[FOSDEM] It's time for a Code of Conduct

Pieter Hintjens ph at imatix.com
Fri Oct 30 13:50:37 CET 2015

I think the support for victims of abuse is far more important than
writing down rules. In any case, if no law is broken, there is little
the organizers, or anyone, can do. And if a law is broken, the
important steps are documentation and reporting to the police.

Something as simple as "Call/text This Number in case of Emergency,"
stuck up around the place, would be a good start.

Or, a leaflet explaining what to do when someone assaults you in any sense.

I've a lot of experience documenting and reporting abusive behavior to
the Belgian police so if you decide to go this route I'm happy to

Safety doesn't come from putting up walls. It comes from providing
each visitor with the knowledge and tools to defend themselves.


On Fri, Oct 30, 2015 at 1:39 PM, Imifos <imifos at gmail.com> wrote:
> big +1 for this.
> There is just one thing:
> I would never do such operation without clear support from the organizers.
> It is important (for me) that I can speak with them having their trust,
> attention and respect, and not simply being considered a hysterical dump
> dora. This project has to become a part of FOSDEM, not just "yet another
> play in the gallery".
> A part of this, everything is as simple (and even more) as you said...
> Thank you!
> On 30 October 2015 at 13:31, Pieter Hintjens <ph at imatix.com> wrote:
>> Asking for upfront consensus here is not going to work.
>> Nor do you need it. Those who wish a COC and the (non trivial)
>> infrastructure to implement it should make that happen. Simply form a
>> FOSDEM COC committee, come to agreement on your text, publish it. Then
>> form a group of volunteers who will station areas on the campus. Hand
>> each visitor a copy of the COC. Make sure your staff are present full
>> time, and do not drink any beer. You can find plenty of safe spaces.
>> It should be easy to document any incidents, and provide support in
>> case of need to file criminal complaints.
>> None of this needs agreement from the FOSDEM organizers, does it.
>> You're not asking them for any resources, time, or formal spaces.
>> -Pieter Hintjens
>> On Fri, Oct 30, 2015 at 1:23 PM, Stephan Eggermont <stephan at stack.nl>
>> wrote:
>> >
>> >
>> > Verstuurd vanaf mijn iPhone
>> >
>> >> Op 30 okt. 2015 om 11:25 heeft Christophe Vandeplas
>> >> <christophe at vandeplas.com> het volgende geschreven:
>> >>
>> >> It's funny how some subjects become a repeatable story a few months
>> >> before FOSDEM  .
>> >
>> > That is easily explained: there are needs that aren't being addressed.
>> >
>> > A CoC is a way some people hope to address those needs. Other people
>> > express doubts that adding a paper statement will have any, or the wished,
>> > effect.
>> >
>> > Fosdem is about freedom and openness. Being open to everyone who wants
>> > to participate can conflict with freedom to express yourself and the
>> > organization creates its own balance in that.
>> >
>> > When looking at the participation, I can see why people feel the need
>> > for more inclusiveness. If minorities say they don't feel welcome, and fear
>> > harassment, ignoring those feelings and the underlying needs achieves
>> > nothing.
>> >
>> > While we cannot meet all needs, we can acknowledge them as valid needs
>> > and explain the chosen balance and policy.
>> >
>> > Stephan Eggermont
>> >
>> >
>> >
>> > _______________________________________________
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>> > https://lists.fosdem.org/listinfo/fosdem
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