1. Our values and working principles
Code Rood recognises that our struggle for climate justice is iherently linked with fighting the underlying systems of inequality and oppression. Therefore we want all active members and those participating in Code Rood to be committed to examining and challenging the way that power and privilege manifest themselves within our own organisation.
Social and ecological justice and anti-oppression work must be lived and interwoven into our daily interaction to make our movement strong and diverse. As such we want our work to be marked by principles and practices that steer us towards collective liberation, a just world for all that lives. Therefore we have high expectations of how we behave towards each other in our meetings, actions and social spaces.
This means: We all make a continuous effort to make our meetings inclusive and supportive spaces, where people can thrive as we work collectively towards our goals. We will not accept but proactively challenge expressions of oppression, repression & hierarchy such as: racism, sexism, ageism, homophobia, transphobia, ableism or prejudice based on ethnicity, nationality, class, gender, gender presentation, language ability, asylum status or religious affiliation.
We recognise that in our own upbringings we are socialized into reproducing these oppressive dynamics and behaviours, endorsed by politics, media, school and people around us. It is not surprising that it results in language or behaviour that consciously or unconsciously reproduces and sustains oppression.
To tackle these systems and to embody an inclusive movement for collective liberation it takes knowledgeable intervention and a commitment to careful, active listening, a willingness to speak up, learn, and acknowledge mistakes. We believe in supporting each other in this work. We also raise these issues with external allies, collaborators and partners. We expect others to raise them with us.
We are aware that this is a constantly evolving process, and that it can raise difficult questions and uncomfortable situations.
We work according to the following values and principles:
- Privilege; Be aware of the space you take up and the positions and privileges you bring – including racial, class and gender privilege as well as less obvious or invisible hierarchies such as age or experience. Think about how your words, opinions and feelings are influenced and come across, and who they might exclude or harm.
- Language; Be aware of the language you use in discussion and how you relate to others. Try to speak clearly and don’t use unnecessary complicated language.
- Respect; recognise that we try not to judge, put each other down or to compete. Foster a spirit of mutual respect: listen to the wisdom everyone brings to the group.
- Labour; please appreciate diversity of labour. Contribute what you can; this will be different for everyone. We attempt to create a work environment where skillshare is facilitated and criticism is offered in constructive ways.
- Collective responsibility; Ensuring a safe space is a collective responsibility and an important part of allyship. At the same time, everyone is also personally responsible for their own behaviour. If you witness behaviour that is harmful to another person in the group don’t be a bystander and don’t assume that it is the survivors’ sole responsibility to address inadequate behaviour.
- Calling out/ Receiving criticism; Fostering an environment where criticism can be given and received in a safe and constructive manner is an important basis for practicing critical solidarity. If you have acted or spoken harmfully, even if unintentionally, someone will bring this up with you. While we are unapologetic about repressive behaviour we also want to consider the ways we offer criticism in order to facilitate a process of learning rather than exclusion. If you receive criticism, listen and reflect on what they are saying even if you think they may be wrong. Don’t try to absolve yourself of responsibility.
- Learning; We are each responsible for our own learning and, if we feel able, for sharing it with others. We all have our own background and set of knowledge and experience, we all have different starting points and we all have different levels regarding particular issues. This is okay and if you don’t understand something feel free to ask. It can happen that instead of engaging in a deeper conversation you may be directed to a book, website or skillshare to learn more.
- Security; don’t use or share the names/details of people who have been involved in organising and carrying out our actions without their consent. This makes sure that journalists, police or other unknown people don’t hold information that could put a member of our community at risk. Journalists and researchers need to have contacted us beforehand to ask for permission to attend the event. This should be done by sending us an email including a description of their work and reasons for why they would like to attend a gathering or meeting.
- Consent; before you touch anyone or discuss sensitive topics ask if they are comfortable with that. Don’t assume your physical & emotional boundaries are the same as that of other people.
- Social; Like other communities we build social relationships outside of meetings and actions. We commit to this Safer Spaces policy wherever we are together. This includes ensuring as much as is feasible that meeting spaces are accessible to the widest range of people who believe in climate justice and collective liberation.
