About the Free Speech Union

The Free Speech Union is a non-partisan, mass-membership public interest body that stands up for the speech rights of its members and campaigns for free speech more widely. How might we protect you?

  • If you find yourself being targeted by a digital outrage mob on social media for having exercised your legal right to free speech, we may mobilise an army of supporters.
  • If a petition is launched calling for you to be fired, when you’ve done nothing other than exercise your legal right to free speech, we may help you organise a counter-petition.
  • If you’re no-platformed by a university—a feminist professor who challenges trans orthodoxy, for instance—we’ll encourage you to fight back and members of our advisory councils may be able to tell you what remedies are available to you.
  • If you’re a student or an academic being investigated by your university for breaching a speech code, we may take up your case with the university.
  • If you’re punished by your employer because you’ve exercised your lawful right to free speech, we’ll do our best to provide you with assistance or refer you to specialists who can help.

The FSU has a research arm that publishes briefings on where free speech needs to be better protected, where existing protections may be in jeopardy, and what the government should do to strengthen and safeguard those protections.

The FSU has set up the Ian Mactaggart Programme, a fund that provides academics, students and student societies with small grants. Our aim is to persuade the next generation that they should care about free speech. Our hope is that the Mactaggart Programme will  create a network of young ‘free speech champions’ across the country who will host events on free speech, support and encourage the development of debating societies, and develop the information, ideas and arguments about free speech needed to inspire the next generation. If you’d like to apply to our grant-giving programme, please contact [email protected]. Individuals, student societies and academics are all eligible.

The FSU also has a social arm that organises events in pubs (“speakeasies”) and stages regular public discussions and debates where people with opposing views demonstrate that it’s possible to disagree passionately with each other in a courteous and good-humoured way.

The Free Speech Union is not just for those who make a living through the expression of ideas, such as academics, intellectuals, columnists, pundits, novelists, poets, playwrights, screenwriters, songwriters, comedians and actors. Anyone who feels their speech rights are under threat, or who cares about free speech as an issue, is welcome to join. Regardless of your profession, or whether you’re a student or a retiree, we may come to your defence if you find yourself under attack for exercising your legal right to free speech, whether by the courts or the police, by your employer, by colleagues or activists, or by outrage mobs on social media and elsewhere.