At launch, FSU's banners headlined George Orwell's critically important statement, "If liberty means anything at all it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.” (1918)
FSU's Toby Young wrote in The Spectator, "I hope the Union won’t just attract male, pale and stale conservatives, but liberals who’ve been judged insufficiently woke by their left-wing colleagues."
Trevor Phillips and others spoke at the launch, voicing concerns about 'speech apartheid.' With the declaration of "racism" as a "health crisis" by the Public Health Department's advisory board (PHAB) and City of Bellingham, those who disagree about the cynicism of BLM and BIPOC find ourselves in real danger of being called a racist, losing our jobs, and being cancelled for free-speech and free thinking. The chilling effect extends to other issues too: COVID science and policy, climate change science and policy; all critique, however qualified, is lambasted. Careers? Cancelled.
Visit FSU's site, support them if you can. It may well be that they'll gain a foothold in the USA soon. A list of FSU articles (good reading!) is available at their Media Archives pages. By the way, the motto audi alteram partem translates to "listen to the other side." Tolerance and open-mindedness are the hallmarks of the marketplace of ideas and classical liberalism, and the policing of thought and speech are outrages that are a peril to enlightened and civil society.
The Free Speech Union is a non-partisan, mass-membership public interest body that stands up for the speech rights of its members. How might we protect you?
- If you find yourself being targeted by a digital outrage mob on social media for having exercised your legal right to free speech, we may mobilise an army of supporters.
- If a petition is launched calling for you to be fired, when you’ve done nothing other than exercise your legal right to free speech, we may help you organise a counter-petition.
- If you’re no-platformed by a university—a feminist professor who challenges trans orthodoxy, for instance—we’ll encourage you to fight back and members of our advisory councils may be able to tell you what remedies are available to you.
- If you’re a student or an academic being investigated by your university for breaching a speech code, we may take up your case with the university.
- If you’re punished by your employer because you’ve exercised your lawful right to free speech, we’ll do our best to provide you with assistance or refer you to specialists who can help.
The FSU will also have a research arm that publishes papers analysing why free speech is in jeopardy and makes policy proposals about how to protect it, such as the creation of a network of free speech champions in Britain’s universities with the same standing as gender equality champions and diversity tsars. And the FSU will have an educational arm that organises social events in pubs (“speakeasies”), encourages university students and sixth formers to set up free speech societies, and stages regular public debates where people with opposing views will demonstrate that it’s possible to disagree passionately with each other in a courteous and good-humoured way.
The Free Speech Union is not just for those who make a living through the expression of ideas, such as academics, intellectuals, columnists, pundits, novelists, poets, playwrights, screenwriters, songwriters, comedians and actors. Anyone who feels their speech rights are under threat, or who cares about free speech as an issue, is welcome to join. Regardless of your profession, or whether you’re a student or a retiree, we may come to your defence if you find yourself under attack for exercising your legal right to free speech, whether by the courts or the police, by your employer, by colleagues or activists, or by outrage mobs on social media and elsewhere."