The Government plans to introduce sweeping new powers called Extremism Disruption Orders (EDOs) to combat individuals and organisations it deems to be ‘extreme’.
Who are ‘extremists’? Terrorists? Of course. But what about political activists? Religious groups? Anti-religious groups? Trade unionists? Environmental campaigners? Are they ‘extremists’? They could be under the Government’s vague proposals.
These plans have such a low threshold that they risk catching all kinds of legitimate speech.
For too long, we have been a passively tolerant society, saying to our citizens:
as long as you obey the law, we will leave you alone. It's often meant we have stood neutral between different values. And that's helped foster a narrative of extremism and grievance. This Government will conclusively turn the page on this failed approach.
We need to take action now before these dangerous proposals become law.
The National Secular Society is Britain’s only national organisation working exclusively towards a secular society. Founded in 1866, it campaigns for the separation of religion and state and promotes secularism as the best means to create a society in which people of all religions or none can live together fairly and cohesively.
The Peter Tatchell Foundation
The Peter Tatchell Foundation (PTF) seeks to promote and protect the human rights of individuals, communities and nations, in the UK and internationally, in accordance with established national and international human rights law.
Big Brother Watch
Big Brother Watch campaigns on behalf of the individual, to educate and encourage more control over personal data. We work to ensure that those who fail to respect our privacy, whether private companies, government departments or local authorities are held to account.
Index on Censorship
Index on Censorship is an international organisation that promotes and defends the right to freedom of expression. The inspiration of poet Stephen Spender, Index was founded in 1972 to publish the untold stories of dissidents behind the Iron Curtain. Today, we fight for free speech around the world, challenging censorship whenever and wherever it occurs.
The Freedom Association
The Freedom Association is a non-partisan, centre-right, libertarian pressure group. TFA believes in the freedom of the individual in all aspects of life to as great an extent as possible. As such, we seek to challenge all erosion of civil liberties and campaign in support of individual liberty and freedom of expression.
Caroline Lucas MP, co-leader, Green Party of England and Wales
The Christian Institute
The Christian Institute exists for “the furtherance and promotion of the Christian religion in the United Kingdom” and “the advancement of education”. It is a non-denominational Christian charity committed to upholding the truths of the Bible. It is supported by individuals and churches throughout the UK.
English PEN is the founding centre of a global literary network. We work to defend and promote freedom of expression, and to remove barriers to literature.
The Manifesto Club
The Manifesto Club campaigns against the hyperregulation of everyday life. We support free movement across borders, free expression and free association. We believe that the freedom issues of the twenty-first century cut across old political boundaries, and require new schools of political thought, and new methods of campaigning and organisation.
Rt Hon David Davis MP, Secretary of State for Exiting the EU
Prof Timothy Garton Ash
Fiona Bruce MP
Baroness Jones of Moulsecoomb
ARTICLE 19 is a global human rights organisation, with nine offices worldwide, which promotes and defends freedom of expression and information. It’s vision is a world in which all people can freely express themselves and actively engage in public life without fear or discrimination.