We are grateful for your support. To all of you who have given generously to the Muste Institute since we last wrote to you in December: Thank you!
Thanks also to those of you who have expressed support for our efforts to resolve the situation with our building. We very much appreciate your interest, remain in need of your support, and urge you to check the building page of our website to learn about options being explored for the Peace Pentagon.
With deep gratitude for her 17 years of dedicated service, in April the Muste Institute regretfully accepted the resignation of Board treasurer Christine Halvorson. Her longtime job at the Rainforest Foundation requires lots of work and travel, and she felt she could no longer spare the extra hours needed for her Board duties. We will definitely miss Christine, and wish her all the best.
We hope you enjoy this Spring/Summer issue of Muste Notes. Keep your eyes peeled for a letter from the Muste Institute in the coming weeks, followed by the Fall issue of Muste Notes in September.
In 2002 the Muste Institute granted $1,500 to Wisconsin Network for Peace & Justice (WNPJ) for the Corporate Accountability Task Force, educating and mobilizing public opinion throughout Wisconsin around economic justice issues. This article was written for Muste Notes by Bonnie Block, who served as director of WNPJ from 1996 to 2002, and Judy Miner, who was WNPJ’s office coordinator and director from 2002 to 2010.
The Wisconsin Network for Peace and Justice was formed as a statewide organization 20 years ago, in response to the first Gulf war. The founders of the Network realized immediately that the roots of militarism in our country were intertwined with economic and social justice issues. In looking for ways to end U.S. militarism, two things became clear—the Network would need
WNPJ’s Corporate Accountability Task Group created resource materials and offered workshops throughout Wisconsin, showing the direct link between spending on the military industrial complex and the resulting impoverishment of all other public programs. It also showed how military spending actually created fewer jobs than spending those same tax dollars on providing for human needs and civilian infrastructure. Hundreds of people attended these workshops and thousands read the brochures and resource packet. During this last decade, several union groups recognized WNPJ’s commitment to economic justice and joined the Network, including SEIU-WI, South Central Federation of Labor, Union of Immigrant Workers, and American Federation of Teachers #212.
So by the time of the fervor for “shock and awe,” leading up to the current Iraq War, WNPJ members were quite aware of the negative human and economic consequences that would surely follow another war. And they also saw the corporate desire to control oil supplies as a key factor in the call for war. As a result, WNPJ’s member organizations organized protests. In 2003, there were sixty weekly peace vigils all over Wisconsin. Thirty of these vigils continue to this day, with creative, nonviolent activists carrying signs with messages such as “End the War on Workers, Bring the War $$ Home.”
At WNPJ we feel there is a direct link between this statewide, grassroots education and the actions taking place at the Capitol in Madison and throughout Wisconsin now. When the effort was made to balance the budget by going to war against public employee unions, WNPJ members and friends quickly recognized “war” propaganda when they saw it. They understood the connections between public policy, corporate power, and how elections are financed. Plus they had years of experience in nonviolent street protest. So when the public employee unions issued the call to action, many ordinary Wisconsinites were ready to respond.
We consider it a rare privilege to have been able to stand with tens of thousands of like-minded citizens doing exactly what our Constitution says: “petitioning the government for redress of grievances.” And we’re not done yet! Much of the energy has now shifted to the courts, the spring elections, and recall efforts, but active and engaged citizenship will continue here in Wisconsin.
For more great images from the March 19 demonstrations, check out the following online albums:
Our best-selling Martin Luther King pamphlet is back in print, thanks to your help and a generous allocation from the donor-suggested Swann Fund. This great resource on nonviolence includes three of Rev. King’s most important essays: Loving Your Enemies; Letter from a Birmingham Jail; and Declaration of Independence from the War in Vietnam, the famous anti-war speech he delivered at Riverside Church on April 4, 1967. You can get your own copy of this pamphlet—and extra copies for local schools or libraries—by using the order form on the back page of Muste Notes.
Meanwhile, the Spanish-language version of our King pamphlet has been doing some traveling. In February, Muste Institute supporter Rev. Ken Sehested (in photo, left), pastor of the Circle of Mercy Congregation in Asheville, North Carolina, delivered 100 copies of the pamphlet to Rev. Raúl Suárez (see photo, right), founder and director of the Martin Luther King Center in Havana, Cuba. “Being able to deliver those Spanish versions of the King pamphlet was delightful,” Sehested told the Muste Institute.
