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

Household savings rate positive for five years

26 Nov 2014 News
New Zealand households have together saved more than they spent over the past five consecutive years – the first time this has... more

Government Inquiry report released

25 Nov 2014 Politics
Prime Minister John Key has today released the findings of the Government Inquiry into allegations regarding Judith Collins and a ... more

Business

Foreign Minister thanks outgoing Chief Executive

26 Nov 2014 Business News
New Zealand Government Foreign Minister thanks outgoing Chief Executive Foreign Minister Murray McCully today thanked outgoing MFAT... more

Extreme commute: From New Zealand to rural Iceland

18 Nov 2014 Business News
Every year, several dozen butchers make an epic commute - from provincial New Zealand to rural Iceland - for just two months' work.... more

Living

Hawaiian Voyagers Return to Reaffirm their Link with Maori

17 Nov 2014 Lifestyle
WAITANGI, New Zealand – When intrepid Hokulea crewmembers first sailed to Aotearoa (New Zealand) 29 years ago using the ... more

Sir Edmund Hillary Scholarship team in Round the Bridges

14 Nov 2014 Lifestyle
A University of Waikato Sir Edmund Hillary Scholarship team is set to compete in this Sunday’s Round the Bridges. The team of... more

Property

More homes coming on board for Christchurch tenants

18 Nov 2014 Property
Social Housing Minister Paula Bennett is impressed with Housing New Zealand’s progress in building, redeveloping and repairing... more

New initiatives to improve tenancy services

17 Nov 2014 Property
Changes to the delivery of key tenancy services are set to streamline and speed up processes for landlords and tenants, Building and... more

Migration

NZ net migration rises to record in Oct as more kiwis return

24 Nov 2014 Migration By Suze Metherell
NZ net migration rises to fresh record in Oct as more kiwis return, Indian students arrive Nov. 24 (BusinessDesk) - New Zealand's... more

Australians & New Zealanders should be free to live & work in UK

3 Nov 2014 Migration
Australians and New Zealanders should be granted special status to live and work in the United Kingdom without restriction, a new... more

Travel

Doubling of flights between NZ and China

26 Nov 2014 Travel & Tourism
New Zealand Government Flights between New Zealand and China are set to double under amended air services arrangements, says ... more

NZ guest nights jump to a record in September on rise in international travelers

12 Nov 2014 Travel & Tourism By Tina Morrison
Nov. 12 (BusinessDesk) - New Zealand guest nights rose 1.1 percent to a record for a September month, driven by a rebound in ... more

Sport

ASB Classic Full Field welcomes five Top 30 players, and world number one doubles pair

26 Nov 2014 ASB Tennis
NZ Festival of TennisFeaturing some of the biggest names in world tennis, organisers of the ASB Classic are pleased to announce one... more

Lydia Ko gets record LPGA haul - and a US$1.5m payday!

24 Nov 2014 Golf
NAPLES, Fla. -- New Zealand teenager Lydia Ko was an instant millionaire even before she went into a three-way playoff Sunday in the... more

Columns

Gordon Campbell on the inquiry on one case of dirty politics

26 Nov 2014 Opinion By Gordon Campbell
Suddenly, we’re awash in inquiries and reviews. (It feels almost as if the Greens won the last election.) Caught out by the... more

Gordon Campbell on Rick Ellis as Te Papa’s new CEO

24 Nov 2014 Opinion By Gordon Campbell
The recent appointment of former TVNZ boss Rick Ellis to head Te Papa has copped a fair bit of criticism... more

Kiwi Success

New Chair of Financial Markets Authority

26 Nov 2014 Appointments
New Zealand Government Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Paul Goldsmith today announced the appointment of Murray Jack as the... more

Dame Anne Salmond appointed Patron of Sail Training Trust

25 Nov 2014 Appointments
R.Tucker Thompson Sail Training Trust Dame Anne Salmond appointed Patron of Northland-based Sail Training Trust   Former New... more

Recruitment

Smiths City starts CEO search after Hellings signals exit

12 Nov 2014 Recruitment
Article - BusinessDesk   Smiths City starts search for new CEO after Hellings signals exit By Paul McBeth Nov. 12 (BusinessDesk)... more

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