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
2121 people have signed up!
Rhys Watkin, Cymru
I disagree with some of this - no redress from genuine defamation? - and would somehow like to see a sense of duty to debate. Otherwise we're just name-calling. But thank you Spiked especially for confronting "modern orthodoxies" and the infantilised culture around us.
Lee Cooper, England
Only in Totalitarian states is the right to free speech denied. In states seeking to become Totalitarian the attack on the right to free speech is the precursor.
Colin Feltham, Academic/writer, England
Things have swung much too far in the direction of leftist orthodoxy.
Mike Evans, Graphic consultant, Portugal
Arthur Disbury, An English Patriot, England
No one has a right not to be offended!!!
Ken Lupton, Retired, United Kingdom
You'll miss it when it's gone.
MAJID ALSAADOUN, Legal and media consultant
deta alneel, الإمارات العربية المتحدة
Yes to freedom
Anthony Rodgers, PhD Student, United Kingdom
'Don't take refuge in the false security of consensus' - Christopher Hitchens.
steve saaf, USA
FREE SPEECH and FREE MINDS
antoni orgill, truculent-bastard, spain
Simon Goodhead, Member of the UK's peasantry and despised disabled . , UK
We need free speech ,just look at the Houses of Pee for the alternative.
Pier Andrea Picucci, Retired businessman, England
Free speech is a pillar of democracy and must be defended
Peter Clark, Retired Engineer, Australia
Jane Turner, Teacher/Proofreader, England
Totally agree with Spiked - More freedom, not less and ban nothing, let us decide for ourselves. Who wants to live in a world where we are too scared to speak our minds? Not me.
Richard Bird , Retired academic. , United Kingdom
Freedom of speech is the first and most important freedom. Without it all other freedoms are under threat.
ilkka savolainen, Hungary • Peter Spurrier, UK • Xay Voong, USA • Rod holt, Denmark • Elizabeth Liagin, United States • Gary Russell, Australia • Martyn Perks, United Kingdom • John Tomlins, New Zealand • Ken Fraser, Australia • Alicia Mosley, England • Nicolas de Spa, Belgium • Mario Dario, England • Cyborg Wolf, France • Richard Cole, Australia • antoni orgill, spain • Iain Ross, UK • Jeffrey Favorite, USA • Guy Consitt, United Kingdom • bill raymer, • malcolm watts, Britain • Scott Lovett, Australia • Bob Thomas, Australia • Andrew Albury, United Kingdom • Howard Sutcliffe, england • Paul Nickson, Canada • John Norman, England • Peter Oelgaard, Denmark • Mrs Cooper, France and England • patrick simmons, uk • Emil Nilsson, Sweden • Jack Cooper, UK • Craig Morris, Wales, UK • Daniel Jooste, South Africa • Holger Krausse, Deutschland • Robin Hayward, Germany • Alan Miller, UK / US • Chris Oakham, England • Rachelle Mcevilly, England • Ziga Turk, Slovenia • Kevin Morris, • Raymond Cantwell, GB • Andrew Williams, Australia • Gary Spence, United Kingdom • Justine Brian, UK • Geoffrey Gold, South East Asia • Hannah Baker, Australia • Ken McLaughlin, England • Mark Watterson, UK • Hagar Kennemo, Denmark • Charlie P, UK/Australia • Kelly-Laila Al-Saleh, United Kingdom • Mark Spear, England • sam allibone, UK • Daniel O'Flaherty, England • Callum McGarry, United Kingdom • Lee Sheppard, UK • Gabriel Mell, United Kingdom • MARK WANSTALL, UK • Cheryl Mundy, United Kingdom • Dan Lawrenson, England • David Bridson, United Kingdom • Dudebro McNeckbeard, US • miriam fraser, Britain • Trevor Paparella, Australia • Casey Musselman, United States • Charlotte Hillier, United Kingdom • Janice Jackson, United Kingdom • Alastair Hemsley, England • Mike Robson, UK • Katrina Thomson, United Kingdom • Rob Chilton, Canada • philip brown, australia • Antony Clay, UK • K McCulloch, Canada • Adam Podlofsky , Usa • Doug Landau, UK • Jessica D, United Kingdom • Liam Barclay, Australia • Matthew Hornby, United Kingdom • steve saaf, USA • Rupert Bumfrey, United Kingdom • Eli cohen, Israel • Glyn White, Australia • Edward Lambert, England • Phil Scanlan, Ireland • Toby Donovan, USA • Noralf Mork, UK • Alexis Maestre-Saborit, USA • Chrstie Davies, UK • Barrie Collins, UK • Stuart Rae, UK • Aquiles E Yika, United States • kris van eetvelt, belgium • Jeremy Wickins, UK • James Grieve, United Kingdom • Alan Charles Kors, USA • Ruben Flores, Mexico • Laura Sill, United States
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Free speech events
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