FSFE and the war in Europe

Carsten Agger agger at modspil.dk
Thu Mar 17 20:38:47 UTC 2022

On 3/17/22 19:15, Paul Boddie wrote:
> On Thursday, 17 March 2022 10:13:28 CET Vitaly Repin wrote:
>> Yes, FSFE is not a polictical organisation. But what happens now is beyond
>> any politics. This is a full-scale war which happens now and here, in
>> Europe.
>> I feel that FSFE MUST issue an official statement about the war and actions
>> of Russia.
>> I do not know how free software activists and organizations can contribute
>> to the peace in a more meaningful way than by issuing statements.
>> But I believe that the statement shall be made as a bare minimum and it
>> shall be crystal clear.
>> Silence is not an option.
> I agree. I don't think it is in any way controversial to say that we as human
> beings condemn this war of aggression against the people and sovereign nation
> of Ukraine. And that is a mild statement, in case anyone thinks that it is too
> "political".

In response to Paul and Vitaly:

I am personally horrified and appalled by the Russian attack on Ukraine 
and the crimes they are currently committing. It is tragic, and it's 
something we had very much hoped not to see in Europe in our lifetimes. 
It's destroying Ukraine, it's destroying civil society and the small 
remains of press freedom in Russia itself - basically dragging down all 
that's good about Russian in the most stupid nationalism imaginable, and 
it's threatening all of Europe. It *is* horrifying.

In spite of this personal opinion, I think that responding to this war 
is a bit outside of FSFE's remit. I'm not even sure it would be possible 
for it to make a statement on a non-free software related event, even as 
horrifying as this one, given that free software is the only area the 
FSFE is really working on.

I actually suppose everyone in the surroundings of the FSFE is as 
appalled by this war as I outlined above, but as I see it this is simply 
not what the FSFE does. RMS once stated that there are many people 
working on other political causes, against war, against torture, for 
civil rights, and that such struggles can ultimately be more important 
than free software - but that free software was what HE was fighting for.

I think something similar can be said for the FSFE. In MY view - others 
may disagree, and that's fair. It's not that we'reĀ  not all against this 
war, but *I* think - speaking only for myself - that the FSFE is not the 
right forum for responding to this.

Except maybe giving all free software-related help & support to the 
relief effort we could, if anyone has suggestions.


More information about the Discussion mailing list