Jul 21, 2008

Making our spaces more liberatory

One of the ways that we can better walk our talk in our movements and improve our internal power dynamics is by working to make sure our own spaces are safe for all (and eventually, ideally, actually liberatory for all – such that the process of working together for justice in itself builds justice among us). I was reminded recently by discussions over my kitchen table that one step in this direction is having clear sexual/racial harassment/assault policies and procedures – even for when we gather temporarily, such as at the vigil to close the School of the Americas, a delegation trip, or at the World Social Forum. This was clearly not the case at the World Social Forum a few years ago, and I wrote about it, and how we might do things differently, in an article entitled A Liberatory Space? Rumors of Rapes at the 5th World Social Forum, Porto Alegre, 2005 (that link is to the pdf). Happily this one is also in an open source journal, the Journal of International Women’s Studies, and that article is in a special issue entitled Women's Bodies, Gender Analysis, and Feminist Politics at the Forum Social Mundial. This image, off indymedia, is of the women's march through the youth camp after the rape rumors.

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