On Safer SpacesPosted: April 27, 2012
With full recognition that we live in a white-supremacist, patriarchal, capitalist society we cannot declare any event to be a completely safe space from racist or gendered violence and harassment, whether at the hand of the police or others. We do however assert our own abilities and support the initiatives of others to make all May Day events at least “safer” spaces. We are inspired by the example set by a group of individuals as a “circle of protection” to defend one individual from the harassment of a man named Ben Pearson and to demonstrate through words and actions that issues of gendered violence are structural, not interpersonal. They base the circle of protection on four goals:
1.Empowerment – To trust in our possibilities, in our concepts and our own definitions. We must build this power because we come from dis-empowered positions.
2.Autonomy – The refusal to rely on existing structures to act from our own positions of empowerment outside of institutions entrenched in oppressive power structures. Building our own methods and structures so that we are creating the world we want now.
3.Self-Defense – Our inherent right to defend ourselves from aggressors/abusers.
4.Safety/Safer Spaces – A space where emotional, physical and spiritual well-being are respected. When these are challenged, we are able to maintain our autonomy and right to self-defense so that we may act to make our spaces safer.
For those who want to support their goals the circle asks for Solidarity and defines Solidarity as:
“Acting from the understanding that your struggle is reflected in the struggles of others and strengthening each others positions without compromising each others goals.”
And should Ben Pearson show up, or any other situation which requires actions for safer-space we will act in solidarity with the goals of the circle, for we see their struggle connected inherently with our own.