to Military Recruitment, a program to expand efforts to counter the methods used by the military recruiters in Cleveland’s high schools and to provide accurate information to students and their parents. www.peaceactioncleveland.org

Peace & Social Justice Center of South Central Kansas,Wichita, KS: $1,000 for a plan to expand an existing opt-out campaign to 10 additional school districts in south central Kansas, and to provide
information on alternatives to military service to school counselors in all of the participating schools. www.wichitapeace.org

United for Peace and Justice, New York, NY: $1,500 for leafleting to educate students and parents about Opt-Out and recruiter access, as well as surveying New York City schools on adherence to the Department of Education’s guidelines on recruiter access. www.unitedforpeace.org

Adalys Travel Grants, August-October 2009

The Adalys Vázquez Solidarity Travel Fund (formerly known as the NOVA Travel Fund) helps grassroots activists from Latin America, the Caribbean and indigenous territories throughout the hemisphere to participate in regional meetings. In August and October 2009, the Adalys Fund made 16 grants totaling $15,352.30 to groups based in Argentina, Brazil, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Guatemala, Mexico, Paraguay and Peru. The Adalys Fund’s next deadlines are February 1 and April 1, 2010. Guidelines are on our website in English at www.ajmuste.org/novaintro-eng.html, and in Spanish at www.ajmuste.org/novaintro.html.

Asociación Juventud 2000 (Youth Association 2000), Cobán, Alta Verapaz, Guatemala: $600 in August for 40 indigenous women activists to participate in the Encuentro de Mujeres Indígenas del Nororiente de Guatemala (Gathering of Indigenous Women of Northeastern Guatemala), held September 28-30, 2009 in El  Estor, Izabal, Guatemala.

Asociacion de Promotores Chaco, El Sauzalito, Chaco, Argentina: $700 in August for up to five local indigenous and rural activists to travel together to an international gathering on local knowledge, territory rights and conflict resolution, organized by Fundacion Plurales, held October 28-31, 2009, in Córdoba, Argentina.

Centro de Derechos Humanos “Juan Gerardi”, Torreón, Coahuila, Mexico: $650 in August for human rights promoters from 10 local grassroots committees to participate in a regional meeting of the “OASIS” Human Rights Network held November 7-8, 2009, in Saltillo, Coahuila, Mexico.

Centro de Formación de Misioneras Indígenas (Training Center for Indigenous Missionary Women), Pucahuaico, Imbabura, Ecuador: $1,500 in August for María Magdalena Pupiales Cuasque and María Lucila de la Torre González to participate in the IV Encuentro Latinoamericano de la RED DECOS (4th Latin American Meeting of RED DECOS, Sustainable Community Development Network), held October 14-20, 2009, in Asunción, Paraguay.

Cooperativa Multiactiva de Productores Leche Consumo “El Quebracho” (Multi-active Cooperative of Milk Producers), Santa Cecilia, Paraguay: $1,300 in August for Venancia Ferreira Páez and Wilma Mendoza to travel together to an international gathering on local knowledge, territory rights and conflict resolution, organized by Fundacion Plurales, held October 28-31, 2009, in Córdoba, Argentina.

Frente Indígena y Campesino San Martineco (San Martineco Indigenous and Campesino Front), San Martín Jilotepeque, Guatemala: $1,111.90 in August for María Martina Martín Yool to participate in the Encuentro de Mujeres del Pre-Encuentro Latinoamericano de Organizaciones Populares (Women’s Meeting within the Pre-Meeting of Latin American Popular Organizations), held October 10-12, 2009 in Tucumán, Argentina.


Above: Adolescent filmmakers and adult facilitators take the bus from Viedma in southern Argentina to Buenos Aires in October to participate in the“OneMinute for My Rights” festival, an annual event where young people from across Argentina share their short films about human rights. The Adalys Fund supported the trip with a grant to Fundación Creando Futuro. Photo by Sebastian Martinez. Below: the young filmmakers pose in front of the festival entrance on opening day. Photo by Melina Tocce.


