We Gather for Justice: Rural Caucus & Strategy Session

April 3rd, 2018

Dear ROPnet,
Every year rural and small town activists and organizers from across Oregon join together for the Rural Caucus & Strategy Session. The Caucus is the day we share organizing from across the state, reflect on our previous year and make plans for our rural human dignity movements in the year ahead. This year we are lining up a whole weekend of gatherings, celebrations, and actions on May 18th-20th in The Dalles, OR! Join us for:

  • Friday, May 18th at 5pm: Statewide Action in Solidarity with Hunger Strikers followed by a Community Dinner with keynote speaker Maru Mora-Villalpando from Northwest Detention Center Resistance!
  • Saturday, May 19th at 8:30am: Annual Rural Caucus & Strategy Session, followed by dinner and music!
  • Sunday, May 20th at 9am: ROP’s 2nd Rural People’s Movement Assembly
  • Who will represent your community this year? Register here by the early bird deadline on April 15th!

    We will kick off the weekend on Friday, May 18th with a statewide solidarity action with immigrants and refugees incarcerated at the Northwest Oregon Regional Correctional Facility (NORCOR), a local public jail. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has been transferring detained immigrants and refugees to NORCOR as a form of retaliation for their organizing in other detention centers. Immigrants and refugees held at NORCOR have demanded and end to this practice! They bravely went on hunger strikes twice to demand better conditions – hot food, jobs to pay for the astronomical costs for phone calls, programs that cut through the boredom of incarceration, milk, and in-person visits with family – and an end to the ICE contract with NORCOR. Join us for an action in solidarity to send a clear message that rural Oregon stands with the hunger strikers: ICE out of NORCOR! Our public institutions should not be used to support a system that inhumanely detains and deports millions of our neighbors!

    After the action, we will share a meal and come together as rural community leaders to hear the stories of those held at NORCOR, learn about the local organizing to end the contract with ICE and to hear from this year’s keynote speaker, Maru Mora-Villalpando, an organizer with NW Detention Center Resistance. For years, she’s been organizing with immigrants and refugees detained inside the NW Detention Center in Tacoma, supporting hunger strikes, demands for more human conditions and an end to detention and deportation. Maru’s work has been featured nationally, including on Democracy Now! NWDC Resistance works in collaboration with the Not1More! Campaign and the Detention Watch Network. Maru will share stories of detention resistance organizing, connecting our local work in small town Oregon to the larger regional and national strategies to end the systems of detention and deportation.

    Our weekend of incredible events doesn’t stop there! On Saturday we will come together as human dignity leaders from across rural Oregon to share our work, to learn from each other, and to build our skills and analysis for collective impact in the next year. This is our day to fellowship together, and celebrate our successes and we’ll end the day with a dinner and dance. On Sunday we will host the 2nd Rural People’s Movement Assembly where we will focus on building rapid response capacity around the state. See below for the full schedule of events.

    Don’t miss your chance to hear from Maru on Friday, May 18th in The Dalles and to share with rural human dignity groups from around the state on Saturday and Sunday!

    Early bird registration ends on April 15th. Register your group of 3-5 people today! Early registration also really helps ROP with logistics and making sure we can support folks in finding carpools, community housing and other things that ensure the Caucus is accessible to folks traveling in from all corners of the state. Join us for the full weekend if you can or for just the main event on Saturday! See you in The Dalles!

    Cara, Hannah, Jess, Cathy, Caroline and the ROP Team!

    Rural Organizing Project
    Annual Rural Caucus & Strategy Session
    May 18th-20th * The Dalles, Oregon

    Friday, May 18th

    Statewide Solidarity Action in Solidarity with Hunger Strikers at NORCOR (5pm): Rally in solidarity with immigrants and refugees detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and held at NORCOR, the regional public jail. Several hunger strikes inside the jail have led to some changes in conditions, but the primary demand has not been met yet: to end the ICE contract with NORCOR. Join us for the action and a community dinner where we will share strategies to defend our rural communities against detentions and deportations.

    Community Dinner (7-9pm): Following the NORCOR action, join us for a community dinner where we will share about local organizing to end the contract with NORCOR, hear messages and stories from hunger strikers and immigrants and refugees detained at NORCOR and hear from our keynote speaker, Maru Mora-Villalpando, NW Detention Center Resistance organizer, about the connections between the work at NORCOR and the larger movement to resist deportations and detentions. Let’s kick off our Caucus weekend with a community meal, a great keynote and an opportunity to break bread together.

    Saturday, May 19th

    Rural Caucus & Strategy Session (8:30am-5:30pm): ROP’s annual Rural Caucus & Strategy Session will bring together leaders from across Oregon to share stories and skills, build relationships and analysis, and advance plans to strengthen the movement for democracy and justice in rural and small town Oregon. Workshops, strategy sessions, plenaries and lots of time to share local strategies with one another.

    Dinner and dancing (6pm to when the cows come home!): Great live, local music, great food and new friends! You can’t ask for a better way to close out a powerful and moving day of strategizing together!

    Sunday, May 20th

    2nd Rural People’s Movement Assembly: Join groups from across the state that are rapidly responding to crises in their communities–from vigilante and state violence to climate disasters– to share strategies, tactics, and structures. Click here to learn more about the first People’s Movement Assembly on Rural Rapid Response! We will build off of lessons learned and ideas generated at the 1st Rural PMA and yesterday’s Caucus to strengthen our rapid resistance work in rural Oregon for the next year to come!