We are not in principle as an awareness team for or against any substance, we do not encourage substance use though we may handle its effects with compassion as they fall under adverse psychological experiences. That said, we do believe that certain substance use are so problematic in terms of implementing awareness for the kinds of safer spaces we want to build, that enabling use is simply not tolerated at the present moment and we only wish to work with venues who are also serious about this policy. It is our belief that the substance known as „G“ (GBL/ GHB) is generally taken to feel „free“ or „uninhibited“, unfortunately, the level of dis-inhibition is too often as intolerable/ abusive to others as it is with problematic alcohol or „benzo“ usage; especially regarding non-consensual behavior from the person on G. We also believe that it is much easier to reach personal limits with G and that no G-concentration is currently manufactured for human consumption differentiating it from even most other substances. People who have been reported to us who are suspected of selling or distributing G will be asked to leave voluntarily or in collaboration with security, ejected when they are sober enough to leave, this may include a ban from the venue, while ensuring that whatever G they may have does not stay at the party. Regarding casual usage, we do not believe in policing behaviour and primarily respond to complaints of abusive behaviour. We are not police and we cannot make the legal determination that someone has sold G, only that they did not follow house rules. We do not expect that G will always be as central a problem in Berlin as it is today. Simultaneously, we believe that many substances are similarly problematic for similar reasons and that an unfortunate culture of enabling problematic use exists for other substances in Berlin as well. Enabling is different from harm-reduction strategies as harm reduction does not encourage problematic use but tries to minimise it. The complexity of the difference is not lost on us and we are keen to talk to our partners about this policy and answer any concerns/ questions they may have. We have a range of actions we are willing to take regarding G.
Many of our members have had discriminatory experiences and some of us have even had the course of our lives defined by such experiences. We are all too familiar with the kinds of boundaries that people will cross to try to control a situation, gaslight, or defame victims and survivors. If an awareness team member following these protocols encounters abusive behaviour towards themselves, pushback following kindness, blatant disrespect, etc.; we believe that said person should be ejected, depending on the team members judgement, after an attempt at dialogue where the ability to take turns speaking and to listen are the first tests. If they cannot listen to awareness they will not listen to anyone.
We also believe that mutual respect is necessary between Security and Awareness staff; this means if security wants to eject someone who has become violent or been found to abuse house rules the awareness team will respect this decision, but it also means that if someone has been asked to leave voluntarily by awareness and refuses, that security will recognise the necessity of ejecting this person from the space. We do not work with partners that allow or enable abusive behaviour of people known to them or working with them. Ultimately, security is our number one partner and we do not like to work without security as they enable us to do nonviolent conflict resolution and we enable them to focus on the most difficult tasks involving physical threats and violence. That said, we believe everyone is responsible for awarenes who is working at a venue.
Safer space for everyone
We are aware that certain people are targeted for bullying by abusively behaving people – sometimes common discriminations, sometimes within-group discriminations, other times due to personality or neurodiversity factors that may not be immediately apparent. We believe that people who are commonly abused are the number one passive allies of awareness team members as if they aren‘t having a good time, we or those we collaborate with are missing opportunities to make the space safer and more enjoyable for everyone.
Restorative justice-based discussions
We believe that abusive behaviour is primarily learned as a strategy to cope with adversity and a loss of control. This learning happens through societal, religious, familial, affinity-based, and schooling relationships within our present mass-media influenced contexts. We believe that certain forms of drug use can lead to amplifications of abusive behaviour especially in attempted safer spaces, where kindness is the focus. We believe that restorative justice-based discussions are a key to extinguishing and intervening in such behaviour, even in the case of an ejection via venue security or more often following awareness dialogue, voluntary exit.
We believe that Anti-German political stances are deeply bigoted and missappropriative, but also unfortunately deeply ingrained in the communities we care about across Germany. We see such political abuses in the form of instrumentalisations of Arab, Israeli, Kurdish, Palestinian, Jewish, Muslim, Black and Brown, and LGBTIQA+ identities to serve what we see as problematic as well as stultifying guilt-narratives which seem to centre the sufferers of such guilt above current political traumas as well as above and beyond their ancestors historic victims/survivors. We also find missreadings and missrepresentations of the critical theorists to be willfully dishonest at worst and simply based out of ignorance of the texts in question at best. We refuse to work with Anti-Germans or those who would support them or give them platforms.
We are aware that this is not the only form of discrimination and bigotry in Berlin‘s club culture today, only the most tolerated. We also stand against hierarchical political philsophies (e.g. fascism) as they tend to exclude people based on place of origin or their fundamental personhood (e.g. sex/ gender, orientation, physical features/ abilities).