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

Minister to attend defence talks in Singapore

28 May 2015 News
Defence Minister Gerry Brownlee leaves today for Singapore to join his counterparts at the 14th annual Shangri-La... more

Waitangi signing commemorated 175 years on

26 May 2015 News
Horizons Regional Council Waitangi signing commemorated 175 years on A Rangitikei River stone monument commemorating a significant... more

Business

Reserve Bank unlikely to cut OCR next month: Westpac

28 May 2015 Business News
Article - BusinessDesk   Reserve Bank unlikely to cut OCR next month, line-ball on cut this year, Westpac says By Anna Lu May 28... more

Fonterra cuts this season's milk price by 10c, forecasts $5.

28 May 2015 Business News By Fiona Rotherham
  Fonterra cuts this season's milk price by 10c, forecasts $5.25/kgMS for 2015 May 28 (BusinessDesk) - Fonterra Cooperative... more

Living

NZ Surfer Daniel Kereopa in New Documentary

23 May 2015 Lifestyle
The pride and glory of winning The Ultimate Waterman is relived for Kiwi Daniel Kereopa in a documentary that went live online this... more

Britain remembers the ANZACs - 100 years on

25 Apr 2015 ANZAC By Charlotte Everett
100 years after allied forces landed in Gallipoli, 25 April – ANZAC Day – has been commemorated in the UK officially for... more

Property

New guidance on home construction

22 May 2015 Property
Building and Housing Minister Dr Nick Smith today released at the Certified Builders’ Association conference in Christchurch... more

Goodman Property lifts FY earnings 5.4% on revenue growth

20 May 2015 Property By Paul McBeth
  Goodman Property lifts FY earnings 5.4% on revenue growth, cost clamp down May 20 (BusinessDesk) - Goodman Property Trust,... more

Migration

Migrant exploitation Bill passed

30 Apr 2015 Migration
The Immigration Amendment Bill (No 2) which cracks down on employers who exploit migrant workers passed its final reading in... more

NZ migration hits new annual record in March

23 Apr 2015 Migration By Tina Morrison
April 23 (BusinessDesk) - New Zealand migration hit a new annual record in March, as more students arrived from India and China and... more

Travel

UPDATE: Bob Jones ejected from Air NZ flight

27 May 2015 Travel & Tourism By Pattrick Smellie
  UPDATE: Bob Jones ejected from Air NZ flight as passengers applaud (Corrects flight number to 421, adds passenger... more

Border clearance levy to be introduced

21 May 2015 Travel & Tourism
New Zealand Government Hon Nathan GuyMinister for Primary IndustriesHon Nicky WagnerMinister of Customs 21 May 2015 Border clearance... more

Sport

Grant Apologises for Unacceptable Behaviour

28 May 2015 Netball
Following a disciplinary hearing staged yesterday afternoon by the Trans Tasman Netball League (TTNL), operators of the ANZ... more

Kiwis Prepare to ‘Sprint’ Around Hyde Park

28 May 2015 Sport
London is the next stop on the ITU World Triathlon Series circuit and a host of New Zealanders will line up on the sprint course at... more

Columns

Gordon Campbell on the FIFA scandal , and similar dirty deal

28 May 2015 Opinion By Gordon Campbell
  Face it, it has been a very, very bad week for anyone who thinks that a) FIFA is a damn fine organisation run by guys who... more

Gordon Campbell on Budget 2015

22 May 2015 Opinion By Gordon Campbell
From the outset, the slogan for yesterday’s Budget - “The Plan Is Working” – begged to be mocked.... more

Kiwi Success

2015 Youth Awards winners announced

26 May 2015 People
Youth Minister Nikki Kaye today announced the recipients of the 2015 Youth Awards. Winners will be presented with awards at a... more

Top biology student off to Denmark Olympiad

21 May 2015 People
Sixteen-year-old Waikato Dio student Nikita Lyons is one of four students representing New Zealand at the International Biology... more

Recruitment

NZ employees rate work-life balance as top priority

26 May 2015 Press Releases By Anna Lu
  NZ employees rate work-life balance as top priority, while job seekers eye cash, survey shows May 26 (BusinessDesk) - New... more

NZ's growing ICT sector drives more diverse economy: Joyce

15 May 2015 State of the Market Report By Paul McBeth
  NZ's growing ICT sector drives rapid economic diversification, Joyce says May 15 (BusinessDesk) - New Zealand's information... more