Safer Spaces Policy

The Free Hetherington is striving to be a permanent autonomous space where everyone can feel safe and comfortable. To make this happen, we have a Safer Spaces Agreement. By being here, we agree to respect the following ideas.

The basic tenet is respect – respect each other (our backgrounds, identities, ideas and bodies) – and respect the space we’ve created together.

  • Respect and look after the building as a physical space and a resource for all, try to leave it better than you found it. Extend the same to our neighbours.
  • Different areas within the building may be designated for different uses, please take care to consider these guides.
  • Everyone has an equal right to be heard, an equal responsibility to listen, and an equal opportunity in making decisions.
  • Those who are used to doing the talking, may feel it benefits them to do more listening, and vice versa.
  • However strongly you feel about a particular topic, do not accept that a discussion gets abusive.
  • Any behaviour – physical or verbal – that demeans, marginalises or dominates others, or perpetuates hierarchies, is not welcome.
  • If someone is feeling uncomfortable, do not hesitate to say so.
  • Identify your own privileges – the things that sometimes give you an easier ride than others – and actively challenge them.
  • Be prepared to be actively challenged, it should be a positive encounter
  • Be aware of the range of different identities (gender, race, class) that people may identify as, and avoid making generalisations, or assuming you know someone’s identity.
  • Be aware that anyone in the space could be a survivor of a particular form of oppression, for example, violence or racism.
  • It is everyone’s responsibility to challenge prejudice & oppression, and if we ignore it we are complicit in it.

This list is not exhaustive, and it is up to all of us to help create a space where everyone feels safe and included.

Free Hetherington, February 2011

(based on the safer spaces agreement of the Okasional café, thank you!)

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One Response to Safer Spaces Policy

  1. Pingback: Winter of Discontent: The Hetherington Occupation « LeftCentral

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