The revolutionary power of heresy
Brendon O'Neill
Jun 19, 2023

Brendon O'Neill, Chief Political Writer of sp¡ked has written a new book called "A Heretic's Manifesto: Essays on the Unsayable". We provide a link to his chapter on "The Revolutionary Power of Heresy" where he says 'Freedom of speech has toppled tyrants and propelled humanity forward. We lose it at our peril'.

Hate Speech Bill - Submission to the Portfolio Committee on Justice and Correctional Services
Martin an Staden
May 28, 2023

We have made a submission to parliament to oppose the criminalisation of the Hate Speech Bill. We deal with the extensive definition of hate speech and the large number of grounds on which hate may be based; the unconstitutionality of the provisions; the expanded concept of harm; selective prosecution; and exemptions. The essence is that the criminalisation of hate speech threatens to impinging on the foundational importance of right of free speech, thought and belief.

Webinar - should we be criminalising hate speech?
May 05, 2023

Criminalising hate speech is an issue with with far reaching consequences for every South African. Speaking to the topic are Advocate Mark Oppenheimer, Professor Anton Harber and Cynthia Stimpel who discuss the topic with reference to the Constitution and the Hate Speech Bill, the potential effect of the Bill on the media, and impact it may have on whistleblowers respectively.

Free speech is the best weapon against hate speech
Apr 24, 2023

The Prevention and Combating of Hate Crimes and Hate Speech Bill would criminalise racist speech. Almost every supporter of the bill see legislation as a means to “eliminate racism”. The problem is that trying to eliminate racism is like trying to pin down mercury. Racism is an expression of people’s thoughts and feelings, upbringing and experience, interactions and education — these all change over time. Often racism ebbs and flows depending on people’s personal experiences of the political forces in society. Criminalisation isn't the answer.

Be careful when censoring speech
Mar 20, 2023

‘To tamper with the author’s words because of the sensibilities of present-day readers is unacceptable.  The minute you do this Huckleberry Finn stops being the book that Twain wrote' - Peter Messent of the University of Nottingham. The same applies to any modern day author whose words are tampered with by sensitivity readers.

In conversation: FSU International
Jan 24, 2023

Toby Young, General Secretary of the Free Speech Union UK was joined by Sara Gon, Director of the FSU South Africa and Jonathan Ayling, Chief Executive of the FSU New Zealand to discuss a wide range of topics including how free speech is curtailed in the media, the importance of hearing contrary opinions and the commonalities experienced by our respective organisations.

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© Free Speech Union SA