The group endeavours as much as is feasible to ensure that meeting spaces are as accessible as possible to the widest range of people.Therefore, we ask everyone to carefully read through these points and reflect on them before coming to and while being at the Food Autonomy Festival.
Racism, as well as ageism, homophobia, sexism, transphobia, ableism or prejudice based on ethnicity, nationality, class, gender presentation, sexuality, language ability, asylum status or religious affiliation is unacceptable and will be challenged.
This list is not exhaustive, but simply a way to start thinking about systemic struggles that are present in our societies. If you have any additions or criticisms, feel free to reach out to us!
Respect each other’s physical and emotional boundaries.
Not everyone likes to be touched (such as hugged, kissed or shaken hands for greeting). Always get explicit verbal consent before touching someone or crossing boundaries.
Be aware of the space you take up and the positions and privileges you bring.
Due to our race, religion, gender, sex, ability, class etc., we have different experiences in society. Ask yourself how you relate to a certain discussion, what position you hold and whether you are concerned by it. If you are concerned by it, you can tell others, if not, give others the space to speak.
Do not other BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Colour).
Racism is a problem because it is built into systems designed and upheld by white people. If you are white, please do not hesitate to make yourself accountable if you hear a racist comment being made. Do not assume where people may come from on the basis of them being a person of color. Do not exoticize BIPOC: e.g. do not say things like “I love BIPOC” or “You have this in your blood”, and do not touch the hair of BIPOC.
Avoid assuming the opinions and identifications of other participants.
Identifications are not always visible. Instead of assuming other people’s identities, let them speak for themselves. For example: Do not assume people’s gender identity; and remind yourself that many disabilities are not visible.
When consuming substances such as alcohol or weed, make sure to check with everyone around you whether they feel comfortable.
Do not offer substances to people without knowing whether they want it. This can be triggering for people.
People make different decisions, depending on their experiences.
Depending on our paths, people have different needs and not all lifestyles are accessible and safe for everyone. Try not to judge, put each other down or compete. For example: It’s easier to tell yourself that you’ll live on very little money if you have a safety net (family, studies…) than if you grew up in a precarious situation.
Do not infantilize people with disabilities.
Always talk to them directly, also if it might take more time or is more complicated. Respect everyone’s autonomy, it is not an act of generosity to make spaces accessible, but everyone’s collective responsibility.
Be aware of the language you use in discussions and how you relate to others.
Try to speak slowly and clearly and use uncomplicated language. Explain terms that might not be known by everyone. Some terms that are used in academia or activist circles might be unfamiliar to or might be interpreted differently by people.
Foster a spirit of mutual respect: Listen to the wisdom everyone brings to the group.
Give each person the time and space to speak. In large groups, or for groups using facilitation: Raise your hand to speak and wait until the facilitator has given you the word.
Ask before taking pictures of people.
Do not silence the words and emotions of others.
Some discussions can bring up strong emotions, especially when you are directly affected by the subject of the discussion. Don’t try to calm someone’s anger or other emotions, especially if you are not directly involved in the situation. Keep in mind that BIPOC and working class people often have their speech cut off because they are too angry.
… you hurt someones feelings?
If someone tells you that they are hurt by what you said or did, acknowledge their experience. Try to acknowledge feelings of defensiveness arising in yourself. This is not an attack on your personality, but someone is simply sharing with you how they experienced something you did or said. Try not to interrupt the other person, but rather try to understand what they are trying to tell you.
… someone violates the agreements?
If the agreements above are violated, a discussion or mediation process can happen, depending on the wishes of the person who was violated. If a serious violation happens to the extent that someone feels unsafe, the person can be asked to leave the space and/or speak with a person nominated by those present.
Whilst ground rules are a collective responsibility, everyone is also personally responsible for their own behaviour. People are also responsible for the behaviour of their non-human being friends.
Respect the person: challenge their behaviour.
If you see that someone does something that makes other people feel uncomfortable, don’t hesitate to talk to them.
There will be an awareness team at the festival, that is marked visibly. You can always go and talk to them, ask for advise/help or express your needs.
Large parts of this text were inspired by the camp charter of the Climate Justice Camp and the Climate Justice Network
For more inspiration you can check out this link : https://rayonnantes2021.noblogs.org/en-US/systemic-struggles/