[Wikimedia-l] Plea from Wikimedia Portugal

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[Wikimedia-l] Plea from Wikimedia Portugal

GoEthe.wiki
The original message was rejected due to a filter rule match, but you can
access it here:
https://lists.wikimedia.org/pipermail/wikimediapt/2018-October/002698.html
I am sending it below without the links. Please access the link above for
the full version.
__________

Sorry in advance for the lengthy email – the tl;dr version is: Wikimedia
Portugal has done all it was asked to do, so the suspension that was held
conditional to performing those steps must be lifted accordingly. For the
sake of transparency, we are sending this out to not only the AffCom
mailing list, but also Wikimedia-l and WikimediaPT-l.
_________

Dear members of AffCom,

(cc to the Wikimedia Portugal mailing list, Wikimedia mailing list)

Last 5th October we were again surprised by the content of your email
(quoted below) in response to us completing the roadmap we had agreed upon
in order to remove the suspension of Wikimedia Portugal. On that message,
you say you have once more received information whose substantiation is not
mentioned, from sources that are not disclosed. And still you seem to
accept it as the truth without even providing us with the opportunity to
get properly acquainted with it, let alone rebate or contradict it. While
you speak of transparency, that message is unsettlingly opaque, as have
been multiple such messages relayed to us in the course of this whole
process.

As you are well aware, Wikimedia Portugal was faced in March with a
situation where the president of the Board, João Vasconcelos, became
demissionary without any previous warning [1]. It should be noted that when
Vasconcelos was elected as president of the Board back in 2015, he wasn’t
elected based on any background as a Wikimedia editor, as he has no history
of contribution to any of the Wikimedia projects, but rather on his self
proclaimed merits on organisational and conflict management (!). Despite
the best efforts of several people from Wikimedia Portugal over the years,
Vasconcelos sadly never really integrated well neither on Wikimedia
Portugal, nor in the Portuguese Wikimedia community.

So, in light of what looked like an existential threat for WMPT, I and a
number of other WMPT members have publicly and transparently mobilized
ourselves to organize an extraordinary General Election to elect the new
Board. Vasconcelos was probably expecting/hoping that we would ask him to
stay. But we have seen this sort of behavior elsewhere [a].We didn't.
Instead, we handled the situation cooperatively, as a group, openly.
Vasconcelos never voiced any desire to take part on this collective
solution-building, as evidenced by his silence from the discussion on the
Wikimedia Portugal mailing list in March [2] and April [3]. He was welcome
to do so. His only message to the mailing list was two days (13 April)
before the 15 April General Assembly, announcing that he considered the
planned General Assembly null [4]. Given the lack of legal standing for
that claim, we carried on with the General Assembly (the transparent,
inclusive, democratic governing body of associations), summoned according
to our by-laws. This General Assembly successfully elected new governing
bodies, including the Board of Directors.

In May we were surprised by a message from AffCom demanding that we stop
taking part in a conflict, and "refrain from representing ourselves as
representatives of Wikimedia Portugal" (see quoted message in [5]
<https://lists.wikimedia.org/pipermail/wikimediapt/2018-May/002621.html>).This
was the very first time the Committee contacted Wikimedia Portugal about
this case. The message provided no legal precedent or framework for this
demand, no indication of what this conflict was, or why AffCom thought the
Board was a part of it.

From what we understood, Vasconcelos went to the Wikimedia Conference in
Berlin, where he seems to have convinced AffCom that our General Assembly
of 15 April was legally void.

We have repeatedly provided concrete evidence that t it was not the case,
including quoting relevant court decisions backing this [6]
<https://mail.google.com/mail/u/0/(https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/private/wikimedia-pt-internal/2018-July/002414.html>.
In response, AffCom reported having no time to read through legal texts,
and therefore not being able to assess the validity of our declarations,
but that is beyond our control. And yet AffCom accepted Vasconcelos’
version without question. It is a legal imperative to be held innocent
until proven guilty, and until it is legally proven there was some
wrongdoing, General Assemblies are valid and binding.

After the April General Assembly we were working, in addition to our
activities and programs, to put the association in order in terms of
obligations to the Portuguese state and the tax authorities, providing
access to WMPT’s bank account to the persons designated on the 15 April GA,
and so on. Things were getting on track...

We were surprised again in July by a message from AffCom temporarily
suspending Wikimedia Portugal’s recognition as a Wikimedia chapter [7]. In
that message for the first time you laid out a concrete roadmap that, if
followed (as we understood), would lead to lifting the suspension. The
roadmap set out a list of demands from AffCom which we diligently
fulfilled, even well ahead of the required deadlines. We organized and held
a new General Assembly in September, summoned according to the
interpretation of the Portuguese Civil Code that AffCom relayed to us (with
the exception of anything we believed would make the proceeding illegal,
which was communicated in due time to AffCom). This General Assembly had
the same result as before [8]. The Assembly was normally held, despite
severe attempts of sabotage from Vasconcelos, reported in due time to
AffCom, Legal and the Safety team. In addition to the minutes [9], an audio
recording of the assembly is available in Commons [10] ; video recording is
also available on request.

We then submitted our overdue Financial Report [11], demonstrated support
from the community to the continuation of the chapter [12], and wrote a
plan for improved chapter capacity [13]. All should be good now...

Having done all this, despite our disagreement that a new Assembly was
needed in the first place, we are now again surprised by the reception of
the opaque message I mention in the beginning, sent by AffCom to my email
(quoted below) affirming that the Committee had received reports from
unstated persons with unspecified concerns about the General Assembly and
the capacity of Wikimedia Portugal to run as a chapter. The message claims
that "there were a number of issues with lack of transparency [as well as
with] providing an opportunity to participate in an open, organizational
process" while not specifying these issues at all. Your message questions
whether we are "prepared as an Affiliate to prevent disruption in [our]
organization's collective pursuit of the movement’s mission", even though
we have so far been able to handle every attempt at disruption from
Vasconcelos.

If we rolled up our sleeves to activate the scattered energies of a stale
organization in order to prepare and execute April’s General Assembly, it
was because we were convinced that Wikimedia Portugal had a viable future
ahead, and was of value to the Wikimedia movement. At the time, the actions
of Vasconcelos were so absurd that the reaction to them even spurred some
founders and (by then) inactive members of WMPT to offer their help in
reestablishing a functional organization. Along with the help of a number
of historic as well as new members who have been steadily returning and
joining our ranks, that’s precisely what we are achieving.

That’s why we’ve been working on fulfilling the AffCom roadmap requests,
even if we didn’t like or agree with some aspects of it. All things
considered, it was a clear path to resolving our situation, and we found
that parts of it could be useful to the chapter. But AffCom’s validation of
Vasconcelos’ actions and claims, even if unintentional, have real
consequences for the mental state and safety of our members.

Back in March, when Vasconcelos claimed he had requested our bank to lock
the chapter’s bank account, started a process at the Public Prosecution
Service, and he had talked with an attorney on that subject, can you
imagine what André, our treasurer, felt waiting in line in the bank until
he found what really happened? In the end, the bank account had not been
locked because of any court order or legal reason as Vasconcelos implied,
but rather because someone had tried to access the bank account without the
proper credentials, and the system automatically locked the account.

Before the General Assembly in September, Vasconcelos sent out legal
threats and even menaces of police intervention to anyone participating. We
still went through with it, but can you imagine how we felt, the pressure
that was under some of us? It was all a bluff in the end, but this is what
you put us through.

Notwithstanding, WMPT activities were happening in parallel. They are
listed on our activities plan for anyone to see [14], and more are planned.
After several years of inactivity, we are happy to be on a sustainable
growth path, gradually building capacity and doing the best we can with the
resources available to us. We’ve also been using our personal contacts with
other movements in order to increase our organization’s capacity. Ana,
newly appointed to the Board, has just returned from Wiki Takes Zamora,
where she was learning from Wikimedia Spain, relaunching the collaboration
between both chapters. Two of the events we have planned for November are
using this paradigm. We’ll celebrate Wikidata’s sixth anniversary with a
local group of data enthusiasts in Porto, and near Lisbon we’re helping
with the organization and will participate in a FOSS event, so in both
cases we’ll also acquire event organization skills. This growth path is in
peril if you continue to undermine our efforts.

Over the last half year we’ve been attacked, offended, insulted, received
multiple threats of judicial action by Vasconcelos, and even an actual
intimidatory letter from a lawyer working for him (but purportedly on
behalf of WMPT); and during this entire time we’ve tried not to escalate
the situation, not to engage with such attempts at direct confrontation,
nor make them public. You force us now to disclose this in order to clear
our name and set the record straight. With the help and support of the
legal and security departments of the Wikimedia Foundation, we have dealt
with the actions of Vasconcelos so far. And we will follow the disciplinary
procedures foreseen for these situations in our bylaws which may result in
his removal from the chapter.

We’ve repeatedly complied in unusually strict terms with legal
requirements, and with AffCom’s roadmap, while dealing with Vasconcelos’
actions as privately as we could in order not to affect the public image of
the Wikimedia movement, nor its community – but honestly, we’re reaching
the point of exhaustion in light of AffCom’s puzzling behavior along this
process. We understand that AffCom may have reserves regarding our future,
but the way it is dealing with the situation is clearly counterproductive.
How can AffCom keep making new accusations without at least asking us for
information or confirmations?

Currently, our major source of disruption, distress and anxiety is each new
message we receive from AffCom, as they repeatedly defy our expectations of
a partner claiming to be attempting to help us getting back on our feet. We
are actually wary that the next address could be an announcement that
Wikimedia Portugal has been de-recognized, even after we have passed our
“road of trials”, due to the ever moving goalposts. Several of our key
people have reported insomnia, including myself, after receiving your
communications. We’re reaching our physical, psychological, and
motivational limit, in great part due to AffCom’s actions and inexplicable
lack of support and transparency.

It is time to stop this! Despite what we still believe were your best
intentions, AffCom has inadvertently caused significant destabilization for
Wikimedia Portugal.

Please honor your part of the compromise, lift this suspension and let us
proceed in the productive pursuit of our collective mission.

Regards,

Gonçalo
Gonçalo Themudo

*Presidente*
*Wikimedia Portugal*
*Email: *[hidden email]
*Website: *http://pt.wikimedia.org <https://sites.google.com/view/themudo>
*Imagine um mundo onde cada ser humano pode partilhar livremente a soma de
todo o conhecimento, na sua própria língua.*
_______________________________________________
Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines and https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimedia-l
New messages to: [hidden email]
Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l, <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Plea from Wikimedia Portugal

Alchimista
As a wikimedia Portugal board member I totally agree with Gonçalo's
statement. Despite what I believe where AffCom best efforts, they clearly
didn't knew how to properly deal with this situation. They took official
positions without hearing us, they've imposed a roadmap that we had to
accomplish in order to lift the suspension, and now that we've accomplished
it, some unexplained accusations came out of the blue. I feel that AffCom
put us chasing ghosts during the last months and that all we've done so far
was in vain, and more importantly, is making us reach the limit of our
capacities. This last message is a clear example of what shouldn’t be done:
we’ve been working with special motivation knowing that we were doing all
what was requested in order to get our suspension lifted, and then AffCom
sends us that opaque accusation, without any previous attempt to get any
confirmation or information.

Wikimedia Portugal is currently in a sustainable path, despite all the
entropy, we’ve been able to fulfill all legal obligations, AffCom roadmap,
improve our governance and transparency and organize activities. We intend
to keep this path, continuously improving our capacities, but AffCom is
clearly making it more difficult.

Best regards,

André

GoEthe.wiki <[hidden email]> escreveu no dia terça, 9/10/2018 à(s)
11:12:

> The original message was rejected due to a filter rule match, but you can
> access it here:
> https://lists.wikimedia.org/pipermail/wikimediapt/2018-October/002698.html
> I am sending it below without the links. Please access the link above for
> the full version.
> __________
>
> Sorry in advance for the lengthy email – the tl;dr version is: Wikimedia
> Portugal has done all it was asked to do, so the suspension that was held
> conditional to performing those steps must be lifted accordingly. For the
> sake of transparency, we are sending this out to not only the AffCom
> mailing list, but also Wikimedia-l and WikimediaPT-l.
> _________
>
> Dear members of AffCom,
>
> (cc to the Wikimedia Portugal mailing list, Wikimedia mailing list)
>
> Last 5th October we were again surprised by the content of your email
> (quoted below) in response to us completing the roadmap we had agreed upon
> in order to remove the suspension of Wikimedia Portugal. On that message,
> you say you have once more received information whose substantiation is not
> mentioned, from sources that are not disclosed. And still you seem to
> accept it as the truth without even providing us with the opportunity to
> get properly acquainted with it, let alone rebate or contradict it. While
> you speak of transparency, that message is unsettlingly opaque, as have
> been multiple such messages relayed to us in the course of this whole
> process.
>
> As you are well aware, Wikimedia Portugal was faced in March with a
> situation where the president of the Board, João Vasconcelos, became
> demissionary without any previous warning [1]. It should be noted that when
> Vasconcelos was elected as president of the Board back in 2015, he wasn’t
> elected based on any background as a Wikimedia editor, as he has no history
> of contribution to any of the Wikimedia projects, but rather on his self
> proclaimed merits on organisational and conflict management (!). Despite
> the best efforts of several people from Wikimedia Portugal over the years,
> Vasconcelos sadly never really integrated well neither on Wikimedia
> Portugal, nor in the Portuguese Wikimedia community.
>
> So, in light of what looked like an existential threat for WMPT, I and a
> number of other WMPT members have publicly and transparently mobilized
> ourselves to organize an extraordinary General Election to elect the new
> Board. Vasconcelos was probably expecting/hoping that we would ask him to
> stay. But we have seen this sort of behavior elsewhere [a].We didn't.
> Instead, we handled the situation cooperatively, as a group, openly.
> Vasconcelos never voiced any desire to take part on this collective
> solution-building, as evidenced by his silence from the discussion on the
> Wikimedia Portugal mailing list in March [2] and April [3]. He was welcome
> to do so. His only message to the mailing list was two days (13 April)
> before the 15 April General Assembly, announcing that he considered the
> planned General Assembly null [4]. Given the lack of legal standing for
> that claim, we carried on with the General Assembly (the transparent,
> inclusive, democratic governing body of associations), summoned according
> to our by-laws. This General Assembly successfully elected new governing
> bodies, including the Board of Directors.
>
> In May we were surprised by a message from AffCom demanding that we stop
> taking part in a conflict, and "refrain from representing ourselves as
> representatives of Wikimedia Portugal" (see quoted message in [5]
> <https://lists.wikimedia.org/pipermail/wikimediapt/2018-May/002621.html
> >).This
> was the very first time the Committee contacted Wikimedia Portugal about
> this case. The message provided no legal precedent or framework for this
> demand, no indication of what this conflict was, or why AffCom thought the
> Board was a part of it.
>
> From what we understood, Vasconcelos went to the Wikimedia Conference in
> Berlin, where he seems to have convinced AffCom that our General Assembly
> of 15 April was legally void.
>
> We have repeatedly provided concrete evidence that t it was not the case,
> including quoting relevant court decisions backing this [6]
> <
> https://mail.google.com/mail/u/0/(https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/private/wikimedia-pt-internal/2018-July/002414.html
> >.
> In response, AffCom reported having no time to read through legal texts,
> and therefore not being able to assess the validity of our declarations,
> but that is beyond our control. And yet AffCom accepted Vasconcelos’
> version without question. It is a legal imperative to be held innocent
> until proven guilty, and until it is legally proven there was some
> wrongdoing, General Assemblies are valid and binding.
>
> After the April General Assembly we were working, in addition to our
> activities and programs, to put the association in order in terms of
> obligations to the Portuguese state and the tax authorities, providing
> access to WMPT’s bank account to the persons designated on the 15 April GA,
> and so on. Things were getting on track...
>
> We were surprised again in July by a message from AffCom temporarily
> suspending Wikimedia Portugal’s recognition as a Wikimedia chapter [7]. In
> that message for the first time you laid out a concrete roadmap that, if
> followed (as we understood), would lead to lifting the suspension. The
> roadmap set out a list of demands from AffCom which we diligently
> fulfilled, even well ahead of the required deadlines. We organized and held
> a new General Assembly in September, summoned according to the
> interpretation of the Portuguese Civil Code that AffCom relayed to us (with
> the exception of anything we believed would make the proceeding illegal,
> which was communicated in due time to AffCom). This General Assembly had
> the same result as before [8]. The Assembly was normally held, despite
> severe attempts of sabotage from Vasconcelos, reported in due time to
> AffCom, Legal and the Safety team. In addition to the minutes [9], an audio
> recording of the assembly is available in Commons [10] ; video recording is
> also available on request.
>
> We then submitted our overdue Financial Report [11], demonstrated support
> from the community to the continuation of the chapter [12], and wrote a
> plan for improved chapter capacity [13]. All should be good now...
>
> Having done all this, despite our disagreement that a new Assembly was
> needed in the first place, we are now again surprised by the reception of
> the opaque message I mention in the beginning, sent by AffCom to my email
> (quoted below) affirming that the Committee had received reports from
> unstated persons with unspecified concerns about the General Assembly and
> the capacity of Wikimedia Portugal to run as a chapter. The message claims
> that "there were a number of issues with lack of transparency [as well as
> with] providing an opportunity to participate in an open, organizational
> process" while not specifying these issues at all. Your message questions
> whether we are "prepared as an Affiliate to prevent disruption in [our]
> organization's collective pursuit of the movement’s mission", even though
> we have so far been able to handle every attempt at disruption from
> Vasconcelos.
>
> If we rolled up our sleeves to activate the scattered energies of a stale
> organization in order to prepare and execute April’s General Assembly, it
> was because we were convinced that Wikimedia Portugal had a viable future
> ahead, and was of value to the Wikimedia movement. At the time, the actions
> of Vasconcelos were so absurd that the reaction to them even spurred some
> founders and (by then) inactive members of WMPT to offer their help in
> reestablishing a functional organization. Along with the help of a number
> of historic as well as new members who have been steadily returning and
> joining our ranks, that’s precisely what we are achieving.
>
> That’s why we’ve been working on fulfilling the AffCom roadmap requests,
> even if we didn’t like or agree with some aspects of it. All things
> considered, it was a clear path to resolving our situation, and we found
> that parts of it could be useful to the chapter. But AffCom’s validation of
> Vasconcelos’ actions and claims, even if unintentional, have real
> consequences for the mental state and safety of our members.
>
> Back in March, when Vasconcelos claimed he had requested our bank to lock
> the chapter’s bank account, started a process at the Public Prosecution
> Service, and he had talked with an attorney on that subject, can you
> imagine what André, our treasurer, felt waiting in line in the bank until
> he found what really happened? In the end, the bank account had not been
> locked because of any court order or legal reason as Vasconcelos implied,
> but rather because someone had tried to access the bank account without the
> proper credentials, and the system automatically locked the account.
>
> Before the General Assembly in September, Vasconcelos sent out legal
> threats and even menaces of police intervention to anyone participating. We
> still went through with it, but can you imagine how we felt, the pressure
> that was under some of us? It was all a bluff in the end, but this is what
> you put us through.
>
> Notwithstanding, WMPT activities were happening in parallel. They are
> listed on our activities plan for anyone to see [14], and more are planned.
> After several years of inactivity, we are happy to be on a sustainable
> growth path, gradually building capacity and doing the best we can with the
> resources available to us. We’ve also been using our personal contacts with
> other movements in order to increase our organization’s capacity. Ana,
> newly appointed to the Board, has just returned from Wiki Takes Zamora,
> where she was learning from Wikimedia Spain, relaunching the collaboration
> between both chapters. Two of the events we have planned for November are
> using this paradigm. We’ll celebrate Wikidata’s sixth anniversary with a
> local group of data enthusiasts in Porto, and near Lisbon we’re helping
> with the organization and will participate in a FOSS event, so in both
> cases we’ll also acquire event organization skills. This growth path is in
> peril if you continue to undermine our efforts.
>
> Over the last half year we’ve been attacked, offended, insulted, received
> multiple threats of judicial action by Vasconcelos, and even an actual
> intimidatory letter from a lawyer working for him (but purportedly on
> behalf of WMPT); and during this entire time we’ve tried not to escalate
> the situation, not to engage with such attempts at direct confrontation,
> nor make them public. You force us now to disclose this in order to clear
> our name and set the record straight. With the help and support of the
> legal and security departments of the Wikimedia Foundation, we have dealt
> with the actions of Vasconcelos so far. And we will follow the disciplinary
> procedures foreseen for these situations in our bylaws which may result in
> his removal from the chapter.
>
> We’ve repeatedly complied in unusually strict terms with legal
> requirements, and with AffCom’s roadmap, while dealing with Vasconcelos’
> actions as privately as we could in order not to affect the public image of
> the Wikimedia movement, nor its community – but honestly, we’re reaching
> the point of exhaustion in light of AffCom’s puzzling behavior along this
> process. We understand that AffCom may have reserves regarding our future,
> but the way it is dealing with the situation is clearly counterproductive.
> How can AffCom keep making new accusations without at least asking us for
> information or confirmations?
>
> Currently, our major source of disruption, distress and anxiety is each new
> message we receive from AffCom, as they repeatedly defy our expectations of
> a partner claiming to be attempting to help us getting back on our feet. We
> are actually wary that the next address could be an announcement that
> Wikimedia Portugal has been de-recognized, even after we have passed our
> “road of trials”, due to the ever moving goalposts. Several of our key
> people have reported insomnia, including myself, after receiving your
> communications. We’re reaching our physical, psychological, and
> motivational limit, in great part due to AffCom’s actions and inexplicable
> lack of support and transparency.
>
> It is time to stop this! Despite what we still believe were your best
> intentions, AffCom has inadvertently caused significant destabilization for
> Wikimedia Portugal.
>
> Please honor your part of the compromise, lift this suspension and let us
> proceed in the productive pursuit of our collective mission.
>
> Regards,
>
> Gonçalo
> Gonçalo Themudo
>
> *Presidente*
> *Wikimedia Portugal*
> *Email: *[hidden email]
> *Website: *http://pt.wikimedia.org <https://sites.google.com/view/themudo>
> *Imagine um mundo onde cada ser humano pode partilhar livremente a soma de
> todo o conhecimento, na sua própria língua.*
> _______________________________________________
> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines and
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimedia-l
> New messages to: [hidden email]
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>



