This page is part of a series of interviews with FSFE supporters and friends to help give a face to our community. Get an overview about our interviews on the testimonials page
"Hi, I'm André Ockers from Nijmegen. I started using Free Software in 2004 to switch to a Free Software operating system in 2009. In 2014 I was searching for online user and support groups and this way I found out about FSFE and joined immediately".
"The FSFE and me in 30 seconds"
Short Interview with André Ockers (2019)
FSFE: What made you interested in the FSFE and motivated to become a supporter?
André Ockers: When there is serious social pressure to do something in a certain way (for example: “you should use proprietary software”) without substantial reasoning behind it then it is time to find like-minded people to connect and work together.
Beyond supporting the FSFE, you also engage as a volunteer. What are you doing for FSFE?
I'm translating web content to Dutch, informing people in FSFE booths, spreading the word about Free Software and participating in community events.
What is your favourite FSFE campaign at the moment?
My favorite campaign at the moment is "Public Money? Public Code!", as it draws attention to the fact that when policy makers choose Free Software, the people win: public costs go down and it is good news for local businesses and the local labour market. The city of Barcelona has understood this, so they're now the ones moving forward. Other public organisations can watch and learn.
In one sentence: What is the biggest benefit of Free Software?
In my mind, the biggest benefit of Free Software is that it empowers its users.
How is the Free Software movement doing in the Netherlands?
The Free Software movement in the Netherlands is volatile, with the long-term trend in the direction of more adoption of the idea of Free Software. The Dutch government wants to enable the public sector to publish software as Free Software. And five times a year we run a FSFE booth in the Netherlands and it feels good when people walk away inspired.
What is your favourite Free Software?
The software that I use most must be Icedove, for email, tasks and agenda. And I'm happy with GnuPG, F-Droid, Replicant, LibreOffice…
Is there anything you believe the FSFE should improve or begin working on next? Any wishes for the future?
I think FSFE is doing a great job. There can be more information exchange, e.g. in the FSFE wiki. Around me I hear people who don't know where to start, so maybe there can be made some progress in that area, for example by providing printable wiki techdoc's for beginners and advanced users alike. Users must be running into the same challenges at a lot of places at the same time.