Safer Space Policy (SSP) of the London Free School, or a welcome note to try to make everyone feel as comfortable and safe as possible!
Safer spaces is a concept that talks about creating spaces and relationships that are safe. A SSP is more than a document or a set of rules it is an ongoing process and a goal that we all work towards! Safer spaces are welcoming, inviting and engaging. They include respect for others, no discrimination, oppression, exclusion or marginalisation based on sex/gender, race, sexuality, class, age, ability, religion, parental or relationship status…
The London FreeSchool would like every participant to enjoy the event in a relaxed atmosphere, but also to understand the political meaning and the impact that their behaviour and words can have on others.
There are all sorts of oppressions in our world, sometimes we are oppressors, sometimes we are oppressed. Even not intentionally. we can all do or say something that would hurt or be abusive to someone.
Therefore it is necessary to interrogate and challenge ourselves and each other. As part of this we need to accept and be responsive and open to the possibilities of being challenged, and someone saying “THAT IS NOT OK”. We think that being challenged is very useful, and we try to see it as constructive criticism. Also we all are expected to take responsibility for the things we say/do. If it is clear that there is no will to deal with the issue in a positive and constructive way, the person who’s been challenged may be asked to leave.
At this space we ask everyone not to make too many assumptions about people‘s gender identity, background or abilities. Better asking than assuming! Let’s be aware of how much gender binaries are embedded in our language, and allow each person to define and redefine themselves as they wish.
To help us think about gender oppression and emancipation the workshops are to end with a kind of debrief wherein participants are welcome to express how they felt about the workshops, the dynamics of the group during it, or if they felt uncomfortable/oppressed/unsafe/silenced at any time.
We feel that it would be better if people kept the space alcohol, drug and smoke free during the workshops, thanks! Not necessarily because of the substances themselves but because they can sometimes alter and make us feel less responsible of our behaviours.