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The Ruckus Society

John Sellers & Han Shan
369 15th St.
Oakland, CA 94612-3033

The Ruckus Society is a non-profit California corporation 501(c)(3), which provides training in the skills of non-violent civil disobedience to help environmental and human rights organizations achieve their goals. Direct action has long been a catalyst for social change. From the struggle for civil rights to the development of the modern environmental movement, creative nonviolent protest has played a critical role in galvanizing activists, educating the public and shaping the debate over many important issues. Since forming Ruckus in October of 1995, Ruckus has trained and assisted hundreds of activists in the use of non-violent civil disobedience. We either bring activists to us or we go to them. Our showcase venue is Action Camp. Through these trainings, we help people learn the skills they need to practice civil disobience safely and effectively. These trainings contain cerebral elements as well as physical, like classroom-style instruction for action planning, communicating with the media and non-violent philosophy and practice. Safety and non-violence are integral themes of each subject taught.

John Sellers - As Director, John provides political vision and teaches a variety of Ruckus' workshops. However, he is most comfortable in creative confrontations with "the Man" during nonviolent direct actions. He worked with Greenpeace for six years during the nineties, coordinating dozens of actions throughout the US. In 1995 he sailed with the SV Rainbow Warrior in the North Atlantic and Mediterranean to halt drift net fishing. In the last six years he has travelled extensively throughout North America coordinating direct actions for Rainforest Action Network, Earth First!, Project Underground, International Campaign for Tibet, Global Exchange, The United Steel Workers of America and many others. In June of 2000 he was permanently removed from Canada (his favorite country in North America).

Han-Shan - As Program Director, Han is responsible for directing Action Camp curriculum, developing relationships with other grassroots activist organizations and coordinating Ruckus' involvement with various campaigns and events. He is also a Direct Action Coordinator and frequent media spokesperson for Ruckus. He has also been involved for years in the grassroots Tibetan liberation movement and sits on the Board of Directors of Students for a Free Tibet. Han grew up in Baltimore, Md. where he got his popular education in punk rock, hitchhiking, and barroom Buddhism. In Chicago, he received a more formal education in Painting and Philosophy at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Han came to The Ruckus Society as a Direct Action Climbing trainer. After a few years of painting houses and a brief time organizing Ruckus projects on the East Coast, he joined full time staff in the summer of 1999; first as WTO Action Coordinator in the months leading up to the Seattle demonstrations, and then as Program Director.


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