[Marxism] Support the "International Friends of the Leon Trotsky Museum" in Mexico City.

DW dwaltersmia at gmail.com
Sun Aug 1 09:40:22 MDT 2010

Dear Friends:

I am writing this letter to ask for your support for the "International
Friends of the Leon Trotsky Museum" in Mexico City.

 I -- along with many others around the world -- was asked by the Museum's
new director, Olivia Gall, and by Trotsky's grandson, Esteban Volkov, to
help raise funds for the Trotsky Museum in Mexico City. I am attaching below
for your information the Info Packet issued by the "International Friends"
Committee so that you can see why funds are needed so urgently to maintain
and renovate the home where Leon Trotsky; his wife, Natalia; and his
grandson "Sieva" (Esteban Volkov) lived from May 1939 to August 21, 1940,
when Trotsky was assassinated by an agent of Joseph Stalin.

 As many of you may know, the Trotsky house on Calle Viena No. 19 in
Coyoacán became a Museum and landmark building in 1975. In August 1990 the
house adjacent to the Museum on Avenida Churubusco was annexed to the
building, and in November 1996, the Museum was legally registered as a
non-profit civil institution. Among the people gathered from around the
world to celebrate the expansion of the Museum in 1990 was Jake Cooper, one
of the many bodyguards sent down to Mexico by the Socialist Workers Party of
the United States to protect the renowned Russian revolutionary leader.

 The Museum is also dedicated to the right to asylum, particularly to then
Mexican President Lázaro Cárdenas' decision to grant asylum to Trotsky, at
the behest of artists Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera,  both supporters at that
time of Trotsky and of his movement internationally. In fact, the full name
of the Museum is the Institute on the Right of Asylum, House-Museum of Leon

 The Museum is a magnificent repository of this rich moment in Mexican and
world history.

 For more information about the Trotsky Museum, please go to the following

 - http://museocasadeleontrotsky.blogspot.com/

 - http://www.museotrotskymexico.org

 (Also, if you go to google, you will find hundreds of links to the Museum,
with photographs, guided electronic tours in English, and more.)

For the past 20 years, the Museum has been funded by the fees charged to
visitors (tens of thousands per year) and by a grant from the Cultural
Department of the Mexico City Government.

 Unfortunately, because of the deep economic crisis in Mexico and the
unwillingness of the Mexican federal government to assist the Trotsky Museum
-- in fact, the Fox and Calderón administrations have been reducing the
budgets for public museums, universities, schools, and other public
institutions and services at an alarming pace -- the continued existence of
the Trotsky Museum is at risk. The Mexico City Government has promised
funding for the next fiscal year, but not necessarily after that. The reason
is a shrinking city budget.

 Given this alarming situation -- and, moreover, given the rapidly
deteriorating state of the Museum itself -- the new director of the Museum,
Ms. Gall, has launched an international campaign to raise US$1 million to
preserve the Museum, to renovate the building (which is needed desperately),
and, just as important, to ensure the improvement and modernization of the
services offered by the Museum itself.( All these are documented in the
attachment below from the "International Friends" Committee.)

 Thanks to Global Exchange, we have now obtained "fiscal sponsorship" for
this project. This means that all checks from individuals, organizations and
foundations in the United States will be tax-deductible, benefiting from
Global Exchange's 501 (c) (3) status.

 We have set out to raise $250,000 in the United States in the coming
months. We would like to be able to announce significant progress in our
fundraising project in the United States at the official launching of the
"International Friends" Committee at the Trotsky Museum on August 21, 2010
-- the 70th anniversary of the assassination of this central leader of the
revolutionary-socialist movement.

 To reach this goal, we urgently need the support of everyone concerned
about preserving the Leon Trotsky Museum and this important legacy. (When
you read the Info Packet below, you will also find other ways that you
and/or your organization can help the Leon Trotsky Museum.)

 Please make your checks payable to Global Exchange and indicate "Trotsky
Museum" on the bottom left Memo line of your checks. After your check has
been received, Liza Gonzales of Global Exchange will send you a thank-you
letter, accompanied by a letter to be submitted with your tax return
acknowledging your tax-deductible contribution. You will also receive a
letter from Olivia Gall and Esteban Volkov thanking you for your support.

 Global Exchange has asked me to collect all the checks and to submit them
directly to their office on a regular basis to avoid having the checks mixed
in with the other Global Exchange fund-raising projects. After they receive
your checks, Global Exchange will wire the money directly to the Trotsky
Museum's bank account in Mexico City.

 I therefore ask that you send your checks, payable to Global Exchange
(write "Trotsky Museum" on Memo line), to International Friends of the Leon
Trotsky Museum, P.O. Box 40009, San Francisco, CA 94140. [Please fill out
the Donation Coupon below to let us know that your check is in the mail.]

 For more information about this project, and/or if you would like to help
raise funds for the Trotsky Museum, please call me me at 415-216-5346.

Many thanks, in advance, for your support to this extremely urgent and
important campaign.

In solidarity,

*Alan Benjamin
The Organizer Newspaper

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