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"rms-open-letter" GR choice 2: sign https://rms-support-letter.github.io/


I hereby propose to have another option on the ballot:

The Debian Project co-signs the statement regarding Richard Stallman's 
readmission to the FSF board seen at https://rms-support-letter.github.io/. 
The text of this statement is given below.

Richard M. Stallman, frequently known as RMS, has been a driving force in the 
free software movement for decades, with contributions including the GNU 
operating system and Emacs.

Recently, there have been vile online attacks looking to remove him from the 
FSF board of directors for expressing his personal opinions. We have watched 
this happen before in an organized fashion with other prominent free software 
activists and programmers. We will not stand idly this time, when an icon of 
this community is attacked.

FSF is an autonomous body that is capable of treating its members in a fair, 
unbiased fashion, and should not give in to external social pressures. We urge 
the FSF to consider the arguments against RMS objectively and to truly 
understand the meaning of his words and actions.

Historically, RMS has been expressing his views in ways that upset many 
people. He is usually more focused on the philosophical underpinnings, and 
pursuing the objective truth and linguistic purism, while underemphasising 
people’s feelings on matters he’s commenting on. This makes his arguments 
vulnerable to misunderstanding and misrepresentation, something which we feel 
is happening in the open letter calling for his removal. His words need to be 
interpreted in this context and taking into account that more often than not, 
he is not looking to put things diplomatically.

Regardless, Stallman’s opinions on the matters he is being persecuted over are 
not relevant to his ability to lead a community such as the FSF. Furthermore, 
he is entitled to his opinions just as much as anyone else. Members and 
supporters do not have to agree with his opinions, but should respect his 
right to freedom of thought and speech.

To the FSF:

Removing RMS will hurt FSF’s image and will deal a significant blow to the 
momentum of the free software movement. We urge you to consider your actions 
carefully, as what you will decide will have a serious impact on the future of 
the software industry.

To the ambush mob who is ganging up on Richard Stallman over reasonable 
arguments in debate and various opinions and beliefs voiced over decades as a 
public figure:

You have no part in choosing the leadership of any communities. Especially not 
via another mob attack which does not remotely resemble a fairly conducted 
debate as exemplified by better people such as Richard Stallman.

Improvements welcome.

I'm not sure whether I like this one or the one from my other email more but 
the discussion period is shortened. I think it should at least be on the 
ballot for symmetry reasons.

Thanks go to LWN for linking to this.


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