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Re: Support RMS

From: Alexandre Oliva
Subject: Re: Support RMS
Date: Thu, 15 Apr 2021 05:20:46 -0300
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/25.2 (gnu/linux)

On Apr 14, 2021, Deb Nicholson <> wrote:

> It's disappointing that so many people have chosen to disbelieve former FSF
> employees, hundreds of women who have encountered RMS at conferences or MIT
> and many, many free software creators.

That's a real peril, and would have been wise to take into account,
before deciding to form a coalition with known liars and attackers, and
before resorting to false allegations, exaggerations and distortions to
spark an explosive reaction that facts have or would have failed to spark.

These decisions have contaminated and shed doubt on the legitimacy of
claims advanced by those who joined the coalition, or who
opportunistically timed their action to coincide with those of the
corporate-funded coalition.  That may be illogical, but it's often a
valuable heuristics.  Call it karma if you wish.

Now, if there were any true, first-hand accounts of actual sexual
harassment, I'd be very interested in getting them straight from the
source.  Giving out pleasure cards, politely asking people on dates,
keeping foliage or mattresses in work offices, reports of the existence
of institutional sexism at universities, advising caution against leaps
to unsupported condemnation, tasteless jokes, getting angry and being
loud are not it IMHO.  Hearsay about the same half dozen rumors over a
period of 40+ years isn't either, unless your own investigations haven't
hit a dead end before something concrete popped up.  I encourage you to
let the FSF board know if that's the case, and please keep me on copy.

> The vast majority of the people who signed the letter asking for RMS
> to step down, care deeply about free software.

I encourage them (you) to behave as such, instead of associating with
historical opponents, and working so hard to divide us.  It's become
really hard to believe in that commitment, and in good intentions behind
the actions, given the present circumstances.

Alexandre Oliva, happy hacker
   Free Software Activist         GNU Toolchain Engineer
        Vim, Vi, Voltei pro Emacs -- GNUlius Caesar

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