Gregory,

Thank you for your response.

I am happy to hear that the intent was apolitical. However, it was quite
clear from the minute the campaign went live that they had no intention of
being apolitical. Though most of the political propaganda was propagated by
people in the live-streams, the website literally had a form asking people
to pledge to vote in the American presidential elections.

If there was any intention to keep to the Foundation’s own policy, if there
was any oversight, or even just asking the operators of Earth Day Live
before allowing them to place the WMF’s logo under “participants”, this
would not have happened.

On the 18th of this month, this was recorded by the Internet Archive:
https://web.archive.org/web/20200418204146/https://www.earthdaylive2020.org/

The webpage quite plainly states, “Strike, divest, and vote for our
future.” That’s political.

It also states, “...we must strive toward the longer term goal of building
a society rooted in sustainability and justice.” Sustainability, sure;
justice, a very subjective adjective, is clearly political.

The “RSVP to the livestream” but also appears to refer to the managing
organization as the US Climate Strike.

Also, of the two press links given, one is for “strikewithus.org” and the
other “stopthemoneypipeline.org”. Those are inherently political.
Considering that the WMF is listed as one of the program’s
participants/supporters, I’d assume that at some point a WMF employee
emailed one of those addresses to inform them. Did they think it was
apolitical?

It is, of course, too late now to change anything. However, in the future,
please stray away from political activism not directly and specifically
related to the movement.

Best Regards,
Chris Gates
(User:Vermont)


On Fri, Apr 24, 2020 at 01:18 Gregory Varnum <gvar...@wikimedia.org> wrote:

