As an Anarchist Bookfair collective, we are opposed to all forms of hierarchy and oppressive behaviour, although we recognise that it exists – often in subtle ways – in many spaces, including potentially our own. We ask people – including ourselves in the Bookfair collective – to be mindful of different life experiences and the different privileges that many of us have, due to our gender, race, sexuality, class, educational background, and physical abilities etc.
It is the responsibility of all of us to challenge oppressive behaviour, in an appropriate way, when we see it. During discussions, we feel it is important that we treat others with respect; if you disagree with a person’s argument, attack their politics, rather than their person! We all make mistakes sometimes, and if someone uses language which you find unintentionally oppressive, please challenge them with respect and care. We want to create and maintain culture that allows us to question our learnt ideas and behaviors.
However, if the person is deliberately being harmful, that’s another matter. We understand that sometimes people are unwilling to learn or change their behaviour, and by not doing so they can create a space which is damaging to others as well as the class struggle movement. We encourage autonomous action if anyone is behaving in an unacceptable way at the Bookfair, especially if they seemingly intend to cause harm or disruption, and people think they should leave.
If anyone experiences or witnesses oppressive behaviour and needs support dealing with it, please find us at the Bookfair Infopoint/front desk (at Black Swan).