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

1856 people have signed up!

  • JJ Moore, Entertainment, USA

    Who decides what is free speech....this dangerous movement can take us to the abyss

  • Bill Baird, Retired, Scotland

    So the Fringe Society 'does no vetting of the programme?'

  • Jason den Dulk, Website developer, Australia

    Free speech is the keystone of free society. Without it, free society tumbles.

  • HARRY Isaac JR, driver, usa

    Protect all speech, especially the things you don't agree with.

  • Mirjam Heijn, Educator, Netherlands

    Free speech and free thought are essential cornerstones of a non-repressive society.

  • Veikko Tanner, Retired Scientist. Formerly R&D Union Carbide Aust. BA Nuclear Physics, Isotope Chemistry, Mathematics. , Australia

    Without freedom of speech there is no Democracy.

  • Richard Wood, England

    Free speech is indivisible

  • Andrew Cox, United Kingdom

    There can be no compromises on free speech and we need people like Spiked, who are prepared to leave no stone unturned in fighting for and defending this principle.

  • Robin Munden, Design, UK

    Free speach is the bedrock of democracy, don’t give it away!

  • Dennis Crooks, self employed builder, Australia

    I reject the right of a public servant to tell me what to think.It leads inevitably to an infantalized public who give up their most valuable human asset.Freedom of thought and expression.

  • Nick Pope, Pianist & Teacher, Southbank International School, United Kingdom

    “Thought is free”—William Shakespeare (Twelfth Night; The Tempest)

  • Christine Louis-Dit-Sully, Scientist, Germany

    I couldn't agree more with this manifesto.

  • Colin Peterson, Clergy - RC Church, Canada

    When positions must be defended by bullying and labelling they must be very weak positions indeed.

  • Richard Ings, Actor, UK

    Standing up for the right to say what I think and for someone else to tell me I'm wrong.

Other signatories include:

Kevin Mccallum, Uk • Elisabetta Gasparoni,  • Charles Byford, United Kingdom • Keith Hotten, Hong Kong • jared grandy, usa • Jessica Dheere, USA/Lebanon • Max Clemmens, Mexico • Richard Wood, United States • Nadine Strossen, United States • Chrstie Davies, UK • James Shepherd, France • Michael Gordon-Smith, United Kingdom • Jane  Paterson , AUSTRALIA • Bernadette Whelan, United Kingdom • Stuart Abram, UK • Maisie  Rowe, London • nigel vogt, UK • Rossella  Stella, Italy • Paul  Reeves, UK • Jon Bryan, United Kingdom • William Fleming, United Kingdom • David West, UK • Michael Pizolato, United States • Tyler Fenby, USA • Joseph Mintz, UK • Ben Smith, Australia • Merith Godwin-Greer, United Kingdom • Peter Spence, Peru • Marie Hohrmann, Australia • Edward Lambert, England • David Mossley, United Kingdom • Owain Rowley-Conwy, United Kingdom • Tony Dean, UK • James Grieve, UK • Stephen  Clarke, UK • Steve Nash, uk • Joanna  Williams, UK • Walter Hoelbling, Austria • Stephen Varga, UK • Tereza Kuldova, Norway • Jessica Hepple, UK • Stephen Gray, UK • James Howell, UK • Stephen Curran, United Kingdom • Rhys Watkin, Cymru • David Woolf, UK • Richard Woods, uk • Chris Reece, uk • Paul Read, United Kingdom • Aidan Condie, United Kingdom • Sarah Scott, England • sam allibone, UK • Ivan Maffezzini, Italy • Forest Phelps, United States • Craig Garsed, UK • Don Carter, United States • Bob Erens, Uk • Kenneth Phin, UK • Jennie Bristow, UK • Ruben Flores, Mexico • Rich  Nolan , UK • David Gemmell, UK • Denis Joe, UK • philip brown, australia • Fred de Fossard, UK • Alec Bennett, England • Luke Gittos, United Kingdom • Bryan Cobb, USA • Colin Feltham, England • Julia Crighton, uk • Tim Frederiks, Netherlands • Margaret Bohannon-Kaplan, USA • Jason den Dulk, Australia • Jasper Solomon, U.K. • keith harris, UK • Henk Pals, Holland • Tony Ward, UK • Miriam Gross, England • James Sweeney, United Kingdom • David Driver, UK • Jeremy Wickins, UK • Sue Leong, France • Odo Saunders, United Kingdom • Andy Belfield, UK • Jorge Javier Cervera Rodriguez, Mexico • Andrew Grimmett, Canada • K McCulloch, Canada • Martin Priestnall, UK • geoff rees, england • Andy  Shaw, Great Britain • Lesley Dove, United Kingdom • Barbara Hewson, Ireland • Andrew Russell, Australia • Curtis Schweitzer, USA • Alexander Thompson, United Kingdom • Gerard  Kinzelmann, United States • Trevor Paparella, Australia • Alan Metchem, England • Peter Dewar-Finch, United Kingdom
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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.