An Important Stand For Free Expression - London rally   17 Feb 2012

One Law for All held a successful rally in defence of free expression on Saturday 11 February 2012 opposite the Houses of Parliament. Hundreds braved the cold weather to join the rally at Old Palace Yard.

The rally followed several incidents in London recently where freedom of expression was curtailed in favour of fear of causing offence. In one incident, a talk on sharia law by One Law for All’s Anne Marie Waters was cancelled following threats of violence. Rhys Morgan was told by his school to remove a picture of Jesus and Mo from his Facebook page – a picture he had used in solidarity with the University College London Atheist, Secularist and Humanist Society who had been asked by their student union to remove the same image. Both UCL and the London School of Economics have since passed draconian motions which will further restrict religious criticism or satire at their schools.

Speakers at the rally included A C Grayling, Nick Cohen, Caroline Cox, Gita Sahgal, Keith Porteous Wood, and Rhys Morgan.

The event was sponsored by the Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science UK and featured Richard Dawkins who told the crowd to ‘stop being so damn respectful’ and that without freedom of speech, society would be a ‘scientific, technological, moral dark age’.

Maryam Namazie of One Law for All closed the rally by remembering those, around the world, who are fighting for freedom of expression, often at cost of their lives.

You can listen to a podcast of the London rally here: http://poddelusion.co.uk/blog/2012/02/11/rally-to-defend-free-expression-11th-february-2012/ and see videos of the event here: http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL324F7E92CC808428&feature=view_all. See some photos from the rally here: http://www.onelawforall.org.uk/11-february-2012-an-important-stand-for-free-expression/.

Actions to mark the occassion were also held in other cities, including Germany, Portugal and South Africa. Some highlights included a solidarity rally in Warsaw, Poland: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oqRBW7zGflk&fb_source=message, a fundraising dinner for One Law for All in Melbourne, Australia and the start of a campaign by Women's Initiative for Citizenship and Universal Rights in France to denounce discrimination faced by women due to the application of unfair laws in France.

The Free Expression Day of Action was endorsed by hundreds of people and organisations: http://www.onelawforall.org.uk/endorsements-for-11-february-day-of-action-for-free-expression/.

As a follow up to the day, One Law for All has initiated a campaign in defence of 23 year old writer, Hamza Kashgari, who faces execution in Saudi Arabia for tweeting about Mohammad, Islam's prophet. To support the campaign, click here: http://www.onelawforall.org.uk/freedom-for-saudi-writer-hamza-kashgari/.

Notes:

1. Also see a joint letter to Human Rights Watch on the importance of secularism: http://www.onelawforall.org.uk/to-human-rights-watch-separation-of-religion-from-state-is-the-most-basic-guarantee-of-rights/.

2. To donate to the work of One Law for All, please either send a cheque made payable to One Law for All to BM Box 2387, London WC1N 3XX, UK or pay via Paypal: http://www.onelawforall.org.uk/donate/. We need regular support and also for supporters to commit to giving at least £5-10 a month via direct debit. You can find out more about how to join the 100Club here: http://www.onelawforall.org.uk/donate/.

3. If you shop online, please do so via the Easy Fundraising website: http://www.easyfundraising.org.uk/register-supporter/?char=40474. It won’t cost you anything extra but can help raise much needed funds for One Law for All.

www.onelawforall.org.uk

 

*******

(One Law For All - Maryam Namazie)

Add a comment

Bookmark and Share

News

First steps taken towards flag referendum

29 Oct 2014 News
New Zealand Government Rt Hon John KeyPrime Minister Hon Bill EnglishDeputy Prime Minister 29 October 2014 Cabinet has agreed on the... more

NZ to join global crackdown on tax evasion

29 Oct 2014 News
Revenue Minister Todd McClay today announced New Zealand’s timetable for participation in a global automatic exchange of... more

Business

NZ dollar holds gains as traders await central bank meetings

28 Oct 2014 Business News
By Paul McBeth Oct. 28 (BusinessDesk) - The New Zealand dollar held gains in the local trading session as traders remain cautious... more

Orion Health seeks up to $150mln, eschews forecasts

28 Oct 2014 Business News
By Fiona Rotherham Oct. 28 (BusinessDesk) - Orion Health Group, which develops software systems for patient health management, wants... more

Living

Duo wins MKR NZ by just one point

29 Oct 2014 Food & Wine
Neena and Belinda have won the first season of My Kitchen Rules New Zealand. The "Modern Day Hippies" beat Aaron and Heather in... more

MKRNZ - The WeedEaters are cleaning up

28 Oct 2014 Food & Wine
Modern Day Hippies Neena and Belinda breezed through the semi finals last night on My Kitchen Rules New Zealand and no one could be... more

Property

Goodman Property sells three Christchurch sites for $18.9M

28 Oct 2014 Property
By Suze Metherell Oct. 28 (BusinessDesk) - Goodman Property Trust, the biggest listed property investor by market value, sold two... more

Double-digit rate increases loom

24 Oct 2014 Property
Aucklanders living in the ‘hottest suburbs’ could be the big losers, while businesses will come out winners Rate rises... more

Migration

New Zealand Named The Best Place For Raising Children

24 Oct 2014 Migration
New Zealand has been named the best place to raise a child in the Raising Children Abroad annual league table. According to the HSBC... more

Desperate employers keeping overstayers

24 Oct 2014 Migration
Desperate employers seeking to fill job shortages are keeping migrant workers who previously held a work visa in New Zealand... more

Travel

Air New Zealand's GENIUS Hobbit themed safety video

24 Oct 2014 Travel & Tourism
Giving flyers an Unexpected Journey! Elijah Wood and Sir Peter Jackson star in 'epic' Hobbit themed Air New Zealand safety video Air... more

Travel 'interns wanted' to tour 2000km of NZ

24 Oct 2014 Travel & Tourism
Forget a summer internship of fetching coffee and photocopying - a travel company is offering a $30,000, 10-day, 2000km tour of New... more

Sport

NZ Rugby League: Matagi to debut against Samoa

29 Oct 2014 Rugby League
Vodafone Warriors prop Suaia Matagi is poised to play his first test for the NZ Kiwis against his old team-mates, Toa Samoa, at... more

Cancer Society named official charity for Cricket World Cup

28 Oct 2014 Cricket
ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 Cancer Society named official charity in New Zealand for ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 The Cancer Society has... more

Columns

The return of Occupy London: this time it’s truly political

28 Oct 2014 Opinion
Article - Adam Parsons The return of Occupy London: this time it’s truly political by Adam Parsons22 October 2014more

Gordon Campbell on the TPP finishing line, and Amazon’s woes

28 Oct 2014 Column
Column - Gordon Campbell Gordon Campbell on the TPP finishing line, and Amazon’s woes by Gordon Campbell If the Trans Pa... more

Kiwi Success

New Ambassador to France appointed

28 Oct 2014 Appointments
Minister of Foreign Affairs Foreign Minister Murray McCully has appointed diplomat James Kember as New Zealand’s next... more

Jim Hickey hangs up his umbrella

24 Oct 2014 People
Veteran weathercaster Jim Hickey has announced his retirement today, saying is was a tough decision. "I feel like I'm subbing off at... more

Recruitment

More than 600 take up 3K to Christchurch jobs

28 Oct 2014 Recruitment
Social Development Minister Anne Tolley says the Government’s 3K to Christchurch scheme is a winner with 633 unemployed people... more

UK ambulance service poaches Kiwi paramedics

24 Oct 2014 Recruitment
New Zealand paramedics are being poached by Britain's busiest ambulance service. Interviews were held in Auckland on Friday and... more