[FSUG-Bangalore] FSF should distance itself from undemocratic, illegal, immoral and unjustifiable acts of protest.

justin joseph justinjoseph007 at gmail.com
Tue Nov 18 22:35:28 IST 2008

On Tue, Nov 18, 2008 at 4:32 PM, Nagarjuna G. <nagarjun at gnowledge.org> wrote:
> On Tue, Nov 18, 2008 at 2:40 PM, haynes davis <haynesdavis at gmail.com> wrote:
>> On Tue, Nov 18, 2008 at 1:32 PM, haynes davis <haynesdavis at gmail.com> wrote:
>>>> who are the  FSF people are doing the double speak?
>>>> Second, please do not identify FSF and FSFI.  These are two different
>>>> sister organizations.
>>> i referred to fsf only in Indian context, ie. fsf india. Sorry for the
>>> confusion.
>>> Some people took part in the protest say Novell issue was due to the
>>> ignorance of organizers, while some say the organizers concealed it. People
>>> like Arun etc were at the conference, while some where protesting. Anivar
>>> Aravind, Member FSF was a speaker at the conference and also a protester.
>>> http://nfm2008.atps.in/wp-content/uploads/2008/09/speakers.html
>>>  And also regarding cpim hijack issue. Why dont fsf india make the things
>>> clear. Do fsf india support those rumors?  If not, why does not fsf india
>>> condemn such news, at least to show some gratitude towards cpim which
>>> supports our cause?
>> to add some more
>> 1.) http://www.mail-archive.com/fsf-friends@mm.gnu.org.in/msg00704.html
> Here Sasi clarified that what his intentions are.  what is the double
> speak in the above message.

It depends on how one perceives it, or how one would analyze it, or
how one would *like* to see it.
But to suggest some thing first and then give a different version of
ones understanding can be
*generally* .  In this particular case, I personally can see this as
deliberate ambiguity.  But like I
mentioned I do agree that It depends on how one see it, or how one
would analyze it, or how one
would *like* to see it....

Off course people can *clarify*.  But what Sasi kumar has said in this post:


and here :


does not do justice to the word "clarify".  To me it still appears
double speak.  If Sasi kumar
had mentioned in the second post that he is posting on the basis of
clarifications he sought or
was given from where ever, I would have seen it as him clarifying himself.

I am ready to change my opinion if convinced the other way.

>> 2.) http://yro.slashdot.org/article.pl?no_d2=1&sid=08/11/17/0120203
> James did a mistake, he sent his apologies, and  he is not a
> spokesperson of FSFI.  FSFI does not endorse what James wrote.

As far as I can remember, James did not *apologize*.  He *clarified*
saying he made a mistake.

But I *might* be wrong here, because like many here, I merely
volunteer my time towards some
of the things mentioned here:  http://www.fsf.org/volunteer/
sometimes(mostly the case :-) ) spending money out
of my pocket  and as this money comes from my full time job which
takes a lot of my time I might have missed some
posts from James where he send his apologies.  If I were a payed
employee, I am sure I would have been more
carefull while using my official id's.

Were little sad to see the loads of negative comments at slashdot
against the Novel campaign and I saw that
most of them were centered around the methodology used.

> Would it be OK if i take your views expressed in these emails as that
> of CPIM?  If I do so that would be a mistake.

I think it would be OK if the views came from foobar at cpim.org, since
its not the case
it is not OK.

>> 3.) what did arun do in his capacity as FSF Secretary to  dissolve the
>> situation during the conference. Was he organizing the protest? Was the
>> protest with the knowledge of FSF india?
> He tried talking to the organizers, he was not in the protest to begin
> with. He did not organize the protest.  It came to the knowledge of
> FSFI only after the manhandling issue.  Arun was in the scene only
> after the manhandling.  He is protesting the manhandling and later
> supported the protest, for it is a just protest.  That was a
> spontaneous decision and was not a decision of FSFI.  FSFI does not
> consider the protest is in bad taste.  The protest was not against the
> organizers, it was to inform the participants about the color of
> Novell.  That is an important step, else the people would have left
> with the impression that Novell is associated somehow with FSM.
> Organizer's interpretation that the protesters planned this against
> them is not correct.  Not a single poster was against the organizers.

Protest could also be done differently, even by posting to ones local community:

In my opinion putting up posters in ones own stall would have been fine.  But
I do not think its alright to post on others banners and all across
the avenue.  The photos
on Anivars Blog shows that  the posters were posted across the venue and also on
Novel Banners.

Anivar is a good friend and I am sad that he received blows to his
back,  any kind
of physical contact should have been avoided at all cost.  There is no
what so ever for hitting him.

I would only like to suggest that we could have protested in other ways which
would have avoided a confrontation, like distributing Debian GNU/Linux CD's
or gNewSense CD's, asking for an open forum for discussion on this.
Sammer of ILUG Cochin( was good to see that Linux was changed to Libre on
Dr. Nagarjuna's suggestion, I did always want that and hope it
reflects on the website
and mailinglist soon) while doing his session discussed relevance of
the boycott Novel campaign
and made it a point that the participants understood the point, were
happy to be part of it.
We could have asked for the speakers to dedicate 2 or 3 minutes of
each of their time slots
towards spreading awareness about the issue and requesting
participants by giving them links
to internet resources for the same.  The speakers would have more than
obliged.  We could think
of a lot and lot of ways to do this and to take this forward.  The
whole idea is to educate and promote
trying to avoid confrontation.  Anivar has also mentioned that he
understood  dynamics of the campus
violence by these people.  For these the method of protest could have
been avoided.

Long time back while in college we had also pasted banners for
altogether different reasons, but in
hindsight I have admitted to myself that it was a wrong thing to do.
Although the issues we raised
are still valid, we should have done better things to convey the message.

And I really need to ask this here, whats the agenda you are setting.

I have lot of valid concerns from the Free software point of view
against some other conferences especially
foss.in to name one.  That does not mean that I will go around pasting
banners supporting my concerns
at the foss.in event, I will think of better means to serve the same
end.  But in the hypothetical even that I do it and
the security confront me, will you and FSF-I support me and come and
sit with me in protest at the venue?

I would have wanted to say a lot more but need to get back to work :-(


>> 4.) was anivar representing FSF?
> He was also not representing FSFI, nor FSF. He clarified that he was
> representing swatantra malayalam computing.
> Nagarjuna
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