> Hi all,
>
> I am responding on behalf of the Foundation in my capacity handling
> movement communications, including managing any campaigns on
> wikimediafoundation.org.
>
> As others from the Foundation have stated on this mailing list in the
> past, from time to time the Wikimedia Foundation engages in public policy
> matters which are aligned with the advancement of the Wikimedia mission or
> our values as an organization.
>
> Having said that, we agree with some of the criticisms you have raised. We
> had understood the Earth Day Live campaign to be both global and
> apolitical. However, we agree that the final campaign was both more
> US-centric and more political than we had understood in advance. The banner
> is no longer running, and in the future we will do more thorough due
> diligence.
>
> We remain strongly committed to climate sustainability as a value of the
> Wikimedia Foundation. We will continue to advocate on behalf of it and
> other values that uplift and advance free knowledge globally.
>
> I hope you all had a productive and safe Earth Day, and wish you all
> continued health and safety.
>
> Yours,
> -greg
>
> -------
> Gregory Varnum
> Communications Strategist
> Wikimedia Foundation <https://wikimediafoundation.org/>
> gvar...@wikimedia.org
> Pronouns: He/Him/His
>
> > On Apr 23, 2020, at 3:07 AM, RhinosF1 - <rhino...@gmail.com> wrote:
> >
> > Should this be posted on wiki for others to sign?
> >
> > Samuel
> >
> > On Thu, 23 Apr 2020 at 07:51, Fæ <fae...@gmail.com> wrote:
> >
> >> OPEN LETTER
> >>
> >> Dear Katherine Maher,
> >>
> >> The WMF home website landing page (https://wikimediafoundation.org)
> >> yesterday featured a full-page banner directing all visitors globally
> >> to https://www.earthdaylive2020.org. This is a site used for Americal
> >> political lobbying, refer to the email discussion attached.
> >>
> >> Could you, or the responsible member of your management team, please
> >> explain exactly how this happened?
> >>
> >> There is zero doubt that this was a serious operational error, misuse
> >> of WMF development time and a misuse of the Wikimedia brand. It is
> >> certain that you will agree that the buck stops with the CEO. The
> >> decision to use the Foundation's website for American lobbying is in
> >> conflict with your not for profit status and is in conflict with the
> >> charitable status promoted to donors worldwide.
> >>
> >> If the management team and yourself are going to continuing political
> >> lobbying and using WMF resources to raise funds for Americal political
> >> organizations which have no agreed relevance to the mission of the
> >> Foundation, there must be a published transparent governance review by
> >> the WMF board of trustees to examine and agree on this significant
> >> operational change to the public Foundation strategy and the terms for
> >> the CEO.
> >>
> >> Thank you in advance.
> >>
> >> Link to Phabricator task to implement the banner:
> >> https://phabricator.wikimedia.org/T250508
> >> CC: María Sefidari as WMF Chair.
> >>
> >> Fae
> >>
> >> On Thu, 23 Apr 2020 at 05:50, K. Peachey <p858sn...@gmail.com> wrote:
> >>>
> >>> https://phabricator.wikimedia.org/T250508
> >>>
> >>> On Thu, 23 Apr 2020 at 09:53, Chris Gates via Wikimedia-l
> >>> <wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org> wrote:
> >>>>
> >>>> Hi,
> >>>>
> >>>> It seems that they just gave a link to that website, which...eh...
> >>>> When I opened it, I heard one sentence of the stream before I stopped
> >> it
> >>>> and read the rest of the webpage: "and then we give thanks to spirit,
> >> for
> >>>> the air we breathe, for the earth..." After reading the rest of the
> >>>> webpage, I un-paused it, and am currently listening to a bit of
> >> propaganda
> >>>> promoting unions and more extensive labor laws.
> >>>>
> >>>> The linked website is explicitly political, explicitly  on the
> American
> >>>> left, and explicitly in favor of certain highly contentious American
> >>>> political proposals. I would like to hear the reasoning for why that
> >> link
> >>>> has been shown, and it seems to me simply unjustifiable. The WMF is
> the
> >>>> host of a series of community-built projects, not a political activism
> >>>> organization.
> >>>>
> >>>> Regards,
> >>>> Vermont
> >>>>
> >>>> On Wed, Apr 22, 2020 at 5:12 PM Ziko van Dijk <zvand...@gmail.com>
> >> wrote:
> >>>>
> >>>>> Hello,
> >>>>> I can confirm that I see the same also here in the Netherlands.
> >> Which is
> >>>>> strange, there are no general elections here before 2021...
> >>>>> An explanation about this link would be interesting.
> >>>>> Kind regards
> >>>>> Ziko
> >>>>>
> >>>>>
> >>>>>
> >>>>>
> >>>>>
> >>>>>
> >>>>> Am Mi., 22. Apr. 2020 um 22:50 Uhr schrieb Yair Rand <
> >> yyairr...@gmail.com
> >>>>>> :
> >>>>>
> >>>>>> The WMF corporate site (wikimediafoundation.org) currently has a
> >>>>>> full-page ad with the text "We are watching Earth Day Live today.
> >> Will
> >>>>>> you?". This links to an external site with the text "Click here to
> >> sign
> >>>>> on
> >>>>>> to the US Youth Climate Strike Coalition Earth Day Demands - From
> >>>>> congress
> >>>>>> and the next president, we demand a People’s Bailout, a Green New
> >> Deal,
> >>>>> and
> >>>>>> Land Back for Indigenous Peoples", and prompting readers to
> >> "Pledge to
> >>>>> vote
> >>>>>> for our future" and to subscribe to "US Climate Strike".
> >>>>>>
> >>>>>> Everyone here already knows how unacceptable this is, and why, so
> >> I don't
> >>>>>> think this requires any further explanation. The WMF should
> >> immediately
> >>>>>> take this down, and make certain that this kind of thing can't
> >> happen
> >>>>>> again. They've failed yet again at preventing inappropriate
> >>>>>> political activism in WMF's communications, and must take serious
> >> action
> >>>>> to
> >>>>>> fix this constant stream of terrible failures.
> >>>>>>
> >>>>>> -- Yair Rand
> >> --
> >> fae...@gmail.com https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Fae
> >>
> >> _______________________________________________
> >> 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: Wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org
> >> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
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> >
> > --
> > Thanks,
> > Samuel
> > _______________________________________________
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