JULY 28-30 2017, CHICAGO IL

FED UP FEST strives to be a community of care. 

We believe that at the center of liberation is radical love for each other and ourselves. That love pushes us to try to create a better world. Because of that, we are working to minimize the amount of harm that occurs in our space. 

White supremacy, misogyny, ableism, fatphobia, and transphobia exist everywhere, even in queer spaces. They are some of the threads of which normative society is woven, and it is so hard to untangle them. If you are called out for perpetuating any of these things, please understand that it is not because you are unimportant or we wish to exclude you. We are, instead, trying to demonstrate compassion and care and do the least amount of harm towards people in our communities, particularly those with marginalized identities. Furthermore, we recognize that we are all entrenched in these systems of oppression and therefore all have work to do.

We stand against every kind of oppression, but here are some specific things we will be on the look out for in our space:

White Supremacy and Cultural Appropriation

White Bros Fall Back! Fed Up Fest is about giving space and appreciation to people who rarely get any. The voices of people of color, their experiences, and creative efforts are valuable. The white supremacist system in which we live constantly enacts violence on black folks, brown folks, indigenous folks, and Asian/ pacific islander (API) folks.

Although it is impossible for those who benefit from white supremacy to remove themselves from it, they can take steps to minimize the harm they do to people of color and can be accomplices in the hard but necessary work of smashing individualized and institutional racism. In this space, we ask that white people be conscious of their privilege.  This can mean giving space to people of color at the front and center, knowing when white voices are not needed in a conversation, and addressing oppressive behavior (including microaggressions) with those around you.

Cultural appropriation occurs when a dominant culture, or an individual from that culture, takes a symbol or practice from a marginalized culture, strips it of its original meaning and uses it for their own purposes. This is part of colonialism and white supremacy. Often, the cultural practice that is appropriated has historical weight: being banned, stigmatized, or criminalized by colonial powers. Appropriating cultural artifacts and practices does harm to the people whose cultures are being misused and trivialized as fashion or commodities.

We hold everyone to be accountable for their participation within a system of white supremacy and colonialism. We ask everyone to challenge themselves, and to fight against all instances of it in the space. If you enact displays of power along the lines of white supremacy while in the space, we will talk to you. If you are a person who is appropriating dreadlocks, a mohawk or other indigenous hairstyles, a bindi, headdresses, has appropriative tattoos, is wearing something with racist imagery (e.g. sports mascots, band logos), we will talk to you. We invite you to educate yourself, and to re-learn how to interact with others in the space without enacting harm. If you cannot or are unwilling to address it, we will ask you to leave.

Perpetuating Rape Culture

Our bodies are not up for grabs. You must always respect someone’s boundaries, ask for consent, and be conscious of your interactions with others, regardless of your relationship to them.  The safety and emotional health of our community is a top concern at Fed Up Fest.

The FUF collective centers the survivors of sexual, physical, and emotional violence, and we work toward their empowerment within the space.  If you are a survivor, what happened to you is real, and however you chose to deal with it is valid. Unfortunately, we do not have the resources to address all incidents of violence that happen outside of the Fest, other than making every effort to keep survivors safe within our spaces.

We recognize that anyone can enact violence, and that anyone can be a survivor of violence. Because dominant culture accepts and actively promotes abuse and harassment, we recognize that harm will occur. We actively work to minimize this harm, and to prevent violence from occurring at the Fest. We invite everyone present to challenge themselves, and support those around them who have survived or are experiencing violence, harassment, or abuse.

If you enact harassment, abuse, or violence on another person at the Fest, we will talk to you. We ask that you to address the situation and the harm done, and to re-learn how to interact with others in the space without enacting violence and harm. If you cannot or are unwilling to address it, we will ask you to leave.

(Trans)Misogyny, Femmephobia, Transphobia

Our trans, femme, and woman-identified friends deserve love and respect. Please, respect pronouns, and don’t assume someone’s identity or discount anyone’s queerness just because you don’t understand their presentation. Use genderless language when referring to people if you aren’t certain. You aren’t entitled to know what’s going on with someone’s body or identity. Do not assume that someone has to be normatively feminine or masculine in order to be trans. Do not assume what being trans or gender non-normative looks like.

In a sub-culture that perpetuates normative masculinity — aggressive dancing, yelling, intellectualism — we actively create a space that works to dismantle it. Dominant culture marginalizes traits that are deemed feminine, and are therefore devalued. We reject this misogyny by centering folks who are not normatively masculine or that don’t subscribe to macho definitions of punk, and make a space that is empowering and inviting to everyone.

If you behave in a way that is violent to others based on gender, sex, or presentation, we will talk to you. We ask you to educate yourself, understand your actions to be marginalizing and violent, and work to unlearn that violent behavior.  If you cannot or are unwilling to address it, we will ask you to leave.

Fatphobia and Ableism

Dominant culture marginalizes and delegitimizes fat people, people with disabilities, and folks with non-normative health. We actively create a space that works to dismantle dominant culture’s sizeism and ableism.

We invite everyone to define their own bodies and experiences, and to fight against the violence that is systematically enacted upon us. No one is owed an explanation for others’ health, body, or needs.

Watch your mosh. Be aware of the impact you have on those around you, respect every type of body as powerful, and don’t critique levels of physical involvement of other people.

If you enact displays of power along the lines of size, ability, or physical and mental health, we will talk to you. We ask everyone to educate themselves, understand your impact on those around you, and unlearn harmful and violent behavior. If you cannot or are unwilling to address it, you will be asked to leave.

Substance Use and Sobriety

Punk and queer scenes often center around drinking and using drugs. We recognize that this marginalizes many people within the scene, and are actively working to create a space that doesn’t rely on the consumption of either. We stand in solidarity with those of us that are under the legal drinking and smoking age, we stand in solidarity with those of us that are sober, and we stand in solidarity with those of us that are working through their substance use.

Fed Up Fest is a dry space. This means that alcohol and drugs aren’t welcome within the fest space. If you’re consuming either at the fest, you’ll be asked to remove the alcohol or drugs in question. If you cannot or are unwilling to do so, you will be asked to leave the fest.

Anti-Statism, Prison Abolition, and ANTI-FASCISM

We won’t call the oppressor to end our oppression. Instead, we must look to end and heal from state violence and do this without relying on carceral, state-supported solutions. Laws, police, prisons, and the judicial system are all inherently unjust and oppressive. Rather than replicate these within our own communities, we are working from an anti-authoritarian, consensual, non-punitive model to enact transformation and wellness.

We need both love and rage in every part of our lives to carry on dismantling oppression. Punk isn’t “just music” and queerness is not an isolated identity. Both of these things can be part of radical resistance to the destructive world that we live in today, if we put in the effort to truly learn from and care about each other. We seek to forge stronger bonds and create a community that we can rely on, rather than systems of violence. Being accountable to each other is a good way to start.

Love and pogoing,
The FUF Collective