Smash HLS recognizes that the oppression of animals exists within a larger context of systematic oppression, and that the fight for animal liberation must mean actively resisting all forms of oppression. We must challenge not only speciesism, but also racism, sexism, ableism, homophobia, classism, transphobia, and other forms. We recognize that resisting oppression is a process, and we ask that you join us in consistently working to make spaces safer and more inclusive, and to be open to discussing ways to do so. We invite thoughts on how to better create safer and inclusive spaces, and we ask for respect for anyone who brings up concerns about oppressive behavior.
– Oppressive behavior of any form will not be tolerated, and a process to address the behavior will begin immediately upon awareness of it and include those impacted by it.
– Oppressive behavior may include—but is not limited to—behavior that is racist, sexist, ableist, homophobic, classist, transphobic, as well as silencing, refusing to listen to, or not acknowledging the voices or experiences of people who are traditionally not given space. Although people may vary in what they classify as oppressive behavior, deference in determining what is will be given to those who are negatively impacted by the behavior or to those speaking as allies of those who are impacted.
– Addressing oppressive behavior will be rooted in empowering everyone to talk about and address it, whether that behavior is their own or someone else’s, and to create a supportive environment in which everyone can learn and feel respected.
LISTENING TO OTHERS
If someone questions your behavior, listen and reflect on what you are told, and do not attack the person. You have an amazing opportunity to learn about how someone else experiences the world and how you can be more respectful in your words and actions.
If you are aware of behavior that is oppressive, find the strength to say something—you will be empowering others and helping to create a safer environment. If you need support to say something, talk to an organizer about how to address the situation.
A commitment to addressing oppressive behavior is a process of learning, listening, and practice. Smash HLS organizers are committed to providing help, resources, trainings, etc. No one is perfect, but everyone is expected to be accountable to each other.
We must all work together to create a space within Smash HLS
that is safer than the systems we fight against.
For the animals, for ourselves, and for each other.