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

2605 people have signed up!

  • Peter Bolt, Retired, UK

    There is no such thing as a free lunch

  • Hamish McCallum, United Kingdom

    Freedom of speech is the most essential defence against tyranny: and all those who want to restrict it (in any way) are the friends of tyranny.

  • James Shepherd, Teacher(retired), France

    One of the most fundamental freedoms. Fight for it!

  • John Weldon, England

    Once it is lost we will never get it back.

  • Antoine Junker, engineer, France

    Free speech is a condition to democracy's survival !

  • David Bastable, Canada

    Free Speech - the most important freedom of all.

  • Nicola Tournay, Student., Belgium

    "Offense" lies in the mind of the listener. So called "hate speech" is free speech.

  • Mrs Cooper, Teacher , France and England

    When we loose free speech we loose our souls .

  • Joseph Haran, Retired professional journalist, United States of America

    Best wishes and good luck with this manifesto!

  • Cyril Ignatius Kendrick, Educator, United States

    Free speech is the starting point in recognizing human dignity

  • Liam Barclay, Student, Australia

    Gamergate has made immense progress in creating a much healthier form of journalism and made me proud to call myself a gamer.

  • David Grogan, Retired, United Kingdom

    Well done.....somebody needs to prevent a general day to day reduction in our rights

Other signatories include:

Caroline Kitchens, United States • Richard Dwyer, uk • Mike Chenery, United Kingdom • John  Dakin, England • Omer Havron, Israel • Jon O Brien, USA • Darren Partridge, United Kingdom • Patrick Landers, Ireland • Sam O'Floinn, Ireland • guy king, England • dave wibberley, UK • Till Noever, Australia • jubineau ronan, france • Szabo Attila Ákos, Hungary • Tau Sodan, Canada • Mat toor, UK • Gavin King, UK • Michael Hathaway, United Kingdom • Ian Jackson, Spain • Chris Hedges,  • Jan Dewhurst, UK • Freddie sehga,  • Eleanor Binks, United Kingdom • Livio Pavone, United Kingdom • James Lugton, United Kingdom • Alex Jarrett, England • Ellamay  Russell, UK • Stephen Lindsey, Belgium • albert gardner, United States • Shivani Jegarajah, Uk • Colin Peterson, Canada • Raul Pope, UK • Kevin Mccallum, Uk • Nathaniel Parsons, New Zealand • Ann Furedi, United Kingdom • Philip Davies, uk • Chris Irvine, UK • Jess Colby, Australia • Lenuța Berinde, România • Eli cohen, Israel • steven tolleneer, Belgium • Michael Gordon-Smith, United Kingdom • Aidan Condie, United Kingdom • Mark Weishan, USA • george hull, United Kingdom • Lynda Smith, England • Ralph Seccombe, Australia • James Mills, United Kingdom • Gino Ragnoli, United Kingdom • Jason Kennedy, Great Britain • Mary  Morrissey, Australia • Gregory Hyman Joffe, south africa • David Lamb, United Kingdom • Una Sanderson, UK • Paul Wieczorek, United Kingdom • Erin Drake, United States • Dave Dixon, UK • Justin Smyth, Ireland • Claire Marchant-Williams, United Kingdom • Emil Nilsson, Sweden • JOHN POWELL, United Kingdom • James Hare, U.K. • Margaret McCrudden, UK • John Brigham, US • David Woolf, UK • Ryan Rosenberg, Australia • Ginette Bennewith, United Kingdom • Alvaro Molina, Mexico • Douglas Davie, United Kingdom • Robin  Blick, UK • Lydia Hugo, US • Deborah Robertson, United Kingdom • Surse Pierpoint, Panama • Dominic Hogan, United Kingdom • Jonathan  Isherwood , England • Dr B Redfearn, Isle of Man, British Isles • Mike Quinn, USA • Alan Dunlop, Australia • R. Calarese, United States • STEVCHE RISTEVSKI, AUSTRALIA • Rex Jenkins, UK • Charlotte  Wortley, England • Nick Cowen, United Kingdom • Justin Coplin, United States • nanda kumaran, india • Mark Iddon, UK • Benjamin Hall, Australia • Alan  Miller, UK / US • andreas henrichs, germany • Patrick Walsh,  • Mike Marsh, UK • Judith  Winther, Denmark • Jacques Protic, UK • Patrick Keeney, Canada • Stephen Birchmore, United Kingdom • Malcolm Turner, United Kingdom • Ed Scarr, united kingdom • Sandra Hajda, Australia
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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.