Free software advocates seek removal of Richard Stallman and entire FSF board

Enlarge / Richard Stallman speaks about cost-free program in Athens, Greece at the Commons Fest in 2015.

Richard Stallman’s return to the Free of charge Software Foundation’s board of administrators has drawn condemnation from several individuals in the absolutely free computer software community. An open letter signed by hundreds of folks now identified as for Stallman to be taken off once again and for the FSF’s total board to resign.

The open letter reported:

Richard M. Stallman, regularly regarded as RMS, has been a harmful pressure in the absolutely free computer software local community for a lengthy time. He has proven himself to be misogynist, ableist, and transphobic, between other severe accusations of impropriety. These kinds of beliefs have no spot in the totally free application, electronic legal rights, and tech communities. With his the latest reinstatement to the Board of Administrators of the Cost-free Program Foundation, we connect with for the whole Board of the FSF to move down and for RMS to be eliminated from all leadership positions.

Letter signers involve Neil McGovern, GNOME Basis executive director and previous Debian Job Chief Deb Nicholson, normal supervisor of the Open up Source Initiative Matthew Garrett, a previous member of the FSF board of directors 7 of the 8 members of the Basis board of administrators Elana Hashman of the Debian Technical Committee, Open up Source Initiative, and Kubernetes project Molly de Blanc of the Debian Venture and GNOME Foundation and extra than 300 many others. That range has been growing speedily right now: the open up letter is made up of directions for signing it.

The letter stated all customers of the FSF board really should be taken out because they “have enabled and empowered RMS for a long time. They reveal this again by permitting him to rejoin the FSF Board. It is time for RMS to step back again from the no cost software program, tech ethics, electronic legal rights, and tech communities, for he are unable to provide the management we require.” The letter also known as for Stallman to be eliminated from his position primary the GNU Project.

“We urge all those in a placement to do so to stop supporting the Cost-free Program Foundation,” they wrote. “Refuse to contribute to projects connected to the FSF and RMS. Do not converse at or attend FSF events, or situations that welcome RMS and his manufacturer of intolerance. We question for contributors to cost-free program initiatives to choose a stand towards bigotry and hate inside of their projects. When accomplishing these items, convey to these communities and the FSF why.”

Stallman’s resignation

For a lengthy summary of the activities that led to Stallman’s resignation in September 2019, see our write-up revealed yesterday. Stallman resigned soon after the leak of email messages about Jeffrey Epstein’s sexual intercourse trafficking of a small, in which Stallman objected to the use of the term “assaulting” and known as it “morally absurd to determine ‘rape’ in a way that depends on insignificant facts this sort of as which place it was in or irrespective of whether the target was 18 yrs previous or 17.”

The open up-letter writers also posted a webpage that mentioned many of Stallman’s other, identical statements about age-of-consent legal guidelines, and a statement in which Stallman “suggested that, must another person obtain out they are pregnant and the child checks beneficial for Down’s syndrome, ‘the proper class of action for the woman is to terminate the pregnancy.'” The website page also said that “RMS has used several years on a campaign from utilizing people’s suitable pronouns. This is inadequately disguised transphobia.”

“RMS has a background of mistreating women of all ages and making them sense awkward, unsafe, and unwelcome,” the website page also stated, when linking to a summary of allegations.

“Some of us have our possess stories about RMS and our interactions with him, points that are not captured in e-mail threads or on video,” the open up letter mentioned. “We hope you will examine what has been shared and contemplate the harm that he has done to our neighborhood and many others.”

Stallman launched the FSF in 1985 and served as its president until his resignation in 2019. He announced his return to the board, as a member but not president, at the FSF’s LibrePlanet conference this previous weekend. “I’m now on the Cost-free Software program Foundation board of administrators at the time once more,” he reported. “Some of you will be happy at this and some could possibly be let down, but who is aware of. In any case, that’s how it is. And I’m not setting up to resign a second time.”

We contacted the Totally free Application Foundation about the open up letter calling for Stallman’s elimination these days and will update this posting if we get a response. At minimum for now, Stallman’s identify is at the time again outlined on the FSF’s board of administrators website page.

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