Theory of camp agreement
Last year, we discussed and negotiated two aspects of the camp agreement in particular detail. Namely, the “Consumption with alcohol and other mind-altering drugs” and “Being topless”.
These are socio-politically hot and sometimes controversial topics that revolve a lot around privileges and structural mechanisms of oppression. We are aware that these agreements offend some people. However, we consciously accept that. Our goal is to encourage reflection on our own actions and reality. Even though we are trying to move toward utopia, we are not operating in a vacuum. As long as freedoms do not apply to everyone, they are privileges and in order to be able to dismantle privileges it is necessary to make them visible and to confront people with them. Some people – especially those who live with many privileges in their daily lives – may feel restricted in their personal freedom for the time being. We want to create spaces to discuss this feeling and at the same time remind people that restrictions always happen in a society, but where it usually affects less privileged and/or marginalized people, we want to share this burden on all shoulders for once at the camp.
Therefore, it is important for us to present here the background for our decisions:
Top, bottom, with or without – patriarchy, dress warmly!
From the advertising spaces of the consumer temple facades they smile at us: half-naked, mostly female*, bodies. Capitalism and patriarchal society have stolen our nakedness. It is hawked at the expense of those who do not conform to these fake ideals of beauty. Viewing people as objects has long been the social norm. We oppose this at the climate camp. We would like to call on people not to take off their t-shirts and tops until the capitalist perpetrators of the climate crisis make way for them. Only in a free society can we throw beauty ideals, sexism and consumerist norms overboard.
However, we think that many of us are not aware of these patriarchal structures. Even one’s own privilege of accidentally conforming to beauty ideals is often difficult to notice on one’s own. But for people whose bodies do not conform to the common beauty and gender norms, nudity is a social taboo. People who nevertheless walk around “topless” often have to put up with sexist looks or comments. This sexualization and taboo is even enshrined in law: Women* who show themselves naked in public can be reported for “violation of public decency”. The penalty is up to 1000 Euros or 2 weeks of arrest (see Lower Austrian PSG §1). Therefore, the following applies to us at the camp: Let´s wear shirts altogether and sweat together in solidarity!
An important point is also that naked upper bodies can trigger memories of experiences of violence. Therefore, we see it as the task of the climate camp to create a safe space for everyone and call for keeping the robe on. If you have any questions or feel uncomfortable, you are also welcome to contact the awareness team at any time.
No alcohol is also an option
For many people, they are indispensable: morning coffee as a starter to an effective day, alcohol at a party to “loosen up” or the joint as the key to free thoughts. With the help of drugs, especially alcohol, we try to escape the stress, frustration and compulsion of our society. On the way to a more stress-free and climate-friendly society, however, we want to question drugs as an escape tool. As a climate camp, we do advocate free and responsible – towards ourselves and others – drug use. However, our behavior under the influence of drugs can seem alienating and unpleasant to those around us. Alcohol in particular has a strong social legitimacy compared to other drugs. At the same time, the health and social effects are often strongly downplayed. Alcohol consumption lowers our own inhibitions and can increase aggressive behavior against ourselves or others. This makes boundary violating and discriminatory behavior more likely. People who have experienced this can quickly be thrown back into these situations. This can cause fear, pain, and insecurity. In many social spaces, it is unfortunately impossible to avoid people who are alcoholic or influenced by other drugs. We want to break this down at the Climate Camp and create drug-free spaces where everyone feels more comfortable and safe.
During the Open Space (Wednesday afternoon, Saturday morning) there will be discussion sessions on the topic. Everyone – especially those who see this agreement as an intrusion on their personal freedom – is invited to participate in this exchange. If you have any questions or feel uncomfortable, please feel free to contact the Awareness Team at any time.