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

1822 people have signed up!

  • Timothy Ward, Musician , UK

    Without Freedom of Speech we can't truly have freedom of thought

  • John Tomlins, Lecturer. University of Auckland, New Zealand

    Without it we limit our ability to fight for social change

  • Chris Diamond, Retired, Canada

    Blaming words for actions relieves the listeners of responsibility. Censorship is a crucial step to totalitarianism.

  • Robert Hay, Barrister, Australia

    Good luck. I fear that this is a losing cause.

  • Oliver Wakefield, England

    Absolutely spot on.

  • Ellamay Russell, East London Science School Office Administrator & Spiked Writer., United Kingdom

    Free speech is the most crucial issue for every individual involved in society today and should be eternally defended without exception.

  • George Wake, Retired research scientist, England

    For too long it has been 'respectable' or 'right on' to shout down those who do not conform to the posturing trendy 'we're all some sort of minority under threat from whoever we choose, however unrealistically, to label oppressor' cliques of self interested idiots with hidden agendas. Well done Spiked for the first blows in neutralising this verminous trendiness

  • Edward Brett, Self-Employed Creative Director, United Kingdom

    End Official Secrecy! Freedom of Speech for all! Let the haters be ridiculed! Equal Rights, Truth and Justice for all !

  • Rhys Jones, Student, UK


  • 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.

  • Peter Dewar-Finch, United Kingdom

    Without the cornerstone of freedom of speech society crumbles into dictatorships and intolerant societies.

  • Ziga Turk, Univ. Professor, Slovenia

    Freedom of thought makes no sense without freedom of speech. And we need freedom of thought as much as always.

  • 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:

Jeffrey Bale, United States • David Green, U K • Darwin Dunford, Canada • Lætitia Sadier, UK • David Mossley, United Kingdom • Graham Finnie, UK • Dwayne Stude, USA • Richard Martin, Spain • charles hamilton, UK • Otis Luxton, United Kingdom • Alan Robb, UK • Ellamay Russell, United Kingdom • Antony Clay, UK • Ilse Court, Belgium • Will Shetterly, United States • Lee Jones, UK • Thane Kerner, United States • Calina kemp, ENGLAND • Dylan Bleier, United States • Stephen Curran, United Kingdom • ida symons, England • Neil Chantrell, UK • Ruth davidsin, uk • John Arnold, UK • Phillip Virgo, Australia • Milton Orgeron, United States • Tim Ferris, UK • Randolph Quinault, United Kingdom • Andrew Ian Dodge, US • Nick Smithers , UK • Keith Hotten, Hong Kong • Denis Joe, UK • Felicity Savage, Japan • Stephen Beard, United Kingdom • Christophe Boulaert, Belgium • Carolyn Nock, Australia • Michael Walker, UK • jim cassidy, United Kingdom • Craig Garsed, UK • Omer Havron, Israel • Penny Lewis, UK • Vaidas Morkevicius, Lithuania • Livio Pavone, United Kingdom • Tony Murray, Ireland • Casey Musselman, United States • Alan Metchem, England • Torgrim Boremyr, Norway • Jim Spangler, United States • Jason Kennedy, Great Britain • Christopher Hunt, Canada • Michael Stonnell, United Kingdom • Anthony Gonzalez, united states of america • Jim McCrudden, Australia • Justin Smyth, Ireland • Holger Krausse, Deutschland • Ken McLaughlin, England • Melissa Buttini, Australia • J Huckston, USA • Jarrod Green, Britain • Adam Hall, Canada • Dr B Redfearn, Isle of Man, British Isles • ANTHONY ADAMS, Australia • Richard Smith, Australia • Jonathan Smith, England • Denis O'Driscoll, United Kingdom • Michael F Hennessey, Canada • Jeff Botterill, United Kingdom • George Lawson, United Kingdom • Andrea Seaman, Switzerland • Shaun Forrest, U.K. • Richard Sheldrake, United Kingdom • Kenneth Phin, UK • Eleonora Cavagnuolo, Italy • Sasawat Prankprakma, United States • David Armstrong, Thailand • James Burchett, United Kingdom • Lawson Narse, United Kingdom • John Salmon, United Kingdom • Bruce Macdonald, France • Patrick O'Donoghue, South Africa • Mark Holmes, United Kingdom • Kojo Opoku Aidoo, Ghana • Thomas McLaughlin, Scotland • Adaam James Levin - Areddy,  • João Carlos Honório Pedro, Portugal • Lisa M, United States • David Perks, UK • Graham Johnson, uk • William Fleming, United Kingdom • Carlton Burns, England • Dr N Shackel, United Kingdom • jim taylor, USA • Graham King, UK • Cyborg Wolf, France • Callum McGarry, United Kingdom • Jacob Jones, USA • Michael Girvan
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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

Press freedom after Charlie Hebdo

Watch Brendan O’Neill and Michael Moynihan discuss the future of the press.