--
Alchimista
http://pt.wikipedia.org/wiki/Utilizador:Alchimista
_______________________________________________
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Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l, <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Plea from Wikimedia Portugal

Lane Rasberry
I do not know Wikimedia Portugal's situation but I am sympathetic to their
claim of difficulty staying in compliance.

Over the years I have heard many Wikimedia community organizations claim
that staying in compliance with Wikimedia Foundation and Affiliations
Committee requests are difficult. As a Wikimedia community member, I have
no idea how I am supposed to interpret these claims. I also worry a lot
that Wiki organization members feel shame and pressure to not report their
challenges for fear of getting a reprimand, like dis-affiliation.

I have a general wish for more information to understand the problem.
Information could include encouraging more Wikimedia community groups to
report in public how they feel about the compliance expectations and more
information from the Wikimedia Foundation / Affiliations Committee about
the extent to which they grade various groups as being in compliance or
not. So far as I know, the aggregate information about this is not
accessible in an easy to read report.

I imagine that a good report would contain a regular survey of Wikimedia
affiliates grading the Wikimedia Foundation and AffCom, and AffCom grading
the various affiliates. I feel like it is extremely difficult and tense to
surface problems and challenges and I wish we could normalize the sharing
of difficulties so that we can collectively address them.

I feel shock and hurt to suddenly hear that Wikimedia Affiliates get
downgraded and then entire countries lose their long-established
representation. If any affiliate has problems, then that is not just a
problem for its regional members, but also a problem for the entire
Wikimedia community and the billions of Wikipedia readers. We all have an
obligation to care for the community health of each other, and none of us
can operate organizations independently.

Although I cannot speak to the Portuguese case specifically, the entire
Wikimedia affiliate structure makes me anxious. Volunteers put so much
labor into this, get so little credit, take so many personal risks, and are
still so vulnerable. Managing a national media enterprise with volunteer
administrative labor is a major challenge, but each Wikimedia chapter is
exactly this. I wish for all organizational processes to run transparently,
smoothly, and in a way that Wikimedia community members all say is fair and
according to a consensus-driven process. When I see one claim like this I
worry that the problem actually is happening in other places but that no
plan is in place to identify, record, report, discuss, and fix the
difficulties.

I know nothing whatsoever about Portugal or the Portuguese language
Wikimedia community but I feel great emotion over any Wiki community in
distress anywhere.


On Tue, Oct 9, 2018 at 8:48 AM Alchimista <[hidden email]> wrote:

> As a wikimedia Portugal board member I totally agree with Gonçalo's
> statement. Despite what I believe where AffCom best efforts, they clearly
> didn't knew how to properly deal with this situation. They took official
> positions without hearing us, they've imposed a roadmap that we had to
> accomplish in order to lift the suspension, and now that we've accomplished
> it, some unexplained accusations came out of the blue. I feel that AffCom
> put us chasing ghosts during the last months and that all we've done so far
> was in vain, and more importantly, is making us reach the limit of our
> capacities. This last message is a clear example of what shouldn’t be done:
> we’ve been working with special motivation knowing that we were doing all
> what was requested in order to get our suspension lifted, and then AffCom
> sends us that opaque accusation, without any previous attempt to get any
> confirmation or information.
>
> Wikimedia Portugal is currently in a sustainable path, despite all the
> entropy, we’ve been able to fulfill all legal obligations, AffCom roadmap,
> improve our governance and transparency and organize activities. We intend
> to keep this path, continuously improving our capacities, but AffCom is
> clearly making it more difficult.
>
> Best regards,
>
> André
>
> GoEthe.wiki <[hidden email]> escreveu no dia terça, 9/10/2018 à(s)
> 11:12:
>
> > The original message was rejected due to a filter rule match, but you can
> > access it here:
> >
> https://lists.wikimedia.org/pipermail/wikimediapt/2018-October/002698.html
> > I am sending it below without the links. Please access the link above for
> > the full version.
> > __________
> >
> > Sorry in advance for the lengthy email – the tl;dr version is: Wikimedia
> > Portugal has done all it was asked to do, so the suspension that was held
> > conditional to performing those steps must be lifted accordingly. For the
> > sake of transparency, we are sending this out to not only the AffCom
> > mailing list, but also Wikimedia-l and WikimediaPT-l.
> > _________
> >
> > Dear members of AffCom,
> >
> > (cc to the Wikimedia Portugal mailing list, Wikimedia mailing list)
> >
> > Last 5th October we were again surprised by the content of your email
> > (quoted below) in response to us completing the roadmap we had agreed
> upon
> > in order to remove the suspension of Wikimedia Portugal. On that message,
> > you say you have once more received information whose substantiation is
> not
> > mentioned, from sources that are not disclosed. And still you seem to
> > accept it as the truth without even providing us with the opportunity to
> > get properly acquainted with it, let alone rebate or contradict it. While
> > you speak of transparency, that message is unsettlingly opaque, as have
> > been multiple such messages relayed to us in the course of this whole
> > process.
> >
> > As you are well aware, Wikimedia Portugal was faced in March with a
> > situation where the president of the Board, João Vasconcelos, became
> > demissionary without any previous warning [1]. It should be noted that
> when
> > Vasconcelos was elected as president of the Board back in 2015, he wasn’t
> > elected based on any background as a Wikimedia editor, as he has no
> history
> > of contribution to any of the Wikimedia projects, but rather on his self
> > proclaimed merits on organisational and conflict management (!). Despite
> > the best efforts of several people from Wikimedia Portugal over the
> years,
> > Vasconcelos sadly never really integrated well neither on Wikimedia
> > Portugal, nor in the Portuguese Wikimedia community.
> >
> > So, in light of what looked like an existential threat for WMPT, I and a
> > number of other WMPT members have publicly and transparently mobilized
> > ourselves to organize an extraordinary General Election to elect the new
> > Board. Vasconcelos was probably expecting/hoping that we would ask him to
> > stay. But we have seen this sort of behavior elsewhere [a].We didn't.
> > Instead, we handled the situation cooperatively, as a group, openly.
> > Vasconcelos never voiced any desire to take part on this collective
> > solution-building, as evidenced by his silence from the discussion on the
> > Wikimedia Portugal mailing list in March [2] and April [3]. He was
> welcome
> > to do so. His only message to the mailing list was two days (13 April)
> > before the 15 April General Assembly, announcing that he considered the
> > planned General Assembly null [4]. Given the lack of legal standing for
> > that claim, we carried on with the General Assembly (the transparent,
> > inclusive, democratic governing body of associations), summoned according
> > to our by-laws. This General Assembly successfully elected new governing
> > bodies, including the Board of Directors.
> >
> > In May we were surprised by a message from AffCom demanding that we stop
> > taking part in a conflict, and "refrain from representing ourselves as
> > representatives of Wikimedia Portugal" (see quoted message in [5]
> > <https://lists.wikimedia.org/pipermail/wikimediapt/2018-May/002621.html
> > >).This
> > was the very first time the Committee contacted Wikimedia Portugal about
> > this case. The message provided no legal precedent or framework for this
> > demand, no indication of what this conflict was, or why AffCom thought
> the
> > Board was a part of it.
> >
> > From what we understood, Vasconcelos went to the Wikimedia Conference in
> > Berlin, where he seems to have convinced AffCom that our General Assembly
> > of 15 April was legally void.
> >
> > We have repeatedly provided concrete evidence that t it was not the case,
> > including quoting relevant court decisions backing this [6]
> > <
> >
> https://mail.google.com/mail/u/0/(https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/private/wikimedia-pt-internal/2018-July/002414.html
> > >.
> > In response, AffCom reported having no time to read through legal texts,
> > and therefore not being able to assess the validity of our declarations,
> > but that is beyond our control. And yet AffCom accepted Vasconcelos’
> > version without question. It is a legal imperative to be held innocent
> > until proven guilty, and until it is legally proven there was some
> > wrongdoing, General Assemblies are valid and binding.
> >
> > After the April General Assembly we were working, in addition to our
> > activities and programs, to put the association in order in terms of
> > obligations to the Portuguese state and the tax authorities, providing
> > access to WMPT’s bank account to the persons designated on the 15 April
> GA,
> > and so on. Things were getting on track...
> >
> > We were surprised again in July by a message from AffCom temporarily
> > suspending Wikimedia Portugal’s recognition as a Wikimedia chapter [7].
> In
> > that message for the first time you laid out a concrete roadmap that, if
> > followed (as we understood), would lead to lifting the suspension. The
> > roadmap set out a list of demands from AffCom which we diligently
> > fulfilled, even well ahead of the required deadlines. We organized and
> held
> > a new General Assembly in September, summoned according to the
> > interpretation of the Portuguese Civil Code that AffCom relayed to us
> (with
> > the exception of anything we believed would make the proceeding illegal,
> > which was communicated in due time to AffCom). This General Assembly had
> > the same result as before [8]. The Assembly was normally held, despite
> > severe attempts of sabotage from Vasconcelos, reported in due time to
> > AffCom, Legal and the Safety team. In addition to the minutes [9], an
> audio
> > recording of the assembly is available in Commons [10] ; video recording
> is
> > also available on request.
> >
> > We then submitted our overdue Financial Report [11], demonstrated support
> > from the community to the continuation of the chapter [12], and wrote a
> > plan for improved chapter capacity [13]. All should be good now...
> >
> > Having done all this, despite our disagreement that a new Assembly was
> > needed in the first place, we are now again surprised by the reception of
> > the opaque message I mention in the beginning, sent by AffCom to my email
> > (quoted below) affirming that the Committee had received reports from
> > unstated persons with unspecified concerns about the General Assembly and
> > the capacity of Wikimedia Portugal to run as a chapter. The message
> claims
> > that "there were a number of issues with lack of transparency [as well as
> > with] providing an opportunity to participate in an open, organizational
> > process" while not specifying these issues at all. Your message questions
> > whether we are "prepared as an Affiliate to prevent disruption in [our]
> > organization's collective pursuit of the movement’s mission", even though
> > we have so far been able to handle every attempt at disruption from
> > Vasconcelos.
> >
> > If we rolled up our sleeves to activate the scattered energies of a stale
> > organization in order to prepare and execute April’s General Assembly, it
> > was because we were convinced that Wikimedia Portugal had a viable future
> > ahead, and was of value to the Wikimedia movement. At the time, the
> actions
> > of Vasconcelos were so absurd that the reaction to them even spurred some
> > founders and (by then) inactive members of WMPT to offer their help in
> > reestablishing a functional organization. Along with the help of a number
> > of historic as well as new members who have been steadily returning and
> > joining our ranks, that’s precisely what we are achieving.
> >
> > That’s why we’ve been working on fulfilling the AffCom roadmap requests,
> > even if we didn’t like or agree with some aspects of it. All things
> > considered, it was a clear path to resolving our situation, and we found
> > that parts of it could be useful to the chapter. But AffCom’s validation
> of
> > Vasconcelos’ actions and claims, even if unintentional, have real
> > consequences for the mental state and safety of our members.
> >
> > Back in March, when Vasconcelos claimed he had requested our bank to lock
> > the chapter’s bank account, started a process at the Public Prosecution
> > Service, and he had talked with an attorney on that subject, can you
> > imagine what André, our treasurer, felt waiting in line in the bank until
> > he found what really happened? In the end, the bank account had not been
> > locked because of any court order or legal reason as Vasconcelos implied,
> > but rather because someone had tried to access the bank account without
> the
> > proper credentials, and the system automatically locked the account.
> >
> > Before the General Assembly in September, Vasconcelos sent out legal
> > threats and even menaces of police intervention to anyone participating.
> We
> > still went through with it, but can you imagine how we felt, the pressure
> > that was under some of us? It was all a bluff in the end, but this is
> what
> > you put us through.
> >
> > Notwithstanding, WMPT activities were happening in parallel. They are
> > listed on our activities plan for anyone to see [14], and more are
> planned.
> > After several years of inactivity, we are happy to be on a sustainable
> > growth path, gradually building capacity and doing the best we can with
> the
> > resources available to us. We’ve also been using our personal contacts
> with
> > other movements in order to increase our organization’s capacity. Ana,
> > newly appointed to the Board, has just returned from Wiki Takes Zamora,
> > where she was learning from Wikimedia Spain, relaunching the
> collaboration
> > between both chapters. Two of the events we have planned for November are
> > using this paradigm. We’ll celebrate Wikidata’s sixth anniversary with a
> > local group of data enthusiasts in Porto, and near Lisbon we’re helping
> > with the organization and will participate in a FOSS event, so in both
> > cases we’ll also acquire event organization skills. This growth path is
> in
> > peril if you continue to undermine our efforts.
> >
> > Over the last half year we’ve been attacked, offended, insulted, received
> > multiple threats of judicial action by Vasconcelos, and even an actual
> > intimidatory letter from a lawyer working for him (but purportedly on
> > behalf of WMPT); and during this entire time we’ve tried not to escalate
> > the situation, not to engage with such attempts at direct confrontation,
> > nor make them public. You force us now to disclose this in order to clear
> > our name and set the record straight. With the help and support of the
> > legal and security departments of the Wikimedia Foundation, we have dealt
> > with the actions of Vasconcelos so far. And we will follow the
> disciplinary
> > procedures foreseen for these situations in our bylaws which may result
> in
> > his removal from the chapter.
> >
> > We’ve repeatedly complied in unusually strict terms with legal
> > requirements, and with AffCom’s roadmap, while dealing with Vasconcelos’
> > actions as privately as we could in order not to affect the public image
> of
> > the Wikimedia movement, nor its community – but honestly, we’re reaching
> > the point of exhaustion in light of AffCom’s puzzling behavior along this
> > process. We understand that AffCom may have reserves regarding our
> future,
> > but the way it is dealing with the situation is clearly
> counterproductive.
> > How can AffCom keep making new accusations without at least asking us for
> > information or confirmations?
> >
> > Currently, our major source of disruption, distress and anxiety is each
> new
> > message we receive from AffCom, as they repeatedly defy our expectations
> of
> > a partner claiming to be attempting to help us getting back on our feet.
> We
> > are actually wary that the next address could be an announcement that
> > Wikimedia Portugal has been de-recognized, even after we have passed our
> > “road of trials”, due to the ever moving goalposts. Several of our key
> > people have reported insomnia, including myself, after receiving your
> > communications. We’re reaching our physical, psychological, and
> > motivational limit, in great part due to AffCom’s actions and
> inexplicable
> > lack of support and transparency.
> >
> > It is time to stop this! Despite what we still believe were your best
> > intentions, AffCom has inadvertently caused significant destabilization
> for
> > Wikimedia Portugal.
> >
> > Please honor your part of the compromise, lift this suspension and let us
> > proceed in the productive pursuit of our collective mission.
> >
> > Regards,
> >
> > Gonçalo
> > Gonçalo Themudo
> >
> > *Presidente*
> > *Wikimedia Portugal*
> > *Email: *[hidden email]
> > *Website: *http://pt.wikimedia.org <
> https://sites.google.com/view/themudo>
> > *Imagine um mundo onde cada ser humano pode partilhar livremente a soma
> de
> > todo o conhecimento, na sua própria língua.*
> > _______________________________________________
> > Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> > https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines and
> > https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimedia-l
> > New messages to: [hidden email]
> > Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> > <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
>
>
>
> --
> Alchimista
> http://pt.wikipedia.org/wiki/Utilizador:Alchimista
> _______________________________________________
> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines and
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimedia-l
> New messages to: [hidden email]
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>



--
Lane Rasberry
user:bluerasberry on Wikipedia
206.801.0814
[hidden email]
_______________________________________________
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Plea from Wikimedia Portugal

Pine W
In reply to this post by GoEthe.wiki
While I have limited knowledge of the facts in this situation, I am
concerned about the possibility that AffCom is insufficiently investigating
facts before making judgments.

