As part of our ongoing migrant rights work Ruckus recently spent some time in Alabama working with migrant community groups up and down the state. We focused our time on sharing the fundamentals of nonviolent direct action (NVDA) as well as simple creative art techniques – like stenciling images and spray painting them on to poster boards or banners – folks could use to make their actions livelier and more visual. We trained community members of all ages, from young student organizers to heads of families and community elders. We also conducted these trainings entirely in Spanish, the language predominantly spoken by these community members.
We timed our visit to Alabama to coincide with the arrival of the Undocubus, a group of fierce, driven activists riding across the country under the banner "No Papers No Fear/ Sin Papeles Sin Miedo." The Undocubus rolled in to Alabama ready to take action- and take action they did! Check out this clip of Undocubus riders taking action at a US Commission on Civil Rights hearing in Birmingham.
Undocubus served as a good catalyst towards inspiring direct actions locally in Alabama. One of the local groups, Somos Tuskaloosa, took to the streets with their families to demand justice for migrants in Alabama. We’re proud to have stood up with this community and look forward to engaging with them again soon!
Here’s what folks from Somos Tuskaloosa had to say about work with them in Alabama this Summer:
"Somos Tuskaloosa is a grassroots organization of mostly Latino immigrant leaders fighting against anti-immigrant legislation such as Alabama’s HB56, racism, and xenophobia. The Ruckus Society helped our organization push our vision and taught us concrete strategies for developing and employing direct action campaigns. We bonded as a group through the creation of resistance art for our events and plotted ideas for potential campaigns that we will work towards. Finally, the Ruckus Society helped us pull off a successful civil disobedience and march to protest the targeting of our community’s children’s access to schools and higher education by way of barring them from public universities and requiring K-12 children to provide social security cards at registration. Accompanied by the riders of the No Papers, No Fear Ride for Justice, we marched towards the auditorium where George Wallace cried "segregation now, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever" and blocked the entrance of African American students and called for our right to access to schooling, regardless of status. Thank you, Ruckus Society, for helping us make our vision possible!"