When and how the Wikimedia Foundation should associate itself publicly on policy and political issues is not a new topic, and (as I have quite recently discovered) official guidelines have been around for nearly five years now. The Guidelines on Foundation Policy and Political Association , established by WMF Legal for internal use, specifically bring up the issue of "public endorsement or critique" of political policies, listing several requirements for doing so, and further requiring that they "should protect and advance Wikimedia’s mission “to empower and engage people around the world to collect and develop educational content under a free license or in the public domain, and to disseminate it effectively and globally.” Accordingly, we will not support causes unrelated to or inconsistent with that mission." The document goes on to list several examples such as anti-war activism and animal rights.
I think this is an excellent and necessary policy. The recent blog post says "We strongly urge the U.S. administration to withdraw the recent executive order ... closing the doors to many refugees." I have yet to hear any arguments regarding how that statement specifically protects and advances our mission. I have, on the other hand, heard on this list many arguments by people explaining reasons why they feel very strongly that actions must be taken against a certain country's administration, about how they expect that many expected policies on general issues will cause harm in areas that they value. Areas that are not directly related to our mission. I can imagine that some may feel that certain areas of immigration and travel policy may be so closely associated to Wikimedia's functioning that action on that front must be taken. I would expect such an issue to be discussed independently of the personal political wishes of those arguing. If decisions are made on the basis that the only relevant issue is whether any action would further Wikimedia's goals, I would trust that such decisions were sufficiently reasonable. However, if that is not the basis used, and some in the community and WMF are willing to have their own independent individual values and goals override those of the movement, to harm Wikimedia goals to support their own political goals... I would find it very difficult to support such a decision. I don't mean to speak too harshly, but the united goals and vision of the movement are the _only_ thing that holds this diverse community together, the only means by which Wikimedia exists, and if outside aims can take priority, we would likely find that many would not appreciate some using Wikimedia as yet another bullet in someone's arsenal to be sacrificed in a political crusade, to say the least. "Wikipedia is something special. It is like a library or a public park. It is like a temple for the mind. It is a place we can all go to think, to learn, to share our knowledge with others." Please let us keep it that way.  https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Legal/Foundation_Policy_ and_Political_Association_Guideline _______________________________________________ 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: Wikimediafirstname.lastname@example.org Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l, <mailto:wikimedia-l-requ...@lists.wikimedia.org?subject=unsubscribe>