Interventions from Affcom which are undertaken with an insufficient
knowledge of the facts risk doing more harm than good.

I encourage AffCom and WMF to consider whether improving AffCom's capacity
to independently investigate the facts of affiliates' situations should be
increased, for example by authorizing AffCom to contract with legal counsel
who are licensed to practice in countries where AffCom has concerns and who
can independently investigate the facts of affiliates' situations on
AffCom's behalf.

Another difficulty with this situation is AffCom's lack of transparency. If
AffCom was more transparent about its investigations and actions then
outsiders would be able to better understand AffCom's work and evaluate
AffCom's actions. Because AffCom withholds so much information, it is
difficult to say whether AffCom is right or wrong with regards to Wikimedia
Portugal. What I can say is that the lack of transparency, in my opinion,
is a problem, is a poor governance practice, and is difficult to reconcile
with the open source nature of Wikimedia.

I don't want to underestimate the challenge of evaluating compliance of
Wikimedia affiliates around the world. This a big job, and if AffCom
members volunteer their time in good faith and valuable relevant skills
then I'm grateful for that. But I have some concerns about AffCom regarding
transparency, investigative capacity, investigative skills, and
adjudicative process.

Pine
( https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Pine )
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Plea from Wikimedia Portugal

Paulo Santos Perneta
In reply to this post by GoEthe.wiki
Some time ago, a Wikimedian friend told me AffCom is like the physician
that comes to help with the cure when an Affiliate is ill. But that's
really what they were in this WMPT case? This is a very bizarre situation,
of which I'm personally having a lot of difficulties finding rational
answers to it, let alone any conclusion. All I can offer is a personal
account of the situation, to those who would be kind enough to have an
interest on this case.

Last May we at WMPT were really not expecting seeing AffCom bursting
through the room in an emergency intervention, fixing what didn't need to
be fixed, and willing to moderate what didn't need any moderation. As in
the proverbial Monty Phyton scene[1], they quickly became the problem
themselves.

Many of us at WMPT are long-term Wikimedian volunteers, some of us for more
than a decade already, in perfect good standing in our communities, where
we hold and held responsibility roles. It includes current and former
bureaucrats, sysops, ArbCom members, very active contributors to a number
of Wikimedia projects. Most of us are founding members or directly
connected to WMPT since its inception in 2009.

Last March, when we took on ourselves this mission of fix and rebuild
Wikimedia Portugal, who had been dormant for about 5 years, we were not
expecting to face such a mighty and impenetrable adversary as AffCom has
proven to be.
For six months already we have been embroiled by AffCom in this Kafkian
suspension process, where we are generally not told what the accusations
are, and much less who is accusing us. It has been extremely painful,
exhausting, and frustrating for everyone involved.

We reached our limit. A number of us are now seriously considering
abandoning not only the chapter, but the Wikimedia projects entirely, if we
continue not being treated with the fairness and transparency we deserve.
It truly begs the existential question of what are we all doing here,
dedicating countless and very valuable hours of our lives for a Movement
that lets this happen, for a Foundation-run committee[3] that apparently
wants to kill us at all costs.

Personally, I'm still confident that we'll successfully pass through this
probation, and everything will become again the very optimistic scenario we
all had last April, when we successfully elected a working board, and
started working with great dedication in the many projects we have now
running here in Portugal. I can only imagine how painful it was and is
being for Gonçalo, to came here making this situation public and sharing it
with everybody. We all have our dignity, nobody at WMPT likes this at all.
For many months we tried to cope with this discreet and silently. But
everything has a limit.

Regards,

Paulo

[1] - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Spanish_Inquisition_(Monty_Python)
[2] - As AffCom seems to be, despite what is written in their Meta page(
https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Affiliations_Committee)

GoEthe.wiki <[hidden email]> escreveu no dia terça, 9/10/2018 à(s)
11:13:

> The original message was rejected due to a filter rule match, but you can
> access it here:
> https://lists.wikimedia.org/pipermail/wikimediapt/2018-October/002698.html
> I am sending it below without the links. Please access the link above for
> the full version.
> __________
>
> Sorry in advance for the lengthy email – the tl;dr version is: Wikimedia
> Portugal has done all it was asked to do, so the suspension that was held
> conditional to performing those steps must be lifted accordingly. For the
> sake of transparency, we are sending this out to not only the AffCom
> mailing list, but also Wikimedia-l and WikimediaPT-l.
> _________
>
> Dear members of AffCom,
>
> (cc to the Wikimedia Portugal mailing list, Wikimedia mailing list)
>
> Last 5th October we were again surprised by the content of your email
> (quoted below) in response to us completing the roadmap we had agreed upon
> in order to remove the suspension of Wikimedia Portugal. On that message,
> you say you have once more received information whose substantiation is not
> mentioned, from sources that are not disclosed. And still you seem to
> accept it as the truth without even providing us with the opportunity to
> get properly acquainted with it, let alone rebate or contradict it. While
> you speak of transparency, that message is unsettlingly opaque, as have
> been multiple such messages relayed to us in the course of this whole
> process.
>
> As you are well aware, Wikimedia Portugal was faced in March with a
> situation where the president of the Board, João Vasconcelos, became
> demissionary without any previous warning [1]. It should be noted that when
> Vasconcelos was elected as president of the Board back in 2015, he wasn’t
> elected based on any background as a Wikimedia editor, as he has no history
> of contribution to any of the Wikimedia projects, but rather on his self
> proclaimed merits on organisational and conflict management (!). Despite
> the best efforts of several people from Wikimedia Portugal over the years,
> Vasconcelos sadly never really integrated well neither on Wikimedia
> Portugal, nor in the Portuguese Wikimedia community.
>
> So, in light of what looked like an existential threat for WMPT, I and a
> number of other WMPT members have publicly and transparently mobilized
> ourselves to organize an extraordinary General Election to elect the new
> Board. Vasconcelos was probably expecting/hoping that we would ask him to
> stay. But we have seen this sort of behavior elsewhere [a].We didn't.
> Instead, we handled the situation cooperatively, as a group, openly.
> Vasconcelos never voiced any desire to take part on this collective
> solution-building, as evidenced by his silence from the discussion on the
> Wikimedia Portugal mailing list in March [2] and April [3]. He was welcome
> to do so. His only message to the mailing list was two days (13 April)
> before the 15 April General Assembly, announcing that he considered the
> planned General Assembly null [4]. Given the lack of legal standing for
> that claim, we carried on with the General Assembly (the transparent,
> inclusive, democratic governing body of associations), summoned according
> to our by-laws. This General Assembly successfully elected new governing
> bodies, including the Board of Directors.
>
> In May we were surprised by a message from AffCom demanding that we stop
> taking part in a conflict, and "refrain from representing ourselves as
> representatives of Wikimedia Portugal" (see quoted message in [5]
> <https://lists.wikimedia.org/pipermail/wikimediapt/2018-May/002621.html
> >).This
> was the very first time the Committee contacted Wikimedia Portugal about
> this case. The message provided no legal precedent or framework for this
> demand, no indication of what this conflict was, or why AffCom thought the
> Board was a part of it.
>
> From what we understood, Vasconcelos went to the Wikimedia Conference in
> Berlin, where he seems to have convinced AffCom that our General Assembly
> of 15 April was legally void.
>
> We have repeatedly provided concrete evidence that t it was not the case,
> including quoting relevant court decisions backing this [6]
> <
> https://mail.google.com/mail/u/0/(https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/private/wikimedia-pt-internal/2018-July/002414.html
> >.
> In response, AffCom reported having no time to read through legal texts,
> and therefore not being able to assess the validity of our declarations,
> but that is beyond our control. And yet AffCom accepted Vasconcelos’
> version without question. It is a legal imperative to be held innocent
> until proven guilty, and until it is legally proven there was some
> wrongdoing, General Assemblies are valid and binding.
>
> After the April General Assembly we were working, in addition to our
> activities and programs, to put the association in order in terms of
> obligations to the Portuguese state and the tax authorities, providing
> access to WMPT’s bank account to the persons designated on the 15 April GA,
> and so on. Things were getting on track...
>
> We were surprised again in July by a message from AffCom temporarily
> suspending Wikimedia Portugal’s recognition as a Wikimedia chapter [7]. In
> that message for the first time you laid out a concrete roadmap that, if
> followed (as we understood), would lead to lifting the suspension. The
> roadmap set out a list of demands from AffCom which we diligently
> fulfilled, even well ahead of the required deadlines. We organized and held
> a new General Assembly in September, summoned according to the
> interpretation of the Portuguese Civil Code that AffCom relayed to us (with
> the exception of anything we believed would make the proceeding illegal,
> which was communicated in due time to AffCom). This General Assembly had
> the same result as before [8]. The Assembly was normally held, despite
> severe attempts of sabotage from Vasconcelos, reported in due time to
> AffCom, Legal and the Safety team. In addition to the minutes [9], an audio
> recording of the assembly is available in Commons [10] ; video recording is
> also available on request.
>
> We then submitted our overdue Financial Report [11], demonstrated support
> from the community to the continuation of the chapter [12], and wrote a
> plan for improved chapter capacity [13]. All should be good now...
>
> Having done all this, despite our disagreement that a new Assembly was
> needed in the first place, we are now again surprised by the reception of
> the opaque message I mention in the beginning, sent by AffCom to my email
> (quoted below) affirming that the Committee had received reports from
> unstated persons with unspecified concerns about the General Assembly and
> the capacity of Wikimedia Portugal to run as a chapter. The message claims
> that "there were a number of issues with lack of transparency [as well as
> with] providing an opportunity to participate in an open, organizational
> process" while not specifying these issues at all. Your message questions
> whether we are "prepared as an Affiliate to prevent disruption in [our]
> organization's collective pursuit of the movement’s mission", even though
> we have so far been able to handle every attempt at disruption from
> Vasconcelos.
>
> If we rolled up our sleeves to activate the scattered energies of a stale
> organization in order to prepare and execute April’s General Assembly, it
> was because we were convinced that Wikimedia Portugal had a viable future
> ahead, and was of value to the Wikimedia movement. At the time, the actions
> of Vasconcelos were so absurd that the reaction to them even spurred some
> founders and (by then) inactive members of WMPT to offer their help in
> reestablishing a functional organization. Along with the help of a number
> of historic as well as new members who have been steadily returning and
> joining our ranks, that’s precisely what we are achieving.
>
> That’s why we’ve been working on fulfilling the AffCom roadmap requests,
> even if we didn’t like or agree with some aspects of it. All things
> considered, it was a clear path to resolving our situation, and we found
> that parts of it could be useful to the chapter. But AffCom’s validation of
> Vasconcelos’ actions and claims, even if unintentional, have real
> consequences for the mental state and safety of our members.
>
> Back in March, when Vasconcelos claimed he had requested our bank to lock
> the chapter’s bank account, started a process at the Public Prosecution
> Service, and he had talked with an attorney on that subject, can you
> imagine what André, our treasurer, felt waiting in line in the bank until
> he found what really happened? In the end, the bank account had not been
> locked because of any court order or legal reason as Vasconcelos implied,
> but rather because someone had tried to access the bank account without the
> proper credentials, and the system automatically locked the account.
>
> Before the General Assembly in September, Vasconcelos sent out legal
> threats and even menaces of police intervention to anyone participating. We
> still went through with it, but can you imagine how we felt, the pressure
> that was under some of us? It was all a bluff in the end, but this is what
> you put us through.
>
> Notwithstanding, WMPT activities were happening in parallel. They are
> listed on our activities plan for anyone to see [14], and more are planned.
> After several years of inactivity, we are happy to be on a sustainable
> growth path, gradually building capacity and doing the best we can with the
> resources available to us. We’ve also been using our personal contacts with
> other movements in order to increase our organization’s capacity. Ana,
> newly appointed to the Board, has just returned from Wiki Takes Zamora,
> where she was learning from Wikimedia Spain, relaunching the collaboration
> between both chapters. Two of the events we have planned for November are
> using this paradigm. We’ll celebrate Wikidata’s sixth anniversary with a
> local group of data enthusiasts in Porto, and near Lisbon we’re helping
> with the organization and will participate in a FOSS event, so in both
> cases we’ll also acquire event organization skills. This growth path is in
> peril if you continue to undermine our efforts.
>
> Over the last half year we’ve been attacked, offended, insulted, received
> multiple threats of judicial action by Vasconcelos, and even an actual
> intimidatory letter from a lawyer working for him (but purportedly on
> behalf of WMPT); and during this entire time we’ve tried not to escalate
> the situation, not to engage with such attempts at direct confrontation,
> nor make them public. You force us now to disclose this in order to clear
> our name and set the record straight. With the help and support of the
> legal and security departments of the Wikimedia Foundation, we have dealt
> with the actions of Vasconcelos so far. And we will follow the disciplinary
> procedures foreseen for these situations in our bylaws which may result in
> his removal from the chapter.
>
> We’ve repeatedly complied in unusually strict terms with legal
> requirements, and with AffCom’s roadmap, while dealing with Vasconcelos’
> actions as privately as we could in order not to affect the public image of
> the Wikimedia movement, nor its community – but honestly, we’re reaching
> the point of exhaustion in light of AffCom’s puzzling behavior along this
> process. We understand that AffCom may have reserves regarding our future,
> but the way it is dealing with the situation is clearly counterproductive.
> How can AffCom keep making new accusations without at least asking us for
> information or confirmations?
>
> Currently, our major source of disruption, distress and anxiety is each new
> message we receive from AffCom, as they repeatedly defy our expectations of
> a partner claiming to be attempting to help us getting back on our feet. We
> are actually wary that the next address could be an announcement that
> Wikimedia Portugal has been de-recognized, even after we have passed our
> “road of trials”, due to the ever moving goalposts. Several of our key
> people have reported insomnia, including myself, after receiving your
> communications. We’re reaching our physical, psychological, and
> motivational limit, in great part due to AffCom’s actions and inexplicable
> lack of support and transparency.
>
> It is time to stop this! Despite what we still believe were your best
> intentions, AffCom has inadvertently caused significant destabilization for
> Wikimedia Portugal.
>
> Please honor your part of the compromise, lift this suspension and let us
> proceed in the productive pursuit of our collective mission.
>
> Regards,
>
> Gonçalo
> Gonçalo Themudo
>
> *Presidente*
> *Wikimedia Portugal*
> *Email: *[hidden email]
> *Website: *http://pt.wikimedia.org <https://sites.google.com/view/themudo>
> *Imagine um mundo onde cada ser humano pode partilhar livremente a soma de
> todo o conhecimento, na sua própria língua.*
> _______________________________________________
> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines and
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimedia-l
> New messages to: [hidden email]
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
_______________________________________________
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Plea from Wikimedia Portugal

Ανώνυμος Βικιπαιδιστής
Hello,
I'm really sorry to hear about the situation in Wikimedia Portugal. I hope
everything works out for the best soon.
I would really love to hear the side of the AffCom on the matter since,
from what I understand, there are many things unclear and we already
counding a similar situation in Wikimedia Brazil.

Regards
Ανώνυμος Βικιπαιδιστής



Στις Τετ, 10 Οκτ 2018 - 15:47 ο χρήστης Paulo Santos Perneta <
[hidden email]> έγραψε:

> Some time ago, a Wikimedian friend told me AffCom is like the physician
> that comes to help with the cure when an Affiliate is ill. But that's
> really what they were in this WMPT case? This is a very bizarre situation,
> of which I'm personally having a lot of difficulties finding rational
> answers to it, let alone any conclusion. All I can offer is a personal
> account of the situation, to those who would be kind enough to have an
> interest on this case.
>
> Last May we at WMPT were really not expecting seeing AffCom bursting
> through the room in an emergency intervention, fixing what didn't need to
> be fixed, and willing to moderate what didn't need any moderation. As in
> the proverbial Monty Phyton scene[1], they quickly became the problem
> themselves.
>
> Many of us at WMPT are long-term Wikimedian volunteers, some of us for more
> than a decade already, in perfect good standing in our communities, where
> we hold and held responsibility roles. It includes current and former
> bureaucrats, sysops, ArbCom members, very active contributors to a number
> of Wikimedia projects. Most of us are founding members or directly
> connected to WMPT since its inception in 2009.
>
> Last March, when we took on ourselves this mission of fix and rebuild
> Wikimedia Portugal, who had been dormant for about 5 years, we were not
> expecting to face such a mighty and impenetrable adversary as AffCom has
> proven to be.
> For six months already we have been embroiled by AffCom in this Kafkian
> suspension process, where we are generally not told what the accusations
> are, and much less who is accusing us. It has been extremely painful,
> exhausting, and frustrating for everyone involved.
>
> We reached our limit. A number of us are now seriously considering
> abandoning not only the chapter, but the Wikimedia projects entirely, if we
> continue not being treated with the fairness and transparency we deserve.
> It truly begs the existential question of what are we all doing here,
> dedicating countless and very valuable hours of our lives for a Movement
> that lets this happen, for a Foundation-run committee[3] that apparently
> wants to kill us at all costs.
>
> Personally, I'm still confident that we'll successfully pass through this
> probation, and everything will become again the very optimistic scenario we
> all had last April, when we successfully elected a working board, and
> started working with great dedication in the many projects we have now
> running here in Portugal. I can only imagine how painful it was and is
> being for Gonçalo, to came here making this situation public and sharing it
> with everybody. We all have our dignity, nobody at WMPT likes this at all.
> For many months we tried to cope with this discreet and silently. But
> everything has a limit.
>
> Regards,
>
> Paulo
>
> [1] - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Spanish_Inquisition_(Monty_Python)
> [2] - As AffCom seems to be, despite what is written in their Meta page(
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Affiliations_Committee)
>
> GoEthe.wiki <[hidden email]> escreveu no dia terça, 9/10/2018 à(s)
> 11:13:
>
> > The original message was rejected due to a filter rule match, but you can
> > access it here:
> >
> https://lists.wikimedia.org/pipermail/wikimediapt/2018-October/002698.html
> > I am sending it below without the links. Please access the link above for
> > the full version.
> > __________
> >
> > Sorry in advance for the lengthy email – the tl;dr version is: Wikimedia
> > Portugal has done all it was asked to do, so the suspension that was held
> > conditional to performing those steps must be lifted accordingly. For the
> > sake of transparency, we are sending this out to not only the AffCom
> > mailing list, but also Wikimedia-l and WikimediaPT-l.
> > _________
> >
> > Dear members of AffCom,
> >
> > (cc to the Wikimedia Portugal mailing list, Wikimedia mailing list)
> >
> > Last 5th October we were again surprised by the content of your email
> > (quoted below) in response to us completing the roadmap we had agreed
> upon
> > in order to remove the suspension of Wikimedia Portugal. On that message,
> > you say you have once more received information whose substantiation is
> not
> > mentioned, from sources that are not disclosed. And still you seem to
> > accept it as the truth without even providing us with the opportunity to
> > get properly acquainted with it, let alone rebate or contradict it. While
> > you speak of transparency, that message is unsettlingly opaque, as have
> > been multiple such messages relayed to us in the course of this whole
> > process.
> >
> > As you are well aware, Wikimedia Portugal was faced in March with a
> > situation where the president of the Board, João Vasconcelos, became
> > demissionary without any previous warning [1]. It should be noted that
> when
> > Vasconcelos was elected as president of the Board back in 2015, he wasn’t
> > elected based on any background as a Wikimedia editor, as he has no
> history
> > of contribution to any of the Wikimedia projects, but rather on his self
> > proclaimed merits on organisational and conflict management (!). Despite
> > the best efforts of several people from Wikimedia Portugal over the
> years,
> > Vasconcelos sadly never really integrated well neither on Wikimedia
> > Portugal, nor in the Portuguese Wikimedia community.
> >
> > So, in light of what looked like an existential threat for WMPT, I and a
> > number of other WMPT members have publicly and transparently mobilized
> > ourselves to organize an extraordinary General Election to elect the new
> > Board. Vasconcelos was probably expecting/hoping that we would ask him to
> > stay. But we have seen this sort of behavior elsewhere [a].We didn't.
> > Instead, we handled the situation cooperatively, as a group, openly.
> > Vasconcelos never voiced any desire to take part on this collective
> > solution-building, as evidenced by his silence from the discussion on the
> > Wikimedia Portugal mailing list in March [2] and April [3]. He was
> welcome
> > to do so. His only message to the mailing list was two days (13 April)
> > before the 15 April General Assembly, announcing that he considered the
> > planned General Assembly null [4]. Given the lack of legal standing for
> > that claim, we carried on with the General Assembly (the transparent,
> > inclusive, democratic governing body of associations), summoned according
> > to our by-laws. This General Assembly successfully elected new governing
> > bodies, including the Board of Directors.
> >
> > In May we were surprised by a message from AffCom demanding that we stop
> > taking part in a conflict, and "refrain from representing ourselves as
> > representatives of Wikimedia Portugal" (see quoted message in [5]
> > <https://lists.wikimedia.org/pipermail/wikimediapt/2018-May/002621.html
> > >).This
> > was the very first time the Committee contacted Wikimedia Portugal about
> > this case. The message provided no legal precedent or framework for this
> > demand, no indication of what this conflict was, or why AffCom thought
> the
> > Board was a part of it.
> >
> > From what we understood, Vasconcelos went to the Wikimedia Conference in
> > Berlin, where he seems to have convinced AffCom that our General Assembly
> > of 15 April was legally void.
> >
> > We have repeatedly provided concrete evidence that t it was not the case,
> > including quoting relevant court decisions backing this [6]
> > <
> >
> https://mail.google.com/mail/u/0/(https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/private/wikimedia-pt-internal/2018-July/002414.html
> > >.
> > In response, AffCom reported having no time to read through legal texts,
> > and therefore not being able to assess the validity of our declarations,
> > but that is beyond our control. And yet AffCom accepted Vasconcelos’
> > version without question. It is a legal imperative to be held innocent
> > until proven guilty, and until it is legally proven there was some
> > wrongdoing, General Assemblies are valid and binding.
> >
> > After the April General Assembly we were working, in addition to our
> > activities and programs, to put the association in order in terms of
> > obligations to the Portuguese state and the tax authorities, providing
> > access to WMPT’s bank account to the persons designated on the 15 April
> GA,
> > and so on. Things were getting on track...
> >
> > We were surprised again in July by a message from AffCom temporarily
> > suspending Wikimedia Portugal’s recognition as a Wikimedia chapter [7].
> In
> > that message for the first time you laid out a concrete roadmap that, if
> > followed (as we understood), would lead to lifting the suspension. The
> > roadmap set out a list of demands from AffCom which we diligently
> > fulfilled, even well ahead of the required deadlines. We organized and
> held
> > a new General Assembly in September, summoned according to the
> > interpretation of the Portuguese Civil Code that AffCom relayed to us
> (with
> > the exception of anything we believed would make the proceeding illegal,
> > which was communicated in due time to AffCom). This General Assembly had
> > the same result as before [8]. The Assembly was normally held, despite
> > severe attempts of sabotage from Vasconcelos, reported in due time to
> > AffCom, Legal and the Safety team. In addition to the minutes [9], an
> audio
> > recording of the assembly is available in Commons [10] ; video recording
> is
> > also available on request.
> >
> > We then submitted our overdue Financial Report [11], demonstrated support
> > from the community to the continuation of the chapter [12], and wrote a
> > plan for improved chapter capacity [13]. All should be good now...
> >
> > Having done all this, despite our disagreement that a new Assembly was
> > needed in the first place, we are now again surprised by the reception of
> > the opaque message I mention in the beginning, sent by AffCom to my email
> > (quoted below) affirming that the Committee had received reports from
> > unstated persons with unspecified concerns about the General Assembly and
> > the capacity of Wikimedia Portugal to run as a chapter. The message
> claims
> > that "there were a number of issues with lack of transparency [as well as
> > with] providing an opportunity to participate in an open, organizational
> > process" while not specifying these issues at all. Your message questions
> > whether we are "prepared as an Affiliate to prevent disruption in [our]
> > organization's collective pursuit of the movement’s mission", even though
> > we have so far been able to handle every attempt at disruption from
> > Vasconcelos.
> >
> > If we rolled up our sleeves to activate the scattered energies of a stale
> > organization in order to prepare and execute April’s General Assembly, it
> > was because we were convinced that Wikimedia Portugal had a viable future
> > ahead, and was of value to the Wikimedia movement. At the time, the
> actions
> > of Vasconcelos were so absurd that the reaction to them even spurred some
> > founders and (by then) inactive members of WMPT to offer their help in
> > reestablishing a functional organization. Along with the help of a number
> > of historic as well as new members who have been steadily returning and
> > joining our ranks, that’s precisely what we are achieving.
> >
> > That’s why we’ve been working on fulfilling the AffCom roadmap requests,
> > even if we didn’t like or agree with some aspects of it. All things
> > considered, it was a clear path to resolving our situation, and we found
> > that parts of it could be useful to the chapter. But AffCom’s validation
> of
> > Vasconcelos’ actions and claims, even if unintentional, have real
> > consequences for the mental state and safety of our members.
> >
> > Back in March, when Vasconcelos claimed he had requested our bank to lock
> > the chapter’s bank account, started a process at the Public Prosecution
> > Service, and he had talked with an attorney on that subject, can you
> > imagine what André, our treasurer, felt waiting in line in the bank until
> > he found what really happened? In the end, the bank account had not been
> > locked because of any court order or legal reason as Vasconcelos implied,
> > but rather because someone had tried to access the bank account without
> the
> > proper credentials, and the system automatically locked the account.
> >
> > Before the General Assembly in September, Vasconcelos sent out legal
> > threats and even menaces of police intervention to anyone participating.
> We
> > still went through with it, but can you imagine how we felt, the pressure
> > that was under some of us? It was all a bluff in the end, but this is
> what
> > you put us through.
> >
> > Notwithstanding, WMPT activities were happening in parallel. They are
> > listed on our activities plan for anyone to see [14], and more are
> planned.
> > After several years of inactivity, we are happy to be on a sustainable
> > growth path, gradually building capacity and doing the best we can with
> the
> > resources available to us. We’ve also been using our personal contacts
> with
> > other movements in order to increase our organization’s capacity. Ana,
> > newly appointed to the Board, has just returned from Wiki Takes Zamora,
> > where she was learning from Wikimedia Spain, relaunching the
> collaboration
> > between both chapters. Two of the events we have planned for November are
> > using this paradigm. We’ll celebrate Wikidata’s sixth anniversary with a
> > local group of data enthusiasts in Porto, and near Lisbon we’re helping
> > with the organization and will participate in a FOSS event, so in both
> > cases we’ll also acquire event organization skills. This growth path is
> in
> > peril if you continue to undermine our efforts.
> >
> > Over the last half year we’ve been attacked, offended, insulted, received
> > multiple threats of judicial action by Vasconcelos, and even an actual
> > intimidatory letter from a lawyer working for him (but purportedly on
> > behalf of WMPT); and during this entire time we’ve tried not to escalate
> > the situation, not to engage with such attempts at direct confrontation,
> > nor make them public. You force us now to disclose this in order to clear
> > our name and set the record straight. With the help and support of the
> > legal and security departments of the Wikimedia Foundation, we have dealt
> > with the actions of Vasconcelos so far. And we will follow the
> disciplinary
> > procedures foreseen for these situations in our bylaws which may result
> in
> > his removal from the chapter.
> >
> > We’ve repeatedly complied in unusually strict terms with legal
> > requirements, and with AffCom’s roadmap, while dealing with Vasconcelos’
> > actions as privately as we could in order not to affect the public image
> of
> > the Wikimedia movement, nor its community – but honestly, we’re reaching
> > the point of exhaustion in light of AffCom’s puzzling behavior along this
> > process. We understand that AffCom may have reserves regarding our
> future,
> > but the way it is dealing with the situation is clearly
> counterproductive.
> > How can AffCom keep making new accusations without at least asking us for
> > information or confirmations?
> >
> > Currently, our major source of disruption, distress and anxiety is each
> new
> > message we receive from AffCom, as they repeatedly defy our expectations
> of
> > a partner claiming to be attempting to help us getting back on our feet.
> We
> > are actually wary that the next address could be an announcement that
> > Wikimedia Portugal has been de-recognized, even after we have passed our
> > “road of trials”, due to the ever moving goalposts. Several of our key
> > people have reported insomnia, including myself, after receiving your
> > communications. We’re reaching our physical, psychological, and
> > motivational limit, in great part due to AffCom’s actions and
> inexplicable
> > lack of support and transparency.
> >
> > It is time to stop this! Despite what we still believe were your best
> > intentions, AffCom has inadvertently caused significant destabilization
> for
> > Wikimedia Portugal.
> >
> > Please honor your part of the compromise, lift this suspension and let us
> > proceed in the productive pursuit of our collective mission.
> >
> > Regards,
> >
> > Gonçalo
> > Gonçalo Themudo
> >
> > *Presidente*
> > *Wikimedia Portugal*
> > *Email: *[hidden email]
> > *Website: *http://pt.wikimedia.org <
> https://sites.google.com/view/themudo>
> > *Imagine um mundo onde cada ser humano pode partilhar livremente a soma
> de
> > todo o conhecimento, na sua própria língua.*
> > _______________________________________________
> > Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> > https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines and
> > https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimedia-l
> > New messages to: [hidden email]
> > Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> > <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
> _______________________________________________
> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines and
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimedia-l
> New messages to: [hidden email]
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
_______________________________________________
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Plea from Wikimedia Portugal

metasj
In reply to this post by Paulo Santos Perneta
Gonçalo, Goethe, and all: Thank you for your work, which I appreciate
dearly, and for the public discussion.  I can also imagine this was a very
hard letter to write.

Paulo, to your concerns:
> for a Foundation-run committee[3] that apparently wants to kill us at all
costs.

Euh... surely not  .v_v.
These troubles can come up in good faith, when two groups work intently and
separately on the same issue, ando d not talk openly to one another for
reasons of imagined duty + propriety.  Tossing insults back and forth just
makes it easier for people to shut down communication.

Somehow I suspect that invocations of The Law and the intervention of legal
anxieties (with their preoccupations with secrecy) has led to much of the
trouble here.  So Pine, to your point: /more/ legal counsel reporting to
only one of the parties involved might not help.  On the other hand, we as
a movement deciding to share more openly our internal discussions around
legal concerns — even if this means taking on slightly more legal risk —
would reduce some of these evident social risks.

Warmly,
SJ

On Wed, Oct 10, 2018 at 8:47 AM Paulo Santos Perneta <
[hidden email]> wrote:

> Some time ago, a Wikimedian friend told me AffCom is like the physician
> that comes to help with the cure when an Affiliate is ill. But that's
> really what they were in this WMPT case? This is a very bizarre situation,
> of which I'm personally having a lot of difficulties finding rational
> answers to it, let alone any conclusion. All I can offer is a personal
> account of the situation, to those who would be kind enough to have an
> interest on this case.
>
> Last May we at WMPT were really not expecting seeing AffCom bursting
> through the room in an emergency intervention, fixing what didn't need to
> be fixed, and willing to moderate what didn't need any moderation. As in
> the proverbial Monty Phyton scene[1], they quickly became the problem
> themselves.
>
> Many of us at WMPT are long-term Wikimedian volunteers, some of us for more
> than a decade already, in perfect good standing in our communities, where
> we hold and held responsibility roles. It includes current and former
> bureaucrats, sysops, ArbCom members, very active contributors to a number
> of Wikimedia projects. Most of us are founding members or directly
> connected to WMPT since its inception in 2009.
>
> Last March, when we took on ourselves this mission of fix and rebuild
> Wikimedia Portugal, who had been dormant for about 5 years, we were not
> expecting to face such a mighty and impenetrable adversary as AffCom has
> proven to be.
> For six months already we have been embroiled by AffCom in this Kafkian
> suspension process, where we are generally not told what the accusations
> are, and much less who is accusing us. It has been extremely painful,
> exhausting, and frustrating for everyone involved.
>
> We reached our limit. A number of us are now seriously considering
> abandoning not only the chapter, but the Wikimedia projects entirely, if we
> continue not being treated with the fairness and transparency we deserve.
> It truly begs the existential question of what are we all doing here,
> dedicating countless and very valuable hours of our lives for a Movement
> that lets this happen, for a Foundation-run committee[3] that apparently
> wants to kill us at all costs.
>
> Personally, I'm still confident that we'll successfully pass through this
> probation, and everything will become again the very optimistic scenario we
> all had last April, when we successfully elected a working board, and
> started working with great dedication in the many projects we have now
> running here in Portugal. I can only imagine how painful it was and is
> being for Gonçalo, to came here making this situation public and sharing it
> with everybody. We all have our dignity, nobody at WMPT likes this at all.
> For many months we tried to cope with this discreet and silently. But
> everything has a limit.
>
> Regards,
>
> Paulo
>
> [1] - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Spanish_Inquisition_(Monty_Python)
> [2] - As AffCom seems to be, despite what is written in their Meta page(
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Affiliations_Committee)
>
> GoEthe.wiki <[hidden email]> escreveu no dia terça, 9/10/2018 à(s)
> 11:13:
>
> > The original message was rejected due to a filter rule match, but you can
> > access it here:
> >
> https://lists.wikimedia.org/pipermail/wikimediapt/2018-October/002698.html
> > I am sending it below without the links. Please access the link above for
> > the full version.
> > __________
> >
> > Sorry in advance for the lengthy email – the tl;dr version is: Wikimedia
> > Portugal has done all it was asked to do, so the suspension that was held
> > conditional to performing those steps must be lifted accordingly. For the
> > sake of transparency, we are sending this out to not only the AffCom
> > mailing list, but also Wikimedia-l and WikimediaPT-l.
> > _________
> >
> > Dear members of AffCom,
> >
> > (cc to the Wikimedia Portugal mailing list, Wikimedia mailing list)
> >
> > Last 5th October we were again surprised by the content of your email
> > (quoted below) in response to us completing the roadmap we had agreed
> upon
> > in order to remove the suspension of Wikimedia Portugal. On that message,
> > you say you have once more received information whose substantiation is
> not
> > mentioned, from sources that are not disclosed. And still you seem to
> > accept it as the truth without even providing us with the opportunity to
> > get properly acquainted with it, let alone rebate or contradict it. While
> > you speak of transparency, that message is unsettlingly opaque, as have
> > been multiple such messages relayed to us in the course of this whole
> > process.
> >
> > As you are well aware, Wikimedia Portugal was faced in March with a
> > situation where the president of the Board, João Vasconcelos, became
> > demissionary without any previous warning [1]. It should be noted that
> when
> > Vasconcelos was elected as president of the Board back in 2015, he wasn’t
> > elected based on any background as a Wikimedia editor, as he has no
> history
> > of contribution to any of the Wikimedia projects, but rather on his self
> > proclaimed merits on organisational and conflict management (!). Despite
> > the best efforts of several people from Wikimedia Portugal over the
> years,
> > Vasconcelos sadly never really integrated well neither on Wikimedia
> > Portugal, nor in the Portuguese Wikimedia community.
> >
> > So, in light of what looked like an existential threat for WMPT, I and a
> > number of other WMPT members have publicly and transparently mobilized
> > ourselves to organize an extraordinary General Election to elect the new
> > Board. Vasconcelos was probably expecting/hoping that we would ask him to
> > stay. But we have seen this sort of behavior elsewhere [a].We didn't.
> > Instead, we handled the situation cooperatively, as a group, openly.
> > Vasconcelos never voiced any desire to take part on this collective
> > solution-building, as evidenced by his silence from the discussion on the
> > Wikimedia Portugal mailing list in March [2] and April [3]. He was
> welcome
> > to do so. His only message to the mailing list was two days (13 April)
> > before the 15 April General Assembly, announcing that he considered the
> > planned General Assembly null [4]. Given the lack of legal standing for
> > that claim, we carried on with the General Assembly (the transparent,
> > inclusive, democratic governing body of associations), summoned according
> > to our by-laws. This General Assembly successfully elected new governing
> > bodies, including the Board of Directors.
> >
> > In May we were surprised by a message from AffCom demanding that we stop
> > taking part in a conflict, and "refrain from representing ourselves as
> > representatives of Wikimedia Portugal" (see quoted message in [5]
> > <https://lists.wikimedia.org/pipermail/wikimediapt/2018-May/002621.html
> > >).This
> > was the very first time the Committee contacted Wikimedia Portugal about
> > this case. The message provided no legal precedent or framework for this
> > demand, no indication of what this conflict was, or why AffCom thought
> the
> > Board was a part of it.
> >
> > From what we understood, Vasconcelos went to the Wikimedia Conference in
> > Berlin, where he seems to have convinced AffCom that our General Assembly
> > of 15 April was legally void.
> >
> > We have repeatedly provided concrete evidence that t it was not the case,
> > including quoting relevant court decisions backing this [6]
> > <
> >
> https://mail.google.com/mail/u/0/(https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/private/wikimedia-pt-internal/2018-July/002414.html
> > >.
> > In response, AffCom reported having no time to read through legal texts,
> > and therefore not being able to assess the validity of our declarations,
> > but that is beyond our control. And yet AffCom accepted Vasconcelos’
> > version without question. It is a legal imperative to be held innocent
> > until proven guilty, and until it is legally proven there was some
> > wrongdoing, General Assemblies are valid and binding.
> >
> > After the April General Assembly we were working, in addition to our
> > activities and programs, to put the association in order in terms of
> > obligations to the Portuguese state and the tax authorities, providing
> > access to WMPT’s bank account to the persons designated on the 15 April
> GA,
> > and so on. Things were getting on track...
> >
> > We were surprised again in July by a message from AffCom temporarily
> > suspending Wikimedia Portugal’s recognition as a Wikimedia chapter [7].
> In
> > that message for the first time you laid out a concrete roadmap that, if
> > followed (as we understood), would lead to lifting the suspension. The
> > roadmap set out a list of demands from AffCom which we diligently
> > fulfilled, even well ahead of the required deadlines. We organized and
> held
> > a new General Assembly in September, summoned according to the
> > interpretation of the Portuguese Civil Code that AffCom relayed to us
> (with
> > the exception of anything we believed would make the proceeding illegal,
> > which was communicated in due time to AffCom). This General Assembly had
> > the same result as before [8]. The Assembly was normally held, despite
> > severe attempts of sabotage from Vasconcelos, reported in due time to
> > AffCom, Legal and the Safety team. In addition to the minutes [9], an
> audio
> > recording of the assembly is available in Commons [10] ; video recording
> is
> > also available on request.
> >
> > We then submitted our overdue Financial Report [11], demonstrated support
> > from the community to the continuation of the chapter [12], and wrote a
> > plan for improved chapter capacity [13]. All should be good now...
> >
> > Having done all this, despite our disagreement that a new Assembly was
> > needed in the first place, we are now again surprised by the reception of
> > the opaque message I mention in the beginning, sent by AffCom to my email
> > (quoted below) affirming that the Committee had received reports from
> > unstated persons with unspecified concerns about the General Assembly and
> > the capacity of Wikimedia Portugal to run as a chapter. The message
> claims
> > that "there were a number of issues with lack of transparency [as well as
> > with] providing an opportunity to participate in an open, organizational
> > process" while not specifying these issues at all. Your message questions
> > whether we are "prepared as an Affiliate to prevent disruption in [our]
> > organization's collective pursuit of the movement’s mission", even though
> > we have so far been able to handle every attempt at disruption from
> > Vasconcelos.
> >
> > If we rolled up our sleeves to activate the scattered energies of a stale
> > organization in order to prepare and execute April’s General Assembly, it
> > was because we were convinced that Wikimedia Portugal had a viable future
> > ahead, and was of value to the Wikimedia movement. At the time, the
> actions
> > of Vasconcelos were so absurd that the reaction to them even spurred some
> > founders and (by then) inactive members of WMPT to offer their help in
> > reestablishing a functional organization. Along with the help of a number
> > of historic as well as new members who have been steadily returning and
> > joining our ranks, that’s precisely what we are achieving.
> >
> > That’s why we’ve been working on fulfilling the AffCom roadmap requests,
> > even if we didn’t like or agree with some aspects of it. All things
> > considered, it was a clear path to resolving our situation, and we found
> > that parts of it could be useful to the chapter. But AffCom’s validation
> of
> > Vasconcelos’ actions and claims, even if unintentional, have real
> > consequences for the mental state and safety of our members.
> >
> > Back in March, when Vasconcelos claimed he had requested our bank to lock
> > the chapter’s bank account, started a process at the Public Prosecution
> > Service, and he had talked with an attorney on that subject, can you
> > imagine what André, our treasurer, felt waiting in line in the bank until
> > he found what really happened? In the end, the bank account had not been
> > locked because of any court order or legal reason as Vasconcelos implied,
> > but rather because someone had tried to access the bank account without
> the
> > proper credentials, and the system automatically locked the account.
> >
> > Before the General Assembly in September, Vasconcelos sent out legal
> > threats and even menaces of police intervention to anyone participating.
> We
> > still went through with it, but can you imagine how we felt, the pressure
> > that was under some of us? It was all a bluff in the end, but this is
> what
> > you put us through.
> >
> > Notwithstanding, WMPT activities were happening in parallel. They are
> > listed on our activities plan for anyone to see [14], and more are
> planned.
> > After several years of inactivity, we are happy to be on a sustainable
> > growth path, gradually building capacity and doing the best we can with
> the
> > resources available to us. We’ve also been using our personal contacts
> with
> > other movements in order to increase our organization’s capacity. Ana,
> > newly appointed to the Board, has just returned from Wiki Takes Zamora,
> > where she was learning from Wikimedia Spain, relaunching the
> collaboration
> > between both chapters. Two of the events we have planned for November are
> > using this paradigm. We’ll celebrate Wikidata’s sixth anniversary with a
> > local group of data enthusiasts in Porto, and near Lisbon we’re helping
> > with the organization and will participate in a FOSS event, so in both
> > cases we’ll also acquire event organization skills. This growth path is
> in
> > peril if you continue to undermine our efforts.
> >
> > Over the last half year we’ve been attacked, offended, insulted, received
> > multiple threats of judicial action by Vasconcelos, and even an actual
> > intimidatory letter from a lawyer working for him (but purportedly on
> > behalf of WMPT); and during this entire time we’ve tried not to escalate
> > the situation, not to engage with such attempts at direct confrontation,
> > nor make them public. You force us now to disclose this in order to clear
> > our name and set the record straight. With the help and support of the
> > legal and security departments of the Wikimedia Foundation, we have dealt
> > with the actions of Vasconcelos so far. And we will follow the
> disciplinary
> > procedures foreseen for these situations in our bylaws which may result
> in
> > his removal from the chapter.
> >
> > We’ve repeatedly complied in unusually strict terms with legal
> > requirements, and with AffCom’s roadmap, while dealing with Vasconcelos’
> > actions as privately as we could in order not to affect the public image
> of
> > the Wikimedia movement, nor its community – but honestly, we’re reaching
> > the point of exhaustion in light of AffCom’s puzzling behavior along this
> > process. We understand that AffCom may have reserves regarding our
> future,
> > but the way it is dealing with the situation is clearly
> counterproductive.
> > How can AffCom keep making new accusations without at least asking us for
> > information or confirmations?
> >
> > Currently, our major source of disruption, distress and anxiety is each
> new
> > message we receive from AffCom, as they repeatedly defy our expectations
> of
> > a partner claiming to be attempting to help us getting back on our feet.
> We
> > are actually wary that the next address could be an announcement that
> > Wikimedia Portugal has been de-recognized, even after we have passed our
> > “road of trials”, due to the ever moving goalposts. Several of our key
> > people have reported insomnia, including myself, after receiving your
> > communications. We’re reaching our physical, psychological, and
> > motivational limit, in great part due to AffCom’s actions and
> inexplicable
> > lack of support and transparency.
> >
> > It is time to stop this! Despite what we still believe were your best
> > intentions, AffCom has inadvertently caused significant destabilization
> for
> > Wikimedia Portugal.
> >
> > Please honor your part of the compromise, lift this suspension and let us
> > proceed in the productive pursuit of our collective mission.
> >
> > Regards,
> >
> > Gonçalo
> > Gonçalo Themudo
> >
> > *Presidente*
> > *Wikimedia Portugal*
> > *Email: *[hidden email]
> > *Website: *http://pt.wikimedia.org <
> https://sites.google.com/view/themudo>
> > *Imagine um mundo onde cada ser humano pode partilhar livremente a soma
> de
> > todo o conhecimento, na sua própria língua.*
> > _______________________________________________
> > Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> > https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines and
> > https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimedia-l
> > New messages to: [hidden email]
> > Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> > <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
> _______________________________________________
> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines and
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimedia-l
> New messages to: [hidden email]
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
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--
Samuel Klein          @metasj           w:user:sj          +1 617 529 4266
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Plea from Wikimedia Portugal

Paulo Santos Perneta
Hello SJ,

Thank you very much for those words, and for help dispelling the idea that
we are fatally bound to de-recognizement. I do hope we are not, but when
everything is done by the chapter according to what is asked, even ahead of
time and in a overzealous way, and we receive a new message from AffCom
with yet a new set of obscure accusations by unstated actors, that scenario
do come to mind. And seeing what Teles wrote here[1] about the affiliate he
belonged to being de-recognized with no warning from the AffCom, really did
rang all bells that we could be next in line if something was not done.

Anyway, from my part I just want this to end, so that we can return to
normality here, the way we were back in April before AffCom had come into
the scene. To the extent that it is still possible, after all the heavy
burnout caused by this whole situation.

Warm regards,
Paulo

[1] -
https://lists.wikimedia.org/pipermail/wikimedia-l/2018-September/091050.html


Samuel Klein <[hidden email]> escreveu no dia quarta, 10/10/2018 à(s)
18:32:

> Gonçalo, Goethe, and all: Thank you for your work, which I appreciate
> dearly, and for the public discussion.  I can also imagine this was a very
> hard letter to write.
>
> Paulo, to your concerns:
> > for a Foundation-run committee[3] that apparently wants to kill us at all
> costs.
>
> Euh... surely not  .v_v.
> These troubles can come up in good faith, when two groups work intently and
> separately on the same issue, ando d not talk openly to one another for
> reasons of imagined duty + propriety.  Tossing insults back and forth just
> makes it easier for people to shut down communication.
>
> Somehow I suspect that invocations of The Law and the intervention of legal
> anxieties (with their preoccupations with secrecy) has led to much of the
> trouble here.  So Pine, to your point: /more/ legal counsel reporting to
> only one of the parties involved might not help.  On the other hand, we as
> a movement deciding to share more openly our internal discussions around
> legal concerns — even if this means taking on slightly more legal risk —
> would reduce some of these evident social risks.
>
> Warmly,
> SJ
>
> On Wed, Oct 10, 2018 at 8:47 AM Paulo Santos Perneta <
> [hidden email]> wrote:
>
> > Some time ago, a Wikimedian friend told me AffCom is like the physician
> > that comes to help with the cure when an Affiliate is ill. But that's
> > really what they were in this WMPT case? This is a very bizarre
> situation,
> > of which I'm personally having a lot of difficulties finding rational
> > answers to it, let alone any conclusion. All I can offer is a personal
> > account of the situation, to those who would be kind enough to have an
> > interest on this case.
> >
> > Last May we at WMPT were really not expecting seeing AffCom bursting
> > through the room in an emergency intervention, fixing what didn't need to
> > be fixed, and willing to moderate what didn't need any moderation. As in
> > the proverbial Monty Phyton scene[1], they quickly became the problem
> > themselves.
> >
> > Many of us at WMPT are long-term Wikimedian volunteers, some of us for
> more
> > than a decade already, in perfect good standing in our communities, where
> > we hold and held responsibility roles. It includes current and former
> > bureaucrats, sysops, ArbCom members, very active contributors to a number
> > of Wikimedia projects. Most of us are founding members or directly
> > connected to WMPT since its inception in 2009.
> >
> > Last March, when we took on ourselves this mission of fix and rebuild
> > Wikimedia Portugal, who had been dormant for about 5 years, we were not
> > expecting to face such a mighty and impenetrable adversary as AffCom has
> > proven to be.
> > For six months already we have been embroiled by AffCom in this Kafkian
> > suspension process, where we are generally not told what the accusations
> > are, and much less who is accusing us. It has been extremely painful,
> > exhausting, and frustrating for everyone involved.
> >
> > We reached our limit. A number of us are now seriously considering
> > abandoning not only the chapter, but the Wikimedia projects entirely, if
> we
> > continue not being treated with the fairness and transparency we deserve.
> > It truly begs the existential question of what are we all doing here,
> > dedicating countless and very valuable hours of our lives for a Movement
> > that lets this happen, for a Foundation-run committee[3] that apparently
> > wants to kill us at all costs.
> >
> > Personally, I'm still confident that we'll successfully pass through this
> > probation, and everything will become again the very optimistic scenario
> we
> > all had last April, when we successfully elected a working board, and
> > started working with great dedication in the many projects we have now
> > running here in Portugal. I can only imagine how painful it was and is
> > being for Gonçalo, to came here making this situation public and sharing
> it
> > with everybody. We all have our dignity, nobody at WMPT likes this at
> all.
> > For many months we tried to cope with this discreet and silently. But
> > everything has a limit.
> >
> > Regards,
> >
> > Paulo
> >
> > [1] -
> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Spanish_Inquisition_(Monty_Python)
> > [2] - As AffCom seems to be, despite what is written in their Meta page(
> > https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Affiliations_Committee)
> >
> > GoEthe.wiki <[hidden email]> escreveu no dia terça, 9/10/2018
> à(s)
> > 11:13:
> >
> > > The original message was rejected due to a filter rule match, but you
> can
> > > access it here:
> > >
> >
> https://lists.wikimedia.org/pipermail/wikimediapt/2018-October/002698.html
> > > I am sending it below without the links. Please access the link above
> for
> > > the full version.
> > > __________
> > >
> > > Sorry in advance for the lengthy email – the tl;dr version is:
> Wikimedia
> > > Portugal has done all it was asked to do, so the suspension that was
> held
> > > conditional to performing those steps must be lifted accordingly. For
> the
> > > sake of transparency, we are sending this out to not only the AffCom
> > > mailing list, but also Wikimedia-l and WikimediaPT-l.
> > > _________
> > >
> > > Dear members of AffCom,
> > >
> > > (cc to the Wikimedia Portugal mailing list, Wikimedia mailing list)
> > >
> > > Last 5th October we were again surprised by the content of your email
> > > (quoted below) in response to us completing the roadmap we had agreed
> > upon
> > > in order to remove the suspension of Wikimedia Portugal. On that
> message,
> > > you say you have once more received information whose substantiation is
> > not
> > > mentioned, from sources that are not disclosed. And still you seem to
> > > accept it as the truth without even providing us with the opportunity
> to
> > > get properly acquainted with it, let alone rebate or contradict it.
> While
> > > you speak of transparency, that message is unsettlingly opaque, as have
> > > been multiple such messages relayed to us in the course of this whole
> > > process.
> > >
> > > As you are well aware, Wikimedia Portugal was faced in March with a
> > > situation where the president of the Board, João Vasconcelos, became
> > > demissionary without any previous warning [1]. It should be noted that
> > when
> > > Vasconcelos was elected as president of the Board back in 2015, he
> wasn’t
> > > elected based on any background as a Wikimedia editor, as he has no
> > history
> > > of contribution to any of the Wikimedia projects, but rather on his
> self
> > > proclaimed merits on organisational and conflict management (!).
> Despite
> > > the best efforts of several people from Wikimedia Portugal over the
> > years,
> > > Vasconcelos sadly never really integrated well neither on Wikimedia
> > > Portugal, nor in the Portuguese Wikimedia community.
> > >
> > > So, in light of what looked like an existential threat for WMPT, I and
> a
> > > number of other WMPT members have publicly and transparently mobilized
> > > ourselves to organize an extraordinary General Election to elect the
> new
> > > Board. Vasconcelos was probably expecting/hoping that we would ask him
> to
> > > stay. But we have seen this sort of behavior elsewhere [a].We didn't.
> > > Instead, we handled the situation cooperatively, as a group, openly.
> > > Vasconcelos never voiced any desire to take part on this collective
> > > solution-building, as evidenced by his silence from the discussion on
> the
> > > Wikimedia Portugal mailing list in March [2] and April [3]. He was
> > welcome
> > > to do so. His only message to the mailing list was two days (13 April)
> > > before the 15 April General Assembly, announcing that he considered the
> > > planned General Assembly null [4]. Given the lack of legal standing for
> > > that claim, we carried on with the General Assembly (the transparent,
> > > inclusive, democratic governing body of associations), summoned
> according
> > > to our by-laws. This General Assembly successfully elected new
> governing
> > > bodies, including the Board of Directors.
> > >
> > > In May we were surprised by a message from AffCom demanding that we
> stop
> > > taking part in a conflict, and "refrain from representing ourselves as
> > > representatives of Wikimedia Portugal" (see quoted message in [5]
> > > <
> https://lists.wikimedia.org/pipermail/wikimediapt/2018-May/002621.html
> > > >).This
> > > was the very first time the Committee contacted Wikimedia Portugal
> about
> > > this case. The message provided no legal precedent or framework for
> this
> > > demand, no indication of what this conflict was, or why AffCom thought
> > the
> > > Board was a part of it.
> > >
> > > From what we understood, Vasconcelos went to the Wikimedia Conference
> in
> > > Berlin, where he seems to have convinced AffCom that our General
> Assembly
> > > of 15 April was legally void.
> > >
> > > We have repeatedly provided concrete evidence that t it was not the
> case,
> > > including quoting relevant court decisions backing this [6]
> > > <
> > >
> >
> https://mail.google.com/mail/u/0/(https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/private/wikimedia-pt-internal/2018-July/002414.html
> > > >.
> > > In response, AffCom reported having no time to read through legal
> texts,
> > > and therefore not being able to assess the validity of our
> declarations,
> > > but that is beyond our control. And yet AffCom accepted Vasconcelos’
> > > version without question. It is a legal imperative to be held innocent
> > > until proven guilty, and until it is legally proven there was some
> > > wrongdoing, General Assemblies are valid and binding.
> > >
> > > After the April General Assembly we were working, in addition to our
> > > activities and programs, to put the association in order in terms of
> > > obligations to the Portuguese state and the tax authorities, providing
> > > access to WMPT’s bank account to the persons designated on the 15 April
> > GA,
> > > and so on. Things were getting on track...
> > >
> > > We were surprised again in July by a message from AffCom temporarily
> > > suspending Wikimedia Portugal’s recognition as a Wikimedia chapter [7].
> > In
> > > that message for the first time you laid out a concrete roadmap that,
> if
> > > followed (as we understood), would lead to lifting the suspension. The
> > > roadmap set out a list of demands from AffCom which we diligently
> > > fulfilled, even well ahead of the required deadlines. We organized and
> > held
> > > a new General Assembly in September, summoned according to the
> > > interpretation of the Portuguese Civil Code that AffCom relayed to us
> > (with
> > > the exception of anything we believed would make the proceeding
> illegal,
> > > which was communicated in due time to AffCom). This General Assembly
> had
> > > the same result as before [8]. The Assembly was normally held, despite
> > > severe attempts of sabotage from Vasconcelos, reported in due time to
> > > AffCom, Legal and the Safety team. In addition to the minutes [9], an
> > audio
> > > recording of the assembly is available in Commons [10] ; video
> recording
> > is
> > > also available on request.
> > >
> > > We then submitted our overdue Financial Report [11], demonstrated
> support
> > > from the community to the continuation of the chapter [12], and wrote a
> > > plan for improved chapter capacity [13]. All should be good now...
> > >
> > > Having done all this, despite our disagreement that a new Assembly was
> > > needed in the first place, we are now again surprised by the reception
> of
> > > the opaque message I mention in the beginning, sent by AffCom to my
> email
> > > (quoted below) affirming that the Committee had received reports from
> > > unstated persons with unspecified concerns about the General Assembly
> and
> > > the capacity of Wikimedia Portugal to run as a chapter. The message
> > claims
> > > that "there were a number of issues with lack of transparency [as well
> as
> > > with] providing an opportunity to participate in an open,
> organizational
> > > process" while not specifying these issues at all. Your message
> questions
> > > whether we are "prepared as an Affiliate to prevent disruption in [our]
> > > organization's collective pursuit of the movement’s mission", even
> though
> > > we have so far been able to handle every attempt at disruption from
> > > Vasconcelos.
> > >
> > > If we rolled up our sleeves to activate the scattered energies of a
> stale
> > > organization in order to prepare and execute April’s General Assembly,
> it
> > > was because we were convinced that Wikimedia Portugal had a viable
> future
> > > ahead, and was of value to the Wikimedia movement. At the time, the
> > actions
> > > of Vasconcelos were so absurd that the reaction to them even spurred
> some
> > > founders and (by then) inactive members of WMPT to offer their help in
> > > reestablishing a functional organization. Along with the help of a
> number
> > > of historic as well as new members who have been steadily returning and
> > > joining our ranks, that’s precisely what we are achieving.
> > >
> > > That’s why we’ve been working on fulfilling the AffCom roadmap
> requests,
> > > even if we didn’t like or agree with some aspects of it. All things
> > > considered, it was a clear path to resolving our situation, and we
> found
> > > that parts of it could be useful to the chapter. But AffCom’s
> validation
> > of
> > > Vasconcelos’ actions and claims, even if unintentional, have real
> > > consequences for the mental state and safety of our members.
> > >
> > > Back in March, when Vasconcelos claimed he had requested our bank to
> lock
> > > the chapter’s bank account, started a process at the Public Prosecution
> > > Service, and he had talked with an attorney on that subject, can you
> > > imagine what André, our treasurer, felt waiting in line in the bank
> until
> > > he found what really happened? In the end, the bank account had not
> been
> > > locked because of any court order or legal reason as Vasconcelos
> implied,
> > > but rather because someone had tried to access the bank account without
> > the
> > > proper credentials, and the system automatically locked the account.
> > >
> > > Before the General Assembly in September, Vasconcelos sent out legal
> > > threats and even menaces of police intervention to anyone
> participating.
> > We
> > > still went through with it, but can you imagine how we felt, the
> pressure
> > > that was under some of us? It was all a bluff in the end, but this is
> > what
> > > you put us through.
> > >
> > > Notwithstanding, WMPT activities were happening in parallel. They are
> > > listed on our activities plan for anyone to see [14], and more are
> > planned.
> > > After several years of inactivity, we are happy to be on a sustainable
> > > growth path, gradually building capacity and doing the best we can with
> > the
> > > resources available to us. We’ve also been using our personal contacts
> > with
> > > other movements in order to increase our organization’s capacity. Ana,
> > > newly appointed to the Board, has just returned from Wiki Takes Zamora,
> > > where she was learning from Wikimedia Spain, relaunching the
> > collaboration
> > > between both chapters. Two of the events we have planned for November
> are
> > > using this paradigm. We’ll celebrate Wikidata’s sixth anniversary with
> a
> > > local group of data enthusiasts in Porto, and near Lisbon we’re helping
> > > with the organization and will participate in a FOSS event, so in both
> > > cases we’ll also acquire event organization skills. This growth path is
> > in
> > > peril if you continue to undermine our efforts.
> > >
> > > Over the last half year we’ve been attacked, offended, insulted,
> received
> > > multiple threats of judicial action by Vasconcelos, and even an actual
> > > intimidatory letter from a lawyer working for him (but purportedly on
> > > behalf of WMPT); and during this entire time we’ve tried not to
> escalate
> > > the situation, not to engage with such attempts at direct
> confrontation,
> > > nor make them public. You force us now to disclose this in order to
> clear
> > > our name and set the record straight. With the help and support of the
> > > legal and security departments of the Wikimedia Foundation, we have
> dealt
> > > with the actions of Vasconcelos so far. And we will follow the
> > disciplinary
> > > procedures foreseen for these situations in our bylaws which may result
> > in
> > > his removal from the chapter.
> > >
> > > We’ve repeatedly complied in unusually strict terms with legal
> > > requirements, and with AffCom’s roadmap, while dealing with
> Vasconcelos’
> > > actions as privately as we could in order not to affect the public
> image
> > of
> > > the Wikimedia movement, nor its community – but honestly, we’re
> reaching
> > > the point of exhaustion in light of AffCom’s puzzling behavior along
> this
> > > process. We understand that AffCom may have reserves regarding our
> > future,
> > > but the way it is dealing with the situation is clearly
> > counterproductive.
> > > How can AffCom keep making new accusations without at least asking us
> for
> > > information or confirmations?
> > >
> > > Currently, our major source of disruption, distress and anxiety is each
> > new
> > > message we receive from AffCom, as they repeatedly defy our
> expectations
> > of
> > > a partner claiming to be attempting to help us getting back on our
> feet.
> > We
> > > are actually wary that the next address could be an announcement that
> > > Wikimedia Portugal has been de-recognized, even after we have passed
> our
> > > “road of trials”, due to the ever moving goalposts. Several of our key
> > > people have reported insomnia, including myself, after receiving your
> > > communications. We’re reaching our physical, psychological, and
> > > motivational limit, in great part due to AffCom’s actions and
> > inexplicable
> > > lack of support and transparency.
> > >
> > > It is time to stop this! Despite what we still believe were your best
> > > intentions, AffCom has inadvertently caused significant destabilization
> > for
> > > Wikimedia Portugal.
> > >
> > > Please honor your part of the compromise, lift this suspension and let
> us
> > > proceed in the productive pursuit of our collective mission.
> > >
> > > Regards,
> > >
> > > Gonçalo
> > > Gonçalo Themudo
> > >
> > > *Presidente*
> > > *Wikimedia Portugal*
> > > *Email: *[hidden email]
> > > *Website: *http://pt.wikimedia.org <
> > https://sites.google.com/view/themudo>
> > > *Imagine um mundo onde cada ser humano pode partilhar livremente a soma
> > de
> > > todo o conhecimento, na sua própria língua.*
> > > _______________________________________________
> > > Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> > > https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines and
> > > https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimedia-l
> > > New messages to: [hidden email]
> > > Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> > > <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
> > _______________________________________________
> > Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> > https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines and
> > https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimedia-l
> > New messages to: [hidden email]
> > Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> > <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
>
>
>
> --
> Samuel Klein          @metasj           w:user:sj          +1 617 529 4266
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Plea from Wikimedia Portugal

