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The 20 Days of Ruckus!

December 12th, 2012

This December, we're counting down the days til December 31st with 20 Days of Ruckus testimonials from folks who know first-hand why YOU should support Ruckus!

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And don't forget to make your tax-deductible year-end gift to Ruckus before December 31st!

Day 20, Part II: The Final Wrap-Up!
December 31st

Well, if the first 20+ testimonials weren't enough, how about a few more?!
Check out this final video featuring a handful of Ruckus trainers, activists, and supporters from our 15th Anniversary party last year, talking about why you should support Ruckus!

Featured: Lian Alan, Nancy Hernandez, Ingrid Chapman, Lynn Stone, Armael Malinis, Hannah Strange, Dana Perls, Nisha Anand, Cy Wagoner

Build People Power.  Support Direct Action.  Donate today!

Day 20, Part I: John Sellers
December 31st

"Because nobody kicks more ass or takes more names than The Ruckus Society!"

'Nuff said, right?

Build People Power.  Support Direct Action.  Donate today!

Day 19: National Day Laborer Organizing Network
December 30th

Photos by Anita Sarkeesian, Diane Ovalle, Natalie Patrick-Knox, Parker Haeg

"In 2010, migrant rights leaders from Puente and the National Day Laborer Organizing Network sent out a call for the nation to support the frontlines of defense in Arizona against the long history of abuse carried out by Sheriff Arpaio in Maricopa County that was suddenly threatening to expand with the passage of the now notorious SB1070.

"The Ruckus Society is an organization who stood out among those who answered that call.  What is incredible is Ruckus' dedicated network of volunteers who arrive to do what's asked whether it be training or action strategy based upon a shared vision for a better world and a common understanding that it is affected people's direct action that will be the vehicle to get us there. Ruckus came to Arizona with the understanding that the local community leads, impacted groups define the terms and the goals of their own struggle, and principled strategic support can be critical to advancing those goals, especially in times of crisis.

"After collaborating on successful summers of human rights in Arizona in 2010 and Georgia in 2011, we partnered with Ruckus to share skills, strategy, and theory through a retreat in the winter of 2012 and an intensive action camp at the historic Highlander Center this summer. As part of our preparation for the No Papers No Fear Ride for Justice, Ruckus held the space for grassroots leaders of the migrant rights movement to be introduced to or reflect on the principles and foundation of non-violent action, how civil disobedience is implemented by affected communities, and how to carry out actions within strategies of broader community organizing campaigns.  Through it we advanced and sharpened our collective ability to effectively challenge anti-immigrants and at the same time win hearts and minds.

"As these times of escalated attack on all of our rights call for a bold response from the bottom-up, our partnership with Ruckus has been critical to both set an example of actions that inspire and share the skills to make their implementation accessible to frontline communities ready to fight back."

-National Day Laborer Organizing Network

Build People Power.  Support Direct Action.  Donate today!

Day 18: Scott Parkin
December 29th

Scott Parkin, a Ruckus trainer and Board member, campaigner at Rainforest Action Network, and Rising Tide North America organizer, says people should donate to Ruckus, because "it's not gonna come from corporations or the Koch brothers – it's gonna come from people like us."

Build People Power.  Support Direct Action.  Donate today!

Day 17: Bill McKibben
December 28th

Pictured: Bill McKibben learning to rappel at Ruckus's 15th Anniversary party in Oakland, September 2011

Build People Power.  Support Direct Action.  Donate today!

Day 16, Part II: Diego Ibañez
December 27th

Diego Ibañez, an Occupy Wall Street activist, attended our 2012 Action Camp in Tennessee this year:

Build People Power.  Support Direct Action.  Donate today!

Original photo by Jorge Torres

Day 16, Part I: Carlos Garcia
December 27th

Check out this video of Carlos Garcia, from the Puente Movement in Phoenix, Arizona, speaking about Ruckus's impact on his community while fighting SB1070 in Arizona:

Build People Power.  Support Direct Action.  Donate today!

Day 15: Chris Brooks
December 26th

Chris Brooks, E.D. at Chattanooga Organized for Action, shares a bit about what he gained from this summer's Action Camp, in this video taken at the Highlander Center in Tennessee during Camp!

Build People Power.  Support Direct Action.  Donate today!

