To the FSF: Thank you for defending Richard Stallman! Ignore the haters. You did the right thing!

Leah Rowe

12 April 2021

News article published on 12 April 2021 by Leah Rowe. Return to index

On 21 March 2021, Richard Stallman (RMS) announced his re-instatement on the FSF board of directors, after nearly 2 years of silence following his forced resignation due to a smear campaign against him in late 2019. Until recently, the FSF never publicly defended Richard Stallman from false accusations of wrongdoing. RMS remained in his post as leader of the GNU project, and he is still in that position today.

Richard Stallman is the founder of the GNU project and Free Software Foundation. His contributions to the world are numerous. Without him, none of us would be here today. He is a staunch defender of your digital freedoms and as far as I’m concerned, he is still our leader.

For information about ongoing hate campaigns targeting RMS, read the pages on this website (created specifically to defend RMS):

In response to his re-instatement, a new smear campaign targeting Richard was started by the media. A petition was published, calling for Richard’s forced removal from the FSF. In response, we, the Free Software movement, started our own petition and a campaign urging the FSF to publicly endorse Richard Stallman, to exonerate him and defend him from the hate campaigns; to hold their ground and keep Richard in his post.

I, Leah Rowe, submitted the following defense of Richard Stallman on 31 March 2021

We won. The FSF issued this news post on 12 April 2021, defending Richard Stallman and protecting his legacy:

I would like to publicly thank the FSF for their courage and their wisdom in this matter. Richard Stallman is an excellent public speaker and shows great wisdom in his leadership of our movement. He should have never had to resign in the first place, but the past is the past.

I would also like to thank everyone else who worked tirelessly to defend Richard against the shameful hate campaigns. It is my wish now that we, as a community, can move past the divisive and hateful politics of the last few weeks.

Now is the time to heal. Let’s write more free software!


I’m also eternally grateful to all those on IRC who helped me with the RMS article on (and also this article!), plus all those who submitted translations of the article. We did our part. Let there be no doubt: we are on the right side of history. People will look back on all of this in a few years, and realize that we were right.

Hate, bigotry and prejudice have no place in our community.

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