Freedom manifesto!

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

2175 people have signed up!

  • Dudebro McNeckbeard, NEET, US

    As a proud fat Libertarian misogynerd neckbeard I am a firm believer in freedom speech. May the invisible hand of the free market with its privatized roads and crapper system bestow upon me the right to tell all those yapping rainbow-haired feminist Grinches to shut the hell up, get their goddamn hands off my GTA and Cowadooty and get back to the goddamn kitchen... WITHOUT the commie gub'mint throwing my fat ass in a gulag for hate speech. I should also be allowed to have the freedom to boorishly sing in an out-of-tune low bass voice, fart loudy, and jerk off to 'My Little Pony' in my mother's basement.

  • Helen Dehn, voluntary librarian, Australia

    Freedom of speech is indeed the basis of a free society and should not be curtailed by anyone for any (supposed) reason.

  • João Carlos Honório Pedro, BCS Student, Portugal

    Free speech is the cornerstone of progress.

  • Robert Nickles, Nursing assistant in major urban hospital, United States

    Keep on keeping on.

  • nanda kumaran, journalist, india

    freedom of speech is the lifeline of thought. no freedom no life. humanity cant afford this.

  • James Heartfield, Writer, UK

    [Sorry, I can't remember whether I signed already, so please don't put me down twice - and don't include this message of support]

  • Nicholas Tate, Education Consultant, UK

    Faced with freedom of expression issues the reaction of far too many prominent people and institutions is one of backsliding and appeasement. If unchecked this trend looks set to threaten the very basis of our liberties. It is shocking to realise that past thinkers such as Voltaire, Rousseau and Nietzsche, would find themselves unemployable, unpublishable, or under police protection, in many modern 'liberal democracies'. The Freedom Manifesto reaffirms the Voltairean legacy of free speech and has my full support.

  • Fiona Mackenzie, Geek., Australia

    Free speech underpins a free society. Mankind never made progress when everyone agreed, progress was only ever the outcome when someone disagreed and a contest of ideas began. This is what leads to the best of outcomes.

  • Mitch Palmer, None, USA

    All speech must be tolerated if we are to remain a free society. There is no right to not be offended.

  • Tom GOODFELLOW, Retired NHS consultant, United Kingdom

    I am a committed Christian. Jesus Christ said many things which were deeply offensive to the society in which he lived, and which are still offensive today (although many church leaders will water them down). The message of the Bible will soon be illegal in the UK unless free speech is guaranteed.

  • Steve Collins, United Kingdom


Other signatories include:

Ron King, USA • terje tønnessen, Norge • bill raymer,  • Sarah Scott, England • Hilda Naranjo, U.S.A. • Howard  Osborne, south Africa • John Foley, UK • Michael Letho, Australia • Carl-Edward Endicott, USA • Sarah Chapman, UK • Bob Loveday, UK • Rickard Wessman, sweden • Luke Shaw, UK • Michael Pizolato, United States • Michael O'Donnell, United States • graham malpas, england • Catherine Allinson, United Kingdom • EJ Spurrell, Canada • John Collison, Canada • Alka Sehgal Cuthbert, United Kingdom • Helene Guldberg, United Kingdom • Colin Turpin, UK • Slavka Sverakova, United Kingdom • Ruari McCallion, UK • Rene O'Riordan, Ireland • Michael Caldwell, UK • Jonathan Ashley-Smith, England • Lydia Hugo, US • Catriona Pickett, Australia. • Tor Syvertsen, Norway • sander Hoogendijk, The Netherlands • Dr Andrew  Campbell , Australia • Penny Clarkson, United Kingdom • Kojo Opoku Aidoo, Ghana • Stephen GOVIER, United Kingdom • john price, uk • Paul  Reeves, UK • gary schofield, UK • Rachel Starr, UK • Mo New, New Zealand • Odo Saunders, United Kingdom • Mikhail Kaluzhsky, Russia • Mike Lease, U.K. • Michael Stonnell, United Kingdom • Gabrielle Shiner, USA • Robert Liddle, UK • Dan Johnson, Canada • Callum McGarry, United Kingdom • Wolfgang Bender, Germany • Paul Hemsley, UK • Catherine Chapman, United Kingdom • William-George Murphy, United Kingdom • Jeff Smith, UK • Stephen Varga, UK • Sally Humhorth, United States • Teresa Hermiz, United States • Geoff Curl, United Kingdom • Rob Chilton, Canada • Tony Breen, UK • Marie Hohrmann, Australia • Mark Wright, United Kingdom • Michael Porter, United Kingdom • David Bridson, United Kingdom • Stuart Sheach, United Kingdom • Mark Schmidt, Canada • David Nicholls, England • Jane Ray, England • James Shepherd, France • David Helton, United States • Antoine Junker, France • Andrew  Cox, United Kingdom • Sam Tucker, Australia • David Malone, United Kingdom • Mercedes Carbonell, spain • Nick Pope, United Kingdom • Simone Anderson, United Kingdom • Wystan Mayes, UK • Bill Graham, Scotland (UK) • Kamran Assadi, England • John Clemo, UK • Ray Barnett, Australia • Michelle Webster, England • James Heartfield, England • Dominic Roberge, Canada • Geoff Johnson, UK • Mark Watterson, UK • Peter Shine, UK • Till Noever, Australia • Eistear de Búrca, Ireland • Peter Lewis, UK • Rene Caron, Canada • Peter Port, UK • Noam David Wright, United Kingdom • Simon Kitchener, United Kingdom • Itamar Shein, UK • Chris Oakham, England • Robin Walsh, UK
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Free speech events

The First Amendment in the 21st Century: 
Reinvigorating Old Rights for New Times

Explore the crisis afflicting our core freedoms in Washington, DC, 15 October.

Get tickets

latest podcast

Latest podcast

‘I think it’s good to hear hate speech’

Jonathan Rauch on why we should embrace being offended.