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Re: Amendment to RMS/FSF GR: Option 4, assert the need to learn and grow from recent events

Jonathan Wiltshire <jmw@debian.org> writes:

> This is a position statement of the Debian Developers in accordance with
> our constitution, section 4.1.5.
> The Developers firmly believe that leaders in any prominent organisation
> are, and should be, held to the highest standards of accountability.
> We are disappointed that issues of transparency and accountability in the
> governance of the Free Software Foundation have led to unresolved and
> serious complaints of impropriety by its founder Richard Stallman over a
> number of years whilst in the position of president and as a member of the
> board. In particular, we are deeply concerned that the board saw fit to
> reinstate him without properly considering the effect of its actions on
> those complainants.
> The Developers acknowledge that people make mistakes but believe that where
> those people are in leadership positions, they must be held accountable for
> their mistakes. We believe that the most important part of making mistakes
> is learning from them and changing behaviour. We are most concerned that
> Richard and the board have not sufficiently acknowledged or learned from
> issues which have affected a large number of people and that Richard
> remains a significant influence on both the FSF board and the GNU project.
> We call upon the Free Software Foundation to further steps it has taken in
> March 2021 to overhaul governance of the organisation, and to work
> tirelessly to ensure its aim is fulfilled. We believe that only through
> properly accountable governance can members of an organisation ensure their
> voice is heard. The Free Software Foundation must do everything in its
> power to protect its staff and members, and the wider community, including
> a robust and transparent process for dealing with complaints.
> We urge Richard Stallman and the remaining members of the board which
> reinstated him, to consider their positions.
> The Developers are proud that contributors to free software come from all
> walks of life and that our diverse experience and opinions are a strength
> of software freedom. But we must never cease in our efforts to ensure that
> all contributors are treated with respect, and that they feel safe and
> secure in our communities - including when we meet in person.


 -- Gard

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