Fundación Creando Futuro (Creating Future Foundation), Viedma, Rio Negro, Argentina: $600 in August for five youth directors, two workshop facilitators, and one person from Fundación Creando Futuro to participate in the 6º Festival Iberoamericano De Cortos “Imágenes Jóvenes En La Diversidad Cultural”, (Images of Youth and Cultural Diversity), held October 14-21, 2009 in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Grito de los Excluidos/as Mesoamericano, San José, Costa Rica: $647 in August for Sofía Cortés Sequeira of Movimiento Alternativa de Izquierdas, MAIZ (Costa Rica) to represent Grito de los Excluidos/as Mesoamericano at the Pre-Encuentro Latinoamericano de Mujeres de Movimientos Populares (Latin American Pre-Gathering of Women from Grassroots Movements), held October 10-12, 2009, in Tucumán, Argentina. www.gritomesoamerica.org

Grupo de Mulheres Negras Nzinga Mbandi (Nzinga Mbandi Group of Black Women), Piracicaba, SP, Brazil: $1,462 in August for community health organizers Márcia Chagas and Mayara Souza to participate in the XI Congress of the Asociación Latinoamericana de Medicina Social (ALAMES, Latin American Association of Social Medicine), focused on "Health in the political and social agenda of Latin America," held November 14-19, 2009, in Bogotá, Colombia.

La Vía Campesina/Comisión de Agricultura Campesina Sostenible (Commission of Sustainable Campesino Agriculture): $1,500 in August for Dorotea Vásquez of Fundación de Promotora de Cooperativas (FUNPROCOOP, El Salvador) and Salomón Ruiz Díaz of Movimiento Campesino Paraguayo (MCP, Paraguay) to participate in the 2nd International Meeting of the Agroecological Movement and Internal Meeting of the Via Campesina Sustainable Peasant Agriculture Commission, held November 15-23, 2009 in Havana, Cuba. www.viacampesina.org


Salomón Ruíz (above, at left) from the Paraguayan Campesino Movement (MCP) listens to a Cuban small-scale ecological farmer talk about agriculture techniques, and Dorotea Vásquez (below) from the grassroots farmer organization FUNPROCOOP in El Salvador checks out the avocado harvest on another organic farm. With help from the Adalys Fund, the two peasant leaders took part in a November 2009 meeting in Havana of the Via Campesina Sustainable Peasant Agriculture Commission, focused on sharing strategies for successful agroecology projects. Photos courtesy of La Via Campesina.


Movimento dos Pequenos Agricultores-MPA (Movement of Small Farmers), Candangolandia, DF, Brazil: $1,500 in August for Ana Isabel M. Ramalho and Charles Reginatto to participate in the “Intercambio com organizações do Campo de Venezuela para construir estratégias na produção de alimentos e na Formação Política”, (Exchange with Rural Organizations in Venezuela in order to Build Strategies within Food Production and Political Formation), held November 5-13, 2009 in Venezuela.

Red Nacional por la Defensa de la Soberanía Alimentaria en Guatemala -REDSAG, Chimaltenango, Guatemala: $371.40 in August for Marta Fidelia Quib Cú to participate in the Taller de Economia Solidaria “Otra Economía Es Posible” (Solidarity Economy Workshop "Another Economy is Possible"), held October 12-30, 2009, in Panama. www.redsag.org

Vida-Integracion-Desarrollo-Amor - VIDA (Life-Integration-Development-Love), Puente Piedra, Peru: $440 in August for Claudia Rodríguez Martínez of VIDA to participate in the Regional Conference of the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association (ILGA) for Latin America and the Caribbean, scheduled for late January 2010 in Curitiba, Brazil.

Espacio Psicosocial para el Fortalecimiento Comunitario EPFIC A.C. (Psychosocial Space for Community Strengthening), San Cristóbal de Las Casas, Chiapas, Mexico: $800 in October for eight representatives of the organizing commission of the IX Congreso de Psicología de la Liberación (9th Congress of Liberation Psychology) to travel to El Salvador to participate in forums and other activities held November 11-17, 2009, honoring the victims of the war in El Salvador.

Fórum Paulista de Mulheres Autônomas de Prevenção as DST/AIDS e Combate a Violência (São Paulo Autonomous Women’s Forum for the Prevention of Sexually Transmitted Diseases/AIDS and to Combat Violence),  São Paulo, Brazil: $1,000 in October for Cintia Souza, Carla Martins and Sandra Consuelo Barros to participate in the V Foro Latinoamericano y del Caribe en VIH/SIDA e ITS (5th Latin American and Caribbean Forum on HIV/AIDS and Sexually Transmitted Infections), held in Lima, Perú, November 21-23, 2009.

Red de Personas Viviendo con VIH-Sida Zona Oeste (Network of People Living with HIV-AIDS Western Zone), Buenos Aires, Argentina: $1,170 in October for four activists living with HIV to participate in the V Foro Latinoamericano y del Caribe en VIH-Sida (5th Latin American and Caribbean Forum on HIV-AIDS), held November 21-23, 2009 in Lima, Peru. www.reddepvvs.org.ar