In response to Richard Stallman returning to the Free Software Foundation (FSF) as a board member, more than a thousand software developers and free software advocates have signed an open letter asking for the removal of the entire board. According to the open letter, Stallman is a “dangerous force in the free software community” and the FSF board has enabled and empowered him for too long. 

“They demonstrate this again by permitting him to rejoin the FSF Board. It is time for RMS to step back from the free software, tech ethics, digital rights, and tech communities, for he cannot provide the leadership we need,” the letter stated. 

The group is also calling for Stallman to be removed from the GNU Project and other leadership positions he currently holds. 

The letter goes on to say that in order for the promise of software freedom to become reality, the community must radically change. 

“We believe in a present and a future where all technology empowers – not oppresses – people. We know that this is only possible in a world where technology is built to pay respect to our rights at its most foundational levels. While these ideas have been popularized in some form by Richard M. Stallman, he does not speak for us. We do not condone his actions and opinions. We do not acknowledge his leadership or the leadership of the Free Software Foundation as it stands today,” the letter stated. 

Organizations that have signed the letter include: Mozilla, Tor Project, Foundation, Open Source Diversity, and Open Life Science. Signatures also include members from the GNU community, Open Source Initiative, and a former member of the FSF board.