Statement on Maintaining Safer Spaces
The organizers of Rebel! Rebuild! Rewild! recognize that the dynamics of hierarchy, power and privilege that exist within society are also found within our movement. We believe that failing to address these dynamics prevents us from creating the world that we desire.
People participating in the camp are asked to be aware of their language and behaviour, and to think about whether it might be oppressive to others. R!R!R! is no space for violence, racism, ageism, sexism, transphobia, homophobia, ableism, sizeism, sleaziness, or touching another person without consent. Acting in a way that perpetuates oppression, including through language, is not acceptable.
We define oppressive behaviour as any conduct that demeans, marginalizes, rejects, threatens or harms anyone on the basis of ability, activist experience, age, cultural background, education, ethnicity, gender, immigration status, language, nationality, physical appearance, race, religion, self-expression, sexual orientation, species, status as a parent or other such factors.
Oppressive behaviour occurs every day, often in seemingly trivial ways. For example, interruptions, jokes, and oppressive language are common behaviours that reinforce power dynamics. Over time, such behaviours can develop into a pattern of oppression that is far more damaging than an isolated incident. Other individual acts may be more severe, involving physical and emotional violence.
Please keep the following in mind while interacting with others:
• Respect everyone’s physical and emotional boundaries. Ask first before touching, and listen and change your behaviour if someone tells you that you are making them uncomfortable.
• Check in before discussing topics that might be triggering (e.g. sexual abuse, sexual experiences, physical violence, or encounters with the police).
• Be responsible for your own actions. Be aware that your actions have an effect on others despite what your intentions may be.
• If you are called out for problematic behaviour, do not be defensive. Your intentions and character are not under attack, just the behaviour that is being challenged. Be open to understanding the role your behaviour has in other people’s experiences of oppression. Speak to an active listener. They are there to help. Active listeners will be identified by armbands.
• Respect the pronouns and names of everyone. Do not assume anyone’s gender identity, sexual preference, survivor status, economic status, background, health, etc.
• Respect people’s opinions, beliefs, experiences and differing points of view.
• We cannot guarantee a snitch-free or cop-free space. Please keep this in mind during any discussion at the camp.
• Be mindful of the presence of children and non-human animals. Don’t leave anything around that could endanger them.
A few things we are doing to make this camp as safe as possible:
This camp will be a SOBER SPACE. Recreational drugs and alcohol will not be permitted.
There will be a women-and/or-trans-identified-only camping area.
There will a be chill space, where folks can go to be supported if they are triggered or overwhelmed.
There will be a self-defense workshop for womyn.
There are active listeners onsite you can talk to. Each morning at Morning Circle, a member of the Safety Team will speak about the camp’s Safe(r) Space policy, and point out active listeners (who will be identified with armbands). This Safe(r) Space Policy will be posted in a high-traffic area of the camp, and will be included in the program.
If someone is violent or aggressive in an anti-social way, they will be escorted offsite by the Safety Team.
(Please keep in mind this policy is only as good as our willingness to have each other’s backs. Safety is a collective responsibility.)
Community Care Team
What the Community Care Team will offer:
• A Greeting Tent: At your arrival at camp, you will be greeted and welcomed with the intention of making the space accessible and safe for you and yours, taking note of whatever specific needs you may have at that moment in time
• A w*men’s (trans inclusive) and gender non-conforming Campground: In addition to the mixed campground accessible to folks of all genders, there will be a separate, more private campground for people who identify as wom*n and/or trans and/or genderfluid and/or two-spirit and/or non-binary. Three wom*n who are a part of the Community Care Team plan on camping there, and will make sure to be available if anyone has any concerns or specific needs in relation to safety in camping.
• Active listening : Active listeners will be identified at Morning Circle and will be wearing red arm bands all throughout their time in service, making themselves available to those in need of support in moments of vulnerability, emotional distress or concern if such situations do arise. There will also be an active listener present at certain specific moments in the Chill Space to welcome anyone in need of support of any kind. (Specific times will be mentionned at Morning Circle and made public at the ChillSpace itself.) Anyone who wants to volunteer as an active listener is welcome to do so at morning circle, and will receive information from the Community Care Team to ensure they understand the duty at hand.
• A Chill Space, Prayer/Silent Space, and Healing Room: One of the buildings on site will be available for all three purposes, one room being specifically for Reiki healings, First Aid and other potential methods of healing, another being specifically for prayer and silence (talking strongly discouraged), and another specifically as a room for finding solace in moments of overwhelm or trigger, whether it be alone, with a friend or an active listener. Access to First Aid Materials, whether so-called ”traditional” or ”alternative, will be in that same building.
• Child care: The Community Care Team seeks to ensure that parents have the opportunity to get an occasional break if they need to, while also acknowledging the autonomy and dignity of children as whole human beings.
• A specific intention to bring heart centered presence and community solidarity energy to the camp.