Today was a busy day for the Organization Committee. As faw told me: some people from Debian haven’t even see me yet… But all this have a reason: President Lula confirmed his coming and all his security personnel flooded FISL and asked a lot of things from the Committee.
We had to “partition” FISL. They draw a red area in our map:
and demanded that only 700 people (less than 10% of the people!!!) could access that area. We had to work all day, organizing a list of 400 people that had to work in there (people from booths, user groups, programming arena, robotics festival, etc). Those will receive a special pin. The other 300 spots, will be served in a counter that goes up and down (after 300 has entered, the only way of another person get in is someone getting out).
By noon, federal police will evacuate the red area, and will screen it (I believe looking for bombs or something like that). At 13h only those wearing the pin and the circulating 300 will be allowed back.
President will arrive by 15h. He’s scheduled to visit the red area (including the programming arena – Yeah!), then he should go into a private meeting with selected lecturers and people in Brazilian Free Software Community. Afterwards he should, himself, give a lecture in Room FISL3 (also marked in red). President will leave for other appointments and, hopefully, FISL will go back to normality.
So, all the demands from Federal Police and from the community took all day long to settle. I couldn’t attend to the sessions I wanted, nor hang out with people from Debian… Hopefully, I will not be dragged by the Organization tomorrow so I can give my lecture and attend the key signing party on Saturday… Don’t get me wrong: this is a great day for FISL (and Free Software in general) – a President of a large and democratic nation is acknowledging our existence and labour. But having to restrict access in a part of FISL is not something that pleases me (and I am sure doesn’t please the rest of the Committee). Anyways… on to day 3.