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

2692 people have signed up!

  • Ged Hurst, Software architech, France

    If anything's worth fighting for, it's free speech - it's the foundation of all other freedoms.

  • Scott Lovett, Australia

    Support the maintenance of free speech - http://keepspeechfree.blogspot.com.au

  • Alka Sehgal Cuthbert , PhD researcher, teacher, lecturer. , Uk

    Free speech is the guarantor of tolerance, and any democrat has to defend it unequivocally.

  • Deborah Robertson, Full time carer, United Kingdom

    Thank you for your work. Freedom of speech underpins all aspects of civilised life. I am furious that politicians and the media in the UK are not standing up to the Islamist lobby and their enablers, the regressive left. This country has already internalised an Islamic blasphemy code. There is so much now, that we dare not say or do. We pretend it's out of "tolerance" and "sensitivity to other cultural values". It is not. It is fear of Muslim violence. A well founded one. Long live Western Civilisation and long live free speech!

  • David Bastable, Retired, Canada

    The Mother of all freedom. Without Free Speech, there is no freedom.

  • Michael Winton, Content Creator for WTF MAgazine LLC, united states

    I support free speech nothing should be censored and people need thicker skin Disagreeing =/= harassment that warrants censorship

  • Jess Colby, Einsbery Collage (Student), Australia

    Any restriction on free speech paves the way for tyranny.

  • balakrishnan k t, service, india

    i support freedom of expression

  • Tom Addiscott, Scientific Research (Retired), UK

    Nil Carborundum

  • Steve Nash, Freelance writer, uk

    That 200 'liberals' could support the regulation of the press has to be a low point of the modern era. If we lose freedom of speech manipulation and condescension of the people will get worse.

  • Raj Gill, Freelance Artist, United States of America

    Freedom of speech is messy, and it's uncomfortable, but it's the engine that drives progress, and without it you have stagnation of both mind and society.

  • Rob Harris, WORLDwrite volunteer, United Kingdom

    A much needed initiative deserving of everyone's attention.

  • Freddie Sehgal Cuthbert, Student, UK

    Free speech is key to debate and change, and without it free society will crumble.

  • Michael Campbell, Software Developer, United Kingdom

    The importance of free speech is ever increasing but the awareness and understanding of it is ever decreasing.

  • Erik Nordlund, Retired Sea Captain/Owner , Finland ,Aaland Islands

    Thank You for inviting me to participate in Your support Rights to tell anyone my opinion anything without restrictions from any law libel left dictatorship like EU and from my own contry -orry to say ! Happy Easter 2014 .


Other signatories include:

Rupert Symes, UK • Rene O'Riordan, Ireland • Phil Scott, United Kingdom • Jason Pearce, Belize • Peter King, UK • Stewart Slater, UK • Michael Jones, United Kingdom • albert gardner, United States • Jonathon Kitson, UK • Shawna  Murray MD, SilencedInUSA • Barbara Hewson, United Kingdom • Helene Groen, Denmark • Dominic Baron, New Zealand • James Bunyan, England • Chris Bastock, UK • William Fleming, United Kingdom • Adrian Shelley, United Kingdom • Iner Dempsey, Ireland is my country; Scotland is my home. • Carl  McClean, UK • Alun Lewis, UK • Piotr Antoniak, Poland • Dominic Hogan, United Kingdom • balakrishnan k t, india • Matthew Hughes, Uk • John Preston, USA • Helen Dehn, Australia • Julian Tol, Australia • Pamela Almaz, UK • Ben Eshchar, Israel • ayy lmao,  • Alex Torres, United States • Carolyn Nock, Australia • David Berkley, United Kingdom • Viv Muldrew, United Kingdom • bob clarke, uk • Martin  Bright, England • Daniel Teghe, Australia • Ton Ebben, Netherlands • Rob Mackenzie, England • Martin Wynne, United Kingdom • Michael F Hennessey, Canada • Andrew  Cox, United Kingdom • Cheryl Mundy, United Kingdom • Ned Borninski, United States • Ian Woolley, United Kingdom • Ruth Butler, United Kingdom • Paolo Ferrara, Italy • Tim Hammond, United Kingdom • Al  Stevens, The world... • João Carlos ~,  • Sherwin Cogan,  • Erik Nordlund, Finland ,Aaland Islands • Alan Fry, England • George Wilkinson, United Kingdom • Peter Coulson, USA • Alan Pulverness, UK • Anders Madsen, Prefer to be hidden • Ruth Butler, United Kingdom • Jon Holbrook, United Kingdom • Simon Talbot, España • Geoff Johnson, UK • Rajith Dissanayake, UK • Jorge Javier Cervera Rodriguez, Mexico • Clayton Stonecipher, United States • Nathan Gray, United States • John Mason, Australia • carole chapman, italy • Shai Skiba, Israel • harvey smith, australia • Alice Smith, United Kingdom • Jamie Catlin, australia • Curt Stockman, États-Unis • Angus Kennedy, UK • Colin Peterson, Canada • Wayne Yeoman, UK • carole chapman, italy • cj scrimshaw, United Kingdom • Tony Eaton , South Africa • Patrick MacKinnon, Canada • ilkka savolainen, Hungary • Tony Davis, England • Simon  talbot, Spain • Jacob Long, USA • Oliver Slaughter, United Kingdom • Neal Webber, England • Stuart Sheach, United Kingdom • Beth ten Have, Australia • Thomas Murphy, Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus • Teresa Granner, United Kingdom • Colin Turpin, UK • Christopher Beckett, United Kingdom • Arthur Disbury, England • Keiron Ryan, England • Fiona Mackenzie, Australia • Oliver Wakefield, England • Graeme  Bright, England • vishnu sharma, India • Bradford Graves, United States • Scott Bicheno, United Kingdom
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events

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.