Pine W
SJ, maybe I should explain my comments about involvement of legal counsel
in more detail. My understanding of the situation, which is far from
complete and may be wrong, is that AffCom decided to intervene in this
situation (1) before they had undertaken an effort to gather facts "on the
ground", and (2) with disregard for local laws that could apply to the
situation. (I wouldn't accept an excuse that AffCom lacked the time to do
legal research. It is my opinion that AffCom and WMF both should know
better, and that WMF should ensure that AffCom has access to knowledgeable
legal counsel when needed). If AffCom had taken the time to first gather
the facts of the situation from someone who could investigate it "on the
ground", and had taken the time to obtain knowledgeable legal counsel about
local laws, I wonder whether a significant amount of volunteer time and
stress could have been saved both for AffCom members and for WMPT members.

I don't mean to suggest that nothing is wrong at WMPT or that AffCom should
have remained uninvolved, but my impression is that there are changes that
should be made in AffCom regardless of whether there are problems with
WMPT, starting with AffCom's lack of transparency in general.

It's possible that what we're hearing from WMPT is entirely wrong and that
AffCom did everything well, but even if that is true, I think that AffCom
should be much more transparent.

Pine
( https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Pine )
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Plea from Wikimedia Portugal

Alessandro Marchetti via Wikimedia-l
 When I read such mails, I think there is something that it's not 100% working in the workflow of AffCom. If i might say how i feel it, I would say that it is not perceived like a "catalyst" of good practices, but more like a bottleneck of processes.

Maybe more transparency could help. UG and chapters are an important part of our ecosystem and the interaction with communities should be put at the core of the process. Maybe there is some overflow, and they need more support and resources. Or we need a better system to minimize problems before they become so large.
In any case, I feel the current situation is not optimal. Many things aren't of course, so it's probably not critical. It's a delicate topic of course but that's also why it should need more long-term discussion. Soon or later, someone should gather the feedback produced by these occurrences and start a discussion about possible improvement.




    Il mercoledì 10 ottobre 2018, 22:54:30 CEST, Pine W <[hidden email]> ha scritto:  
 
 SJ, maybe I should explain my comments about involvement of legal counsel
in more detail. My understanding of the situation, which is far from
complete and may be wrong, is that AffCom decided to intervene in this
situation (1) before they had undertaken an effort to gather facts "on the
ground", and (2) with disregard for local laws that could apply to the
situation. (I wouldn't accept an excuse that AffCom lacked the time to do
legal research. It is my opinion that AffCom and WMF both should know
better, and that WMF should ensure that AffCom has access to knowledgeable
legal counsel when needed). If AffCom had taken the time to first gather
the facts of the situation from someone who could investigate it "on the
ground", and had taken the time to obtain knowledgeable legal counsel about
local laws, I wonder whether a significant amount of volunteer time and
stress could have been saved both for AffCom members and for WMPT members.

I don't mean to suggest that nothing is wrong at WMPT or that AffCom should
have remained uninvolved, but my impression is that there are changes that
should be made in AffCom regardless of whether there are problems with
WMPT, starting with AffCom's lack of transparency in general.

It's possible that what we're hearing from WMPT is entirely wrong and that
AffCom did everything well, but even if that is true, I think that AffCom
should be much more transparent.

Pine
( https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Pine )
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Plea from Wikimedia Portugal

Ilario Valdelli
In reply to this post by Alchimista
The best mistake you do is to consider the wikimedia chapter as a
representative of the Wikipedia community while this statement is basically
wrong.

When you say that Vasconcelos had no Wikipedia editing experience and
continue to support your position using this motivation, you probably have
no clear meaning of what is a chapter.

I have no position about the wikimedia Portugal conflict but i would stress
this point.

I Think that there is a clear and well known position inside the wikimedia
movement that any chapter is not responsible of the content of Wikimedia
projects.

A board should have an heterogeneous composition. If a wikipedia editing
Experience is welcome, that's is not sufficient. Having someone with
conflict management Experience in the board would be important and In some
cases more important than Wikipedia' s editing In this case I dont
understand why you did not invite to Vasconcelos to stay.

Kind regards

On Tue, 9 Oct 2018, 14:48 Alchimista, <[hidden email]> wrote:

> As a wikimedia Portugal board member I totally agree with Gonçalo's
> statement. Despite what I believe where AffCom best efforts, they clearly
> didn't knew how to properly deal with this situation. They took official
> positions without hearing us, they've imposed a roadmap that we had to
> accomplish in order to lift the suspension, and now that we've accomplished
> it, some unexplained accusations came out of the blue. I feel that AffCom
> put us chasing ghosts during the last months and that all we've done so far
> was in vain, and more importantly, is making us reach the limit of our
> capacities. This last message is a clear example of what shouldn’t be done:
> we’ve been working with special motivation knowing that we were doing all
> what was requested in order to get our suspension lifted, and then AffCom
> sends us that opaque accusation, without any previous attempt to get any
> confirmation or information.
>
> Wikimedia Portugal is currently in a sustainable path, despite all the
> entropy, we’ve been able to fulfill all legal obligations, AffCom roadmap,
> improve our governance and transparency and organize activities. We intend
> to keep this path, continuously improving our capacities, but AffCom is
> clearly making it more difficult.
>
> Best regards,
>
> André
>
> GoEthe.wiki <[hidden email]> escreveu no dia terça, 9/10/2018 à(s)
> 11:12:
>
> > The original message was rejected due to a filter rule match, but you can
> > access it here:
> >
> https://lists.wikimedia.org/pipermail/wikimediapt/2018-October/002698.html
> > I am sending it below without the links. Please access the link above for
> > the full version.
> > __________
> >
> > Sorry in advance for the lengthy email – the tl;dr version is: Wikimedia
> > Portugal has done all it was asked to do, so the suspension that was held
> > conditional to performing those steps must be lifted accordingly. For the
> > sake of transparency, we are sending this out to not only the AffCom
> > mailing list, but also Wikimedia-l and WikimediaPT-l.
> > _________
> >
> > Dear members of AffCom,
> >
> > (cc to the Wikimedia Portugal mailing list, Wikimedia mailing list)
> >
> > Last 5th October we were again surprised by the content of your email
> > (quoted below) in response to us completing the roadmap we had agreed
> upon
> > in order to remove the suspension of Wikimedia Portugal. On that message,
> > you say you have once more received information whose substantiation is
> not
> > mentioned, from sources that are not disclosed. And still you seem to
> > accept it as the truth without even providing us with the opportunity to
> > get properly acquainted with it, let alone rebate or contradict it. While
> > you speak of transparency, that message is unsettlingly opaque, as have
> > been multiple such messages relayed to us in the course of this whole
> > process.
> >
> > As you are well aware, Wikimedia Portugal was faced in March with a
> > situation where the president of the Board, João Vasconcelos, became
> > demissionary without any previous warning [1]. It should be noted that
> when
> > Vasconcelos was elected as president of the Board back in 2015, he wasn’t
> > elected based on any background as a Wikimedia editor, as he has no
> history
> > of contribution to any of the Wikimedia projects, but rather on his self
> > proclaimed merits on organisational and conflict management (!). Despite
> > the best efforts of several people from Wikimedia Portugal over the
> years,
> > Vasconcelos sadly never really integrated well neither on Wikimedia
> > Portugal, nor in the Portuguese Wikimedia community.
> >
> > So, in light of what looked like an existential threat for WMPT, I and a
> > number of other WMPT members have publicly and transparently mobilized
> > ourselves to organize an extraordinary General Election to elect the new
> > Board. Vasconcelos was probably expecting/hoping that we would ask him to
> > stay. But we have seen this sort of behavior elsewhere [a].We didn't.
> > Instead, we handled the situation cooperatively, as a group, openly.
> > Vasconcelos never voiced any desire to take part on this collective
> > solution-building, as evidenced by his silence from the discussion on the
> > Wikimedia Portugal mailing list in March [2] and April [3]. He was
> welcome
> > to do so. His only message to the mailing list was two days (13 April)
> > before the 15 April General Assembly, announcing that he considered the
> > planned General Assembly null [4]. Given the lack of legal standing for
> > that claim, we carried on with the General Assembly (the transparent,
> > inclusive, democratic governing body of associations), summoned according
> > to our by-laws. This General Assembly successfully elected new governing
> > bodies, including the Board of Directors.
> >
> > In May we were surprised by a message from AffCom demanding that we stop
> > taking part in a conflict, and "refrain from representing ourselves as
> > representatives of Wikimedia Portugal" (see quoted message in [5]
> > <https://lists.wikimedia.org/pipermail/wikimediapt/2018-May/002621.html
> > >).This
> > was the very first time the Committee contacted Wikimedia Portugal about
> > this case. The message provided no legal precedent or framework for this
> > demand, no indication of what this conflict was, or why AffCom thought
> the
> > Board was a part of it.
> >
> > From what we understood, Vasconcelos went to the Wikimedia Conference in
> > Berlin, where he seems to have convinced AffCom that our General Assembly
> > of 15 April was legally void.
> >
> > We have repeatedly provided concrete evidence that t it was not the case,
> > including quoting relevant court decisions backing this [6]
> > <
> >
> https://mail.google.com/mail/u/0/(https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/private/wikimedia-pt-internal/2018-July/002414.html
> > >.
> > In response, AffCom reported having no time to read through legal texts,
> > and therefore not being able to assess the validity of our declarations,
> > but that is beyond our control. And yet AffCom accepted Vasconcelos’
> > version without question. It is a legal imperative to be held innocent
> > until proven guilty, and until it is legally proven there was some
> > wrongdoing, General Assemblies are valid and binding.
> >
> > After the April General Assembly we were working, in addition to our
> > activities and programs, to put the association in order in terms of
> > obligations to the Portuguese state and the tax authorities, providing
> > access to WMPT’s bank account to the persons designated on the 15 April
> GA,
> > and so on. Things were getting on track...
> >
> > We were surprised again in July by a message from AffCom temporarily
> > suspending Wikimedia Portugal’s recognition as a Wikimedia chapter [7].
> In
> > that message for the first time you laid out a concrete roadmap that, if
> > followed (as we understood), would lead to lifting the suspension. The
> > roadmap set out a list of demands from AffCom which we diligently
> > fulfilled, even well ahead of the required deadlines. We organized and
> held
> > a new General Assembly in September, summoned according to the
> > interpretation of the Portuguese Civil Code that AffCom relayed to us
> (with
> > the exception of anything we believed would make the proceeding illegal,
> > which was communicated in due time to AffCom). This General Assembly had
> > the same result as before [8]. The Assembly was normally held, despite
> > severe attempts of sabotage from Vasconcelos, reported in due time to
> > AffCom, Legal and the Safety team. In addition to the minutes [9], an
> audio
> > recording of the assembly is available in Commons [10] ; video recording
> is
> > also available on request.
> >
> > We then submitted our overdue Financial Report [11], demonstrated support
> > from the community to the continuation of the chapter [12], and wrote a
> > plan for improved chapter capacity [13]. All should be good now...
> >
> > Having done all this, despite our disagreement that a new Assembly was
> > needed in the first place, we are now again surprised by the reception of
> > the opaque message I mention in the beginning, sent by AffCom to my email
> > (quoted below) affirming that the Committee had received reports from
> > unstated persons with unspecified concerns about the General Assembly and
> > the capacity of Wikimedia Portugal to run as a chapter. The message
> claims
> > that "there were a number of issues with lack of transparency [as well as
> > with] providing an opportunity to participate in an open, organizational
> > process" while not specifying these issues at all. Your message questions
> > whether we are "prepared as an Affiliate to prevent disruption in [our]
> > organization's collective pursuit of the movement’s mission", even though
> > we have so far been able to handle every attempt at disruption from
> > Vasconcelos.
> >
> > If we rolled up our sleeves to activate the scattered energies of a stale
> > organization in order to prepare and execute April’s General Assembly, it
> > was because we were convinced that Wikimedia Portugal had a viable future
> > ahead, and was of value to the Wikimedia movement. At the time, the
> actions
> > of Vasconcelos were so absurd that the reaction to them even spurred some
> > founders and (by then) inactive members of WMPT to offer their help in
> > reestablishing a functional organization. Along with the help of a number
> > of historic as well as new members who have been steadily returning and
> > joining our ranks, that’s precisely what we are achieving.
> >
> > That’s why we’ve been working on fulfilling the AffCom roadmap requests,
> > even if we didn’t like or agree with some aspects of it. All things
> > considered, it was a clear path to resolving our situation, and we found
> > that parts of it could be useful to the chapter. But AffCom’s validation
> of
> > Vasconcelos’ actions and claims, even if unintentional, have real
> > consequences for the mental state and safety of our members.
> >
> > Back in March, when Vasconcelos claimed he had requested our bank to lock
> > the chapter’s bank account, started a process at the Public Prosecution
> > Service, and he had talked with an attorney on that subject, can you
> > imagine what André, our treasurer, felt waiting in line in the bank until
> > he found what really happened? In the end, the bank account had not been
> > locked because of any court order or legal reason as Vasconcelos implied,
> > but rather because someone had tried to access the bank account without
> the
> > proper credentials, and the system automatically locked the account.
> >
> > Before the General Assembly in September, Vasconcelos sent out legal
> > threats and even menaces of police intervention to anyone participating.
> We
> > still went through with it, but can you imagine how we felt, the pressure
> > that was under some of us? It was all a bluff in the end, but this is
> what
> > you put us through.
> >
> > Notwithstanding, WMPT activities were happening in parallel. They are
> > listed on our activities plan for anyone to see [14], and more are
> planned.
> > After several years of inactivity, we are happy to be on a sustainable
> > growth path, gradually building capacity and doing the best we can with
> the
> > resources available to us. We’ve also been using our personal contacts
> with
> > other movements in order to increase our organization’s capacity. Ana,
> > newly appointed to the Board, has just returned from Wiki Takes Zamora,
> > where she was learning from Wikimedia Spain, relaunching the
> collaboration
> > between both chapters. Two of the events we have planned for November are
> > using this paradigm. We’ll celebrate Wikidata’s sixth anniversary with a
> > local group of data enthusiasts in Porto, and near Lisbon we’re helping
> > with the organization and will participate in a FOSS event, so in both
> > cases we’ll also acquire event organization skills. This growth path is
> in
> > peril if you continue to undermine our efforts.
> >
> > Over the last half year we’ve been attacked, offended, insulted, received
> > multiple threats of judicial action by Vasconcelos, and even an actual
> > intimidatory letter from a lawyer working for him (but purportedly on
> > behalf of WMPT); and during this entire time we’ve tried not to escalate
> > the situation, not to engage with such attempts at direct confrontation,
> > nor make them public. You force us now to disclose this in order to clear
> > our name and set the record straight. With the help and support of the
> > legal and security departments of the Wikimedia Foundation, we have dealt
> > with the actions of Vasconcelos so far. And we will follow the
> disciplinary
> > procedures foreseen for these situations in our bylaws which may result
> in
> > his removal from the chapter.
> >
> > We’ve repeatedly complied in unusually strict terms with legal
> > requirements, and with AffCom’s roadmap, while dealing with Vasconcelos’
> > actions as privately as we could in order not to affect the public image
> of
> > the Wikimedia movement, nor its community – but honestly, we’re reaching
> > the point of exhaustion in light of AffCom’s puzzling behavior along this
> > process. We understand that AffCom may have reserves regarding our
> future,
> > but the way it is dealing with the situation is clearly
> counterproductive.
> > How can AffCom keep making new accusations without at least asking us for
> > information or confirmations?
> >
> > Currently, our major source of disruption, distress and anxiety is each
> new
> > message we receive from AffCom, as they repeatedly defy our expectations
> of
> > a partner claiming to be attempting to help us getting back on our feet.
> We
> > are actually wary that the next address could be an announcement that
> > Wikimedia Portugal has been de-recognized, even after we have passed our
> > “road of trials”, due to the ever moving goalposts. Several of our key
> > people have reported insomnia, including myself, after receiving your
> > communications. We’re reaching our physical, psychological, and
> > motivational limit, in great part due to AffCom’s actions and
> inexplicable
> > lack of support and transparency.
> >
> > It is time to stop this! Despite what we still believe were your best
> > intentions, AffCom has inadvertently caused significant destabilization
> for
> > Wikimedia Portugal.
> >
> > Please honor your part of the compromise, lift this suspension and let us
> > proceed in the productive pursuit of our collective mission.
> >
> > Regards,
> >
> > Gonçalo
> > Gonçalo Themudo
> >
> > *Presidente*
> > *Wikimedia Portugal*
> > *Email: *[hidden email]
> > *Website: *http://pt.wikimedia.org <
> https://sites.google.com/view/themudo>
> > *Imagine um mundo onde cada ser humano pode partilhar livremente a soma
> de
> > todo o conhecimento, na sua própria língua.*
> > _______________________________________________
> > Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> > https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines and
> > https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimedia-l
> > New messages to: [hidden email]
> > Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> > <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
>
>
>
> --
> Alchimista
> http://pt.wikipedia.org/wiki/Utilizador:Alchimista
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Plea from Wikimedia Portugal

