Safer Space Policy

SAFER SPACE POLICY (July 27th, 2023)


Vrankrijk is a non-hierarchical, volunteer-run community space and autonomous cafe promoting mutual aid with an anarchist/DIY/punk ethos. We reject all violences, institutional and individual, that permeate a “white supremacist capitalist hetero-patriarchal society” (to quote bell hooks), and aim to create a space that, by example, shows that our world can be different.

Unfortunately, we can never guarantee a truly, one-hundred percent safe space. Nevertheless, safety is still an ideal we strive for, both for volunteers and our community at-large. We especially aim to improve the safety of marginalized communities, be they marginalized due to race, gender, sexuality, able-bodiedness, or any of the hundred other forms of bullshit that specific groups of people have to deal with. To those ends, we have a Safer Space Policy, for when “no assholes no nazis” isn’t specific enough. It first outlines some behaviors not tolerated, behaviors encouraged, and then how volunteers actively handle safety. We encourage community members to be familiar with what this document outlines.

If you ever have a problem at Vrankrijk or a safety concern, talk to a person behind the bar, hand us one of the paper slips found in the bathroom, or email us at safety (at) vrankrijk (dot) org. We keep us safe.


  1. Behaviors Not Tolerated:
    • We don’t tolerate harassment or violence of any form.
      • This can include unwanted touches, being followed around, staring, deliberate intimidation, and oppressive/discriminatory/disrespectful speech.
      • There is zero tolerance for sexual harassment or physical assault in particular. This results in an immediate ban.
    • No photos or videos are allowed at Vrankrijk. This endangers the safety of the space and those who visit it.
      • Stage performers can arrange personal documentation that doesn’t show the crowd.
    • No illicit drug usage is allowed at Vrankrijk. This endangers our ability to keep the space operating, and is a hard rule.
      • This includes guests and volunteers in the kitchen, backstage, bathroom, DJ booth, anywhere.
      • Unfortunately, no smoking is allowed inside Vrankrijk either for similar reasons.
    • No weapons are allowed at Vrankrijk.
    • You must be 18 or older to drink alcohol. We also get in big trouble if drunk minors are here, even if they didn’t drink here.
    • Don’t touch sound or music equipment unless you’re helping with an event.
    • Do not cross boundaries drawn by volunteers, even when not listed in this document. This list cannot cover every situation.
    • We can ask you to go home if you are too intoxicated. Being intoxicated is never an excuse for any shitty behavior.

  2. Behaviors Encouraged:
    • Be mindful of where you stand in relation to various forms of privilege.
      • It can be hard to know what this means. Vrankrijk is a diverse community; not all of us are the same. It’s good to recognize what these differences can be or do. Some include: disability, illness, physical difference or neurodivergence; size; age; race, ethnicity, or nationality; immigration status; signed or spoken language; religion or spiritual practice; gender or gender expression; sexual orientation; education level; income level; parenting status; employment status; housing status; drug use or sex work.
      • Try not to assume any backgrounds, experiences, or boundaries of others; people are different than you may initially read them. Be mindful of how to interact regarding these differences. For example, people often appreciate if you ask for pronouns, but they probably won’t like it if you randomly ask about their nationality.
      • We don’t necessarily want people to walk on eggshells; usually if someone calls you out, it can be fixed quickly and easily, but do be mindful, and allow yourself to be held accountable and listen if someone tells you you’re being insensitive or disrespectful. We’re all learning.
      • Be especially mindful if you’re going to a night benefiting a particular community that you aren’t immediately a part of. In those circumstances, you shouldn’t be silent about these topics; participation is encouraged, as long as you don’t dominate discussions. We want a space where people can express themselves, but we also need space for marginalized communities to feel safe. Their nights are their nights, and their needs will come first. If you come as a guest, you must respect that.
    • Respect people’s physical and emotional boundaries. Ask before initiating physical contact. Understand that “no” means no, as does silence or non-responsiveness. If it’s not a “fuck yes” it’s a no.
    • If an event has specific policies posted, or you see other Vrankrijk policies posted on the wall or tables (eg. “wear a mask” during a pandemic or “alcohol-free event”), take note of those and respect them.
    • Respect the volunteers, who put a lot of our own time in to make the space run.
    • ‌Try to look out for each other. We’re a mutual aid-driven space. If you see something that feels off, someone makes you feel uncomfortable, if your friend is too drunk, if you see someone going home with someone they shouldn’t be, or if you notice someone not doing well, tell a person behind the bar. We can help!


This section is addressed to volunteers, but is public for transparency.