Day 14: Somos Tuskaloosa
December 25th

“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, and plotted ideas for potential campaigns. The Ruckus Society helped us pull off a successful civil disobedience and march to protest the targeting of our [migrant] community’s children’s access to education. Accompanied by the UndocuBus No Papers, No Fear Ride for Justice, we called for our right to access to schooling, regardless of status, near the same spot where George Wallace once blocked the entrance of African American students. Thank you, Ruckus Society, for helping us make our vision possible!”

-Somos Tuskaloosa

Build People Power.  Support Direct Action.  Donate today!

Day 13: Ana Rodriguez
December 24th

"The Ruckus Society's 2012 Action Camp for Migrant Rights, for me, was... an opportunity to share skills, experience and bonds with folks coming together from social justice and direct action focuses, as well as a bridging of struggles seemingly divided within the politically active community. As an Earth First!er, an immigrant, and a migrant rights activist, I have wanted to participate in a space for skill-sharing between these networks. In particular, I have wanted to participate in a direct action dialogue geared towards communities affected and people of color, tackling the questions around responsible representation and supporting the work of communities affected using creative tactics (and when are these tactics appropriate when supporting and representing those who often cannot take certain risks due to documentation status, single-parent responsibilities, economic limitations, etc?).

"I think these expectations were met and I think that we all did some critical dialoguing, learning, growing, sharing and much needed networking together. I hope this is a sign that these spheres of specialization within the activist community will be working more closely together, participating and supporting each others' struggles more closely. I am very excited to see what will come next from the connections that were made at camp.

In grateful solidarity,
Ana Rodriguez"

Build People Power.  Support Direct Action.  Donate today!

Day 12: Gopal Dayaneni
December 23rd

Why support Ruckus?

"Because the rules are made by the rulers, and they keep changing the rules.  We are going to have to be willing to stand up and take action, break rules, and make new rules."

Check out Ruckus Board member and trainer Gopal Dayaneni (Movement Generation collective member) speaking about how Ruckus brings activists from all different movements together to pull off powerful action campaigns that are accountable to communities on the front lines:

Build People Power.  Support Direct Action.  Donate today!

Day 11: Michael Thurman
December 22nd

"The skills and experience I received at the Ruckus Action Camp are invaluable to my activist work. As a participant in the Blockades Track, I was able to employ techniques I learned at the Action Camp in my most recent action occupying an Obama campaign office in support of the accused Wikileaks whistle-blower Bradley Manning. These skills were essential to our action's effectiveness, and we were able to improvise and adapt to our situation, which enabled us to make a large statement that got our message across. I would encourage everyone to support the awesome folks with The Ruckus Society and the amazing work they do in any way they can."

-Michael Thurman
SF Bay Iraq Veterans Against the War,
Bradley Manning Support Network, Courage to Resist

Build People Power.  Support Direct Action.  Donate today!

Original photo by Brooke Anderson

Day 10: Sharon Lungo
December 21st

We're halfway through the 20 Days of Ruckus!  And today we're featuring none other than Ruckus Co-Director, Sharon Lungo.

"Because direct action gets the goods!  Because we push hard, but they push harder.  Whether we like to admit it or not - it's that time to put ourselves out there and take that risk."

Check out Sharon's video!:

Build People Power.  Support Direct Action.  Donate today!

Day 9, Part II: Michelle Martinez
December 20th

Today you get TWO testimonials!

Michelle Martinez in this video taken at the Highlander Center in Tennessee during this summer's Action Camp!

Check out what Michelle, an environmental justice activist from Detroit, has to say about what she gained from Ruckus Camp:

Build People Power.  Support Direct Action.  Donate today!

Day 9, Part I: B Loewe
December 20th

B Loewe, from the National Day Laborer Organizing Network, had this gem to say about why donating to Ruckus is money well-spent:

Pictured: 2012 Action Camp participants circling up at The Highlander Center
Original Photo by Natalie Patrick-Knox

Build People Power.  Support Direct Action.  Donate today!

Day 8: Jovana Renteria
December 19th

"I had the honor of attending a Ruckus camp this summer, and learned how to organize an action on my own from start to finish, strategize together, and see how important each area works with the other. I met a lot of people from different states fighting for the same cause, which gave me hope that we are not alone here in Arizona—we can all connect and make a bigger impact nationally and internationally. The instructors are very well trained and they guided us step by step with hands-on training, that makes a world of a difference. After Camp, I had the opportunity to go on the UndocuBus tour and the camp had prepared me to teach others on strategy, action arts, and how to use civil disobedience wisely. Ruckus camp really changed my life and opened my eyes to different possibilities that could be if we organize."

