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
2219 people have signed up!
John Brigham, Professor, US
We used to hold these truths to be self evident. Now, reading this blog is a useful reminder.
Jim Cheetham, Ex-Serviceman, UK
My Freedom of Speech does not end at your feelings.
John Norman, England
The most important political issue in Britain today!
Veikko Tanner, Retired research scientist, now growing trees. , Australia
Freedom of speech is the import benefit of civilization. Without the ability to state your thoughts, how can you be free.
Phil Scanlan, Public Service Librarian with Dublin City, Ireland
One of the best descriptions of the primacy of the right to free speech for liberal democracies came from novelist Ian McEwan. The defence of freedom of expression is of fundamental importance because all our other rights had to be thought and talked into existence.
Milton Orgeron, American Red Cross, United States
Cheers for providing a rallying place for all who are determined to stop our slide into an Orwellian future!
HARRY Isaac JR, driver, usa
Protect all speech, especially the things you don't agree with.
Elly Tams, Freelance researcher, United Kingdom
I support the Free Speech Now! Campaign. I'm aware of how 'politically correct' lobbies often get the powers that be, including the law on their side to censor and criminalise speech and dissent.
Dave Dixon, Doctor, UK
Freedom to offend and be offended must be upheld
Trevor Paparella, Retired, Australia
I do not want anyone restricting my right to free speech.
philip brown, retired lawyer, australia
(done this previously, however thought i ought to cite)--'Every idea is an incitement. It offers itself for belief...' Gitlow, 1925, Holmes
Jackson Boon, Student, Australia
Everyone should have the right to say what they want.
Hugh Laird, AGRICULTURAL CONSULTANT, Australia
How can any religion justify what is happening to the victims in France Syria, Iraq and Nigeria by this obscene movement.
ilkka savolainen, Hungary • Joshua Davidson-Hague , United Kingdom • Gabriel Dorey, United Kingdom • Justine Brown, UK • Daniella Sorrentino, Canada • Lindsay Chathli, UK • David Mossle, • Peter Shine, UK • Paula Dauncey, United Kingdom • Jason den Dulk, Australia • Alex Diviney, United Kingdom • Dominic Baron, New Zealand • Alexandra Stacey, UK • Catherine Chapman, United Kingdom • Ben Smith, Australia • Casey Musselman, United States • Pol O`Farrell, Ireland • Odo Saunders, United Kingdom • Barry Dow, UK • Beverley Callaghan, UK • Daniel Katz, UM • Justin williams, UK • Paul Sellars, UK • Darren Partridge, United Kingdom • James Shepherd, France • Ziga Turk, Slovenia • David Norman, England • Alicia Mosley, England • Jonathan Smith, England • Mary Morrissey, Australia • David Becker, Australia • Nick Hopewell-Smith, England • Matthew McWilliams, United States • Ivan Maffezzini, Italy • Alka Sehgal Cuthbert , Uk • Emily Hopkinson, United Kingdom • Helene Groen, Denmark • Konstantinos Koukopoulos, Greece • David J Ford, Taiwan • Alan Tonkin, Luxembourg • Richard Dews, UK • Robin Peters, UK • David Helton, United States • Richard Pitchers, United Kingdom • Alan Miller, UK / US • Gino Ragnoli, United Kingdom • carli james, usa • Kenneth Phin, UK • Robert Gore, New Zealand • David Mirfin, Switzerland • Fran Maguire, UK • carolyn weingarth, Australia • G Entwistle, United Kingdom • David Benda, UK • Elisabetta Gasparoni, • Judith Winther, Denmark • Joshua Long, United Kingdom • Miles Alura, England • Christopher Cain , United Kingdom • Bettina Eberle-Gray, Deutschland • Julia Crighton, uk • Derek Brown, USA • Lisa Peppard, australia • Luke Gittos, United Kingdom • Brenden Washington, USA • Erwin Bauwens, Belgium • Emily Waterfield, Belgium • jimmy hinkson, uk • Leigh Cashel, Australia • Simon Belt, United Kingdom • Sophie Smith, United Kingdom • PETER ANDRIC, AUSTRALIAOh,I am sick of political • john price, uk • Marie Hohrmann, Australia • Colin Bulman, UK • Janet myatt, United Kingdom • gary vonck, belgium • Sean Minogue, Ireland • Keith Botsford, UK, U.S. and Costa Rica • Elias Ruiz, Puerto Rico • Eleanor Binks, United Kingdom • Nick Riggs, United Kingdom • Samantha Swinburn , U.K. • Sam levy, uk • John Arnold, UK • Philip Cooper, England • Chris Harley, UK • J. Reed Anderson, USA • Rob Stafford, England • Tracy Clayton, United Kingdom • Walter Grinder, USA • Mark Watterson, UK • Stephen Varga, UK • Jack Anderson, UK • Gayle Ginnane, Austrslia • Frederick Ford, Canada • Colin Feltham, England • Erin Drake, United States
Other signatories include:
Free speech events
Explore the crisis afflicting our core freedoms in Washington, DC, 15 October.Get tickets