The foundation of all freedom
Freedom of speech is the cornerstone of a democratic society. It is the most important of all freedoms. It is the foundational freedom upon which every other right we enjoy - from the right to vote to the right to protest - is built. Without the freedom to think, write, publish, depict and debate as we see fit, all our political and social rights become meaningless.
Masters of our own minds
Freedom of speech makes us morally autonomous. It allows us to use our moral and mental muscles, to decide for ourselves, through discussion, debate and argument, what is a good idea and what is a bad one. It makes man the master of his own mind and fate, rather than allowing the authorities to treat us as infants by determining on our behalf what we may read, think and believe.
The midwife of enlightenment
Freedom of speech is the best guarantor of getting to the truth of a matter. Where censorship discourages debate in favour of silencing the allegedly offensive or hateful opinion, freedom of speech insists on holding people to account for their beliefs and challenging their claims in the public sphere. It is the midwife of enlightenment where censorship fuels only an unquestioning approach, and ultimately ignorance.
No censorship - ever
Freedom of speech must never be restricted. No state bans, no hate-speech legislation, no libel laws, no restrictions on the press, no mob pressure on people to conform to modern orthodoxies. For attacks on freedom of speech do not only commit the bad-enough offence of preventing someone from saying what he believes - they also reduce the rest of us to the level of children through blocking our eyes and ears, degrading our moral autonomy, stifling truth-seeking, and elevating stupidity over enlightenment.
Free speech now!
Freedom of speech makes us free. It makes us fully human, through allowing our minds to work and our views to matter. We are absolutely committed to breathing life back into this essential freedom, to fighting against all forms of censorship and intolerance, to ensuring that everyone - regardless of their viewpoint - enjoys the freedom to express themselves and to enter into the truth-determining fray of public life. We want free speech now, with no ifs, buts, erming, ahhing, restrictions, restraints or delay.
support the manifesto
2424 people have signed up!
Lionell Griffith, Retired - Software Engineer, USA
To live, we must think. To think, we must be free to investigate all alternatives, to question authority, and to state our thoughts as clearly and as forcefully as we can muster. We also must be free to use our conclusions and our own resources as we see fit to better our lives and the lives of those we care about. This all can be stopped by the acceptance of being held responsible for the feelings of offense others perceive in our words. This even though we take no action against them. The infinitival sensitive "others" expect to control the strong because they are weak. Yet without the strong, they would not be alive.
Benedict Nairn, Chartered Building Surveyor - self employed, UK
No matter the word spoken or written in verse, The law that proscribes it is always far worse.
steve saaf, USA
FREE SPEECH and FREE MINDS
Clarisa Falcon, Escuela Nacional de Danza Nellie y Gloria Campobello, Mexico
I am against conformism and for free speech and thought. I do not think you have to lose your job because the way you think.
Juan Aguilera, Purchasing officer- now gladly not allowing the state to steal my money., Australia
In support of all free speech especially in Spain and Australia- two countries where free speech is being eroded daily.
HARRY Isaac JR, driver, usa
Protect all speech, especially the things you don't agree with.
Raul Pope, English Teacher, Eurocentres, UK
'If you don't believe in free speech for those you disagree with, you don't believe in free speech.'
Christopher Maguire, Retired architect, UK
An impressive article on Australia's George Brandis. Glad to hear an attorney general referring admiringly to John Stuart Mill and Voltaire
Andy Mansell, Carer, UK
I am tired of being told what I can do, say, think almost in what is supposed to be a free country. All in the name of 'the greater good', but good for whom? I call the current pc mood an intolerant tolerance.
Steve P, United Kingdom
"Threats to freedom of speech, writing and action, though often trivial in isolation, are cumulative in their effect and, unless checked, lead to a general disrespect for the rights of the citizen." George Orwell -
Elizabeth Liagin, United States • Simon Haque, Uk • Aidan Robins, Australia • Jason den Dulk, Australia • Johannes Richardt, Germany • Riley Prowse, Canada • Ian Gray, Australia • Jon Cassar, Australia • Michael Clark, UK • Alison Hardenburgh, United States of America • Martin Rushton, France • osinaike damilola, Nigeria • Scott Pepe, UNITED KINGDOM • John Tibbits, United Kingdom • James Saleam, Australia • Bernard Hunt, USA • Christian Waters, U.K • Lee Hollins, United Kingdom • Tony Dear, Australia • Allan Thomas, Australia • Matthew Hodgins, United States • christopher crossman, ireland • Arthur Disbury, England • john price, uk • Steve White, UK • Tim Rich, Uk • Steve Foulger, United Kingdom • Clive Bond, Australia • rodney smith, UK • Daniel Schwartz, United States • bryan seals, thailand • David Perks, UK • Catriona Pickett , Australia • Robert Everton, England • Sarah Scott, England • Chris Shaw, United Kingdom • Ray Johnson, Britain/New Zealand • Christopher Wright, United Kingdom • Moira Egan, Canada • James Burchett, United Kingdom • Deborah Robson, England • Sophie Smith, United Kingdom • Tony Gilland, UK • Peter Dale, Canada • Robert Hutchings, United Kingdom • Neil Ashley, United Kingdom • Janet myatt, United Kingdom • Jeff Goddard, Canada • Richard Galber, UK • McIntyre Sally, New Zealand • Ian Perkins, Cambodia • Paul Beardsell, UK • David Berkley, United Kingdom • Liam Deacon, United Kingdom • Peter Doyle, Ireland • John Foley, UK • marc glendening, Britain • Jonis Liban, UK • Dominic Dibbs, England • David Bastable, Canada • Nathaniel Parsons, New Zealand • Shawna Murray MD, SilencedInUSA • James Flynt, United States • jim cassidy, United Kingdom • Dan Travis, UK • Richard Martin, Spain • Dudebro McNeckbeard, US • John Cameron, Australia • Gus Tang, Australia • John Preston, USA • Wynn Wheldon, United Kingdom • Peter Sawyer, United Kingdom • Roy Mackay, United Kingdom • David Shear, Spain • Christophe Boulaert, Belgium • Tony Pierce, UK • Gary Spence, United Kingdom • Darwin Grey, England • Catherine Chapman, United Kingdom • Russell Kitch, Australia • Keith Lauchlan, France • Raj Gill, United States of America • Alice Smith, United Kingdom • Szabo Attila Ákos, Hungary • Matthew Hughes, Uk • Stephen Lindsey, Belgium • Sally Larkin, UK • stephen willdig, united kingdom • Kate Bopp, Ireland • Sanjeev Sabhlok, Australia • John Lafferty, Australia • Ethan Einhorn, United States • Patrick Walsh, Ireland • Geoff Curl, United Kingdom • Brian Winston, United Kingdom • Michael Roberts, United Kingdom • Lenore Skenazy, United States • jared grandy, usa
Other signatories include:
Free speech events
Explore the crisis afflicting our core freedoms in Washington, DC, 15 October.Get tickets