Wednesday, March 15, 2006

London's March for Freedom of Expression, March 25

A Rally in Trafalgar Square between 2:00pm and 4:00pm on Saturday March 25th 2006.
Sponsored by:
3:00 A.M Magazine.
Free Muslims Coalition
The Freedom Association.
The Libertarian Alliance.
Little Atoms.
Maryam Namazie.
Nigerian Humanist Movement.
National Secular society
Oliver Kamm.
Rationalist International

Statement of Principle
"The strength and the survival of free society and the advance of human knowledge depend of the free exchange of ideas.

All ideas are capable of giving offence, and some of the most powerful ideas in human history such a those of Galileo and Darwin, have given profound religious offence in their time.

The free exchange of ideas depends on the freedom of expression and call on our elected representatives to do the same.

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

This is also a celebration of freedom and free expression, so let's enjoy it. Jugglers, clowns, unicyclists will be very welcome. It's a serious event, but let's make it a party too.

Many citizens and organizations from different countries are offering hosting the march suggesting venues, check the site and you can also suggest an additional venue. Email here if you are in these places Australia: Sydney Canada: Toronto Canada: Montreal USA: Chicago .

For signing the petition to the elected representatives, suggesting banners or the suggested ones, downloading posters and reading the press release and the for the sponsoring blog click here.

Burn flags, torch buildings, terrorize individuals and boycott, we will love our freedom more. FFE


At 11:19 AM, Anonymous CD said...

The Danish attorney general has decided that there is no legal blasphemy case against Jyllandsposten for publishing the Mohammed cartoons. You can read more about it on my homepage.

At 12:23 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear FFE.

Thank you so much for sharing your opinions on free speech.

Maybe I should supplement CD, since the decision not to take Jyllands Posten to court, was not taken without comments.

Press Release in english

Jyllands Posten is being corrected (the word used in the news is in my danish-english dictionary "gibe at" or "taunt" which are words I'm not familiar with)and by that critizised, which is rather unusual in the danish democracy.
The free press is divided from the governement AND the judicial system, so for the Director of Public Prosecutions to correct ("gibe at"/"taunt") a newspaper is, as I read it, the same as to say, that the newspaper crossed a line if not by law then by moral.

Jyllands Posten is of course saying that they were right.
But the oldest and most influential media (and a tabloid) are emphazising the correction.
I guess the limits for "free expression" in Denmark just moved a towards a more conservative side.
I grew up with blasphemy directed towards christians, so this is odd.

Unless we see riots again, I think it's now time for the domestic politicians to enter the battle. It started last sunday but it's not boiling yet.
The opposition is going for the PM to step down but I doubt they dare press for an election at the moment.

At 2:16 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

And since we're at it.

Danish news today

A shop sold T-shirts with rude prints of Virgin Mary. A catholic priest found them blasphemous and went to the shop and talked to the owner. The owner understood the feelings of the priest and withdrew the shirts from the shop.

A muslim member of a town council found that the T-shirts were so offensive that it should be reported to the police for blasphemy even if it was not for sale anymore - and so he did.

Link to the newspaper. It's in danish.
I only provide the link if someone want to see the picture to be informed.
If you know in your heart that it will offend and hurt you DON'T OPEN IT:

At 2:28 PM, Blogger Cosmic Duck said...

That T-shirt does not look very blasphemous to me. After the Attorney General's ruling the police will probably not take any notice.

By the way, the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs is really doing damage control now. They fear new riots in ME countries after the ruling. 40 ambassadors have been called to a meeting in the Ministry this evening, where the text has been read aloud to them. Let's hope there will not be new embassy and flag burnings.

At 2:50 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I guess they won't. Christianity has been mocked so severely in Europe for several centuries that there hardly is a limit. Seen in a historical context it was necessary. Galilei was blasphemous.

But the T-shirt is very offensive for catholics, who cherish Virgin Mary.

The problem making laws about religious sensitivity is that the feelings are subjective.

I didn't understand the danish cartoons as being against muslims, but as comments on terrorism in the name of Mohammed. One of my best friends are muslim, so that has influenced me I guess.

At 12:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would not buy that Mary t-shirt and forget about having seen it.


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