This summer, Ruckus hosted the Resilience as Resistance: From Disaster Collectivism to Self-Determination Action Camp in partnership with the It Takes Root Alliance, Movement Generation, WildSeed Community Farm & Healing Village, The Watershed Center, Linke Fligl, and Rock Steady Farm. This groundbreaking camp was the first ever activist gathering combining survival techniques, resilience traditions, and direct action skills.
Over 5 days, 75 participants from communities most impacted by climate change– from Alaska to Puerto Rico– came together in Schaghticoke territory in Upstate New York to skill up, vision, and respond to this crisi-tunity of climate disaster and disaster collectivism.
When we began our planning process for the camp last year, our communities were hurting from increasing wildfires in the West, devastating hurricanes throughout the Caribbean, and the continued exploitation and contamination of our local waters water, soil, and air for profit. And with disaster, came the lack of aide, dignity, and the impending doom of Disaster Capitalism. We felt called to return to an idea for an “apocalypse” camp that we had been kicking around for years, but we knew we had to go beyond just survival skills and center collective recovery and self-reliance.
We created a camp for our community members to strengthen, cultivate and practice our ancestral resiliency, self-governance, and direct action skills needed to transform immediate crisis scenarios into long term transition plans. We turned to the Just Transition Framework, and with the brains and brilliance of our network, we landed on a set of versatile skills that can be translated for use in the streets, during rapid response situations brought by acute climate crisis, to resist the Disaster Capitalism that follows climate disaster and political crises such as imminent ICE raids or white supremacist mobilizations.
Unlike our classic action camps where participants are grouped into tracks according to skills, this camp was organized according thematically according to the natural elements: Water + Energy, Food + Soil, Materials + Shelter, and Health, Harm, + Healing.
* The 7 Knots of Powers, teaching 7 knots that you can use for climbing, to hang banners, or haul emergency debris
* Scouting and Situational Awareness, emphasizing threat assessment for direct actions, Alt-Right mobilizations, or climate disasters
* Solar Cooking, exploring the mechanics and materials needed to construct and cook with the power of the sun
* Power Tools 101 taught by people of color, providing folks with the opportunity to learn and use a wide range of tools
Led by a fierce and badass crew of trainers, facilitators, organizers, healers, and artists all these workshops provided an experience where over 125 community members from were able to come together, learn and share some pretty dope skills.
One of the things we are most proud of is the ways in which participants took so much ownership over their experience. This wasn’t just about practicing community agreements; this was self-governance in real time. We claimed space to reflect on how we were relating to one another, how we can do better, and how our work in the here and now can prefigure our politics of the future through patience, rigor, active feedback, and love.
Three months after camp, we are still buoyed by all the gratitude we have for all y’all who participated, collaborated, donated, and offered support in one way or another. We couldn’t have done it without you. Our survival is inextricably linked to our commitment to our collective liberation, and thank you for being a part of it.