It’s crucial that we do not recreate structures in our groups that would silence people who are already silenced in society. To this end, the edinburgh anarcha feminist kollective operates a ‘safer spaces’ agreement in our meetings and at our events.
We believe that everyone has an equal right to be heard & an equal responsibility to listen; and everyone has a responsibility to challenge prejudice & oppression. Aggressive behaviour is not conducive to this, and airing belittling views or impinging on another’s right to speak is not tolerated. Instead we aim to cultivate an atmosphere that promotes open and fair discussion at all times.
- Everyone has an equal right to be heard and an equal responsibility to listen.
- Those who are perhaps used to doing the talking, may feel it benefits them to do more listening, and vice versa. Similarly, don’t talk over people and let other people finish what they are saying before you speak.
- Be aware of the diverse makeup of the room – differing genders, sexualities, beliefs, views and past experiences. Thus avoid making sweeping generalisations, as they are prone to error.
- Regardless of the topic, do not let the discussion get abusive, and stick to discussing the idea/topic, not the person or people who raised it.
- If someone gets upset about something you have said, try to think about why that might be instead of getting defensive.
- If someone is feeling uncomfortable, please do not hesitate to say so.
- Listen, especially if you do not understand a topic. If you wish clarification on a topic, ask respectfully and listen to the answer.
- Everyone has a responsibility to challenge prejudice and oppression.
- Should a problem arise in the room, that problem will be discussed within the group, and in extreme cases, someone may be asked to leave.