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Flow through our barriers! Inclusion and accessibility at Ende Gelände
- Barrier-free camp – System Change Camp 2023
- Ability – Ableism and barriers – What is Abelism (Flyer 2023)
- Tear down barriers! Information about barriers at the camp and in action in 2022
- Barrier-free in the mass action against fossil gas from 29 July to 2 August 2021 in Brunsbüttel
Barrier-free in the mass action against fossil gas from 29 July to 2 August in Brunsbüttel
This year we are again working on breaking down barriers of various kinds in the action against fossil gas in Brunsbüttel. How this can look concretely depends largely on the capacities we have as a group and as an alliance. In order to give as many people as possible access to the action, we call on abled activists (= regression of English disabled, i.e. activists without disabilities) in particular to participate in the design of a barrier-free action. We cannot achieve complete accessibility in a world of capitalist exploitation logic of people, but we are fighting for it together!
Very specifically, we are currently still looking for:
- people who can interpret sign language
- People who can offer assistance (see assistance buddy system)
- Affinity groups who can offer a More Silent Space in the action (see More Silent Space)
The Assistance Buddy System
With this buddy system we want to bring people in contact with each other who need or can offer assistance before, during and after the action.
You would like to take part in the action, but you are still missing a buddy who can provide assistance on the journey or during the action? Tell us what your needs are and what you personally need.
You would like to offer assistance? Tell us what kind of assistance you can imagine.
Send us your information and we will try to put you in contact with each other, so that you can meet before the action and come to the action together.
More Silent Space
The idea is to create spaces within the Finger where it is quieter and calmer than in the rest of the Finger. Loud shouting and other loud verbal expressions should be avoided as much as possible. We also want to try to make the More Silent Space also a shelter for people who need more quiet in hectic situations, e.g. because of high sensitivity or other neurodiversities. The idea is to find enough affinity groups that are sensitised to this and thus protect people with a higher need for silence. Of course, situations can arise in which things get hectic even in the More Silent Space and the police will probably not adhere to our concepts. In such a case, we should try to take people into the centre and calm down the situation as quickly as possible.
There will also be some wheelchairs that can be used in action, e.g. by people with chronic or temporary illnesses and/or mobile limitations. Info on where to find these will be available at the camp.
The planning for a camp with as few barriers as possible is already in full swing. A list of things that have already been thought about can be found here:
Which fingers will be barrier-free and in which form will be announced at the latest in the action plenary at the camp.
If you already have questions or comments, please contact us here:
Inclusion – Icing on the cake?
The lives of many people are marked by massive barriers.
Some of them are visible, some are invisible, all are violent.
They are based on discriminating power relations.
They exist in wage work, in social life or in political-activist contexts.
This is also the case in the climate justice movement.
Even at Ende Gelände.
We must recognise the injustices and fight against them together.
The road to more inclusive activism is still long.
It is not enough to have a theoretical awareness of it.
The fight against the different forms of discrimination within Ende Gelände should become active and real.
Inclusion is not the icing on the cake, not a nice-to-have.
Inclusion must be part of our basic understanding as an emancipatory movement.
On the excavators we occupy it says “coal exit is hand work”.
At the beginning of every plenary session, it should be said loud and clear:
“Inclusion is hand work”.
Our structures should become more barrier-free.
the plenary rooms,
the language we use there,
the action trainings
and the day of action.
We would like to invite you as activists to be a part of this breaking down of barriers yourself.
Be joyful and self-critical!
We will not let ourselves be dis_abled! We want to create solidary and barrier-free spaces at Ende Gelände. We want rooms that are accessible for everyone. Accessibility means: responding to individual needs and fighting for self-determination and participation for all.
We know that there are still many barriers at Ende Gelände. Our website, for example, is not yet barrier-free. We are working on this topic and are happy when people contact us who support us in this.
The fight for climate justice is also a fight for a more just society. A society in which everyone can develop and in which the needs of all are taken into account. Social norms are constructed – let us deconstruct them.
In this sense: System change, not climate change!
Why the Multicolored Finger no longer exists
The Multicolored Finger was created in 2019 for people with declaration of discontinuance, people with physical limitations and for people with children. In the 2019 Ende Gelände mass action, it successfully blocked an access road to the open pit mine in the Rhineland lignite mining area and a rail of the coal-railroad in Lusatia (Lausitz) in December 2019. In the September 2020 action in the Rhineland, the Multicolored Finger traveled by bus to the action destination and was confronted with massive police repression shortly before arriving there.
The Multicolored Finger was thus an opportunity for people with a wide range of needs to participate in a mass action by Ende Gelände.This finger tried to find forms of action in which as many people as possible could participate. No matter if they move rolling or running, fast or slow.
That should really be a given.
In the last year, we have intensively dealt with the self-understanding of the Multicolored Finger and have received fundamental criticism of the concept of the Multicolored Finger.
In the group, which participated in preparing the Multicolored Finger, there are people with physical handicap, many are however also able-bodied positioned.
Contents, which we considered thereby, were:
- Why is the idea of making an action accessible outsourced to a single finger?
- Shouldn’t we be trying to break down more barriers overall as an alliance and provide access for all? For us, accessibility means that everyone, regardless of their origin, age, or physical or mental limitations, is enabled to actively participate in social life.
- Why is the finger called “Multicolored” while all other fingers have a single color designation?
Our conclusion is:
- The idea of making one of several fingers accessible in a barrier-free way is good, but it is not enough. In the future, several and preferably all fingers should be barrier-free accessible in one way. All activists (and finger structures) should confront their (privileged) positionings in relation to ableism and reflect on the mechanisms by which people are fundamentally excluded from mass actions or can only participate with high barriers.
- It is at the same time extremely difficult to break down these barriers that societal institutions try to explain to us from an early age as “natural” and we don’t create the system change in one day. We are aware that it is a huge challenge to shed our socialized images of bodies and abilities and want to critique and empower each other to do just that.
- That’s why there is no longer one ” Multicolored Finger.” Instead, there will be many fingers with different colors to meet different needs in the future.
What’s happening this year?
We are working to ensure that this year’s Ende Gelände mass action will have several fingers that are barrier-free.
In order to give as many people as possible access to the action, we are calling on all activists to participate in creating a barrier-free action.
You will soon find out what this can mean here on the site.
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