Free speech organisations

The more free speech campaigns you are aware of and join and support, the better: it will amplify their voices.

Key organisations re UK universities

Here are some key allies in the fight for high standards of free speech protection at our universities.

  • Academics for Academic Freedom (AFAF) are a campaigning group for all lecturers, academic-related staff, students and researchers who want to defend unimpeded enquiry and expression.  
  • Free Speech Champions: this project creates a space for young people to think freely and question everything. It collaborates with individuals, groups and organisations from across the social, political and ideological spectrum to expand knowledge and understanding of free speech as a universal value. At the heart of the project are the Free Speech Champions, young volunteers who dedicate their spare time to developing and spreading the project’s enthusiasm for free speech.

Other free speech related organisations

  • Battle of Ideas, which organises debates, including the brilliant Battle of Ideas festival,  and a lot of other valuable free speech work. We support their excellent Living Freedom weekend.
  • Counterweight, which campaigns against political polarisation. They believe that division between different political and ideological factions is making it almost impossible for us to agree not only on the solutions to these problems but on the nature of the problems themselves. In fact, it has even become difficult to agree on the nature of reality. This is why Counterweight believes that political polarisation is the meta-problem we must resolve so we can protect liberal democracy and ensure we have the capability to address all of the other threats we face.
  • Fair Cop, which campaigns about concerns about police attempts to criminalise people for expressing opinions that don’t contravene any laws. They have had significant successes in stopping, indeed reversing, the move for the police to record so-called Non-crime Hate Incidents, often without the knowledge or input of those whose data is being recorded and reputations harmed.
  • The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE): this active and effective US campaign to defend and sustain the individual rights of all Americans to free speech and free thought. FIRE educates Americans about the importance of these rights, promotes a culture of respect for them, and provides the means to preserve them.
  • Policy Exchange: their mission is to develop and promote new policy ideas which deliver better public services, a stronger society and a more dynamic economy. Their research is independent and evidence-based and they share our ideas with policy makers from all sides of the political spectrum. They have a focus on education and have published Academic freedom in the UK, 2020.