Care- and Awareness Concept Climatecamp 2022
This care and awareness concept was revised by Life@Camp AG in 2021 in order to create a basis for uniform courses of action (last update by Life@Camp AG on 18.05.22). Handout for people at the climate camp.
From the camp agreement (2021): Our goal is that everyone at the Camp feels comfortable and safe. As we will be quite a lot of people at the Camp, we ask everyone to be attentive and take care of yourselves and each other. After all, we all want to have a good time together. Racism, right-wing extremism, sexism, homophobia or any other form of discrimination will not be tolerated. Refugees welcome.
However, as we are aware that cases of discrimination and violence can also happen at a climate camp, we have agreed on this Care & Awareness concept in order to counteract this as best as possible.
Care- & Awareness Team: Availability & Shifts
At the climate camp, the CareTeam is wearing purple vests, and can be reached during the programme (10-22 hrs) via the Carehandy, the info tent and the Care tent. If possible, night shifts can also be assigned.
The CareTeam is partly spread out over the grounds. It is possible to participate in camp life and workshops as a visitor. Nevertheless, the CareTeam is always available. If needed, the primary task is to deal with the problem/conflict.
It is best to divide the team into shifts, with two people together if possible, so that in concrete situations one can be the main contact person and the other can take on other tasks (e.g. fetching someone, replacing someone, calling friends). A short meeting can be held at the handover. However, if incidents are not relevant for the next shift, it is better to keep the anonymity of those involved. What we pass on should be kept as anonymous as possible. What is passed on should also be discussed with the persons concerned beforehand.
The CareTeam should remain drug-free during their shift, i.e. not consume alcohol or other drugs, so that they can react in a considered manner in difficult situations and support affected persons appropriately. Despite our claim to support people who have experienced transgressive behaviour, it is important to also take care of ourselves. Therefore, we too can withdraw from situations at any time, take a break and, of course, go home when we can no longer. When doing so, the OrgaTeam should be notified so that the shift can be distributed differently if necessary.
After the shifts, “experience reports” are written in a document (docs) and thus shared with the team, otherwise a handover/pre-shift meeting is useful before the shift starts, which includes all people present from the awareness team. If necessary, plenaries are organised, e.g. debriefing sessions should an incident occur.
Dealing with affected persons
When incidents occur that the CareTeam can help with, it is important to know that each situation can / must be dealt with individually.
If someone approaches us and seeks our support, we listen and do not question their experience, nor do we get involved in a discussion about this with the person who has been assaulted. We ask what the person needs now and how we can support them. We can make restrained offers (e.g. a sympathetic ear, get friends, make arrangements with the person being assaulted, offer the care tent as a retreat). In addition, at the request of the person concerned, we can make it clear to the assaulter what was not okay and that it should not happen again.
We can be present during discussions between the person concerned and the person who has been assaulted. We can contact desired persons who should come over to support the affected person or pick him/her up. We can call a taxi for the person concerned or accompany them home. We can contact the women’s emergency hotline or counselling centres. We can call an ambulance in case of a medical or psychological emergency (although this may result in compulsory hospitalisation). If there is an acute situation of violence or assault, the first thing to do is to stop it. If we are not quite sure, we only take further steps after consulting with the person concerned. For example, we can ask: “Is everything okay?”, “Is this okay for you right now?” and offer to walk out of the situation together, to fight back together or something else.
The task of the CareTeam is to create a framework in which the person concerned feels comfortable. This can mean, among other things, that they can find peace, their self-esteem is strengthened and they regain their ability to act. It is about overcoming the feeling of powerlessness and being at the mercy of others and communicating that personal boundaries – no matter where they lie – are perfectly okay. The definition of what constitutes a boundary violation is up to the person whose boundary has been violated.
People react very differently to discrimination and violence, even differently than we might expect. That is why it is important to pay attention to what the affected person needs and how we can support them, and that we do not make decisions without them. It may happen, for example, that they want to be supported by people with similar experiences of discrimination or violence. Then this should be implemented if possible. The person concerned decides for themselves which person they want to talk to about what. We provide the offer, which can be taken up.
Dealing with transgressive Persons
If the affected person wishes so, we can expel transgressive persons from the camp in acute situations, even without consulting the OrgaTeam. In case of doubt, people from the overall coordination can be called in. If a person has been expelled from the camp, the team will be informed and together we will make sure that he/she does not come back.
If the person concerned wishes that the assaulter is not expelled from the camp, we accept this, even if we personally disagree. In this way, we respect the freedom of choice of the person concerned.
People who violate clearly stated rules (e.g. Oben-Mit) can be asked to leave the camp. If, despite clear communication on our part, people repeatedly show transgressive behaviour, we can enforce further measures (e.g. expulsion from the camp) together in the plenum with the greatest possible consensus.
If we cannot understand the behaviour of affected persons personally or ideologically, we do not have to. In order to remain cooperative, we try to refer the person to other members of the CareTeam. The same applies to situations in which we are unable to act at that moment and/or feel overwhelmed.
There are situations that exceed our capacity to act and that we cannot solve in our role. In such cases, it is our task to call in professional help. Information and telephone numbers are available at the care centre and in the information tent.
In the case of incidents with many witnesses, it is possible to discuss the incidents in a camp plenum with the consent of the person concerned.
In the final plenum we will give a report about our work. At the end of the climate camp, there will also be a debriefing with all team members, also to further improve the concept if necessary.
The care tent is open for all visitors* (10-22h). It can also be used to find peace and quiet. If we need it for conflicts or more serious issues, we can ask visitors to leave it temporarily.
If conflicts arise again and again over a longer period of time and cannot seem to be solved, we look for solutions together in the CareTeam.
Support in the organising team
The awareness concept is presented to the entire organisational team, discussed and agreed upon according to the principle of consensus.
The awareness concept was written by Life@Camp AG 2021 and, among others, on the basis of a text by Losgehts and has been updated by Life@Camp AG 2022.