  1. Heading Off Problems: Firstly, look out for problems before they occur. We don’t let people in if they’re obviously intoxicated, or if they’re banned from the space. If someone’s getting too drunk, we cut them off. Be vigilant for situations where someone might not be able to ask for help.
    • Volunteers too should be mindful of their subconscious biases and learned prejudices when dealing with safety. We aren’t immune just because we’re activists.
    • New volunteers are introduced to the safer space policy, and shown some important safety tools in the space on their first shifts. If this doesn’t happen, or you need a refresher, ask a beheerder!
    • We keep a short and simple version of the Safer Space Policy (aka “Vrankrijk Solidarity Policy”) posted around the space. (PDF here: It comes with paper slips people can discreetly give us, to let us know if they ever feel uncomfortable or unsafe. Refer to point 4 (”Something happened, now what?”) for what to do if you get one of these.
  2. Better Safe Than Sorry: If a person tells you that someone else in the space (even a volunteer or performer) is making them unsafe, listen to what the person is telling you and believe them. Ask the person how we can help. We may also have to remove the offender from the space, for the safety of everyone. If a person is kicked out and thinks it isn’t fair, they can come to a meeting with the volunteers to discuss what happened on a different day. (See point 6, “Removal.”) No matter what happens, inform a beheerder. Not all harm is violence, not all conflict is abuse, not all hurt is intentional, but it’s better to be safe than sorry.
  3. Know Your Beheerders: Beheerders are the licensed volunteers who’ve received bar management training. Know who they are on the nights you work. If something goes wrong and someone needs to know, they should be who you go to first.
    • It’s often helpful to rely on beheerders and their training, but if you really feel confident in handling a situation in accordance with our policies and taking on that responsibility, exercise your autonomy and do what you feel is right.
  4. Something Happened, Now What?: This ranges depending on the problem. If someone in particular is harmed, or if you receive one of the colored paper slips, make sure to discreetly ask those people harmed how we can help, and then decide a course of action based on what they tell you and what’s also good for the space.
    • We call emergency medical services through 112 if a situation should require it.
    • For a lot of situations that are maybe more annoying than major, you don’t always have to skip straight to kicking someone out. (eg. Someone is sitting on stage and you need them to move.) A good strategy if someone’s causing trouble is to first explain the situation and what you need them to do or stop doing. Then, if the person causing trouble keeps trying to argue (eg. “but I should be allowed to sit on the stage!”) or just doesn’t get it, state clearly that you’ve explained the problem, and that a boundary is drawn that they need to respect. (eg. “I told you to get off stage, and I explained why I as a volunteer needed you to do that. No more discussion, you have to move.”) At this point, the conversation is over. If they still keep pushing it—even if the initial issue was minor—you can kick them out, because now they’re crossing a boundary. Jumping from explanation straight to kicking someone out is understandable and common, but drawing a clear line is almost always enough.
  5. If You Don’t Know What To Do About A Situation: Tap in a volunteer who you trust, or one of the beheerders. Remain engaged, especially if you were individually approached by someone with a problem.
  6. Removal: It ain’t easy. Try to leave this to people who know how to do it. Always inform a beheerder first.
    • Options are limited. We NEVER USE PHYSICAL FORCE to remove someone from the space, ever ever ever. If we do, we risk having the space shut down.
    • Deescalation is key. This is a practiced skill. Some tips:
      • Be polite. Be firm.
      • Use a tactic to get someone outside the door if they might need to be kicked out. (e.g. “it’s really loud in here”)
      • Explain what behavior the person in question did that crossed a boundary, and that a boundary has been crossed. You’ll need to hear their side of the story, which doesn’t change that they’re getting kicked out. Making sure they feel heard and listened to is part of how to deescalate.
      • Explain that there’s a Safer Space Policy. (It says “Better Safe Than Sorry.”) Invite them to come to a meeting if they want to discuss the issue.
      • Always have another volunteer with you to back you up. Only one person should be communicating with the person being removed; backups don’t get immediately involved.
    • If someone really won’t go, the big lights go on, the music stops, the party’s over, and we announce to everyone that the party will remain over until the individual in question leaves. No drinks are served, and we might even start packing shit up early. We can’t have fun if we’re unsafe.
  7. Aftercare: If there’s a safety incident, we prioritize following up with whoever was made unsafe or if someone was unwell. It’s important that we don’t settle on simply “removing the problem,” but making sure our community cares for each other. Talk to individuals harmed in a quiet place, and give them a glass of water or soda. Take their harm seriously. We don’t want people walking away feeling like we don’t give a shit.
  8. Follow-up Communication: If a safety incident happens, no matter how small, it’s important that it’s reported to other volunteers and documented in one of our communication channels. This way, we know if there’s a recurring problem, or something we need to focus more on. We also always have at least one person who takes on the responsibility of discussing safety at our meetings. If someone is banned, all collectives have to know.
  9. Bar Bans: Some incidents are an immediate ban, some incidents will just get someone kicked out that night. This depends on the situation. (Physical violence is an immediate ban, always.)
    • Anyone banned can come to a monthly volunteer meeting (first Monday of every month at 19:00) and get their ban reversed if they explain the circumstances and the collectives agree. We expect improvement, remorse, understanding, etc.
      • Our bans are never lifetime, but if someone doesn’t get unbanned after coming to one of our meetings, we expect them to wait six months before trying again.
    • If someone is kicked out repeatedly, everyone needs to be aware of that so we can figure out what to do next.
  10. Trust Other Volunteers: Take each other’s concerns and opinions seriously. Don’t wrestle situations away from each other. Be willing to have difficult conversations. Have each other’s backs.

No nazis, no assholes.

This document adapted from multiple other Safer Space Policies, including that of Bluestockings Bookstore in NYC; Nowadays in NYC; Nice N Sleazy in Glasgow; Anti-Racist Forum in Finland; ASEED in the Netherlands; probably some others. Feel free to adapt this document for your own space.

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