Dear Maria,
Dear all,

The Wikimedia Foundation board of trustees, the executive and the legal 
management of the Wikimedia Foundation have been informed of Nathalie Martin's 
complaint against her former employer now member of your board, and then of the 
criminal complaint against this same person (facts from his time in Wikimédia 
France and other from his time in your Board).

It would have been logical for a board of trustees member to gather her 
testimony. No one has sought to make contact with her. Why?
At the very least, the Wikimedia Foundation board of trustees could have 
requested a copy of the complaint, as well as the various testimonies, so that 
they could study them and make their opinion. We had no solicitation. Why?
From what I see, the Wikimedia Foundation has done everything to stifle the 
problem. Here is the only initiative WMF has taken: paid "independent lawyers" 
(a concept unknown to me…) to "question Christophe". He responded, to the 
general surprise, that there was no problem.
Do you really feel that this is a serious investigation? Honestly?
Why did not these lawyers also hear Nathalie?
Why did these lawyers not ask questions to the Wikimédia France Board of 
trustees members? Only with the testimony of the defendant himself, the 
Wikimedia Foundation today states that there is no problem. ...
During the site visit, Nathalie proposed to the Wikimedia Foundation 
representatives to organize a confrontation. Not only did she have a flat 
denial, but, moreover, it was replied that it must not be addressed.
Why did the Wikimedia Foundation not accede to this request for confrontation? 
Not to know the truth which can be too embarrassing to assume?
 
We have a movement employee who brilliantly held management responsibilities 
for 4 years (great longevity for an Executive Director…) who asked for help. 
And what is the answer of the movement, of the Wikimedia Foundation? Nothing. 
Nothing was undertaken to give her any kind of listening or help.

Marie-Alice Mathis, who courageously expressed disapproval of the sexist 
harassment of Nathalie, was also harassed by community members. Nathalie and 
Marie-Alice suffered health damages and had medical leaves issued by real 
general practitioners. The Wikimedia Foundation was informed and what did you 
do? Nothing, or worst: two messages from your staff legitimizing the harassment 
and one from a member of your board who publicly stated against Wikimédia 
France without any prior contact with us.
What kind of help or support did you offer to Marie-Alice?

The outcome of the complaints is not even the issue at this stage and this is 
not my point (I’m not a judge as you or other community member think they are).
The real problem is that today a man in the movement, if he has power position, 
can do absolutely everything he wants without any control. The problem is, 
despite all the empty values you’re communicating on, you legitimize whatever 
the community does. Because the community is the measure of all things.
No objective process is foreseen to protect women (and more generally, people) 
or at least to hear them.
Do you find this normal for a movement that advocates inclusiveness and respect?

I’ve read an ardent defender of epicene style of writing who is accusing of 
lying other women because of their private then public declarations. Having no 
clue of what is in the procedure. Thank you for enlightening me about true 
fight with feminism.

I’m glad that « We take all allegations of harassment seriously », but I can 
not endorse this functioning which goes against legality and simply against 
human values.

N.B: English is not my native language, may you be as tolerant of my selected 
words or sentences construction as with harassing behavior. Thanks for your 
understanding.

