FSFE Newsletter May 2019
This newsletter edition gives special attention to the upcoming EU Elections. We are telling the story of the Spanish Pica Pica Hacklab who successfully used our "Public Money? Public Code!" campaign to influence the Parliament of Asturias. Pica Pica's story takes us to the upcoming EU Elections that will bring in new MEPs into the European Parliament and so we provide advice and tips on how you can get active in promoting Free Software to them. As always, you will also read about the events the FSFE is going to be part of this month, as well as a retrospective of what has happened in the past month.
EU Elections 2019 and Free Software
"The Parliament of Asturias commits itself to the international Public Money? Public Code! campaign" - this is a quote from the first demand in a recent proposal brought in by the Parliament of Asturias towards its government and it marks the happy end of continuous lobbying efforts from Oviedo's local hackerspace "Pica Pica Hacklab".
This was already the second attempt of Pica Pica to lobby the Parliament of Asturias and demand the use of Free Software within public administrations. However, in contrast to their first attempt in 2015, this time Pica Pica had "Public Money? Public Code!" campaign materials at hand and used them extensively, together with their self-developed social hacking skills, to convince the politicians.
Pica Pica's success story is highly motivating for local activists and so we interviewed Iyán Méndez Veiga, member of Pica Pica, to highlight key elements of their activities, the usage of our campaign material and their lobbying. Read how Pica Pica successfully emphasised different benefits of Free Software depending on the agenda of the political party they were talking to respectively, how they turned emails into face-to-face meetings and how they finally landed even more meetings with officials from different parties by simply walking through the Parliament's building.
Pica Pica's story is not only motivating but it also clearly shows how local engagement by a small single group can influence even the highest political levels. Still, it is one story out of many, happening continuously in many parts of Europe. Be it a group of people or individuals: every talk, explanation or sometimes even the mere handing out of a well-formulated and informative leaflet can make the difference and convince a decision-maker to care about Free Software.
That brings us to this year's EU Elections of the European Parliament taking place next week throughout Europe, from May 23rd to 26th. Let us follow the recent example of Pica Pica and make sure that as many candidates as possible are aware of Free Software and its benefits, and convince them to join us in empowering users to control technology.
This is even more important now, as forecasts predict that half of the Members in the current European Parliament will not be back in the next term. That means that there will be new members appearing on the scene that do not yet know about Free Software.
Help let them know about the benefits of technologies that respect users freedom. Help us establish new contacts with advocates for Free Software in the next European Parliament's term. Seek out the candidates in your region and get in contact with them. Use our "Public Money?Public Code!" campaign as a source for arguments. Find more general hints and tips in our wiki.
And then get out there and vote for the candidate that convinced you most concerning the topics and values that matter to you!
Vote for freedom and join our community: https://my.fsfe.org/support
Do not miss: upcoming events with the FSFE
- From May 17th to 19th the Maker Fair Berlin will take place and the local FSFE group Berlin will be present with an information booth.
- On May 18th the FSFE's Policy Manager Alexander Sander will be present at the Albanian Open Source conference OSCAL to promote the FSFE's "Public Money? Public Code!" campaign to the local community.
- On May 21st Erik Albers, FSFE's Communication and Programme Manager, will talk at the Magdeburger Developer Days about the sustainability of software and how to preserve software resources for future generations.
- From May 24th to 26th the FSFE will host its own web-a-thon in Frankfurt (Main) to have a fruitful collective work on improving the FSFE's homepage together. You can find all details on the corresponding wiki-page.
- On May 29th, the FSFE's legal intern Lucas Lasota will present FOSS legal trends at the Libre Graphics Meetings in Saarbrücken, Germany.
- On June 8th, the FSFE's Project Manager Galia Mancheva will present the Public Money? Public Code! campaign to the Bulgarian tech community at TuxCon in Plovdiv, Bulgaria.
- On June 13th, the FSFE's President Matthias Kirschner will give a keynote about Free Software in our society at OW2con in Paris, France.
- On June 25th, the FSFE's Policy and Project Managers Alexander Sander and Galia Mancheva will talk about the Public Money?Public Code! campaign and the updated Copyright Directive at Libertybits in Sofia, Bulgaria
Save the Date:
This year we are running the FSFE community meeting on November 15th and 16th in cooperation with the SFSCon in Bolzano, Italy. The FSFE country team Italy will use this occasion to prepare and run a dedicated FSFE track during the conference and the conference day will be followed by a dedicated community day. The general Call for Participation of the SFSCon is already up and running, while the one for the FSFE track in particular will be published soon. If you are interested in the publication of the call, follow our news (RSS feed)
What have we done? Inside and Outside the FSFE
- On 27 April, Max Mehl, the FSFE's Programme Manager, gave a keynote at Grazer Linuxtage about Free Software and why security and openness are not contradictory. If you are curious about what he said, you can watch the keynote video.
- On April 27th, there was an FSFE's info-booth at the the local FLISoL event in A Coruña, Spain and on 11 May, the FSFE was present with a booth at T-Dose in Eindhoven, The Netherlands.
- Alexander Sander, the FSFE's Policy Manager talked about the importance of supporting the Public Money? Public Code! campaign on May 3rd at the LWW2019 in Vienna, where the FSFE also hosted an infobooth.
- Carmen Bianca Bakker writes about elitists and laypeople and uses this distinction for a comparison between the development of the Game of Thrones script with her own development and history from Spacemacs to Emacs to VSCodium and more.
- Syncthing is a Free Software sync-solution on F-Droid. Andrea Scarpino explains the customizations he has done to use it for simple but automated phone backup with Syncthing
- Matija Šuklje sums up different way and methods he used to archive and organise his bookmarks in the last years.
As already brought up in the beginning of the Newsletter, the European Parliament's Elections are ahead and forecasts predict that many new members will be part of the next term. If you want Free Software to catch on with these Parliamentary freshmen, then you can seek out the candidates in your region and get in contact with them. We prepared a short list of actions you can take and other tips in our wiki.
Contribute to our newsletter
If you would like to share any thoughts, pictures, or news, send them to us. As always, the address is firstname.lastname@example.org. We're looking forward to hearing from you!
Erik Albers and Galia Mancheva
Vote for freedom and join our community: https://my.fsfe.org/support