-Jovana Renteria,
Puente Movement, Phoenix, Arizona

Build People Power.  Support Direct Action.  Donate today!

Original Photo by Jesus Barraza

Day 7: Jordan Garcia
December 18th

“I’ve been doing immigrant justice work for almost 8 years now. A friend encouraged me to apply for Ruckus’s Training for Trainers for People of Color this Spring, and there I met some of the most engaging inspiring people I had met in years. The facilitators drew out our knowledge, and pushed us to deepen our analysis. They built on our experience and encouraged our connections. After the T4T, I attended the 5-day Action Camp at the Highlander Center. It was such a gift to be surrounded by humble teachers whose drive for justice mirrored my own. I’m excited to now join the Ruckus Trainers Network and use what I’ve learned to support movements for justice everywhere. I have no doubt that becoming a part of the network will be a life changing experience. I only hope I can give back to Ruckus close to what I’ve already taken away.”

-Jordan Garcia, Coloradans for Immigrant Rights
(and one of our newest action trainers!)

Build People Power.  Support Direct Action.  Donate today!

Day 6: Adrienne Maree Brown
December 17th

Why should you support Ruckus?

Movement Facilitator and Former Ruckus Executive Director, Adrienne Maree Brown, says if we don't stand up right now to take action and model the kind of world we want to live in, we can't expect things to go our way.  And we can't do this work without individuals who care and give from that caring place!

Build People Power.  Support Direct Action. Donate today!

Day 5: Yovany Díaz
December 16th

Build People Power.  Support Direct Action. Donate today!

Original Photo by Diane Ovalle

Day 4: Steph St. Clair
December 15th

"The 2012 Ruckus Action Camp in Tennessee was the highlight of my year! The opportunity to come together in such a historical spot to share stories, learn from one another, and grow and develop the skills needed to take our work to the next level was truly a wonderful experience.


As an organizer with Hand in Hand: The Domestic Employers Association, a member of the CA Domestic Workers Coalition, I was able to return home from five days of intensive training and workshops with tangible, concrete skills that directly supported our campaign for the California statewide Domestic Workers Bill of Rights.

"As a participant in the Arts track, I was able to bring back my training to the California Domestic Workers Coalition, and worked with our members and allies across the Bay Area to host an art party and generate posters, paintings, banners, a song + flashmob dance of domestic workers demanding “R-E-S-P-E-C-T” and beautiful giant puppets for a mass mobilization in Sacramento calling on Governor Jerry Brown to sign our Bill.

"Ruckus provides a unique opportunity for organizers and activists to deepen their work by grounding it in direct action strategy and training. I was able to share questions about my own campaign work, and think through ways to incorporate creative messaging, art, and direct action tactics to more effectively reach our campaign goals."

-Steph St. Clair
Hand In Hand, California Domestic Workers Coalition

Build People Power.  Support Direct Action. Donate today!

Day 3: Joshua Kahn Russell
December 14th

Why should you support The Ruckus Society?

Ruckus Trainer and Actions Coordinator for, Joshua Kahn Russell, says you should support Ruckus because direct action is the currency of change, and when you donate to Ruckus, all of your money is going to support people on the ground doing the work!

Build People Power. Support Direct Action. Donate today to Ruckus!

Day 2: Allen Gunn
December 13th

Ruckus Board member Allen Gunn thinks free speech is an endangered species in our political climate. With your support, Ruckus can continue helping communities flex these rights to win positive changes!

Build People Power. Support Direct Action.  Donate today to Ruckus!

Day 1: Julia Butterfly Hill
December 12th

"Ruckus is an absolutely vital part of the movement for a healthy planet, just society, and vibrant and thriving future. Their trainings are comprehensive and crucial in these challenging times; and their capacity to train up, support, and uplift the communities most in need is unparalleled in the United States. I have been a huge fan and a financial supporter of Ruckus for many years because I recognize the invaluable role they play in our movement. Ever since finding out about Ruckus, I have always said, "I wish I had a Ruckus training before going up into Luna!! It would have made such a HUGE difference for me!" No matter what issue it is you care about, you can bet Ruckus is supporting communities addressing those issues, helping them be as prepared and effective as possible. Your financial investment in Ruckus at this time is one that will grow the kind of change our country, our world, and our planet so deeply and desperately need at this time. Please join me in supporting Ruckus!"

-Julia Butterfly Hill