March for Free Expression

The next phase

Monday, February 27, 2006

Viral Publicity Appeal

Note: This has absolutely nothing to do with computer viruses

Here's how viral publicity works: you email as many of your friends and acquaintances as you feel is appropriate, giving our email address, our blogsite address and the address of the online Freedom of Expression petition. And you ask them to forward the mail to everyone else they can think of. And so on.

Very rapidly, vast numbers of people can be reached in this way.

If you are prepared to help, here is a text that, if you want, you could copy and paste into your email. Otherwise, make up your own wording.

I am supporting the campaign for freedom of expression, which is holding a rally in Trafalgar Square on March 25th 2006. They have a website at and their email address is

The statement of principle for the campaign runs as follows:

"The strength and survival of free society and the advance of human knowledge depend on the free exchange of ideas. All ideas are capable of giving offence, and some of the most powerful ideas in human history, such as those of Galileo and Darwin, have given profound religious offence in their time.

The free exchange of ideas depends on freedom of expression and this includes the right to criticise and mock.

We assert and uphold the right of freedom of expression and call on our elected representatives to do the same.

We abhor the fact that people throughout the world live under mortal threat simply for expressing ideas and we call on our elected representatives to protect them from attack and not to give comfort to the forces of intolerance that besiege them."

It has been made very clear that this is a march in favour of freedom of expression and not a march against Muslims. Organisations from every part of the political spectrum have offered support, including the Free Muslims Coalition.

If you can, please join the rally on March 25th. Please consider signing the supporting petition at

And please, if you agree with this campaign, help it by forwarding this mail to as many people as possible.
It would be a great help if you let us know if you have done this, so we can measure results.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

If banners/t-shirts etc with the cartoons are shown at the march it will be very interesting to see how the media reports it - will they have to black out pictures and video? At the moment lots of news outlets are sitting on the fence I think this will force them to make a choice. I really hope that this march isn't hijacked by the BNP, hope it goes well.

7:22 pm  
Anonymous alison said...

Several blogs have cross posted. Emails going out like crazy :)

9:39 pm  
Blogger Voltaire said...

Alison, that's great. Thank you very much.

10:15 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Cartoon t-shirts is a tricky one. On the one hand - the embodiment of what the march is all about. On the other, an incentive to undesirable elements to get involved and an incentive for the police to arrest for breach of the peace (I know they'd be in the wrong, but they would still do it... although having said that, people who would be offended should know not to turn up and be offended - an interesting debate?)

1:55 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree, we should use the cartoons carefully but they need to be used and allot of people on the street will be seeing them for the first time. Half of them just arnt offensive, in fact the only one I could really agree is offensive and inaccurate is the turban bomb. All the others make really good points and they need to be seen properly and the captions read for them to be understood.

Enough people should use them so that the media cant choose camera angles that hide them - hold them high, hold them low, keep them facing cameras. Not so many people should use them that the protest turns into 'just cartoons', thats not fair and the media will pick up on it, and remember holocaust denial is also a valid point. If this is done right the media will be forced to either show the cartoons or blur them/black them out - either outcome will prove our point.

Remember: keep it balanced and intelligent, anyone can wave cartoons around and stir up wackos we should be adding to the debate by adding our own arguments to banners, keeping captions on the cartoons and dont forget, some people in this country would also be outraged by a banner just saying "Freedom of speech absolutely gives the right to insult religion" or even "Holocaust? what Holocaust?" - it doesn't matter if you do or don't think the Holocaust happened its about the point. If your gay, straight, young, old, Atheist, Christian, Jewish, Muslim or whatever it would be fun if people brought banners insulting themselves.

11:54 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Could you make some posters - just black and white A4 things that people can print out and put up on noticeboards etc...


7:38 pm  

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