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

2054 people have signed up!

  • glenn swallow, electrician, United Kingdom

    carry on regardless

  • Russell Kitch, Retired, Australia

    Free Speach....if its denied,whats left.

  • Alvaro Diez de Medina, Independent, Uruguay

    The battle for free speech is the battle for civilization.

  • sam allibone, UK

    Freedom is the freedom to say two plus two equals four. If that is granted, all else follows

  • dieter hambloch, Data Center monkey, United Kingdom

    Ban nothing, question everything

  • Jon Cassar, Ex lecturer, Australia

    Just had a backdown from our own conservative government on a promised repeal to the deadly Section 18C which threatens free speakers with litigation.

  • Carol Scott, Retired, England

    Hope it extends to other lost freedoms to eat, drink and smoke as adults without constantly been told what to do just leave adults alone.

  • Dwayne Stude, TEAPARTY III%, USA


  • Chris Horden, United Kingdom

    My own opinion is enough for me, and I claim the right to have it defended against any consensus, any majority, anywhere, any place, any time. And anyone who disagrees with this can pick a number, get in line, and kiss my ass. - Christopher Hitchens

  • Tam Connors-Sadek, Sheffield University, UK

    Let us defend the right to offend and to be offended.

  • McIntyre Sally, Retired, New Zealand

    New Zealand is in the midst of a general election campaign. The race relations commissioner Dame Susan Devoy attacked the ACT leader after he said Maori were privileged "just as the aristocracy were legally privileged in pre-revolutionary France". I support the Free Speech Now! Campaign.

  • David Stollar, Retired teacher, UK

    Never more needed; threatened from all sides!

  • Graeme Kemp, Teacher (FE), UK

    Free speech now - and always!

  • michael mcgee, disabled , United States

    The suppression of hate speech word and expression as well as history does not stop hate action ,It only created new jack the rippers

  • James Y., Communications, United States

    As long as you speak what you believe to be true or produce what you believe to be art, I see no reason why someone should be able to suppress that.

Other signatories include:

Ceri Dingle, UK • Bryan Cobb, USA • DEREK OGILVIE, SCOTLAND • oliver shore, United Kingdom • Peter Reid, England • MAJID ALSAADOUN, الإمارات العربية المتحدة • Matthias Heitmasn,  • David Frampton, Australia • JaMes SNYDER, USA • Luca Bocci, United Kingdom • Arthur Disbury, England • rodney smith, UK • Moira Egan, Canada • Diane Oliver, England • Michael Hallihane, England • Allan Gilmour, UK • Robert Sullivan, United Kingdom • Henry Kadoch, United States • James Johnson, UK • Michael Walker, UK • Arik Eshet, Israel • Viv Muldrew, United Kingdom • Tim Frederiks, Netherlands • Ricardo  Lima, Brazil • Harry Randle-Marsh, England • R K, USA • Robert Liddle, UK • John Sherlock, UK • Jim Sieyes, Scotland, UK • Anthony JP Robinson, Australia • Alice Smith, United Kingdom • Judith Atkinson, UK • Shivani Jegarajah, Uk • Chris Ovenden, UK • Christopher  Cain , United Kingdom • Nicholas Berris, United Kingdom • David Cotterell, UK • Jan Prior, UK • Paul  Reeves, UK • J Huckston, USA • geoff rees, england • Derek Brown, USA • Jeremy Pender, United Kingdom • Daniel Spencer, United States • Richard Ashton, UK • Charlie Rigby, United Kingdom • Louise Turnbull, UK • Ivan Maffezzini, Italy • Jamie Lavin, England • Mark Lamberton, Australia • James Shepherd, France • Yogesh Kamdar, India • peter gentle, Poland • Roy Mackay, United Kingdom • David Buchanan, Scotland • Mel Buckpitt, Canada • Brent Cameron, Canada • Michael Horsman, United Kingdom • Milton Orgeron, United States • Bernard Hunt, USA • Sanjeev Sabhlok, Australia • Ian Jackson, Spain • Richard Wood, England • Veikko Tanner, Australia • Keith Lauchlan, France • Chris Pratt, England • Paul Rawlins, UK • Ian S., UK • Mike Spackman, UK • Kevin  Morris,  • David Layman, USA • Mark  Iddon, England • Matthew Wilson, Englandland • Simon  talbot, Spain • Jonathan Bolind, USA • Seph Cadiz, Canada • Ned Borninski, United States • EJ Spurrell, Canada • vishnu sharma, India • Lee Sheppard, UK • Lloyd Donohoe, Australia • Andrew Schofield, Australia • David Bastable, Canada • Nancy McDermott, USA • Andrew Cox, United Kingdom • Lloyd Preston, New Zealand • Sage Chase, United States of America • Nick Hopewell-Smith, England • Richard Smith, Australia • Jon O Brien, USA • Elias Ruiz, Puerto Rico • Tiffany Jenkins, United Kingdom • Leo Forfar, England • Niels  Christensen, Denmark • Martin Woodford, Japan • Paul Berry, England • Lorraine Land, USA • Arthur Disbury, England
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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.