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
2106 people have signed up!
Michael Gordon-Smith, MD - Cimma., United Kingdom
As Oscar Wilde said: I may not agree with you, but I will defend to the death your right to make an ass of yourself.
Tony Wallace, Retired, Britain
I did not vote to join the EU so that what The views that I and others express can be censored.
Carlton Burns, Supported Housing Manager, England
If we do not protect our hard fought right to freedom of expression, including speech and thought, we will have betrayed all the young British men who gave their lives to fight oppression and dictatorship in two world wars. We need to show courage and speak out, while we still can. I for one am prepared to make major sacrifices to ensure that my children and grandchildren grow up in a country they can be proud of, so count on me to be vocal and involved in any campaign events organized in Britain and beyond. Please join the fight to save free speech.
Jason Cullen, Registered Nurse, UK
"Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety." Benjamin Franklin
Paul Ilott, Physics Teacher, UK
The Charlie Hebdo massacre shows the urgent need to confront and expose the hypocrisy and double standards in the West over the defence of free speech (Leveson, Grant et al take note!)
Andrea Seaman, Student, Switzerland
Virginia Ironside , Writer, Uk
Delighted to support this.
Brenden Washington, Unemployed , USA
I support freedom of speech
Andrew Johnston, Journalist, United Kingdom
Speak and let speak.
Marianna Nanasi, Cleaner, UK
David Hahn, USA • Anthony Mills, United Kingdom • Brian Ogg, USA • Helene Guldberg, United Kingdom • Tessa Mayes, United Kingdom • Ralph Charlwood, England • Ian Gray, Australia • Phil Scanlan, Ireland • Finn Kjær Jensen, Denmark • David Mortimer, United Kingdom • Martin Woodford, Japan • Chris Pratt, England • Alex Diviney, United Kingdom • Raymond Teather, England • David Layman, USA • Mercedes Carbonell, spain • K McCulloch, Canada • David Robertson, United Kingdom • Michele Apter, England • Nick Wilson, England • Wynn Wheldon, United Kingdom • John E. Cox, USA • Gabrielle Lord, Australia • Andrea Seaman, Switzerland • Josh Blodwell, United Kingdom • Brian Burnell, United Kingdom • Eli cohen, Israel • Kevin Yuill, United Kingdom • bob clarke, uk • Steven Smyth, England • Veikko Tanner, Australia • Barbara Wither, US • Bill Baird, Scotland • Dennis Miller, Canada • Virginia Ironside , Uk • Joakim Dahlqvist, Sweden • Thor Holt, UK • Lee Sheppard, UK • Jane Paterson , AUSTRALIA • Ilse Court, Belgium • Christopher Beckett, United Kingdom • Michael Thompson, Australia • Bob Erens, Uk • Dan Lawrenson, England • Charlie Rigby, United Kingdom • John Maloney, UK • Thomas Ross, UK • Sam Gramann, England • Mark Iddon, England • Jennifer Flowers, Australia • David Jenkins, England • Dominic Roberge, Canada • Venimus Vidimus, United Kingdom • Jamie Lavin, England • David Brenner , United States • Nathaniel Parsons, New Zealand • George Li, United States • daz a lovell, uk • RJ Astruc, New Zealand • William Cameron, UK • Rupert Bumfrey, United Kingdom • Guy Consitt, United Kingdom • Callum Breese, United Kingdom • John Little, Gt Britain • Sally Hughes, UK • Bill MOUNTAIN, United Kingdom • Edward Brett, United Kingdom • Paul Theato, England • Naomi Richland, UK • Erick De la Madrid Estrada, Mexico • Reggie Smith, usa • Peter Doyle, Ireland • Matthias Heitmasn, • James Hampson, United States of America • Giselle Gonzalez, Colombia • Richard Galber, London, UK • Andy Stark, England • Paul McMahon, Australia • Alice Smith, United Kingdom • Ray Johnson, Britain/New Zealand • Scott Lovett, Australia • Robin Hayward, Germany • Robert Gore, New Zealand • Michael O'Donnell, United States • Jason Evans, United States • Jack Baldwin, United States of America • Bill Logan, UK • Rhett Donovan, United Kingdom • george eastman, United States • Paul Stott, United Kingdom • Vlad Andrei, France • James Topham, UK • Bill Graham, Scotland (UK) • Leo Forfar, England • Daniel O'Flaherty, England • Alessandro Imperato, USA • Iain Ross, UK • Andrew Williams, Australia • C R, USA • Tony Moclair, Australia
Other signatories include:
Free speech events
Explore the crisis afflicting our core freedoms in Washington, DC, 15 October.Get tickets