Awareness

“to be aware: to be aware, to inform yourself, to be sensitized to certain issues.”

We hope that the alliance process and the action camp will be a wonderful experience for everyone and that everyone can feel as comfortable as possible. Maybe this is utopic – but very desirable. Feeling good can only work for everyone, if we treat each other with care and respect. This includes sensitivity to our own behaviour in respect to other people. Please be aware of your own physical and emotional limits, as well as those of the other participants. Make sure that these limits are respected! If a (personal) boundary is violated and the affected person wants to be supported, they can contact the awareness team.

Awareness is a concept that opposes any form of violation of boundarys, violence and discrimination, e.g. through sexist, racist, ableistic, homo-or transphobic actions and attitudes.

Racism, sexism, homo- and transophobia and any form of discrimination are not tolerated in the alliance and the camp. Therefore, we ask you to treat each other with care and respect and to be open for the positions of others. Discriminatory and violating behaviour will be clearly identified as such. It will be resolutely opposed and those affected will be supported.

Discriminatory behaviour is part of our reality; although we do not want to, we all keep violating other people. This happens on the basis of our privileges and socialization. To overcome this, we want to acknowledge and react positively to criticism in order to change together. Often different feelings and points of view are mixed up, so that situations can become complex – we also try to perceive this and act accordingly.

The Awareness Team’s primary task is to be approachable for any affected person; to stand by him/her and to support him/her. A supporting person can also be helpful for the affected person, but this cannot be provided by the awareness group. For the support of the affected person, a safe-place will be provided. Here the affected person finds someone listening to his/her perspective of the critical situation. Here the affected person is not questioned or judged, nor he/she is forced to get in contact with the violating person. The task of the awareness team includes to create a setting in which an affected person feels comfortable, can come to rest and his or her self-esteem gets rebuild. It is about overcoming the feeling of powerlessness and conveying that personal boundarys – no matter where they lie – are completely okay.

We respect the self-defined inner knowledge of the affected person. That means we do not question that the person has experienced a situation in which his or her personal boundary was violated. We are aware that the perception of the person’s experience does not have to be shared by everyone necessarily. It is not about judging actions or motivations. It is more a question of being able to name an action as cross-boundary. We do not equate self-defined inner knowledge with power of action over others. The fact that every person has the right to name his or her own perception of what happened does not mean that we want to leave it up to the person concerned to determine how we deal with the situation. In principle, however, we are biased, i.e. we stand beside the affected person and try to act in his or her interest.

We understand advocacy as an inner attitude that arises from the belief that oppression and domination structurally exist in our society and affect interpersonal relations. This may play a role in the situation, not necessarily people affected are marginalised. We believe that affected persons know best what they need. We want to support them, as long as our own personal limits are respected. In the event of boundary violations that exceed the team’s scope for action, it is their task to get professional help.

We will provide a information stand, where you can get in contact with the awareness team or find help in dealing with uncomfortable situations.

We will organize safe-spaces during the meetings and the camp.

We hope for a solidary community without discrimination and violence. We think everyone is responsible to make this happen!

You can contact us via: kontakt-awareness-aktionscamp (at) riseup.net. Our public PGP you can find here.

Definitions

Principle of consensus

Consensus means that all participants agree with what is happening. It also means that all participants know what is meant, that everyone wants it and that everyone can say ‘stop’ at any time and there is no discussion about it. Consensus also means that nobody does anything against his own will or against the will of other people involved, whereby the power over one’s own body comes first. (from unpublished bachelor thesis: “Rapeculture und Recht – Diskursive Konstruktionen von Rapeculture im Rahmen der Implementierung der strafrechtlichen Regelung des sexuellen Missbrauchs von Kindern (§ 176 StGB)”).

Before any sexual/physical act, the explicit and voluntary consent of all parties involved should be obtained. Only consent means yes, everything else means no. No answer=No consent

Self-defined inner knowledge

This concept provides that the affected person is the only person who can define at wich point her/his personal boundary is violated. Situations are perceived differently from person to person, so there can be no universal definition of assault/violation. The self-defined inner knowledge refers to a specific case.

Advocacy

Having an advocate attitude means to stand aside those exploited/ oppressed by power relationships. To our conviction this is more than necessary. Awareness work means we absolutely stand beside the affected person – we show solidarity!

Adultism

Adultism is composed of the english word adult and the suffix -ism. Adult means a grown-up person. The suffix -ism often refers to a structural social power. In the terms sexism, racism, ableism (‘disability’), ageism (‘hostility towards the elderly’) and heterosexism or homophobia (hostility towards homosexual persons). Adultism describes how adults deal with the imbalance of power that exists between children and young people on the one hand and adults on the other. The term refers to the attitude and behaviour of adults who assume that they are more intelligent, more competent, simply better than children and adolescents simply because of their age. Therefore, they disregard opinions and views of younger persons. Adultism is a social structure of power and discrimination that is maintained by traditions, laws and social institutions. (ManuEla Ritz „Handbuch Kinderwelten. Vielfalt als Chance – Grundlagen einer vorurteilsbewussten Bildung und Erziehung“ Hrg. Petra Wagner / Verlag Herder GmbH Freiburg im Breisgau 2008

Ableism

Ableism is a discriminatory behaviour against people designated by others to be physically or mentally retarded. At societal level, social exclusion and prejudices are institutionally substantiated. (http://www.genderinstitut-bremen.de/glossar/ableismus.html)

Transgender people

(also: transgender) are all those who cannot or do not want to live in the sex to which they were assigned at birth. This includes transsexuals, drags, transidents, cross-dressers and many more. (http://www.transinterqueer.org/ueber-triq/begriffsklarung/)

Intersex people

(also: intersexuals, and hermaphrodites) are persons who are born with physical characteristics that are medically considered “sexually ambiguous”. Recently, the term “DSD” (Disorders of Sexual Development) is increasingly preferred by the medical profession, which is strongly criticized by many initiatives of intersex people.

The umbrella term Inter* is a term that has developed out of the community and which, as emancipatory and identitary, describes the diversity of inter-gender realities and physicalnesses. (http://www.transinterqueer.org/ueber-triq/begriffsklarung/)

Queer living people

refers to all those whose gender (a more accurate term is gender expression) or sexuality cannot be covered by the common categories of the two-gender order. They do not necessarily have to define themselves as transgender or intersex (http://www.transinterqueer.org/ueber-triq/begriffsklarung/)

Lookism

Discrimination against persons who do not fit the “beauty normatives” of society: thin, white, “fit”,…

Racism

Discrimination on the basis of a read “race”. The term race itself is problematic as it implies that there are “races”. However, there is no biological evidences, that humans can be divided into different races. Therefore, we think that it is wrong to use the term race if it comes to persons.

PoC

People of colour (PoC) is a self-choosen term to describe people affected by racism.

Classism

Discrimination on the basis of the “social class” (education, property, social position of the family).

For further Information (german) you can visit the following website:

Safer/Braver Spaces: Raumpolitik und Unterstützer*innen*-Initiative gegen (sexualisierte) Gewalt (Awarenessgruppe Basel)