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
2307 people have signed up!
Alex Ward, Media, United States
Don't censor me, Bro!
Peter Oelgaard, Denmark
Sapere aude - Dare to be wise!
Colin Meehan, Student, USA
No sovereign power has any right to restrict the flow of ideas. We need a second Enlightenment!
Derrick Kardos, designer, United States
Daniel Hammarberg, Sweden
Nice to see people bringing attention to this subject. Regrettably many organisations that claim to fight for human rights, like Amnesty International, don't. In most European countries today you're sent to prison if you express the "wrong" views, something they need to be called out on.
Mike Chenery, Retired, England
We must stop this erosion of our liberties
Jim Bradshaw, Retired Head Teacher, Spain
I resent that the world is becoming, increasingly, a place where one may no longer express an opinion without some @#$! claiming political incorrectness. I hope this campaign is spread far and wide to empower those of us who believe in man's ability to reason without 'guidance' from others.
Hamish Ball, Student, Australia
Fuck you silencers.
Ernst Fliek, Netherlands
Free speech for all.
Michael Sullivan, Barrister/Solicitor, New Zealand
Spiked and its defense of freedom of speech is without doubt a vital step in the ongoing battle to defend this precious right from the forces that are currently arrayed against it.
Rhys Jones, Student, UK
Anthony Gonzalez, none, united states of america
freedom to the people freedom to all
Warwick Wakefield, Australia
If the provisions of the Australian anti-free speech laws were strictly enforced it would be possible to bring an action against any institution that teaches, or any publisher that publishes, Shakespeare's Merchant of Venice. By its bigotry it causes offense to very many sensitive Jewish folk
bill raymer, • Kevin Morris, • Ned Borninski, United States • Jack Cooper, UK • Erick De la Madrid Estrada, Mexico • David Shear, Spain • Veronica Trenchard, UK • Paul Warren, UK • Graeme Thompson, UK • Dominic Hogan, United Kingdom • Deborah Robertson, United Kingdom • Mario Dario, England • John Burke, United Kingdom • Jeff Goddard, Canada • Pierre Leroux, Canada • Catriona Pickett, Australia. • Kris K, US • Ralph Tittley, UK • Mel Buckpitt, Canada • Rosamund Cuckston, United Kingdom • Ray Johnson, Britain/New Zealand • Leo Forfar, England • Chris Slater, New Zealand • João Carlos Honório Pedro, Portugal • Xavier Hirschfled, Australia • Nikhil Amarnath, India • Isabel Comens, UNITED KINGDOM • Graeme Kemp, UK • David Evans, England • Catherine Chapman, United Kingdom • Howard Sutcliffe, england • Brad Matthews, Australia • Peter Doyle, Ireland • Ann Macrae, New Zealand • ken vagg, australia • Carlton Burns, England • Gerard Drummond, Australia • Edward Lambert, England • kevin raymond, Australia • Charlie Rigby, United Kingdom • Chris Irvine, UK • Eric Lai, United States • Michael Pizolato, United States • Damian Leslie, United Kingdom • Rhianna Voice, England • Deborah Robertson, United Kingdom • M T Marsh, United Kingdom • JOHN PALUMBO, NETHERLANDS • Raymond Teather, England • Nick Pope, United Kingdom • Faith Holmes, scotland • john gardner, United Kingdom • Patrick O'Donoghue, South Africa • Konstantinos Koukopoulos, Greece • Max Clemmens, Mexico • bruce tatt, australia • Thomas Guy, UK • Jo Herlihy, • R Emslie, U.K. • Mirza Fejzic, United Kingdom • Cat Warren, Australia • Philip Northfield , United Kingdom • Diederik Willems, Belgium • Frank Turner, UK • Toby Donovan, USA • David Perks, UK • Mike Rouse, Uk • Christopher Talbot, United Kingdom • bob clarke, uk • Fred Pawle, Australia • Anthony Davis, UK • Laura Sill, United States • Derrick Kardos, United States • Josephine White, United Kingdom • Robert Housden, UK • Andrew Williams, Australia • Neil Ross, USA • Sherwin Cogan, • Gregory Hyman Joffe, south africa • Patrick Selden, United Kingdom • David Chisholm, Australia • Surse Pierpoint, Panama • Alexis Maestre-Saborit, USA • Al Stevens, The world... • David Buckingham, United Kingdom • Jane Paterson, Australia • Caroline Kitchens, United States • Martin Pule, UK • Allan Gilmour, UK • Nichola Gaudion, Britain • Fiona Mackenzie, Australia • Paul Green, UK • James Heartfield, England • Mischa Moselle, Hong Kong • Ruari McCallion, UK • Philip Davies, uk • David Grogan, United Kingdom • Nicholas Tate, UK
Other signatories include:
Free speech events
Explore the crisis afflicting our core freedoms in Washington, DC, 15 October.Get tickets