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
2640 people have signed up!
Josh Woodworth, Student, UK
I was banned from my union socialist society for being a strong atheist and expressing my views on my personal Facebook timeline. This was nothing to do with the society and I got abuse for it and Chinese whispers happened around the union about me. Apparently I had offended a certain "race" most people consider a religion. I am a strong atheist I dislike all religions equally.
Douglas Jack, History Student, Britain
"Its not just the right of the person who speaks to be heard, it is the right of everyone in the audience to listen and to hear, and every time you silence somebody you make yourself a prisoner of your own actions" Hitchens.
A powerful manifesto, argued for with rigour and passion - great stuff!
Frank Turner, Musician, UK
Some people seem to have forgotten the true meaning of the word "liberal" in recent years. This campaign is a timely and welcome reminder of how important free speech is to a liberal society.
william simpson, UK
Free speech must be defended against the attacks of high minded authoritarians
Rhett Donovan, Copywriter., United Kingdom
Good luck and power to this campaign. Millions of people around the world crave freedom of expression and now we in the United Kingdom do. So long as violence is not incited speech should be free.
Andrea Seaman, Student, Switzerland
May this campaign triumph over despotic censors!
Michael Darius, human interface designer / design principal, United States
Thank you for taking a stand for Free speech.
John Cameron, Retired thinker., Australia
WHILST SECRECY PREVAILS DEMOCRACY WITHERS & FAILS. J.C.
Una Sanderson, UK
Freedom of speech does not only apply to those with whom one agrees, it applies to everyone even if one does not agree.
Nicole Browning, Executive Support, Australia
Any country where speech is not free cannot be considered a free country.
Jan Dewhurst, UK
We owe it to the past generation and the next
Bill Logan, Retired, UK
Mark Steyn woke me up from my self imposed dreams. Free speech is the foundation of freedom.
Carroll Barry-Walsh, England • Jason Evans, United States • Jean Sher, Australia • James Hare, U.K. • Roger Clague, United Kingdom • Ella Stark, Australia • STEVCHE RISTEVSKI, AUSTRALIA • pierre henriksson, sweden • James Frazee, United States • Lætitia Sadier, UK • Hannah Duguid, Australia • David Aspden, England • Robert Liddle, UK • Peter Briscoe, Australia • Michael Brady, UK • Neil Humber, UK • Lubomir Poliacik , Canada • Harry Lowman, Australia • Thomas Guy, UK • Allan Lindqvist, Sweden • Anthony ROSEMAN, United States • Chrstie Davies, UK • Keith Lauchlan, France • Jordan Heckendorf, Australia • James Charnley, UK • Arthur Disbury, England • John Collison, Canada • Chris Irvine, UK • Neil MacCallum, Scotland • Jane Paterson , AUSTRALIA • robert callot, belgium • Aron Ivarsson, Iceland • Richard Wood, England • Adam Salumunek, USA • C J Hedges, UK • Alka Sehgal Cuthbert , Uk • David Robertson, United Kingdom • Kentleigh English, United Kingdom • James Grieve, United Kingdom • Brandon Parker, Canada • Gus Tang, Australia • Colin Poynter, UK • patrick simmons, uk • Paul Read, United Kingdom • Luke Holroyd, United Kingdom • Forest Phelps, United States • Dan Gos, Canada • dieter hambloch, United Kingdom • frank~e Worth, usa • Luke Sampson, United Kingdom • Chuck Riggs, Ireland • Ian Sampson, UK • Sanda Bogoevici, Romania • Marianna Fox, United Kingdom • Andrew Cox, United Kingdom • Christopher Cain , United Kingdom • Gabriel Mell, United Kingdom • bill raymer, • Emma Webb, England • Kristian Nilsson, Sweden • Beverley Callaghan, UK • Jason Pearce, Belize • Dan Lawrenson, England • Pier Andrea Picucci, England • Miles Alura, England • Edward Almond, USA • Mark Smith, Scotlamd • Shivani Jegarajah, Uk • Tony Dean, UK • Dennis Gerstein, Germany • Pierre Desrochers, Canada • Rhianna Voice, England • Jose Belderrain, Brazil • Oliver Wakefield, England • Ann Furedi, United Kingdom • John Norman, England • Steve White, UK • Malcolm Rutherford, UK • Kate Bopp, Ireland • Dallas Beaufort, Australia • Nicole Browning, Australia • Frank Cafarella, USA/ Costa Rica • Rosamund Cuckston, UK • Mike Rea, UK • Barry Dow, UK • Aiden Hepworth, UK • Venimus Vidimus, United Kingdom • christopher crossman, ireland • Nabin Bhaumik, India • Craig Garsed, England • Wayne Yeoman, UK • David Lamb, United Kingdom • michael mcgee, United States • Mark Samenfink, United States • Chris Shaw, United Kingdom • Charlie Winch, United Kingdom • Edward Brett, United Kingdom • Andrew Russell, Australia • Darwin Dunford, Canada • John Sangster , United Kingdom.
Other signatories include:
Free speech events
Explore the crisis afflicting our core freedoms in Washington, DC, 15 October.Get tickets