More and more voices are raised to protest the return of Richard M. Stallman (RMS) to the board of directors of the Free Software Foundation (FSF) and it is that thousands of people and organizations of the free software and open source community (Open Source Initiative, Software Freedom Conservancy, Apache Software Foundation) are asking for his departure again and now Mozilla and Tor are now among the protesters.
As we reported yesterday, Pressure is mounting for Stallman, who is back on the FSF board, to be expelled from the organization he created and of which he has been a symbol for decades.
One of the first reactions came from the Open Source Initiative (OSI), which said it was outraged by the announcement. Hours after the announcement, he said he will stop working with the Free Software Foundation if RMS does not resign from the organization's board of directors. For her, "Stallman does not reflect the leader that the community wants to have."
Subsequently, hundreds of free software and open source supporters signed an open letter calling on the founder of the Free Movement to return his apron, but also on the entire FSF board of directors to resign. The mobilization for the departure of RMS from all its management positions in the free software community has its origin in his statements considered disturbing related to the sex of minors and the laws relating to child pornography. As for the FSF board of directors, the petitioners accuse it of displaying "exaggerated" passivity.
The signatories of the petition iThey include developers, contributors, and senior officials from free software and open source organizations and projects, including GNOME Foundation, Open Source Initiative, Software Freedom Conservancy, Apache Software Foundation, Wikimedia Foundation, EFF, etc.
There are also academics, and even former MEP from the Swedish Pirate Party, in this case Amelia Andersdotter. Everyone is speaking out against behavior deemed undesirable by RMS, which they believe is a thorn in the side of the free and open source software community.
Since its launch on Monday, the number of signatories to the petition has grown rapidly.
Today, more than 2.000 people and organizations have already signed it. Tor and Mozilla joined the list on Wednesday. “We cannot demand better from the Internet if we don't demand better from our leaders, from our colleagues, and from ourselves. We stand with the open source diversity community, Outreachy and the Software Conservancy project and we support this request, ”Mozilla wrote on its Twitter page yesterday. So is Stallman going? Otherwise, how would the free software and open source community fare?
In requesting the resignation of the FSF board of directors, The organizers of the petition refer to the allegations of harassment, Stallman's comments about people with Down syndrome, and his repeated comments about the singular pronoun "they," which the petitioners refer to as "poorly disguised transphobia." .
“There has been enough tolerance for RMS's disgusting ideas and behavior. We cannot continue to allow one person to ruin the meaning of our work ”, write the organizers of the petition.
"Our communities have no place for people like Richard M. Stallman, and we will not continue to suffer for his behavior, nor will we give him a leadership role, nor will we see him and his ideology as hurtful and dangerous," as acceptable ", they are outraged . . On the other hand, keep in mind that Stallman is one of many personalities in the tech counterculture whose behavior, once considered simply eccentric, has since been widely characterized as abusive.
For example, the creator of Linux, Linus Torvalds, also found himself in a similar situation a few years ago. Torvalds withdrew from the project in 2018 after The New Yorker reported years of what it called "abusive emails" to other members of the project.