Ruckus was a proud co-sponsor of the Undocu-Bus ‘No Papers No Fear Ride for Justice’, an Action Bus Tour that kicked off in Phoenix after our 2012 Action Camp for Migrant Rights this summer.
Check out this first-hand report from one of our trainers, Cesar Maxit, who both trained at the Action Camp this Summer and then joined the Undocubus tour to support actions along the way to the DNC:
I started working with Undocubus in Alabama this August [after weeks of training migrant communities across the state – check our report from AL here]. In Birmingham, we organized a theatrical civil disobedience at the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights Hearing on immigration [which did not include any undocumented voices]. It was a powerful moment in various ways, but an important piece I thought was for folks to get a first-hand experience in escalating nonviolent tactics and building collective confidence.
Video of Birmingham action at the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights (care of No Papers No Fear):
The Undocubus riders were a diverse aged group, with a few folks having
family relationships with other riders and almost half identifying as queer.
Having the riders come through town really emboldened local groups,
and those that had been organizing wanted to use the opportunity to
push on their local campaigns. In Knoxville, that included going after
the sheriff, J.J. Jones, for his attempts to bring 287G into Knox County.
The civil diosbedience action there led to 4 arrests including 2 undocumented
folks… a 19-year old student, and a 65-year old grandma.
The riders offered workshops to comite populares along the path. They
used popular education workshops and NDLON had printed a few different
booklets to help.
Along the route, we got to meet back up with some Highlander Ruckus Camp alumni, including folks in Alabama who were making new puppet heads for theatrical story telling. Camp alums in Georgia had been designing and cutting new stencils and painting new banners. Throughout the trip it was reinforced in my mind that the Ruckus Arts Track shared valuable tools for campaigns in various southern states. The tools we used were screen-printing tee-shirts and flags; stencils to paint placards, shirts, and as a technique to colorize black and white prints; wheat paste was used for collaborating with other artists on the street and pasting some of our art on bed sheets to be used as banners. We also used projectors and the grid system to show folks the various ways of painting really large banners.
The action at the DNC was pretty amazing – 10 undocumented folks, all getting arrested at the front door with stencil-painted signs saying "undocumented" held above their heads. The message was being seen by the world, but it was directed at their own communities… when we are organized, we have nothing to
be afraid of. We can even sit in the street, declare ourselves undocumented
as clearly and loudly as could be… no papers, no fear! But it’s the power
of us being organized, in community, that allows us to act with fearlessness.
All 10 were released the next day with no charges or ICE holds. And so
their message reverberated again. Get organized and you, too, can have
no papers, no fear!
Video of Civil Disobedience at the DNC (care of No Papers No Fear):