WisCon in solidarity with its community — a letter from our Anti-Abuse Team

WisCon Anti-Abuse Department
(And endorsed by the entire Concom.)

Dear WisCon Community,

We on the Anti-Abuse Team have been in a state of shock and horror since November 9, when the U.S. Presidency was won by a candidate who campaigned on a platform of explicit racism, misogyny, ableism, and autocracy. He and his supporters ridiculed, traumatized, and dehumanized Mexican-Americans, immigrants and undocumented people, African Americans, Asian Americans, Latinx, Native Americans, Asian and Pacific Islanders, Muslims, LGBTQ+ people, people with disabilities, Jews, survivors of sexual assault, women, Palestinians, prisoners of war, and their allies. Since the election, we have seen and heard about countless examples of racist, misogynist, homophobic, and transphobic abuse across the U.S., from diverse urban neighborhoods to rural towns. We have never needed the ability to imagine and enact a feminist, anti-racist, anti-ableist, anti-fascist future more. We have never needed WisCon more.

This May, when we come together in Madison to strategize, speculate, and celebrate the feminist science fiction whose imagination now feels so desperately urgent, we know that things are going to be fraught. We know that for many members of our community, the idea of coming to a small, majority-white city in a state that (however narrowly) voted for Trump in the election, feels terrifying, for reasons that are far from unjustified. We want you to know that the Safety and Anti-Abuse Teams are here for you before, during, and after the convention. Whatever we can do to help you feel supported, we will do. While we recognize that we are not able to control the climate in Madison outside of the Concourse Hotel, we will do whatever we can to mitigate that risk: we can walk with you and stand with you so that if anything does happen, you will not face it alone.

The job of the Anti-Abuse Team is to challenge and prevent harassment of our members from people within and outside the WisCon community, and to be proactive in keeping our convention spaces diverse, inclusive, and equitable. We want to support our community’s ability to disagree in an atmosphere of mutual respect, without reinforcing the disparagement of people inside and outside our community that Trump’s election has intensified. As we all work through complicated, controversial issues, AAT is here for you to call on if things get out of hand. We also know that you might be doing your political organizing elsewhere and want WisCon to be a place for relaxation and celebration. Our Statement of Principles and Code of Conduct are here to facilitate that too.

The Code of Conduct exists for your protection, and we take it seriously; this includes revising it to make WisCon better. Our mission may involve fostering conversation, providing training opportunities, or facilitating dialog; it may also mean supporting the convention’s provision of safer spaces, facilitating a buddy system, or even helping to provide opportunities for self care. We welcome your suggestions as we plan for WisCon 41.

Together, we can make sure that WisCon continues to be a space that allows us both to engage with politics and to escape from them in a space where our existence and humanity will not be under threat. We look forward to seeing you there.

If you have questions or concerns, please contact us: antiabuse@wiscon.net

If you need to talk with Safety during the convention, please call: 608-957-7233 (957-SAFE)