BAY-Peace: Better Alternatives for Youth, Oakland, CA: $1,500 (via Peace Development Fund) for the Youth Manifesto Campaign, part of a national educational campaign about the Joint Advertising Market Research and Studies (JAMRS) military recruiting database. www.baypeace.org
Chico Peace & Justice Center, Chico, CA: $1,498 for tabling, outreach events and promotion of a scholarship program enabling students who are considering military enlistment to seek out alternatives. chico-peace.org
Coalition for Alternatives to Militarism in Our Schools (CAMS), Pasadena, CA: $1,500 for Project Great Futures, a series of alternative social justice career fairs in high schools and colleges in the Los Angeles area. www.militaryfreeschools.org
Houston Committee for Youth and Nonmilitary Opportunities, Bellaire, TX: $1,000 to expand outreach to teachers, guidance counselors, school administrators and students in the Houston area to confront militarization in the schools.
Peace and Justice Center of South Central Kansas, Wichita, KS: $1,500 to expand ongoing efforts to encourage high school students and their parents to opt out of releasing their contact information to military recruiters, and to provide high school counselors with resources detailing non-military opportunities for youth. wichitapeace.org
Peaceful Vocations, Fort Worth, TX: $1,500 for Community Activation 2010/2011, mobilizing parents and students to address issues such as JROTC-sponsored firing ranges in schools, military-sponsored ASVAB testing in schools without parental consent, and students’ privacy rights. peacefulvocations.org/
Workers Defense Project, Austin, TX: $1,500 to help immigrant workers and their children better understand how how to best access higher education, prepare for college, and take advantage of non-military career options. www.workersdefense.org/
Thanks to the Muste Institute’s support for grassroots counter recruitment efforts, young people now have more opportunities to learn—before they enlist—about the reality of the military and the alternatives that exist for them.
Your generous donations help us fund these efforts to assist young people in making better choices, and to provide them with the opportunity to become nonviolent activists and peer educators.
The projects you support through the Muste Institute’s Counter Recruitment Fund are located all over the United States, from rural Appalachia, Kansas and Hawai’i to the inner-city neighborhoods of Chicago, Los Angeles and New York.
Please make real change possible by contributing to the Muste Institute today: GIVE ONLINE NOW. To designate your gift specifically for counter recruitment work, indicate “CR Fund” on the memo line of your check or in the designation area of the online donation form.
The Muste Institute’s NOVA Fund supports nonviolent efforts for justice in Latin America. In 2010, the Fund distributed $70,921.39 among eight organizations in Costa Rica, Ecuador, Mexico and Nicaragua. We thank the Appleton Foundation for its ongoing support of the NOVA Fund. Unfortunately, the NOVA Fund has been forced to greatly reduce its grantmaking in 2011. Please get in touch if you would like to sustain the work of groups mentioned here and others like them.
Centro de Derechos Humanos Digna Ochoa AC (Digna Ochoa Human Rights Center), Tonalá, Chiapas, México: $2,500 in October for the Consejo Autónomo Regional de la Zona Costa de Chiapas (CARZCH, Autonomous Regional Council of the Coastal Zone of Chiapas), specifically toward expenses of the "Las Mujeres como protagonistas del cambio" (Women as protagonists of change) project, including workshops, dialogue, education and analysis developed by women members of CARZCH around issues related to the social construction of gender and the transformative perspective of equality. consejoautonomo.wordpress.com, cdhdignaochoa.blogspot.com
Consejo Nacional Indígena Pueblos Nahua y Chorotega - MONEXICO (National Indigenous Council of the Nahua and Chorotega Peoples), Managua, Nicaragua: $2,885 in June for training workshops for indigenous women leaders from Nahua and Chorotega territorial councils, focused on developing capacity in political participation, indigenous rights and women's rights. monexico.blogspot.com
Corporación SER PAZ, Guayaquil, Ecuador: $10,000 in June to encourage and support current and former gang members in Guayaquil in nonviolent efforts for social justice and conflict resolution. www.serpaz.org
Frente Nacional de Pueblos Indígenas – FRENAPI (National Indigenous Peoples' Front), San José, Costa Rica: $15,000 in July (via sponsor: Servicio Paz y Justicia de Costa Rica) to develop and strengthen capacity and leadership among the indigenous peoples of Costa Rica to build processes of autonomy and defend human rights, as part of the promotion of a culture of peace. frenapi.serpajcostarica.org/
M33-Matamoros 33, Cuernavaca, Morelos, Mexico: $3,000 in July for Radio Comunitaria en Cuernavaca “FM Libre,” a community radio project designed to create a space for the residents of Cuernavaca to exercise their right to inform and be informed, and to take ownership of their own society-building process.
