In Support of Richard Stallman

Normalizing Truth, Reason, Justice

This website refutes many of the invalid accusations against Richard Stallman that were used to cancel him. It's the result of careful research from a rational and objective standpoint. It shows the truth, backed by the testimony of conscientious and thoughtful people. We invite you to explore it and join our efforts to give Stallman's visionary voice in the free software movement the space it deserves.

We dedicate this website to the community of people who wish to help clear the air around a sad and painful series of events. For those of you who have helped, and for those of you who are curious about the truth in this situation, and especially for those of you who believe wrongs can be made right through acknowledgement of harm and work to understand, we welcome you.

People are adding to their email signatures, social media profiles, etc. Great! Let's take it to the next level and get together to Help the GNU Project!

Building Community

Published on April 05, 2021. 

A picture of Nadine Strossen and the cover of her book, side by side.

Hate: Why We Should Resist It with Free Speech, Not Censorship, by Nadine Strossen.

This book by Nadine Strossen[1] was a source of inspiration for this website. In it, she shows that social justice and freedom of speech are not either/or propositions. She invites us to think carefully about these issues in many contexts and ponder the nuances. We were glad to see that she agrees with several of Stallman's ideas, such as the clarification of the term “sexual assault.” #strossen-book

Our Purpose

The foremost purpose of this website is to provide an accurate and objective explanation of the circumstances that led to Richard Stallman's resignation from MIT and the FSF in September 2019. We intend to correct the record, in hopes of redressing some of the harm caused by disinformation and misinformation.

It's not as much about defending Richard Stallman in some vigilante trial as it is about strengthening a community against disinformation and preventing further harm to one of their own.

The website is also a space for those who recognize Stallman's contributions to society, a place for those of us who treasure his friendship and his humanity to bear witness and to share our thoughts. To that end, the website collects writings of support for Richard Stallman, scattered over the web, into one place for shared review and reflection.

Some of those writings are transcribed verbatim, others are quoted or remixed into new articles, in compliance with relevant licenses. In all cases, we make every effort to contact the original authors, but if that fails, we hope they will contact us. Help gathering this material is welcome.

The ultimate goal of this work is larger. The confusion of facts and lies, strong emotions, and values being weaponized that swirled pell-mell around Stallman are characteristic of so much human conflict. The ostracism and pain were shattering and deeply wounded many people who are struggling now with the question, “What do we mean by community?”

In that sense, this website aims to serve as a source of restorative healing and inspiration for a mindful analysis of the many difficulties our communities face today, in the hope that it may foster dialogue and understanding as valuable tools to build healthy societies.

Your help to spread the word about this initiative is greatly appreciated. #purpose

Who we are

Among us there are friends of Richard Stallman; people who have seen improvements in their lives thanks to his work; people who think of him as the person who has given mankind one of the most important tools for freedom and liberation in computing technology and beyond; supporters of freedom of expression and scientific thinking; people who would like to see him continue spreading the word about the importance of software freedom in society.

We deeply value Stallman's ability to articulate core principles and challenge us all in embracing computing that fosters freedom and justice—and we need his contributions today more than ever.

We believe in social justice that strongly affirms human and civil rights of all human beings, aiming for equity across all differences of skin color, age, physical or mental disabilities, creed, cultural background, socioeconomic status, gender, sexual orientation or any other demographic aspects. We believe that these rights should not be left in the realm of theories but put into practice by States and organizations by implementing specific policies of fairness and inclusion to advance our collective wellbeing.

With these principles at heart, we are deeply troubled by community conflicts that result in zero-sum “winners and losers” thinking rather than dialogue to build understanding. We need to fight injustices, but we need to be careful about what methods we use, because some methods can result in more injustice.

In short, we are people who believe the unjust treatment of RMS has so far been a loss for everyone and damaging for a shared understanding of community. This website is restorative for us, enabling us to rebuild what we have lost. #who

The Website

Our hope is that visitors to the site are here to learn, reflect, contribute, and share in restorative ways.

As stated in the footer of each page, we respect the privacy of our visitors. This website does not place cookies of any sort in your computer, it does not collect any data about you, your IP address, your browser, your computer or device, or your location.

It was designed and built by writing our own css and html code from scratch, with no JavaScript. #website

Contact us

Friends of Richard Stallman, advocates of freedom of expression and scientific thought are encouraged to send us comments, testimonials, personal experiences and original articles to be published in a dedicated section. If you have written letters to others expressing support for Richard Stallman and would like us to publish them here, we'll be glad to do so. #contact

stallmansupport [AT] protonmail [DOT] com (Public Key)

References and Notes

  1. Nadine Strossen is an American civil liberties advocate and feminist. She served as president of the ACLU from 1991 to 2008. She is a John Marshall Harlan II Professor of Law, Emerita. Strossen has been called a “civil liberties luminary” for her life long commitment to the rights of women, children, the oppressed, and to freedom of speech. She has written extensively on these subjects and constitutional law.