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

2554 people have signed up!

  • Roger Schaeffer, Laborer, USA

    As a Advocate of Free Speech I support the USA First Amendment-The Right T0oFree Speech and Free Speech Rights Worldwide.

  • Ceri Dingle, Director WORLDwrite & WORLDbytes, UK

    Without freedom of speech our minds are caged and ideas will wither.

  • Torben Dyrberg, Lecturer, Roskilde University, Denmark

    Thanks ever so much for 'Spiked'. It's a great magazine and a constant source of inspiration

  • Matthew Pickering, Australia

    No Free Speech = No Freedom.

  • Ted Getzel, Poet/Sowebo Books, USA

    Life aglow the will to be, Let your Light set darkness free.

  • Tony

    A powerful manifesto, argued for with rigour and passion - great stuff!

  • Ludwig Dahl, Security guard, Sweden

    Read the massage, its' truth can't be denied

  • Valerie Price, Director of ACT! For Canada , CANADA

    Free Speech is the lifeblood of democracy. I agree with you 100% - without free speech, nothing else matters.

  • 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.

  • David Driver, UK

    "I do not agree with what you have to say, but I'll defend to the death your right to say it"

  • Stephen GOVIER, London Region Director, United Kingdom

    Nous sommes tous Charlie!

  • Jack Baldwin, Thinking Human Being, United States of America

    A day without offending isn't a day worth having.

  • John Little, Retired Lecturer, Gt Britain

    All other freedoms flow from this one.

  • Dr N Shackel, Senior Lecturer in Philosophy, Cardiff University, United Kingdom

    When the home of liberty takes to locking people up for saying the wrong thing it is time to fight back.

Other signatories include:

Ellamay Russell, United Kingdom • tim williams, australia • Adarsh Singh, India • Steve Birchmore, United Kingdom • Chris Pratt, England • Jeff Botterill, United Kingdom • Derek Sibthorpe, Great Britain • Jonis Liban, UK • Chrstie Davies, UK • Julie Howell, UK • Anthony Davis, UK • Nicholas Berris, United Kingdom • Ian S., UK • Jeanne Kelly, UK • Lesley Katon, UK • Ray Barnett, Australia • Cary Nelson, USA • Elly Tams, United Kingdom • Mary  Morrissey, Australia • Deb Prytherch, UK • darryl cotton, South Africa • Colin Turpin, UK • Henk Pals, Holland • Antoine Junker, France • Freddie Sehgal Cuthbert, UK • Ian Oliver, United Kingdom • Gabrielle Shiner, USA • Luis Gomes da Costa, Portugal • Scott Pepe, UNITED KINGDOM • Ian Woolley, United Kingdom • James Robinson, England • Damian Leslie, United Kingdom • Charles Byford, United Kingdom • Gail Reed, Australia • Lindsay Chathli, UK • Angela Frost, England • Timothy Allardyce, Italy • Veikko Tanner, Australia • Philip Taylor, UK • Nathan Gray, United States • Jack Baldwin, United States of America • MICHAEL MILLS, AUSTRALIA • anthony  hodge, United Kingdom • Cyril Ignatius Kendrick, United States • Simon Kitchener, United Kingdom • carole traole, uk • Daniel Shepherd, Australia • Clara Cullen, UK • Frank Vernor, Scotland • Adele Wilde, Germany • Matthew Hornby, United Kingdom • daz a lovell, uk • Aquiles E Yika, United States • Deirdre Duchesne, Australia • Keith Lauchlan, France • Mike Fitzgerald, Australia • Paul Ireland, UK • Christian Ancher Grøn, Denmark • C J Hedges, UK • Daniel Miller, Uk • Dan Stranescu, United Kingdom • Steve P, United Kingdom • Ralph Charlwood, England • CAROLE  HERBERT, uk • Ian Bland, United Kingdom • Edward Willett, Canada • jubineau ronan, france •, Antigua and Barbuda • Bob Greaves, England • Michael Thompson, Australia • Martin Lodewijk, Netherlands • Hugh  Laird, Australia • jimmy hinkson, uk • Ivan Maffezzini, Italy • Omer Havron, Israel • William Smith, Australia • John Denis Standeven, UK • Kevin Mccallum, Uk • Rune Gellein, UK • James Saleam, Australia • Billy Corr, Libya • Phil Butterworth, UK • Slavka Sverakova, UK Northern Ireland • Konstantinos Koukopoulos, Greece • Steve Foulger, United Kingdom • Joshua Wii, United States • Mitch  Palmer, USA • Jeff Botterill, United Kingdom • steven tolleneer, Belgium • Koen De Beer, België • Deborah Robertson, United Kingdom • albert gardner, United States • Matt Fox, GB • Rob Harris, United Kingdom • Alexander Johnson, USA • Eleonora Cavagnuolo, Italy • Tony Breen, 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.