Servicio Paz y Justicia en America Latina (SERPAJ-AL), San Jose, Costa Rica: $15,500, including: $3,000 in June to purchase computers for SERPAJ-AL's offices in Costa Rica and Uruguay; $11,000 in June for coordination and support of educational work promoting active nonviolence, demilitarization, human rights and social justice in Latin America; and $1,500 in October for travel of a representative from SERPAJ-AL to a hearing of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights in Washington on "Criminalization and Persecution of Social Movements and Human Rights Defenders." www.serpajamericalatina.org
Servicio Paz y Justicia de Costa Rica (SERPAJ-CR), San José, Costa Rica: $4,036.39 in November for educational and organizing efforts toward creating a culture of peace and promoting the defense of people’s human, civic, social, economic and cultural rights in Costa Rica. www.serpajcostarica.org
Servicio Paz y Justicia (SERPAJ) Mexico, Cuernavaca, Morelos, Mexico: $18,000 in June for research and education on social conflict and nonviolence in Mexico, and support for active nonviolence, peace-building and autonomy. www.pensarenvozalta.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 deadline is June 1, 2011. Guidelines are on our website in English at ajmuste.org/novaintro-eng.html and in Spanish at ajmuste.org/novaintro.html.
From October 2010 to February 2011, the Adalys Fund made the following 10 grants, totaling $7,078.46:
Asociación para el Desarrollo de El Salvador (CRIPDES), San Salvador, El Salvador: $750 in December for a delegation from the Mesa Nacional Frente a la Minería Metálica en El Salvador (National Committee Against Metal Mining in El Salvador) to travel to Panama in March 2011 for a gathering on free trade treaties and mining in countries affected by the mining company Pacific Rim. www.cripdes.com
Corporación Chilena de Personas con VIH/SIDA, Valdivia, Región de los Ríos, Chile: $500 in October (via sponsor: Agrupación Vida Nueva 2000) for Emelina Orieta Vallejos Guerrero and Juan Francisco Torrejón Guerrero to participate in VIII Encuentro de Personas Viviendo con VIH: Estrategias Comunitarias sobre derecho al trabajo y VIH (8th Meeting of People Living with HIV: Community Strategies on the Right to Work and HIV), held November 3-5, 2010 in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Emisora Comunitaria Saywani, Omasuyos, Bolivia: $592.82 in October (via sponsor: Red de Comunicaciones Indígenas Apachita) for Juana Mamani Canaza to participate in the Conferencia Mundial de Radios Comunitarias (World Conference of Community Radio Stations), held November 8-13, 2010 in La Plata, Argentina.
Grupo de Reflexión y Solidaridad Oscar Arnulfo Romero, Habana, Cuba: $800 in December (via sponsor: Red de Esperanza y Solidaridad, Diócesis de Caguas) for travel expenses for Olga Zoila Morales Pacheco to participate in workshops and community gatherings celebrating the 35th anniversary of the Red de Esperanza y Solidaridad, held January 13-26, 2011, in Caguas, Puerto Rico.
Red de Acción Ciudadana Frente al Libre Comercio e Inversión Sinti Techan (Sinti Techan Citizen Action Network Against Free Trade and Investment), San Salvador, El Salvador: $1,000 in February for a delegation of 11 representatives of the Red de Ambientalistas en Acción de El Salvador (Network of Environmentalists in Action of El Salvador) to participate in the Mesoamerican People's Forum (Foro Mesoamericano de los Pueblos), held April 8-11, 2011, in Minotitlán, Veracruz, Mexico. sintitechan.codigosur.net
Red de Comunicaciones Indígenas Apachita, Patacamaya/La Paz, Bolivia: $1,185.64 in October for Felix Gutiérrez Matta and Amalia Márquez Cruz to participate in the Conferencia Mundial de Radios Comunitarias (World Conference of Community Radio Stations), held November 8-13, 2010 in La Plata, Argentina.
Secwepemc Nation Youth Network, Chase, BC, Canada: $500 in December (via sponsor: Skwelkwek’welt Protection Center) for travel expenses of Kanahus Pellkey of the Secwepemc Nation Youth Network to participate in the El Caney Indigenous Youth Summit organized by El Caney del Quinto Mundo in Ciales, Puerto Rico, January 10-16, 2011.
Servicios Jurídicos y Sociales, S.C. (SERJUS), Guatemala, Guatemala: $500 in October for Laura Lisseth Peralta Vivas to participate in the “Foro de los Pueblos Indígenas Minería, Cambio Climático y Buen Vivir” (Indigenous People's Forum on Mining, Climate Change and Collective Wellbeing), held November 18-20, 2010 in Lima, Perú. www.serjus.org.gt
Unión de Comunidades Indígenas de la Zona Norte del Istmo (UCIZONI), Matías Romero, Oaxaca, México: $750 in October for a delegation of indigenous women and men from rural areas of Oaxaca and Veracruz to participate in the Foro Internacional sobre Justicia Climática (International Forum on Climate Justice), held Nov. 29-Dec. 7, 2010, in Cancún, Quintana Roo, Mexico.
United and Strong Inc., Gros Islet, St. Lucia: $500 in October for Kenita Placide to participate in the XXV World Conference of the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association (ILGA), held December 4-9, 2010, in Sao Paulo, Brazil.