Reclaim the Power (RTP) is a network of volunteer organisers. No-one gets paid; people participate because they’re interested in what we do as a network. As such, we run on motivation – so we need to keep the vibes sweet between everyone involved.
Digital platforms (particularly Facebook) are notorious for aggravating arguments and people misunderstanding / misinterpreting what’s been written. The atmosphere on RTP’s Basecamp is currently, and largely has been, very friendly. We need to keep it that way.
We have a Safer Spaces policy which can be read here (page coming soon).
In addition, here’s some suggested guidance on how to use Basecamp.
1) Assume goodwill.
In summary, we’re all here because we want to create a better world. Other than potential undercover cops, we should assume that everyone organising in RTP means well, until proven otherwise.
2) Be aware of the potential for misinterpretation of your words.
Without the face-to-face body language that we rely on our every day (offline) lives to mediate our communication, it can be easy when writing online for throw-away comments, jibes, aggression or sarcasm to flare up into an acrimonious war of words. This hasn’t happened much (or at all) on RTP’s Basecamp – but it’s painfully frequent on some other Facebook pages, for example.
3) If in doubt, take it offline.
If you’ve got a significant grievance with someone, take it offline or at least off Basecamp. If it’s really serious, talk to someone in RTP’s ‘Anti-Oppression and Movement Building’ working group about mediation.
We’ll disagree with each other and we’ll need to debate things – that’s healthy. But as Alistair Macintosh writes in Soil and Soul, when communicating, we should “go light on the person, but heavy on the issue”.