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
2527 people have signed up!
Mark Lamberton, Self Employed, Australia
David Buckingham, Designer, United Kingdom
Free speech is non-negotiable - any other position is a self-contradiction. Freedom from coercion is the red line. No provocation justifies a gun being fired in response, not even a slap from the Pope.
Tom Addiscott, Retired, UK
I agree with the manifesto. Also relevant, stop climate censorship!
Jolene Williams, Usa
Free speech is very important!
Cat Warren, Student, Australia
The most 'offensive' words are the words unspoken
Jeremy Pender, Co-owner at Fifty-One PlUS, a registry for organizations, websites and individuals worldwide who support or who are otherwise open to civilized discussion about trying to make the United States a bigger and better country by bringing new geographic areas into the Union as states:
http://sites.google.com/site/fiftyoneplus, United Kingdom
"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances." So let's make this umbrella big enough to shelter us ALL!
Paul Ilott, Teacher, UK
A rare campaign that resolutely refuses to compromise over free speech.
Charles Macgregor, Retired into enlightenment of reason., Scotland. Europe.
The spoken word should be free,.......For every heart to acknowledge loves plea,......With all our senses awakened with light to see,.....THIS IS HUMANITY's opened door's degree, And got sanity's sake the world must agree,........ Love comes into reach, ......When practiced in action and free speech, ......And should be in every child of loves reach.
Kenneth Seakens, Solicitor, UK
You have my unqualified support in your campaign. You are right.
stephen willdig, manufacturer, united kingdom
Will they rewrite dictionaries to accepted words ? I will defend the right of all who want to say restrict speech the same as those who don't
Viacheslav Kovalenko, PhD student, Currently UK
Liberty shall fight alongside her defenders!
Kathryn Knight, United Kingdom
Freedom of expression is one of the most important issues nowadays. It's not entirely separate from global military activities.
Andrew Woolford, England/UK
I support this manifesto in it's near entirety. My only concern is the libel laws stuff, the rest I agree with. But still, consider it signed.
Mike Quinn, Self, USA
"At the heart of the First Amendment is the recognition of the fundamental importance of the free flow of ideas and opinions on matters of public interest and concern. The freedom to speak one's mind is not only an aspect of individual liberty – and thus a good unto itself – but also is essential to the common quest for truth and the vitality of society as a whole. We have therefore been particularly vigilant to ensure that individual expressions of ideas remain free from governmentally imposed sanctions." Supreme Court Ruling in Falwell vs Hustler, 1988, a case derived from the infamous "Campari Ad" satire published in Hustler Magazine lampooning Rev. Jerry Falwell. The same concept holds true for us as individuals, as it is a cornerstone of a healthy society.
Steven Marks, US • JB Calonge, United States • Kim Cooling, UK • Tyler Hopkinson, Canada • Steve White, UK • Neil Ashley, United Kingdom • robert callot, belgium • vinay thakur, USA • john price, uk • Sue Leong, France • Jordan Cadd, United Kingdom • R K, USA • Robin Blick, UK • Dallas Beaufort, Australia • Jim Makin, Japan • Alex Iversen, Norway • McIntyre Sally, New Zealand • cj scrimshaw, United Kingdom • Graham Reade, United Kingdom • Mark Wright, United Kingdom • Cody Bailey, United States • David Frampton, Australia • Michael O, United Kingdom • David Angus, UK • David Smith, US • Graeme Garrard, UK • Euphrosene Labon, England • Toby Robson, United Kingdom • Desmond Bellot, England • Kate Bopp, Ireland • dieter hambloch, United Kingdom • Nathan Gray, United States • Max Cunningham, United Kingdom • Bill Braham, United Kingdom • K McCulloch, Canada • Hamish Ball, Australia • Dean Butler, United Kingdom • John Sherlock, UK • Ray Barnett, Australia • William-George Murphy, United Kingdom • Joshua Williams, USA • Deborah Robertson, United Kingdom • Joseph Mintz, UK • R Emslie, U.K. • Paul Stott, United Kingdom • Robbie Burns, United Kingdom • William Fleming, United Kingdom • Paule Sachs, Australia • Richard Hayes, Australia • Matthew Hughes, Uk • Bruce Gee, Australia • Jeff Botterill, United Kingdom • Martyn Perks, United Kingdom • Matthew Hughes, Uk • Edward Almond, USA • Frank Santana, Dominican Republic • Eleanor McDonnell, UK • Casey Musselman, United States • Patrick Walsh, Ireland • Mark Smith, Scotlamd • george eastman, United States • Sanda Bogoevici, Romania • Andrew Johnston, United Kingdom • Jasper Solomon, U.K. • Herbert Purdy, UK • rodney smith, UK • Dennis Gerstein, Germany • Stevy Meeker, USA • Mehdi Yazi-Roman, France • Johnny van Heteren, United States • Stephan Dalla Pria, South Africa • cdaftekm tlkquruw, USA • Daniella Sorrentino, Canada • Dr Nicholas Ashley, England • Peter Winter, email@example.com • Neil MacCallum, Scotland • Matt Fox, GB • Mitchell Agg, United Kingdom • Ian Gray, Australia • Tom Addiscott, UK • James Greer, United Kingdom • Jorge Javier Cervera Rodriguez, Mexico • Sam Gramann, England • Joel Black, United States • Michael Cunningham, Australia • Peter Beckett, United Kingdom • Jane Ray, England • Patrick Landers, Ireland • Clive Bond, Australia • george hull, United Kingdom • Lloyd Donohoe, Australia • Andrew Mawdsley , England • Kevin Rees, England • John E. Cox, USA • Roger Sutherland, United Kingdom • Euphrosene Labon, England • Will Crook, Uk • Paul Wieczorek, United Kingdom • STE Saaf, USA
Other signatories include:
Free speech events
Explore the crisis afflicting our core freedoms in Washington, DC, 15 October.Get tickets