Why Direct Action
No social justice movement in history has been successful without the strategic use of nonviolent direct action. There comes a moment in every struggle when the power of everyday people needs to be felt, and when the community can only attain victory by advancing their front line. That moment, if approached with creativity and vision, can be a transformative moment for the community and for the struggle itself. We see our purpose as increasing the capacity for vision, creativity and strategy in direct actions by impacted communities with the intention of changing history.
On December 6-8, 1996, forty people of color and European-American representatives met in Jemez , New Mexico , for the “Working Group Meeting on Globalization and Trade.” The Jemez meeting was hosted by the Southwest Network for, Environmental and Economic Justice with the intention of hammering out common understandings between participants from different cultures, politics and organizations. The following “Jemez Principles” for democratic organizing were adopted by the participants.
Delegates to the First National People of Color Environmental Leadership Summit held on October 24-27, 1991, in Washington DC, drafted and adopted 17 principles of Environmental Justice. Since then, The Principles have served as a defining document for the growing grassroots movement for environmental justice.
Ruckus’s Action Camps essentially build a temporary community for a week or more at a time. An all-volunteer kitchen crew works hard from early in the morning to late at night to prepare delicious, healthy, and satisfying meals to our campers. Over the years, Ruckus’s food policy has been a point of debate, and slowly changed to adapt to meet the needs of the communities with whom we work.