Clarification and Apology concerning our exclusions policy

CLARIFICATION AND APOLOGY concerning our exclusions policy

The Montreal Anarchist Bookfair Collective 2015 would like to issue an apology concerning the statement about our Safe(r) Spaces policy that we made on May 30, 2015.

Firstly, we apologize for the delay in writing this clarification and apology. After a few post-Bookfair meetings, including meetings focussed on our safe(r) spaces policy, the Bookfair collective, did not meet until now. This is due to our reduced capacity as a collective, as well as personal issues for members of the collective.

Secondly, our statement of May 30, 2015 give the impression that there is a disagreement between Les Socieres and the Bookfair collective about having the consent of survivors. This is not fair nor comradely to Les Sorcieres, and we apologize.

Thirdly, when we were contacted by Les Sorcières shortly before the Bookfair for the exclusion of 12 individuals, we should have assumed that the request was a third-party request with the consent of survivors. We did not, and if we were not sure, we should have clarified.

Last year we did exclude individuals, by request of survivors (or via a request by a third party). The individuals requested for exclusion by Les Sorcieres did not attend the Bookfair, but in 9 cases, not because of direct intervention by the Bookfair collective (in the 3 other cases, as well as other cases not related to the Les Sorcieres requests, individuals were excluded and contacted by the Bookfair collective in advance).

We want to improve how we apply our exclusions policy, and will assume the request of the exclusion of 12 individuals is a third-party request by Les Sorcieres with consent of survivors.

As we begin to organize for the Anarchist Bookfair 2016, we will continue to base our safe(r) spaces policy and exclusions for intimate sexual violence on the following principles:
– believing survivors of sexual violence
– guaranteeing confidentiality
– not requiring survivors to have to justify themselves
– respecting their express consent
– having clear communications with a survivor, or via an identified third party who has the express consent of a survivor

Our Safe(r) Spaces policy (which includes information about exclusions) is linked on our website HERE.

– The Montreal Anarchist Bookfair Collective 2015