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02.24.20

Alexandre Oliva’s New Article About a Coup

Posted in FSF, GNU/Linux at 6:55 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Original blog post by the FSF's interim co-president

Previously:

Some people try to tell me that the criticism I’ve got, inside the FSF and outside, since the Free Software Sept 11, are not about my being supportive of RMS, but about my making public statements referencing him at all.

That must be the reason why public complaints are passed on to me when my postings are favorable to Richard as much as when they are disfavorable. Uhh, no, I only get such complaints when they’re favorable.

To wit, even before Richard left the board, I posted multiple requests for feedback from people all over the spectrum of opinions about Richard that I’d heard. This was deemed confusing by a number of people, because they couldn’t figure out my own position (by design), but what were the complaints that were passed on to me? You guessed it, about a post that was favorable to him.

Then, Richard left the board, and I, as acting president, posted a short note of gratitude to him, thanking him for his many years of service. Surely nobody would complain about that or give it much thought, right? Wrong!

On Ada Lovelace day, I posted a message praising and encouraging women to speak up against abuse, explicitly mentioning and including any who’d signed a joint statement against Richard, but that had been largely portrayed as against sexism. I got complaints even about that! It was labeled as confusing, because people couldn’t quite figure out how I supported Richard there, but still, somehow I must be doing so, so, bad Alex!

You think that’s funny?

Then, after leaving things quiet down for a while, I get a list of concerns “not about Richard”, in which 5 out of 6 entries are about public posts of mine that are scrutinized, twisted and criticized by the same people who cancelled Richard, for my daring say anything in his favor (or even the opposite, like the Ada Lovelace post), and that were a reason for concern because I was taking a public position divergent from what the board had guided the entire FSF to take.

Behold!, dear colleagues and readers: since I joined the FSF board, and quite possibly before that, the FSF board never made any decision to distance the FSF from Richard, to criticize him, or to celebrate his departure. Quite the opposite, if you look carefully at statements issued by the board, namely those on the relationship between FSF and GNU. Somehow, despite the decision by the board to stay the course after Richard left, the notion that got to FSF staff was that we were to move away from him, silence his supporters and support his silencers. I wonder how that came about…

Maybe it’s for similar reasons that, as soon as I wrote my first public posts after Richard left, despite the request to coordinate all public communications through a single person that wasn’t me, I got a few surprised messages from outsiders who wondered “what was going on, weren’t you guys supposed to keep quiet?!?” While others took it all over? No, I don’t think I ever agreed to that.

But no, it’s not a coup!

Or, as we say in Brazil, “mas não é golpe!” That phrase became popular in Brazil during former president Dilma Rousseff’s ousting and Lula’s judicial persecution, when the most outrageous and illegal moves were portrayed by the mainstream press, favorable to the coup, as perfectly legal and reasonable procedures.

So blong…


Copyright 2007-2020 Alexandre Oliva

Permission is granted to make and distribute verbatim copies of this entire document worldwide without royalty, provided the copyright notice, the document’s official URL, and this permission notice are preserved.

The following licensing terms also apply to all documents and postings in this blog that don’t contain a copyright notice of their own, or that contain a notice equivalent to the one above, and whose copyright can be reasonably assumed to be held by Alexandre Oliva.

This work is licensed under the Creative Commons License BY-SA (Attribution ShareAlike) 3.0 Unported. To see a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/ or send a letter to Creative Commons, 444 Castro Street, Suite 900, Mountain View, California, 94041, USA.

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