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

2425 people have signed up!

  • Hannah Baker, Waitress, Australia

    Those who convey stupid ideas and arguments, don't have the right to not be closely examined. They do not have the right to detract from other people's legitimate arguments by shouting 'offence' and 'vilification!'. Stupidity should not be protected. Stupidity should not be protected by the current Australian RDA that has the power to legally silence someone should they cause offence by expressing a 'bad opinions'. Stupidity should not be silenced by the growing Australian community belief that being offended/insulted is a legitimate justification for physically harmful backlash. I support total freedom on speech.

  • Elizabeth Liagin, Retired!, United States

    Hey, guys, I've been saying this for 60 years already! <bg>

  • George Karnezis, Retired educator, USA

    We must do everything we can to enrich the public discourse and free dialogue necessary to sustain a democracy. Today that discourse is impoverished by spectacle and entertainment, a sort of censorship of quality conversations.

  • Roy Mackay, Engineer, United Kingdom

    Free speech is essential to the acquisition of knowledge & to the flourishing of a humane democracy. It's beyond dispute that silencing of critics is the universal route by which totalitarian regimes come to power. Free speech is essential to democracy & as a bulwark against tyranny.

  • Deb Prytherch, Research Assistant in Computing Dept at University, UK

    A very important cause, that underpins so many values held dear by people of many different and conflicting views

  • Theodore Yarbrough, Attorney at Hawkins, Parnell, Thackston & Young LLP, USA

    Brilliant. Keep up the good fight to stop the tyranny of trigger warning safe spaces squashing free thought at universities.

  • Gunar Oksis, Business broker, australia

    Fo speech a necessity

  • Vincent Bate, City of London Corporation, England (No, I don't mean UK)

    No bars on freedom of speech or conscience, ever!

  • philip brown, retired lawyer, austrlia

    Free Speech is the foremost element of a liberal democracy; and it is being lost

  • Lee Hollins, United Kingdom

    Free speech is all we have to shape a democracy. Without it we are impoverished on every level.

  • Alan Dunlop, Group Manager, ICT Company, Australia

    I believe in free speech and the our Australian Government needs to repeal S 18 (c) of the Racial Discrimination Act as it retricts free speech as to not "offend" others. I support Spiked in that free speech should not be feared, but welcomed as a way to debate the views of others, not stifled.

  • David Perks, Principal East London Science School, UK

    Whole heartedly endorse this campaign. Question everything ban nothing.

Other signatories include:

Michael Pizolato, United States • Luke Shaw, UK • Noreen FitzGerald, Ireland • Paul Swatman, Australia • Ken  McLaughlin, England • Neil Clarke, Isle of Man • Richard Bassett, United Kingdom • Dr Andrew  Campbell , Australia • Tom Addiscott, UK • Gail Reed, Australia • Richard Cole, Australia • Jim Fletcher, Australia • Surse Pierpoint, Panama • JaMes SNYDER, USA • Peter Booker, Portugal • Steven Byrne, Ireland • Aleksa Sipetic, Serbia • ken vagg, australia • James Heartfield, UK • Richard Dews, UK • Clare Verngreen, Australia • David Robertson,  • Mike Spackman, UK • Deborah Robertson, United Kingdom • Sher Marie  Farrell, USA • Simon Clements, Australia • Ricky Allen, United Kingdom • Dave  Jenkins , England • Andrew Cox, United Kingdom • Matthew Hodgins, United States • Stephen Varga, UK • Anthony ROSEMAN, United States • Peter Spurrier, UK • Herbert Purdy, United Kingdom • Nikos Sotirakopoulos, United Kingdom • Jon Cassar, Australia • Jordan Heckendorf, Australia • Ned Borninski, United States • Mel Knott, UK • Edwin  Shaw, Uk • David Curtis, Denmark • Julie Howell, UK • David Hadley, United Kingdom • christopher crossman, ireland • Ged Hurst, France • Euphrosene Labon, England • Neal Webber, England • Steve Foulger, United Kingdom • Natasha Lewis, UK • André Murgo, Brazil • Nicholas Hyatt-Steel, UK • Brandon Parker, Canada • Antoine Junker, France • John Shaman, United States • jared grandy, usa • Joseph Kilroy, Ireland • Will Crook, Uk • Catherine Chapman, United Kingdom • Neil Ashley, United Kingdom • Jason Kennedy, UK • Jon O Brien, USA • Hagar Kennemo, Denmark • Alex Jarrett, England • gary schofield, UK • Otis Luxton, United Kingdom • Allan Thomas, Australia • Daniel Teghe, Australia • mike spurgeon, UnUnited Kingdom • Stephen Harrison, England • Rob Harris, United Kingdom • Johannes Richardt, Germany • Colin Meehan, USA • Richard Wood, United States • Scott Bicheno, United Kingdom • Patrick Selden, United Kingdom • Nick Smithers , UK • John Sangster , United Kingdom. • Adam Conroy, Ireland • Gunar Oksis, australia • Chris Baker, United Kingdom • Molly Wyatt, United Kingdom • carli james, usa • Phillip McCafferty, United Kingdom • John Burke, United Kingdom • Ian Oliver, United Kingdom • George Lawson, United Kingdom • Alan Robb, UK • Abigail Quinlan, Canada • Leigh Cashel, Australia • basil howard, uk • H. Levy, USA • Erik Christensen, United States • Fay Kelly-Tuncay, England • Tomme Tailor, UK • Neil Chantrell, UK • jim cassidy, United Kingdom • Graeme Garrard, UK • Alan Hughes, Wales • edi vaché, United States • Chris Bastock, UK
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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.