GoEthe.wiki
In reply to this post by GoEthe.wiki
Hi Illario,

Apologies, I probably explained myself poorly. I never said that a chapter
is a representative of the Wikimedia community, rather I was trying to
explain that João’s claimed experience (emphasis on claimed) in management
and conflict resolution was a major factor in him being elected to the
Board. At the time, WMPT thought that that could be very valuable to the
chapter. So, we agree, a heterogeneous board is absolutely an advantage,
but in this case the issue was not one of diversity, but rather of
competence and alignment to the movement goals and principles.

In practice, he did not contribute to the management of the chapter, and he
was not prepared to an increase of the chapter activities. He very quickly
started demonstrating uneasiness with any procedural decision he did not
personally vet (which are imperative in volunteer-based, collaborative
projects), and soon after, without any previous warning, started sending
legal threats going as far as using a lawyer to intimidate one of our most
active members on behalf of WMPT (without discussing it with anyone
beforehand), and resigned.

We have no intention to expose João even more in this public mailing list,
so we will not provide a comprehensive list of the problems we found with
his term on the board. But to make it clear, when this whole issue began to
be addressed, even though we did not ask him to stay on the Board, we did
invite him to continue on the chapter, working with us, as AffCom can
confirm. Just not in any role with legal responsibilities.


Cheers,
Gonçalo Themudo

*Presidente*
*Wikimedia Portugal*
*Email: *[hidden email]
*Website: *http://pt.wikimedia.org <https://sites.google.com/view/themudo>
*Imagine um mundo onde cada ser humano pode partilhar livremente a soma de
todo o conhecimento, na sua própria língua.*
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Plea from Wikimedia Portugal

Alessandro Marchetti via Wikimedia-l
 The pro forma statement bout what a chapter is is valuable, but I think many of us kinda got the idea that the problem was not the starting point (otherwise why electing him?) but came later. It's possible that someone else with more community experience would have never behaved such way, but that's speculation.

Statistically, in this scenario this lack of community view probably did not help. Whatever his skills in "management and conflict resolution" were, even assuming they were correctly stated based on previous expertise in other fields, they were not the best ones to handle the conflicts that later emerged. Also, considering the resolution we see now, which is not a great resolution.
The point is that in all these disputes (I think about Brazil few months ago) it looks like the AffCom position sounds like "you are both wrong". Now, this is never a healthy long-term strategy. If it occurs again, it gives more and more the idea that whoever is in the less correct position can hold still because if the matter arrives to the AffCom everybody pays equally. I am sure the situation is more multifaceted, but let's try to grasp the general vibe here.

 This is not wise. King Solomon solved the issue bluffing and spotting the real mother, he never actually cut the baby in two halves ... But wisdom comes also with experience.
   Il giovedì 11 ottobre 2018, 15:43:01 CEST, GoEthe.wiki <[hidden email]> ha scritto:  
 
 Hi Illario,

Apologies, I probably explained myself poorly. I never said that a chapter
is a representative of the Wikimedia community, rather I was trying to
explain that João’s claimed experience (emphasis on claimed) in management
and conflict resolution was a major factor in him being elected to the
Board. At the time, WMPT thought that that could be very valuable to the
chapter. So, we agree, a heterogeneous board is absolutely an advantage,
but in this case the issue was not one of diversity, but rather of
competence and alignment to the movement goals and principles.

In practice, he did not contribute to the management of the chapter, and he
was not prepared to an increase of the chapter activities. He very quickly
started demonstrating uneasiness with any procedural decision he did not
personally vet (which are imperative in volunteer-based, collaborative
projects), and soon after, without any previous warning, started sending
legal threats going as far as using a lawyer to intimidate one of our most
active members on behalf of WMPT (without discussing it with anyone
beforehand), and resigned.

We have no intention to expose João even more in this public mailing list,
so we will not provide a comprehensive list of the problems we found with
his term on the board. But to make it clear, when this whole issue began to
be addressed, even though we did not ask him to stay on the Board, we did
invite him to continue on the chapter, working with us, as AffCom can
confirm. Just not in any role with legal responsibilities.


Cheers,
Gonçalo Themudo

*Presidente*
*Wikimedia Portugal*
*Email: *[hidden email]
*Website: *http://pt.wikimedia.org <https://sites.google.com/view/themudo>
*Imagine um mundo onde cada ser humano pode partilhar livremente a soma de
todo o conhecimento, na sua própria língua.*
_______________________________________________
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Plea from Wikimedia Portugal

Paulo Santos Perneta
Just a quick message to clarify that the only conflict that ever existed in
Wikimedia Portugal, as far as I know, was with João Vasconcelos himself.

Paulo

Alessandro Marchetti via Wikimedia-l <[hidden email]>
escreveu no dia quinta, 11/10/2018 à(s) 15:38:

>  The pro forma statement bout what a chapter is is valuable, but I think
> many of us kinda got the idea that the problem was not the starting point
> (otherwise why electing him?) but came later. It's possible that someone
> else with more community experience would have never behaved such way, but
> that's speculation.
>
> Statistically, in this scenario this lack of community view probably did
> not help. Whatever his skills in "management and conflict resolution" were,
> even assuming they were correctly stated based on previous expertise in
> other fields, they were not the best ones to handle the conflicts that
> later emerged. Also, considering the resolution we see now, which is not a
> great resolution.
> The point is that in all these disputes (I think about Brazil few months
> ago) it looks like the AffCom position sounds like "you are both wrong".
> Now, this is never a healthy long-term strategy. If it occurs again, it
> gives more and more the idea that whoever is in the less correct position
> can hold still because if the matter arrives to the AffCom everybody pays
> equally. I am sure the situation is more multifaceted, but let's try to
> grasp the general vibe here.
>
>  This is not wise. King Solomon solved the issue bluffing and spotting the
> real mother, he never actually cut the baby in two halves ... But wisdom
> comes also with experience.
>    Il giovedì 11 ottobre 2018, 15:43:01 CEST, GoEthe.wiki <
> [hidden email]> ha scritto:
>
>  Hi Illario,
>
> Apologies, I probably explained myself poorly. I never said that a chapter
> is a representative of the Wikimedia community, rather I was trying to
> explain that João’s claimed experience (emphasis on claimed) in management
> and conflict resolution was a major factor in him being elected to the
> Board. At the time, WMPT thought that that could be very valuable to the
> chapter. So, we agree, a heterogeneous board is absolutely an advantage,
> but in this case the issue was not one of diversity, but rather of
> competence and alignment to the movement goals and principles.
>
> In practice, he did not contribute to the management of the chapter, and he
> was not prepared to an increase of the chapter activities. He very quickly
> started demonstrating uneasiness with any procedural decision he did not
> personally vet (which are imperative in volunteer-based, collaborative
> projects), and soon after, without any previous warning, started sending
> legal threats going as far as using a lawyer to intimidate one of our most
> active members on behalf of WMPT (without discussing it with anyone
> beforehand), and resigned.
>
> We have no intention to expose João even more in this public mailing list,
> so we will not provide a comprehensive list of the problems we found with
> his term on the board. But to make it clear, when this whole issue began to
> be addressed, even though we did not ask him to stay on the Board, we did
> invite him to continue on the chapter, working with us, as AffCom can
> confirm. Just not in any role with legal responsibilities.
>
>
> Cheers,
> Gonçalo Themudo
>
> *Presidente*
> *Wikimedia Portugal*
> *Email: *[hidden email]
> *Website: *http://pt.wikimedia.org <https://sites.google.com/view/themudo>
> *Imagine um mundo onde cada ser humano pode partilhar livremente a soma de
> todo o conhecimento, na sua própria língua.*
> _______________________________________________
> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines and
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimedia-l
> New messages to: [hidden email]
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
> _______________________________________________
> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines and
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimedia-l
> New messages to: [hidden email]
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Plea from Wikimedia Portugal

Chris Keating-2
I think there's a question to think about, about how the movement
handles this kind of situation where there are evidently serious
governance problems affecting an affiliate.

There are some clear-cut situations (e.g. total inactivity) where the
current de-recognition process can simply be followed by Affcom. And
there are some situations where there is a large and prominent
affiliate that has plenty of activity, but serious governance issues,
where the WMF Grantmaking and/or Legal teams can get involved in some
depth (thinking about  Wikimedia UK in 2012 and Wikimedia France in
2017).

This is the only case that's "in the middle" that I am aware of - are
there more that have been made public? Of course, it's possible that
there may be other cases where a small/medium affiliate has been
helped to have their governance problems resolved by one process or
another (derecognition or something else) but it's happened silently
in the background.

Chris
On Thu, Oct 11, 2018 at 5:29 PM Paulo Santos Perneta
<[hidden email]> wrote:

>
> Just a quick message to clarify that the only conflict that ever existed in
> Wikimedia Portugal, as far as I know, was with João Vasconcelos himself.
>
> Paulo
>
> Alessandro Marchetti via Wikimedia-l <[hidden email]>
> escreveu no dia quinta, 11/10/2018 à(s) 15:38:
>
> >  The pro forma statement bout what a chapter is is valuable, but I think
> > many of us kinda got the idea that the problem was not the starting point
> > (otherwise why electing him?) but came later. It's possible that someone
> > else with more community experience would have never behaved such way, but
> > that's speculation.
> >
> > Statistically, in this scenario this lack of community view probably did
> > not help. Whatever his skills in "management and conflict resolution" were,
> > even assuming they were correctly stated based on previous expertise in
> > other fields, they were not the best ones to handle the conflicts that
> > later emerged. Also, considering the resolution we see now, which is not a
> > great resolution.
> > The point is that in all these disputes (I think about Brazil few months
> > ago) it looks like the AffCom position sounds like "you are both wrong".
> > Now, this is never a healthy long-term strategy. If it occurs again, it
> > gives more and more the idea that whoever is in the less correct position
> > can hold still because if the matter arrives to the AffCom everybody pays
> > equally. I am sure the situation is more multifaceted, but let's try to
> > grasp the general vibe here.
> >
> >  This is not wise. King Solomon solved the issue bluffing and spotting the
> > real mother, he never actually cut the baby in two halves ... But wisdom
> > comes also with experience.
> >    Il giovedì 11 ottobre 2018, 15:43:01 CEST, GoEthe.wiki <
> > [hidden email]> ha scritto:
> >
> >  Hi Illario,
> >
> > Apologies, I probably explained myself poorly. I never said that a chapter
> > is a representative of the Wikimedia community, rather I was trying to
> > explain that João’s claimed experience (emphasis on claimed) in management
> > and conflict resolution was a major factor in him being elected to the
> > Board. At the time, WMPT thought that that could be very valuable to the
> > chapter. So, we agree, a heterogeneous board is absolutely an advantage,
> > but in this case the issue was not one of diversity, but rather of
> > competence and alignment to the movement goals and principles.
> >
> > In practice, he did not contribute to the management of the chapter, and he
> > was not prepared to an increase of the chapter activities. He very quickly
> > started demonstrating uneasiness with any procedural decision he did not
> > personally vet (which are imperative in volunteer-based, collaborative
> > projects), and soon after, without any previous warning, started sending
> > legal threats going as far as using a lawyer to intimidate one of our most
> > active members on behalf of WMPT (without discussing it with anyone
> > beforehand), and resigned.
> >
> > We have no intention to expose João even more in this public mailing list,
> > so we will not provide a comprehensive list of the problems we found with
> > his term on the board. But to make it clear, when this whole issue began to
> > be addressed, even though we did not ask him to stay on the Board, we did
> > invite him to continue on the chapter, working with us, as AffCom can
> > confirm. Just not in any role with legal responsibilities.
> >
> >
> > Cheers,
> > Gonçalo Themudo
> >
> > *Presidente*
> > *Wikimedia Portugal*
> > *Email: *[hidden email]
> > *Website: *http://pt.wikimedia.org <https://sites.google.com/view/themudo>
> > *Imagine um mundo onde cada ser humano pode partilhar livremente a soma de
> > todo o conhecimento, na sua própria língua.*
> > _______________________________________________
> > Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> > https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines and
> > https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimedia-l
> > New messages to: [hidden email]
> > Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> > <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
> > _______________________________________________
> > Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> > https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines and
> > https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimedia-l
> > New messages to: [hidden email]
> > Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> > <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
> _______________________________________________
> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines and https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimedia-l
> New messages to: [hidden email]
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l, <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Plea from Wikimedia Portugal

Nathan Awrich
I can't tell which part of this situation is the more sad; is it the events
themselves, the total absence of any comment from AffCom, or the very
limited interest evinced by the rest of the folks subscribed to this list?

It seems if we follow the AffCom model described here, we should take WMPT
at its word as the complainant and decide that AffCom should perhaps be
disbanded - maybe to be reconstituted by others at a later date.

Perhaps those others would feel themselves responsible to a constituency
beyond themselves, at least to the minimal extent that they deign to offer
a response of some sort in public.

If that sounds like an extreme and unfair outcome, I might even agree...
but it's clear that AffCom itself sees some logic in that approach.

