We received an email the other day from Patrick Vidaud in London. He’s trying to organize a march for the support of free expression in Britain.
I am canvassing individuals and organisations to gather support for a march in London some time soon in defence of freedom of expression. I do not represent anyone other than myself. I am concerned, as no doubt are many others, that fear, dressed up as sensitivity, may tempt some in power to allow our most precious right to be circumscribed, to be eroded. We need to stand up, be counted and be seen.
The strength and survival of true democracy depends most of all on the free expression of ideas. All ideas. There cannot be any compromise on this. As Voltaire said to one of his foes “I despise your views but I am prepared to die for your right to express them”.
I am proposing the usual; a march on a weekend day from Hyde Park to Trafalgar Square. Would you give your support to such a demonstration?
Patrick Vidaud, London.
He also asked us, “And, while we’re at it, how about a corresponding US march?”
Well, how about it? Or do we have to wait until raging mobs torch our embassies about cartoons in our papers?
Oh, that’s right — none of the major dailies in this country has printed the cartoons yet…