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

2123 people have signed up!

  • David Aspden, Artist, England

    Speak up. Sing out!

  • Lenore Skenazy, Free-Range Kids, United States

    Speak freely!

  • Bob Loveday, International musician, UK

    I grew up in a world I could understand, where intelligence trumped stupidity, and the secular trumped the religious. Now it seems human evolution is drifting into reverse... Wake up! Fight for free speech now!

  • Will Shetterly, Writer, United States

    When I support free speech, I support everyone's right to disagree.

  • Todd Feely, Accountant, United Kingdom

    Free speech, without limitations, please.

  • Gerard Drummond, Retired/member of the IPA, Australia

    Freedom of Speech is important to all

  • Mike Marsh, Executive, UK

    Compromise, contrary to the fanatical belief of its advocates, does not satisfy, but dissatisfies everybody.

  • Charles Fair, Engineer, England

    Freedom for everyone about everything

  • Jessica Nield, Home carer for an elderly relative., England

    I back this campaign because a robust and free exchange of ideas is the basis of a free society.

  • tim williams, CEO, australia

    The freedom to offend is what free speech means. Support this campaign.

  • Adam M, Canada

    The free world was built around this ideal. ALL speech should be free or there is no point.

Other signatories include:

Gillian Sathanandan, UK • Ray Johnson, Britain/New Zealand • Louis Marriott, France • Graham Johnson, uk • Daniel Katz, UM • Karen Mørkved, Norway • Daniella Sorrentino, Canada • Keith Hotten, Hong Kong • Dr Nicholas Ashley, England • Cathy Chua, Switzerland • chris brennan, uk • Sam levy, uk • Gunar Oksis, australia • scott Craig , uk • Barbara Shabo, United States • Marc Catania, Australia • Victor Falkengaard, Sweden • Chris Shaw, United Kingdom • Arik Eshet, Israel • Robert Nickles, United States • Nils  Paulson, Sweden • Howard Sutcliffe, england • Robert Booth, England • Ricardo  Lima, Brazil • Alexander Mengden, Deutschland • Malcolm Rutherford, UK • Donald Kilpatrick, Canada • Konstantinos Koukopoulos, Greece • Holger Krausse, Deutschland • Chris Harley, UK • Timothy Ward, UK • James Burchett, United Kingdom • Deborah Robertson, United Kingdom • Stephen Richards, UK • Sally Hughes, UK • Richard Cole, Australia • Shawna  Murray MD, SilencedInUSA • Theodore Yarbrough, USA • Isaiah Roa, USA • Karl David Acuff, USA • David Robertson,  • Tony Pierce, UK • Simon Kitchener, United Kingdom • Matthew Hughes, Uk • Catriona Pickett, Australia. • William Moore, UK • david chappell, netherlands • Ross  Goulding , UK • MICHAEL MILLS, AUSTRALIA • Ron King, USA • Pete Jones, England • Paul Ilott, UK • Forest Phelps, United States • Nicola Tournay, Belgium • Mark Foulger, Uk • John Sangster , United Kingdom. • Jacques Protic, UK • Evan Thomas, USA/UK • Cody Kiser, United States • David Bates, England • Alvaro Diez de Medina, Uruguay • Andrew Bodinger, Wales • Andrew Weeks, Australia • Robert Spiers, UK • Tony Breen, UK • Joanna  Williams, UK • ellis williams, United Kingdom • Patrick Hayes, UK • Christopher Maguire, UK • Helen Armstrong, Australia • Helen Morris, Australia • Matthew McWilliams, United States • Michael  Diver , Scotland • Alka  Sehgal Cuthbert , Uk • Ilan  Aharoni , Israel • Allum Bokhari, United Kingdom • Thomas de Leon, United States • David Lamb, United Kingdom • John Tibbits, United Kingdom • Emma Webb, England • David Berkley, United Kingdom • Richard Cook, United Kingdom • Chris Reece, uk • Warwick Wakefield, Australia • Justin Southern, United States • Jamie Lavin, England • Smith Smith, 3 • Herbert Purdy, UK • Kathryn Moss, UK • Dmitry Kosov, Russia • Bart Roozendaal, UK • Sanda  Bogoevici, Romania • Tereza Kuldova, Norway • David Potter, United Kingdom • Stephan Dalla Pria, South Africa • keith harris, UK • Warwick Brown, Australia • Anon Anon, USA • Chrstie Davies, UK • Reyna Arriaza, United States
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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.