On Thu, Oct 11, 2018 at 1:02 PM Chris Keating <[hidden email]>
wrote:

> I think there's a question to think about, about how the movement
> handles this kind of situation where there are evidently serious
> governance problems affecting an affiliate.
>
> There are some clear-cut situations (e.g. total inactivity) where the
> current de-recognition process can simply be followed by Affcom. And
> there are some situations where there is a large and prominent
> affiliate that has plenty of activity, but serious governance issues,
> where the WMF Grantmaking and/or Legal teams can get involved in some
> depth (thinking about  Wikimedia UK in 2012 and Wikimedia France in
> 2017).
>
> This is the only case that's "in the middle" that I am aware of - are
> there more that have been made public? Of course, it's possible that
> there may be other cases where a small/medium affiliate has been
> helped to have their governance problems resolved by one process or
> another (derecognition or something else) but it's happened silently
> in the background.
>
> Chris
> On Thu, Oct 11, 2018 at 5:29 PM Paulo Santos Perneta
> <[hidden email]> wrote:
> >
> > Just a quick message to clarify that the only conflict that ever existed
> in
> > Wikimedia Portugal, as far as I know, was with João Vasconcelos himself.
> >
> > Paulo
> >
> > Alessandro Marchetti via Wikimedia-l <[hidden email]>
> > escreveu no dia quinta, 11/10/2018 à(s) 15:38:
> >
> > >  The pro forma statement bout what a chapter is is valuable, but I
> think
> > > many of us kinda got the idea that the problem was not the starting
> point
> > > (otherwise why electing him?) but came later. It's possible that
> someone
> > > else with more community experience would have never behaved such way,
> but
> > > that's speculation.
> > >
> > > Statistically, in this scenario this lack of community view probably
> did
> > > not help. Whatever his skills in "management and conflict resolution"
> were,
> > > even assuming they were correctly stated based on previous expertise in
> > > other fields, they were not the best ones to handle the conflicts that
> > > later emerged. Also, considering the resolution we see now, which is
> not a
> > > great resolution.
> > > The point is that in all these disputes (I think about Brazil few
> months
> > > ago) it looks like the AffCom position sounds like "you are both
> wrong".
> > > Now, this is never a healthy long-term strategy. If it occurs again, it
> > > gives more and more the idea that whoever is in the less correct
> position
> > > can hold still because if the matter arrives to the AffCom everybody
> pays
> > > equally. I am sure the situation is more multifaceted, but let's try to
> > > grasp the general vibe here.
> > >
> > >  This is not wise. King Solomon solved the issue bluffing and spotting
> the
> > > real mother, he never actually cut the baby in two halves ... But
> wisdom
> > > comes also with experience.
> > >    Il giovedì 11 ottobre 2018, 15:43:01 CEST, GoEthe.wiki <
> > > [hidden email]> ha scritto:
> > >
> > >  Hi Illario,
> > >
> > > Apologies, I probably explained myself poorly. I never said that a
> chapter
> > > is a representative of the Wikimedia community, rather I was trying to
> > > explain that João’s claimed experience (emphasis on claimed) in
> management
> > > and conflict resolution was a major factor in him being elected to the
> > > Board. At the time, WMPT thought that that could be very valuable to
> the
> > > chapter. So, we agree, a heterogeneous board is absolutely an
> advantage,
> > > but in this case the issue was not one of diversity, but rather of
> > > competence and alignment to the movement goals and principles.
> > >
> > > In practice, he did not contribute to the management of the chapter,
> and he
> > > was not prepared to an increase of the chapter activities. He very
> quickly
> > > started demonstrating uneasiness with any procedural decision he did
> not
> > > personally vet (which are imperative in volunteer-based, collaborative
> > > projects), and soon after, without any previous warning, started
> sending
> > > legal threats going as far as using a lawyer to intimidate one of our
> most
> > > active members on behalf of WMPT (without discussing it with anyone
> > > beforehand), and resigned.
> > >
> > > We have no intention to expose João even more in this public mailing
> list,
> > > so we will not provide a comprehensive list of the problems we found
> with
> > > his term on the board. But to make it clear, when this whole issue
> began to
> > > be addressed, even though we did not ask him to stay on the Board, we
> did
> > > invite him to continue on the chapter, working with us, as AffCom can
> > > confirm. Just not in any role with legal responsibilities.
> > >
> > >
> > > Cheers,
> > > Gonçalo Themudo
> > >
> > > *Presidente*
> > > *Wikimedia Portugal*
> > > *Email: *[hidden email]
> > > *Website: *http://pt.wikimedia.org <
> https://sites.google.com/view/themudo>
> > > *Imagine um mundo onde cada ser humano pode partilhar livremente a
> soma de
> > > todo o conhecimento, na sua própria língua.*
> > > _______________________________________________
> > > Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> > > https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines and
> > > https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimedia-l
> > > New messages to: [hidden email]
> > > Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> > > <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
> > > _______________________________________________
> > > Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> > > https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines and
> > > https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimedia-l
> > > New messages to: [hidden email]
> > > Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> > > <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
> > _______________________________________________
> > Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines and
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimedia-l
> > New messages to: [hidden email]
> > Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
>
> _______________________________________________
> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines and
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimedia-l
> New messages to: [hidden email]
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
_______________________________________________
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Plea from Wikimedia Portugal

Kirill Lokshin
As I believe we mentioned the last time this particular topic came up, we
are unlikely to resolve the intricacies of Portuguese nonprofit law by
debating them on a mailing list.

Gonçalo and his colleagues have quite clearly expressed their position:
they believe that the process by which they came to control Wikimedia
Portugal complies with the applicable provisions of Portuguese law.  At the
same time, the other side in this conflict has expressed a contrary
position: that the process in question does *not* comply with those
provisions.

The Affiliations Committee has obviously been unable to make any real
headway here, particularly as the dispute hinges in no small part on
interpretations of case law rather than a plain reading of the applicable
legal codes; consequently, we've solicited advice from actual Portuguese
legal experts, which we hope to receive in the near future.  Until that
happens, however, we are not going to be able to bring this to closure, one
way or the other.

Regards,
Kirill

On Thu, Oct 11, 2018 at 6:57 PM Nathan <[hidden email]> wrote:

> I can't tell which part of this situation is the more sad; is it the events
> themselves, the total absence of any comment from AffCom, or the very
> limited interest evinced by the rest of the folks subscribed to this list?
>
> It seems if we follow the AffCom model described here, we should take WMPT
> at its word as the complainant and decide that AffCom should perhaps be
> disbanded - maybe to be reconstituted by others at a later date.
>
> Perhaps those others would feel themselves responsible to a constituency
> beyond themselves, at least to the minimal extent that they deign to offer
> a response of some sort in public.
>
> If that sounds like an extreme and unfair outcome, I might even agree...
> but it's clear that AffCom itself sees some logic in that approach.
>
> On Thu, Oct 11, 2018 at 1:02 PM Chris Keating <[hidden email]>
> wrote:
>
> > I think there's a question to think about, about how the movement
> > handles this kind of situation where there are evidently serious
> > governance problems affecting an affiliate.
> >
> > There are some clear-cut situations (e.g. total inactivity) where the
> > current de-recognition process can simply be followed by Affcom. And
> > there are some situations where there is a large and prominent
> > affiliate that has plenty of activity, but serious governance issues,
> > where the WMF Grantmaking and/or Legal teams can get involved in some
> > depth (thinking about  Wikimedia UK in 2012 and Wikimedia France in
> > 2017).
> >
> > This is the only case that's "in the middle" that I am aware of - are
> > there more that have been made public? Of course, it's possible that
> > there may be other cases where a small/medium affiliate has been
> > helped to have their governance problems resolved by one process or
> > another (derecognition or something else) but it's happened silently
> > in the background.
> >
> > Chris
> > On Thu, Oct 11, 2018 at 5:29 PM Paulo Santos Perneta
> > <[hidden email]> wrote:
> > >
> > > Just a quick message to clarify that the only conflict that ever
> existed
> > in
> > > Wikimedia Portugal, as far as I know, was with João Vasconcelos
> himself.
> > >
> > > Paulo
> > >
> > > Alessandro Marchetti via Wikimedia-l <[hidden email]>
> > > escreveu no dia quinta, 11/10/2018 à(s) 15:38:
> > >
> > > >  The pro forma statement bout what a chapter is is valuable, but I
> > think
> > > > many of us kinda got the idea that the problem was not the starting
> > point
> > > > (otherwise why electing him?) but came later. It's possible that
> > someone
> > > > else with more community experience would have never behaved such
> way,
> > but
> > > > that's speculation.
> > > >
> > > > Statistically, in this scenario this lack of community view probably
> > did
> > > > not help. Whatever his skills in "management and conflict resolution"
> > were,
> > > > even assuming they were correctly stated based on previous expertise
> in
> > > > other fields, they were not the best ones to handle the conflicts
> that
> > > > later emerged. Also, considering the resolution we see now, which is
> > not a
> > > > great resolution.
> > > > The point is that in all these disputes (I think about Brazil few
> > months
> > > > ago) it looks like the AffCom position sounds like "you are both
> > wrong".
> > > > Now, this is never a healthy long-term strategy. If it occurs again,
> it
> > > > gives more and more the idea that whoever is in the less correct
> > position
> > > > can hold still because if the matter arrives to the AffCom everybody
> > pays
> > > > equally. I am sure the situation is more multifaceted, but let's try
> to
> > > > grasp the general vibe here.
> > > >
> > > >  This is not wise. King Solomon solved the issue bluffing and
> spotting
> > the
> > > > real mother, he never actually cut the baby in two halves ... But
> > wisdom
> > > > comes also with experience.
> > > >    Il giovedì 11 ottobre 2018, 15:43:01 CEST, GoEthe.wiki <
> > > > [hidden email]> ha scritto:
> > > >
> > > >  Hi Illario,
> > > >
> > > > Apologies, I probably explained myself poorly. I never said that a
> > chapter
> > > > is a representative of the Wikimedia community, rather I was trying
> to
> > > > explain that João’s claimed experience (emphasis on claimed) in
> > management
> > > > and conflict resolution was a major factor in him being elected to
> the
> > > > Board. At the time, WMPT thought that that could be very valuable to
> > the
> > > > chapter. So, we agree, a heterogeneous board is absolutely an
> > advantage,
> > > > but in this case the issue was not one of diversity, but rather of
> > > > competence and alignment to the movement goals and principles.
> > > >
> > > > In practice, he did not contribute to the management of the chapter,
> > and he
> > > > was not prepared to an increase of the chapter activities. He very
> > quickly
> > > > started demonstrating uneasiness with any procedural decision he did
> > not
> > > > personally vet (which are imperative in volunteer-based,
> collaborative
> > > > projects), and soon after, without any previous warning, started
> > sending
> > > > legal threats going as far as using a lawyer to intimidate one of our
> > most
> > > > active members on behalf of WMPT (without discussing it with anyone
> > > > beforehand), and resigned.
> > > >
> > > > We have no intention to expose João even more in this public mailing
> > list,
> > > > so we will not provide a comprehensive list of the problems we found
> > with
> > > > his term on the board. But to make it clear, when this whole issue
> > began to
> > > > be addressed, even though we did not ask him to stay on the Board, we
> > did
> > > > invite him to continue on the chapter, working with us, as AffCom can
> > > > confirm. Just not in any role with legal responsibilities.
> > > >
> > > >
> > > > Cheers,
> > > > Gonçalo Themudo
> > > >
> > > > *Presidente*
> > > > *Wikimedia Portugal*
> > > > *Email: *[hidden email]
> > > > *Website: *http://pt.wikimedia.org <
> > https://sites.google.com/view/themudo>
> > > > *Imagine um mundo onde cada ser humano pode partilhar livremente a
> > soma de
> > > > todo o conhecimento, na sua própria língua.*
> > > > _______________________________________________
> > > > Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> > > > https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines and
> > > > https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimedia-l
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> > > > <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Plea from Wikimedia Portugal

Nathan Awrich
Thank you for acknowledging the existence of this thread and the fact that
AffCom is still making some effort to bring the problem to a resolution. It
doesn't seem like it should be all that challenging, if one disputant is a
single individual and the other is a community of people led by those for
whom they have repeatedly expressed support.

If, as described, AffCom laid out a procedure by which one side could
legitimize itself and then decided to revoke that procedure after much work
by those trying to follow it... AffCom could acknowledge an error and
apologize. That you have described your proposed next step is at least
progress in the right direction.

In any case, I'm sure we all look forward to AffCom sharing the results of
its solicitation of advice with the Wikimedia public.

On Thu, Oct 11, 2018 at 8:07 PM Kirill Lokshin <[hidden email]>
wrote:

> As I believe we mentioned the last time this particular topic came up, we
> are unlikely to resolve the intricacies of Portuguese nonprofit law by
> debating them on a mailing list.
>
> Gonçalo and his colleagues have quite clearly expressed their position:
> they believe that the process by which they came to control Wikimedia
> Portugal complies with the applicable provisions of Portuguese law.  At the
> same time, the other side in this conflict has expressed a contrary
> position: that the process in question does *not* comply with those
> provisions.
>
> The Affiliations Committee has obviously been unable to make any real
> headway here, particularly as the dispute hinges in no small part on
> interpretations of case law rather than a plain reading of the applicable
> legal codes; consequently, we've solicited advice from actual Portuguese
> legal experts, which we hope to receive in the near future.  Until that
> happens, however, we are not going to be able to bring this to closure, one
> way or the other.
>
> Regards,
> Kirill
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Plea from Wikimedia Portugal

Lucas Teles-2
I really hope that the reason for de-recognition of any affiliate is not
that “the other side expressed a contrary position”.

We have seen it in Brazil too, as others already started to link the dots.
There where two groups in conflict. Instead of solving the problem, or even
declaring itself unable to solve (which they are and would be
understandable), AffCom de-recognized both of them with no warning. And we
still keep asking why with no answer: [1]


I don’t know why we keep asking (but I don’t plan to stop until I have an
answer). Probably for being long-term volunteers and believing on the
Wikimedia Movement, but after undergoing so many unfair and poor
judgements, I don’t have the answer. And I am still willing to work on the
improvements and not only pointing fingers. Reading the message from AffCom
saying that “The Brazilian community is much broader that the contributors
involved in these two former User Groups” and all the rest, it sounded like
our work was disposable on their eyes, a perfect insult. [2] In my opinion,
this lack of professionalism is a clear sign that the committee was not
able to deal with the case and decided about it in the easiest way for
them, with a terrible outcome for Brazil. But it’s okay... we have other
people to do the job, don’t we?

I can’t understand why did AffCom come up with a roadmap if they were not
willing to respect the terms of it. If WMPT fulfilled the requirements on
roadmap what we all expected is that AffCom would fulfill their part of the
agreement. Just like the discussion I mentioned above on which AffCom
creates a place to discuss and then disappears.

WMPT was inactive for years. I never understood why AffCom allowed that,
but never bothered to ask. We should all be grateful for the users that are
trying to recompose the chapter and clearly willing to do it under the
committee advice, but working with the rules of AffCom itself is not
enough. Sounds like an impossible mission is defined and when it is not
fulfilled, it is used as a reason for de-recognition.

The lack of transparency, the poor judgement, irresponsible decisions, the
apparent inactivity of their members should have an end. As I said, I am
still willing to help like I bet others will, but keeping silent about your
own problems won’t make AffCom better. Sorry for any possible emotional
argument... it’s hard to hide it after a year of expectations and unsolved
conflict.

Teles

[1]-
https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Talk:Affiliations_Committee/Brazil_Next_Steps#Lack_of_AffCom%E2%80%99s_participation
[2]-
https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Affiliations_Committee/Brazil_Next_Steps#Communicating_Next_Steps_for_the_Brazil_Communities


Em qui, 11 de out de 2018 às 21:17, Nathan <[hidden email]> escreveu:

> Thank you for acknowledging the existence of this thread and the fact that
> AffCom is still making some effort to bring the problem to a resolution. It
> doesn't seem like it should be all that challenging, if one disputant is a
> single individual and the other is a community of people led by those for
> whom they have repeatedly expressed support.
>
> If, as described, AffCom laid out a procedure by which one side could
> legitimize itself and then decided to revoke that procedure after much work
> by those trying to follow it... AffCom could acknowledge an error and
> apologize. That you have described your proposed next step is at least
> progress in the right direction.
>
> In any case, I'm sure we all look forward to AffCom sharing the results of
> its solicitation of advice with the Wikimedia public.
>
> On Thu, Oct 11, 2018 at 8:07 PM Kirill Lokshin <[hidden email]>
> wrote:
>
> > As I believe we mentioned the last time this particular topic came up, we
> > are unlikely to resolve the intricacies of Portuguese nonprofit law by
> > debating them on a mailing list.
> >
> > Gonçalo and his colleagues have quite clearly expressed their position:
> > they believe that the process by which they came to control Wikimedia
> > Portugal complies with the applicable provisions of Portuguese law.  At
> the
> > same time, the other side in this conflict has expressed a contrary
> > position: that the process in question does *not* comply with those
> > provisions.
> >
> > The Affiliations Committee has obviously been unable to make any real
> > headway here, particularly as the dispute hinges in no small part on
> > interpretations of case law rather than a plain reading of the applicable
> > legal codes; consequently, we've solicited advice from actual Portuguese
> > legal experts, which we hope to receive in the near future.  Until that
> > happens, however, we are not going to be able to bring this to closure,
> one
> > way or the other.
> >
> > Regards,
> > Kirill
> _______________________________________________
> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines and
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimedia-l
> New messages to: [hidden email]
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>

--
Steward for Wikimedia projects. Administrator at Portuguese Wikipedia and
Wikimedia Commons.
Sent from mobile. Please, excuse my brevity.

+55 (71) 99707 6409
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Plea from Wikimedia Portugal

Kirill Lokshin
In reply to this post by Nathan Awrich
The Affiliations Committee has no intention whatsoever of changing the
process; rather, we are simply trying to determine whether the conditions
that we originally set out have in fact been met.

It would, perhaps, have been easier for everyone if we could have done this
without having to solicit specialized legal expertise, but  the
circumstances seem to have unfortunately precluded a procedure whose
validity is obvious from a simple reading of the applicable rules.

Regards,
Kirill

On Thu, Oct 11, 2018 at 8:17 PM Nathan <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Thank you for acknowledging the existence of this thread and the fact that
> AffCom is still making some effort to bring the problem to a resolution. It
> doesn't seem like it should be all that challenging, if one disputant is a
> single individual and the other is a community of people led by those for
> whom they have repeatedly expressed support.
>
> If, as described, AffCom laid out a procedure by which one side could
> legitimize itself and then decided to revoke that procedure after much work
> by those trying to follow it... AffCom could acknowledge an error and
> apologize. That you have described your proposed next step is at least
> progress in the right direction.
>
> In any case, I'm sure we all look forward to AffCom sharing the results of
> its solicitation of advice with the Wikimedia public.
>
> On Thu, Oct 11, 2018 at 8:07 PM Kirill Lokshin <[hidden email]>
> wrote:
>
> > As I believe we mentioned the last time this particular topic came up, we
> > are unlikely to resolve the intricacies of Portuguese nonprofit law by
> > debating them on a mailing list.
> >
> > Gonçalo and his colleagues have quite clearly expressed their position:
> > they believe that the process by which they came to control Wikimedia
> > Portugal complies with the applicable provisions of Portuguese law.  At
> the
> > same time, the other side in this conflict has expressed a contrary
> > position: that the process in question does *not* comply with those
> > provisions.
> >
> > The Affiliations Committee has obviously been unable to make any real
> > headway here, particularly as the dispute hinges in no small part on
> > interpretations of case law rather than a plain reading of the applicable
> > legal codes; consequently, we've solicited advice from actual Portuguese
> > legal experts, which we hope to receive in the near future.  Until that
> > happens, however, we are not going to be able to bring this to closure,
> one
> > way or the other.
> >
> > Regards,
> > Kirill
> _______________________________________________
> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines and
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimedia-l
> New messages to: [hidden email]
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
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