Regards,
--
Emeric Vallespi

> On 11 Oct 2017, at 19:54, María Sefidari <kewlshr...@gmail.com> wrote:
> 
> Dear all,
> 
> 
> We would like to specifically address the allegations related to harassment
> in this thread’s original email. We take all allegations of harassment
> seriously. Earlier this year, the Board of Trustees was informed that
> allegations of harassment had been made against the Wikimedia Foundation
> Board Chair dating back to his time as chair of Wikimédia France. We
> immediately directed the Foundation to investigate. The Foundation employed
> independent, external experts and conducted an investigation. Based on the
> information presented, the investigation found no support for the
> allegations. That conclusion was conveyed to the Wikimedia Foundation Board
> as well as the chair of Wikimédia France.
> 
> The Wikimedia Foundation remains committed to independent investigation if
> presented with new information. Absent such information, we consider the
> allegations to be without merit.
> 
> 
> On behalf of the Board,
> 
> 
> María Sefidari
> 
> El 8 oct. 2017 5:20, "John Erling Blad" <jeb...@gmail.com> escribió:
> 
> When I first saw the posts I thought it would probably be more opinions to
> them than the very clear blame-game that were going on. Having a partly
> anonymous community and a chapter that only represents some of the users
> are an invitation to fierce battles.
> 
> Whatever going on at WMFR, I believe it is time for reevaluating the role
> of WMF in this. I'm wondering if there should be a new board for WMF,
> unless they get a new chair themselves asap. Reorganize, solve the
> problems, and move on.
> 
> No, I do not know any of the people involved.
> 
> John Erling Blad
> /jeblad
> 
> On Fri, Oct 6, 2017 at 3:11 PM, Marie-Alice Mathis <
> mariealice.gar...@gmail.com> wrote:
> 
>> Hello all,
>> 
>> I haven’t had a real opportunity to introduce myself: I am Marie-Alice
>> Mathis, 32, a now ex-member of the Board of Wikimédia France.
>> 
>> The transition with the newly elected members of the Board is now complete
>> and I gladly step down to get away from the violence, exhaustion and
>> frustration of these past few months.
>> 
>> I was a Board candidate because after completing my PhD I finally had more
>> time to contribute to the projects and serve the community through the
>> French chapter: after watching my husband Rémi Mathis do it for years I
> had
>> a pretty good idea of what it meant. I did not know our ED Nathalie Martin
>> or our chair Émeric Vallespi before working with them, and now that I have
>> I can vouch for their hard work and attachment to the movement’s values.
>> 
>> Today, I have lost friends or people I thought were friends because I
>> defended Nathalie and Émeric in good faith during the smear campaign based
>> on the community’s assumption that they were the source and cause of all
>> the chapter’s problems, real or perceived. Although I have worked with
> them
>> closely for a year, I have been repeatedly informed that I’ve been
>> manipulated by Nathalie from the start and should not have blindly
> believed
>> everything Émeric was saying. I’ve been personally attacked on WMF sites,
>> email lists, and social media for weeks, my every word scrutinised,
>> questioned and mocked assuming I was either ignorant or lying. I’ve been
>> told by so-called feminists who were endorsing a particularly sexist rant
>> against me to “stop making inflammatory comments”. I’ve been called a
>> conspiracy theorist because I questioned the role of our former chair
>> Christophe Henner, now chair of the Board at the WMF, in the threats to
>> withdraw our chapter agreement and the cutting of half our FDC funding.
>> People close to Christophe who have resigned from the WMFR Board early in
>> the crisis rather than take responsibility for their mistakes now call
>> themselves victims and whistleblowers. The WMF, who is perfectly aware of
>> the charges of sexual harassment filed by Nathalie against Christophe for
>> facts dating back to when he was her boss at Wikimédia France, is
>> pretending WMFR leadership has used the threat of legal action to
>> intimidate chapter members and silence opposition.
>> 
>> Some unfounded allegations have been made on this very list by prominent
>> members of the community (and what is a newbie’s word worth in that case,
>> right?): from extremely serious accusations of misuse of chapter funds for
>> personal gain (that strangely enough never made it to the French justice
>> system despite a so-called “rather convincing rationale”), to gratuitous
>> ones that Nathalie was making the Board’s decisions for us and dictating
>> our communication (I am old enough to write my own emails, thank you very
>> much), to ever vague ones of “quite generous expenses reimbursement“. None
>> of this has been supported by proof or tangible facts, but the goal of
>> spreading distrust and dissent in the chapter and the wider community has
>> clearly been reached. Even now that Nathalie has left her position and the
>> Board has resigned, some are still defaming her in the French media in the
>> hopes of winning the stupid argument of who were the bad guys in the
>> crisis.
>> 
>> I am also extremely disappointed that no one from this list asked us (the
>> Board) what was happening when these allegations were made, with only a
>> handful of people suggesting to wait before all the facts were known.
>> Instead, you took for granted the very short and extremely biased English
>> summaries of the Board’s communications (which were instantly circulated
> on
>> this list without our consent and in violation of our chapter’s bylaws),
>> and joined in the chorus of outrage, condemnation and verbal abuse.
>> 
>> But worse to me than all this, I am actually terrified at how easily the
>> Wikimedia community can turn on a person, with no regard whatsoever for
>> decency or legality, when it has made up its mind about who has no place
>> there. I have personally experienced what it means to disagree with this
>> angry mob: questioning the dominant opinion or calling out individuals’
>> toxic behaviour makes you in turn acceptable collateral damage and a “fair
>> game” target for harassment.
>> 
