saferspaces_0“A safer space is a supportive, non-threatening environment that encourages open-mindedness, respect, a willingness to learn from others, as well as physical and mental safety. It is a space that is critical of the power structures that affect our everyday lives. Everyone who enters a safer space has a responsibility to uphold the values of the space.” – 2015 Golden West Music Festival.

Ethos

Auckland Peace Action is committed to providing a safe and harassment-free experience for all Auckland Peace action participants ; regardless of gender, gender identity/expression, sexual orientation, ability, physical appearance, ethnicity, size, race, or religion. This applies to all meetings, events, demonstrations and online platforms hosted by Auckland Peace Action.

We will not tolerate harassment at Auckland Peace Action events. Organisers and volunteers will be available to ensure that events are as safe and accessible as possible.

Being non-racist, non-sexist, non-homophobic is not enough. We believe we must be actively anti all forms of oppression.

Guidelines for all participants:

Contribute to making Auckland Peace Action events safe spaces enjoyable and inclusive. Look out for each other. Respect the physical, emotional, and mental boundaries and the safety of our fellow peace activists.

As an participants in Auckland Peace Action Events, we ask that you take responsibility for your behaviour and understand the ways in which it can affect others. We value freedom of expression, but not at the cost of alienating or harming other members and participants.

People who are unwilling to discuss and correct their harmful behaviour will be immediately excluded from our events with no exceptions.

Doing it Together

Whether or not it directly affects you, we encourage participants to call people out for their unsafe inappropriate and harassing behavior if this can be done safely. If you do feel comfortable speaking up when someone is inappropriate, we ask that you refrain from confrontational behaviour that may spark aggression. It is more effective to quietly talk to the person and point out that they are making someone uncomfortable, rather than publicly humiliating them or using physical force.

Sometimes it could be as simple as saying: ‘I think women are just as able to fix a bike as men are’ or ‘that sounded a bit racist, can you explain what you meant?’ If a person is invading another’s personal space and failing to read body language, you could say “I don’t think they’re cool with that, would you mind giving them some space?”

Safe Space Team

A team of Auckland Peace Action volunteers will be visible and available during Auckland Peace Action events to talk to participants about any problematic behaviour or situation and to offer support.

A Safe Space zone will offer a calm and supportive environment away from the stages and crowds. We will have a phone available to contact a range of support lines if needed.

The tuff stuff…

Auckland Peace Action Safe Space Volunteers reserve the right to ask participants who have made others feel uncomfortable, threatened, or unsafe to change or address their behaviour or language. If the person is unwilling or unable to do so they will be asked to leave the event.

Harmful Behaviour Includes but is not limited to:

  • making racist, sexist, classist, transphobic, homophobic, ableist, or fat-phobic comments of any kind
  • catcalling or sexual harassment
  • failure to respect the physical and/or emotional safety of others
  • failure to read body language and consequently invading the personal space of others
  • cultural appropriation
  • generally disrespecting other attendees rights to participate and have an enjoyable time at our events.

We stand strongly against all forms of racism including Islamophobia and antisemitism, antisemitic organisations, racist symbols, antisemitic conspiracy theories, or people with racist or antisemitic views.

Additional Guidelines for attending Auckland Peace Action Events

Maintain non-violence at all times: During our actions, people present on site will abstain from any physical or verbal violence, including insults, towards our members and participants at our events.

Weapons: No weapons or things appearing as weapons. Items that are obviously props or for theatrical purposes are okay as long as it is clear they are not real weapons.

Drugs and alcohol: Individuals present on the site of our actions will not consume alcohol or mood-altering drugs.

Masks and hoods: We prefer that individuals present on the site of our actions do not attempt to hide their identity from others, whether by wearing a mask, hood or other disguise. We encourage people to be open and approachable to others, and recognise that the way that they look – and any decision to conceal their identity – conveys a message both about them and the action as a whole that may be damaging. Obvious exceptions to this rule are those who may cover their faces for artistic, cultural, safety or religious reasons.

Peacekeeping: A nonviolent peacekeeping service, primarily geared towards information and citizen-based intervention will ensure that the guidelines are respected on the site of our actions. This is in order for the actions to unfold as planned, while maintaining their nonviolent character and, as much as possible, protecting everyone from physical harm.

Hate Symbols: Please do not bring swastikas or any other racist symbol even if they are only intended to be a political analogy or a criticism of a country’s policy. If they want to criticise policy you can do it in words but not with symbols which can evoke stressful feelings among people who were persecuted by racist symbols. As examples, it is not OK to use the Nazi swastika on US flags. It is fine to use the whole of the Israeli flag for criticism (such as with a NOT sign through it), but not the Star of David alone as that is representative of Jewish people. Please be mindful of your messages and what you really want to communicate.

Please be aware at all times of power.

Abusive situations are often created when people are unaware of the power they have in a relationship or situation.

Gender, sexuality, size, physical impairment, ethnicity, age, class, education, mental health, who you know and how well you know them can all affect how much power a person has in any situation.

Don’t assume everyone feels as comfortable as you do, or is completely able to inform you if you are saying and doing hurtful things.

We understand that everyone makes mistakes but hurting others isn’t ok.

We hope that this will give an idea of some ways to make things right and take responsibility for mistakes which have hurt people.

If any of Auckland Peace Action volunteers make others feel unsafe or hurt, please let one of the Safe Space Core Team members know.

We welcome Feedback or complaints.

Thank you for taking the time to read through our Safe Space Policy. We can only make our space safe with your support. We are so lucky to have such a positive and loving community, and we are glad that we can do our bit to help to create safer spaces. We believe this policy is an important and valuable way to address some of the issues that people can experience when attending public events. If you have feedback, please feel free to contact us at aucklandpeaceaction@gmail.com

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