Be aware of what you consider to be different; try and contemplate on that and be careful to inquire in a reflex on it.
A no is a no; when someone is clearly stating their personal or professional boundaries are reached, you refrain from further pushing or demanding clarity for yourself (and you seek feedback from someone you consider to be wise about it).
2. Breaking patterns of inequality, dominance and oppression (procedure)
If we encounter unacceptable or harmful behaviour in any of our meetings, we attempt to use non-violent communication techniques to point out the harmful behaviour and seek solutions and better practices. It is our aim to address issues immediately whenever possible. Be sure to let people have their say without interrupting.
Anyone in the group can speak up about unacceptable, harmful behaviour. If you feel unable to speak up, please reach out to another person in the group and ask for help. Don’t feel like you have to deal with a bad situation on your own; we are all responsible for the well-being of everybody in the group. If someone asks you for help, listen carefully to needs and feelings and develop a plan together to address the issue.
If you raise an issue, you can address it in the group or talk privately to the person whose behaviour was disrespectful, hurtful or inappropriate. We aim to use these situations as learning moments, to grow as individuals and as a group, so please be open to feedback and try to ensure a facilitating environment for learning. Take care to raise the issue with the right people and to prevent the spreading of rumours and give those involved the opportunity to first resolve it.
In case a situation cannot be resolved during a meeting and is severely hindering the group to continue, it is possible to ask (for) a person to leave the group or meeting – facilitation can help. In some situations, removing someone from the group or meeting is necessary to protect other members of the group or the work in progress.
If you have encountered unacceptable or harmful behaviour and you are not able to seek or find help in your group, or the group is unable to successfully address the issue, you can reach out to the Code Rood Confidentiality Committee. The Code Rood Confidentiality Committee is available to listen, to advice or to make an intervention. The names and contact details of the people in the Committee can be found [….]
3. Code Rood Confidentiality Committee
The members of the Code Rood Confidentiality Committee are assigned by the different working groups represented in the Copla. We will strive for the Committee to consist of a diverse group of people of 3 to 5 people. Preferably the Committee aims to include people of different genders, people of colour and members of the LGBTIQ+ community. The members of the Committee are active members of the Code Rood community who will be supported by Code Rood to receive trainings in non-violent communication and or mediation.
They may occasionally give workshops and trainings to strengthen a safer space environment within Code Rood.
Apart from being available to support and provide guidance in issues that are brought to them, they can also take a pro-active role in addressing emerging concerns before they become issues.
You can reach out to the Committee for: Advice or an Intervention. The committee treats all conversations with confidentiality.
- Advice: The Committee can offer advice on how to talk about a certain issue, how to give feedback, how to find support etc.
- Intervention: The Committee can engage in conversation with a person that behaved inappropriately to resolve the issue, or develop a different process to deal with conflict. The Committee is mandated by the working groups to take action in conversation with the people involved. Respecting people’s privacy is always a priority. The Committee can set boundaries, make agreements or, in exceptional cases, take the decision to tell somebody to leave Code Rood. The values and principles as stated above are guiding.
To make sure that the principles and practices of the Safer Space Policy will be integrated and enforced in our working culture as effectively as possible we will take the following measurements:
- The long version of the Safer Space Policy will be published on our website.
- We will make sure that during all our public meetings, may it be an action conference, camp, working group meeting or info event, copies of the Safer Space Policy are available and visibly spread in the room and the facilitator should refer to its existence.
- Particularly during events with many new people (parts) of the Safer Space Policy should be read out loud or relevant passages be summarized and communicated to the participants.
- New people to a working group should be made aware of the existence of the Safer Space Policy and strongly encouraged to read it. Any ‘older’ working group members should feel responsible to make sure that this information is communicated. Definitely, the facilitator on that day or the working group coordinator should pay attention to this.
- For the upcoming 2 months we will read (parts) of the Safer Space Policy during the CoPla meetings