Safer Spaces Policy
We want Manchester Social Centre to be a permanent autonomous space where everyone can feel safe and think a Safer Spaces Agreement supports the realisation of this. The basic tenet is respect – respect each other (our backgrounds, identities, ideas and bodies) – and respect the space we’ve created together. Here it goes…
- Everyone has an equal right to be heard and an equal responsibility to listen (people who are used to talking may feel the benefit of listening more, and vice versa).
- Respect and look after the building as a physical space and a resource for all.
- However strongly you feel about a particular topic, resist abusive discussions.
- Any behaviour – physical or verbal – that demeans, marginalises or dominates others, or perpetuates hierarchies, is not welcome.
- Identify your own privileges – the things that sometimes give you an easier ride than others – and actively challenge them.
- Be aware of the range of different identities (gender, race, class) that people may identify with, and avoid making generalisations, or assumptions about people.
- Always refer to people using their preferred pronouns. If you’re unsure, ask.
- Be aware that anyone in the space could be a survivor of a particular form of oppression, for example, violence or racism.
- If you are feeling uncomfortable, please don’t hesitate to raise this, or ask someone else to raise it on your behalf.
- It is everyone’s responsibility to challenge prejudice & oppression, and if we ignore it we are complicit in it. As much as possible, try and challenge people in a way that is constructive, rather than demeaning.
- People who are not willing to abide by this safe spaces policy are excluding themselves from the space, and will be asked to leave.
This list is not exhaustive and it is up to all of us to help create a space where everyone feels safe and included.
Groups who wish to create a temporary safe space, meeting space or workshop space for a particular group are welcome to do so (disabled, women, lgbtq, black and any others…)