Regarding the state of our freedoms of thought and expression in Europe.

So, now for those who are wanting to know what I think about the state of our freedoms of thought and expression here on the internet and otherwise in Europe:

The internet can be a dangerous place to say exactly what you mean — just as in real life situations. In my opinion, people do not need to agree with me or even to like what I say or write. However, I will defend my own right to an opinion — and the rights of others to have an opinion that I do not agree with. I have no respect or tolerance for people or laws that would bully others into silence and submission. In Europe that which is not already forbidden will soon become required by our governments.

S’il vous plaît excusez mon français ici. C’est difficile pour moi de formuler dans toutes les langues:

L’internet peut être un endroit dangereux pour dire exactement ce que vous voulez dire, tout comme dans des situations réelles. À mon avis, les gens n’ont pas besoin d’être d’accord avec moi ou même d’aimer ce que je dis ou écris. Cependant, je défendrai mon propre droit à une opinion – et le droit des autres à avoir une opinion avec laquelle je ne suis pas d’accord. Je n’ai aucun respect ou tolérance pour les personnes ou les lois qui intimideraient les autres au silence et la soumission. En Europe, ce qui n’est pas déjà interdit deviendra bientôt exigé par nos gouvernements.

USA. Alabama. Birmingham. 1963. A female protester being arrested and led away by the police.

Charlie Hebdo solidarity rally: the honour roll.

tous des charlie

Some might balk at the honour roll / list of politicians and leaders represented at the Charlie Hebdo solidarity rally on Sunday, January 11, 2015. Why? Because several of the leaders in attendance do not exactly have a spotless record as regards Freedom of expression in their home countries. But … hey, nobody’s perfect!

Seriously, I hope that all of these leaders will be reminded of their new commitment to freedom of expression by the watchdogs in their own countries.

We can only hope.

bowler
(member of Norwegian P.E.N.)