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
2183 people have signed up!
Juan Aguilera, Purchasing officer- now gladly not allowing the state to steal my money., Australia
In support of all free speech especially in Spain and Australia- two countries where free speech is being eroded daily.
Robert Biddulph, Temporarily unemployed, UK
Nothing that Spinoza, Voltaire and now Brendan O'Neil hasn't said a lot more eloquently...
Sandy Starr, Communications Officer, Progress Educational Trust, UK
A defence of unfettered, indivisible free speech for all is desperately needed in our censorious and intolerant era. There couldn't be a better time for spiked to launch this campaign or to publish the accompanying Freedom Manifesto. I support the campaign and I endorse the manifesto unreservedly.
Reggie Smith, Hair Salon Asst Manager/Reluctant Freedom Fighter, usa
Ugh, it's 2015. We really have to do this, don't we? Reaffirm our belief in one of the core principles of the country. Disgusting, that misguided culture warriors (and LIBERALS at that) have driven us to this.
Brenda-Lee Patterson, Self Employed, AUSTRALIA
Happy to add my name & support for a great cause
Kate Bopp, Co Founder Disaster Tech Lab, Ireland
Every human being on this earth should have a right to speak freely. We do NOT have, nor should there exist a right NOT TO BE OFFENDED.
Michael Clark, University of Cambridge, UK
Freedom of speech is so much more than merely the freedom to offend or to openly disagree. It is also the freedom to inform, to inspire debate, and to open minds.
A powerful manifesto, argued for with rigour and passion - great stuff!
Dan Johnson, Retired businessman, Canada
I'm a bit hesitant to sign anything with the word "Manifesto" attached to it, as a "Communist Manifesto" is the only other declaration I know of that contains this word and I'd hate to think there is a 'connection' between the two....
Peter Reid, Photographer, England
A life without free speech is a life in servitude..
David Mortimer, Irrelevant, United Kingdom
On almost any issue these days we seem to have lost the ability to look for the underlying causes or facts and to be in danger of being cowed into passivity by the shrill voices and threats of those whose minds, it seems, have become so narrow they have no room for brains. The term 'liberal' is increasingly a cover for exactly the opposite. It is beyond time that the thoughtful 'middle' reasserted itself and pressed the politicians into joining them and stop tagging along in the wake of extreme voices.
Simon Curtis, United Kingdom • Derek Sibthorpe, Great Britain • Bill Logan, UK • r baker, usa • J. A., USA • Luca Bocci, United Kingdom • Joshua Williams, USA • David Faber, UK • george eastman, United States • Xiaolong wei, united Kingdom • Michael Pizolato, United States • David Russell, United Kingdom • Lesley Ann Sharrock, Spain • drew cormack, UK • John Foley, UK • BARRY BROWN, UK • Pauline Hadaway, UK • Sally Larkin, UK • Hugh Laird, Australia • Robert Booth, England • Dan Lawrenson, England • Mark Wright, United Kingdom • Joseph Haran, United States of America • Ian Jackson, Spain • William Smith, Australia • Jason Jacobs, Australia • Jacob Negron, United States • Lynda Smith, England • Ed Scarr, united kingdom • Lenore Skenazy, United States • Paul Ranson, UK • Matthew Robinson, Cambodia • guy king, England • Kieran Nial, UK • K McCulloch, Canada • Peter Beckett, United Kingdom • Ceri Dingle, UK • Andrew Worship, UK • Will Crook, Uk • Chris Shaw, United Kingdom • Ruth Butler, United Kingdom • Felicity Savage, Japan • Charlie Parker, United Kingdom • Michael F Hennessey, Canada • Wystan Mayes, UK • suzanne gallagher, UK • Dom Bradshaw, England, GB • Robin Munden, UK • Natalie Dinham LLB (Hons), Saudi Arabia • Alexander Mengden, Deutschland • Stephen Lawson, USA • Moira Egan, Canada • Callum McGarry, United Kingdom • Justin Smyth, Ireland • Michael Parsons, England • Preston Charity, United States • Peter Kidson, England • Mervyn Shaw, Northern Ireland • Matthias Heitmann, Germany • Felix Saint-Leger, United Kingdom • mike fitzgerald, australia • Marilyn Davis, England • Dr Andrew Campbell , Australia • Gayle MURPHY, Australia • Greg Lahoda, Canada • Ruben Flores, Mexico • Danny Betts, United Kingdom • Elizabeth Liagin, United States • Gillian Sathanandan, UK • Paul Corica, England • Anonomous Human, USA • Neil Chantrell, UK • PK Murphy, Canada • Kentleigh English, United Kingdom • CLare Wilson Parr, United States of America • M Z, Australia • Paul Reeves, UK • David Pinder, UK • STEVCHE RISTEVSKI, AUSTRALIA • Nicola Tournay, Belgium • Otis Luxton, United Kingdom • Chris Goodwin, Denmark • Clare Verngreen, Australia • Gunar Oksis, australia • Michael Kay, United Kingdom • John Little, Gt Britain • Mitchell Wells, United Kingdom • Michael Stonnell, United Kingdom • Carl Barjer, England • peter ladyman, England • Philip Northfield , United Kingdom • Mirjam Heijn, Netherlands • T Holland, United Kingdom • Gary Russell, Australia • Rob Chilton, Canada • val hubbard, Spain • Kevin Mulvina, Canada
Other signatories include:
Free speech events
Explore the crisis afflicting our core freedoms in Washington, DC, 15 October.Get tickets