Safer spaces

• We aim to make all our meetings and events welcoming and inclusive for all people, particularly those often marginalised from activist spaces. People come to our spaces with differing backgrounds and levels of experience, and everyone should feel free and able to participate equally.

• Informal hierarchies can emerge for a number of reasons, and we try to design our meeting spaces to combat this tendency. It can be due a person’s relative privilege and the confidence that can bring. It can be through them having more experience of activist environments. Or it can simply be because long term members will have created closer bonds with one other. We must make ourselves aware of these disparities of power in order to make our spaces supportive and accessible.

• We try to make ourselves aware of the relations of power within both wider society and our own groups. As a diverse group of people we will encounter many different forms of oppression, such as ableism, classism, homophobia, racism, sexism and transphobia. Our individual experience of how these interact will be complex and unique. In aiming to create an atmosphere of solidarity we must always be respectful of others’ individual perspectives.

• A person may not always be aware when they have acted inappropriately or are dominating someone else. We hope to create environments where people feel able and supported in speaking out when they feel attacked or marginalised, or when they see it aimed towards others.

• If you are accused of inappropriate or oppressive behaviour, as difficult as it may be, please try to respond with humility, respect and empathy. You may not agree with the accusation, but the fact that a person has felt hurt enough to speak out should be our first concern. By putting the emotional needs of others above our desire to explain and excuse our actions, we help the individual to feel supported, and in the long run create a space where everyone feels respected.

• This document is a flexible guideline, and how we apply it must always be sensitive to the situation at hand. It should be periodically reviewed to ensure that it remains relevant and effective, and responds to changing needs.