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Ruckus 2012 Action Camp for Migrant Rights: Report #1

Update: Click for reportback installments two, three, and four!

This June, Ruckus brought together 120 activists and trainers for our much-anticipated 2012 National Direct Action Camp for Migrant Rights at the historic Highlander Center in Tennessee.  60 migrant rights organizers and 15 activists from other sectors came together for five full days of side by side training, learning from each other and building solidarity, while gaining nonviolent direct action theory, strategy, and tactical skills.


Pitch in to the Action Camp Fund to help us with follow-up trainings and action support in participants' local communities! Click here to donate.


Ruckus has been hosting Action Camps since 1995, and this year's camp was evidence that it just keeps getting better!  More than two years of trainings, action support and strategic planning with our partners at the National Day Laborer Organizing Network (NDLON) and their Turning the Tide campaign allies built up to the 2012 Action Camp for Migrant Rights, a crucial step towards building the direct action skills and capacity of this powerful and historic movement.

Ruckus Action Camps are complex, multi-faceted training programs that require intensive preparation and a skilled, experienced crew of volunteer trainers and coordinators, who are often on the ground for two or more weeks (in addition to more than 6 months of prior planning and curriculum-development), in order to make these five-day trainings happen. 


Here's a glimpse into some of the aspects of this year's Action Camp:

  • Tactical Skills Tracks where participants choose one tactic to focus on for half their time at Camp: Action Climbing, Blockades, and Creative Resistance Arts
  • 12-hour training days where the non-Track time is filled with workshops such as: Non Violent Direct Action Theory, Direct Action Planning & Prep Skills, Scouting, Direct Action Media, Tactical Communications, Why Health & Sustainability Matters in Direct Action, Banner-Rigging, and more
  • Permaculture design consultation and assessment for the Highlander Center
  • Volunteer-run activist kitchen crew providing 3 meals per day for attendees
  • Bilingual English-Spanish camp with simultaneous interpretation provided by a volunteer crew
  • Action Role-Play on the final day of camp, where participants practice their skills in a safe but effective learning environment
  • Cross-movement Connections between the migrant rights movement and activists working on Occupy Wall Street and economic justice, climate, environmental and food justice, anti-war veterans, farmworker rights, labor activists, and more
  • 75 participants from across the U.S. including: Alabama, Arizona, California, Colorado, DC, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, Ohio, Oregon, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Washington, and Virginia
  • Student Trainers from Ruckus's T4T for POC co-trained with seasoned Ruckus trainers to put their skills into practice
  • Art and Action Gear built for real action campaigns that participants brought home and are in use now!

Participants hit the ground running after camp putting their skills into action, including the Undocu-Bus Action Bus Tour that is currently en route to the DNC! 

Stay tuned for more report-backs from Camp including more in-depth looks at the Tactical Skills Tracks, Training Workshops, Cross-Movement Connections, and more!

In the mean time, check out this great video below from one of our participants, Jorge Torres, which gives a rare glimpse into the community-building side of Action Camps, where real people-to-people relationships are built in between all the bad-ass action skills trainings!

The Ruckus Society Camp 2012 (Highlander Center TN) from R. Evolution Productions on Vimeo.


Donate to the Action Camp Fund to help us with follow-up trainings and action support in participants' local communities! Click here to make a gift.


Click for reportback installments two, three, and four!