>> Speaking of this, the movement as a whole needs to address the issue of
>> staff-volunteers relations exemplified by the rapid turnover of executive
>> staff across chapters. Nathalie stayed at WMFR an almost record breaking 4
>> years, but at what cost? I’m being extremely serious in adding that this
>> conversation needs to take place before something irreversible happens as
> a
>> result of harmful group behaviour within the community.
>> 
>> Sincerely,
>> Marie-Alice Mathis // AlienSpoon
>> 
>> 
>> PS: for your information about my position regarding the WMF’s role in
> this
>> crisis and their recent unilaterally added conditions [
>> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Grant_expectations_for_
>> Wikimedia_France_-_2017-2018]
>> for payment of our FDC-attributed grant, I attach my email to Katy Love
>> from Sept 20.
>> 
>> Katy, (Cc WMFr Board and Rémi)
>> 
>> In the WMF "Grant expectations" document sent to the Board of WMFr, you
>> mention as a condition for APG funds payment that I do not resign from my
>> position on the Board until the governance review is complete, and that
> any
>> Board member planning to resign must report and justify it to WMF.
>> 
>> You also mention that you retain the right to cease funding WMFr if you
>> consider that legal threats are being used inappropriately to stifle civil
>> and appropriate participation in the chapter. Moreover, you condition
>> payment to being informed if the chapter leadership feels that legal
> action
>> is appropriate to take against current or former board members or staff.
>> 
>> Let me be clear: these conditions are outrageous and unacceptable.
>> 
>> First of all, my legitimacy as a Board member of WMFr does not come from
>> any commitment to WMF but from being democratically elected by French
>> chapter members. WMF has no say in who stays or not on the Board, and
>> trying to intervene on such governance issues is, again, putting both
>> organisations at risk of being legally recognised as co-employers.
>> 
>> Second, as a (volunteer) Board member I have been subjected to harassment,
>> sexist abuse, and unjustified allegations of misconduct by community
>> members, that have impacted my health and mental well being to the point
>> where I was no longer able to do my (paid) job in cancer patient care and
>> my GP put me on medical leave. A large volume of this abuse took place on
>> WMF property (fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipédia:Le_Bistro
> <http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikip%C3%A9dia:Le_Bistro>
>> <http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikip%C3%A9dia:Le_Bistro>
>> <http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikip%C3%A9dia:Le_Bistro> and the
>> WMF-hosted,
>> publicly archived mailing lists wikimedia-l and wikimediafr).
>> You personally and on behalf of WMF encouraged French community members to
>> challenge chapter leadership citing governance issues, without a word
>> mentioning the violence suffered by the Board and executive staff at the
>> hands of some French members during this crisis. Worse, you presented the
>> Board's email condemning the harassment as inaccurate and problematic,
>> which made the community feel all the more legitimate in their harmful
>> attacks.
>> When I reported the abuse in person to WMF employees during the site visit
>> you personally empathised with my distress at the time, and thanked me for
>> being honest about how your email to the wikimediafr list had made our
>> already precarious situation untenable. And then you did nothing.
>> My husband Rémi, who witnessed first hand the effects of the harassment on
>> my health, called on you to release the site visit report so the
> misconduct
>> allegations would stop. You didn't, until 3 days before our General
>> Assembly (where the allegations were repeated), on the same day you asked
>> that I stay on as a Board member. Even your choice of words in the "Grant
>> expectations" document is telling: "egregious incivility" is not what we
>> are talking about here. We are talking about unacceptable and illegal
>> defamation and harassment with serious real life consequences.
>> Rémi also called on the wikimedia-l list to stop the unfounded
> allegations,
>> and was attacked in turn because of "his conflict of interest as the
>> husband of a Board member". He also reported the abuse to the WMF
>> governance committee, to the Suport and Safety team and mentioned it to
>> Christophe Henner and Katherine Maher on Twitter, to no avail. To this day
>> we haven't received any support or acknowledgement whatsoever. All the
>> while the sexist abuse continues, and French editor MrButler was moderated
>> on the wikimediafr maling list for his continued personal attacks against
>> me. This is exactly the kind of behaviour the Board's email to the members
>> was calling out, yet you continue to deliberately ignore it and refuse to
>> do anything about it.
>> 
>> Finally, your asking to be informed of any legal action against chapter
>> members or staff is yet another example of the WMF taking sides while
>> posing as a neutral arbitrator. Calling someone out on their toxic
>> behaviour or actually filing a complaint are no legal threats or
>> intimidation, but by claiming they are you are trying to silence victims
> by
>> denying them their basic rights to legal protection. At least two
>> complaints have been filed against community members and more may be
>> coming, including on my behalf. You will not be informed because it is not
>> for WMF to decide whether they are justified or frivolous.
>> 
>> For all these reasons I am deeply shocked and hurt by your payment
>> conditions and will not abide by the terms of your grant expectations.
> With
>> most of WMFr funding hanging in the balance your unilaterally revised
>> conditions amount to blackmail but I will not stay in harm's way at the
>> request of the organisation who has failed me in every aspect when I came
>> in good faith to work for the community. I will resign when I see fit to
>> protect my health, and continue to speak honestly and publicly about your
>> actions and empty words of safety and inclusivity.
>> 
>> Sincerely,
>> Marie-Alice Mathis, vice chair of WMFr
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