Sober Space Statement

This document was replaced in 2021 by a Substance Use Statement and remains here for archival purposes.

Note: A draft of this statement was adopted by the Firestorm Collective on 1/19/14. See also, Anti-Oppression Statement.

"No war but the class war – no cocktail but the molotov cocktail! Let us brew nothing but trouble!"

CrimethInc, Wasted Indeed: Anarchy & Alcohol

In an effort to cultivate an atmosphere supportive of our Anti-Oppression Statement, Firestorm Cafe & Books is a sober space, meaning that the use of intoxicants should not occur in or around our space, individuals under the influence of intoxicants are not welcome in our space and intoxicating substances themselves should be kept away. We seek to maintain a friendly space that is open and welcoming to all, including underage people, people at higher risk of arrest, people triggered by inebriation and those dealing with substance abuse and recovery. The presence of drugs and/or alcohol in virtually every environment we share contributes to the marginalization of these groups while intoxication complicates – at times completely precluding – respect, consent and accountability for everyone.

We also understand that there are many people with chemical addictions for whom it is hard not to be intoxicated. We are not trying to condemn these people, intentionally exclude them or make them feel judged for their use or dependence on an intoxicating substance. We hope that this statement will ensure a space free of drug culture, giving individuals a supportive environment in which to experiment with sobriety.

The potential contradiction of being a sober space that serves caffeine, a productivity-drug with a unique role in disciplining the capitalist workforce, is not lost on our collective. This is a tension with which we have decided to coexist for a variety of reasons. Most importantly, we do not believe that caffeine is a substance that limits our ability to achieve inclusion, consent or accountability in our community.

Further Reading

The following texts were of great value to us in the crafting of this statement and we recommend them to others engaged with the topic:

Special thanks to Wild Roots Feral Futures, from whom we borrowed heavily for this statement.