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

2573 people have signed up!

  • Richard Smith, Teacher, Australia

    Give me the liberty to know, to utter, and to argue freely according to conscience, above all liberties. John Milton (1608-1674)

  • Virginia Ironside , Writer, Uk

    Delighted to support this.

  • Caron Townsend, England

    Free speech is the foundation of a healthy society that promotes understanding and harmony

  • James Y., Communications, United States

    As long as you speak what you believe to be true or produce what you believe to be art, I see no reason why someone should be able to suppress that.

  • Charles Fair, Engineer, England

    Freedom for everyone about everything

  • David Curtis, Social pedagog, Denmark

    I support this 100% STOP TELLING US WHAT TO THINK, DAMMIT!!!!!

  • Tom Addiscott, Scientific Research (Retired), UK

    Nil Carborundum

  • Jess Colby, Einsbery Collage (Student), Australia

    Any restriction on free speech paves the way for tyranny.

  • David Mirfin, Engineer, Switzerland

    I am offended by laws restricting free speech. Why am I less important than those who are offended by free speech?

  • diana darvall, retired, south africa

    Amandla!


Other signatories include:

shraga shatil, Israel • Geraldine McQuienn, Australia • Vlad Andrei, France • John Little, Gt Britain • Peter Doyle, Ireland • Jason Kennedy, UK • Peter Booker, Portugal • Andrew Worship, UK • Richard Sheldrake, United Kingdom • Bryan Creason, USA • Emma Webb, England • Richard Wood, England • Deborah Robertson, United Kingdom • Gary Russell, Australia • Sam Tucker, Australia • Barry Ross, UK • Brian Williamson, Great Britain • Allen Mukwenha, Malawi • Jun Miyawaki, Japan • Paul Ilott, UK • Andrew Bodinger, Wales • Stephen Huck, United States • James Frazee, United States • ANTHONY ADAMS, Australia • Daniel Borgmann, Germany • Robert Lyons, UK • Viv Muldrew, United Kingdom • William Fleming, United Kingdom • Tom Addiscott, UK • Barbara Hewson, United Kingdom • Jacob Mchangama, Denmark • Ian Gray, Australia • Alun Lewis, UK • Joseph Mintz, UK • Michael Sullivan, New Zealand • Paul Thomas, UK • R. Calarese, United States • Julia Paul, United Kingdom • Johnny van Heteren, United States • Ray Barnett, Australia • William Orr-Ewing, United Kingdom • Cody Curry, United States • David Hadley, United Kingdom • Kevin Carlson, United States • ken vagg, australia • Pete Marshall, UK • Deborah Robertson, United Kingdom • Tony Moore, England • David Mortimer, United Kingdom • Joe Place, UK • Erin Drake, United States • Antony Gaffney, England • osinaike damilola, Nigeria • Denis O'Driscoll, United Kingdom • Cat Warren, Australia • Terry Cooper, UK • Roger Pearse, United Kingdom • Mal Jones, United Kingdom • Frans Verloop, South Africa/Netherlands • David Curtis, Denmark • Jeff Goddard, Canada • Neil Chantrell, UK • Nathaniel Loso, United States of America • Bob Loveday, UK • Jim Fletcher, Australia • Gillian Cockwill, United Kingdom • Cevian Williamson, United States • Ian Martin, UK • Milton Orgeron, United States • mike fitzgerald, australia • Jackson Boon, Australia • Nicholas Tate, UK • Todd Feely, United Kingdom • Tessa Mayes, United Kingdom • Harry Lowman, Australia • Rob Harris, United Kingdom • Martin Woodford, Japan • drew cormack, UK • Ken McLaughlin, England • keith harris, UK • Ben Davies, United Kingdom • Xay Voong, USA • Jim Makin, Japan • Mitchell  Wells, United Kingdom • Ray Johnson, Britain/New Zealand • Michael Clark, UK • Dominic Roberge, Canada • Brandon Parker, Canada • Ted Getzel, USA • Ruari McCallion, UK • Rex Jenkins, UK • Andrew Woolford, England/UK • Alison Wolf, UK • Martin Bristow, United Kingdom • Carl  McClean, UK • Merith Godwin-Greer, United Kingdom • Emma Patchett, Uk • Barrie Collins, UK
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events

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.