Top Free Speech Quotes

Browse top 155 famous quotes and sayings about Free Speech by most favorite authors.

Favorite Free Speech Quotes

1. "Free speech means the right to shout 'theatre' in a crowded fire."
Author: Abbie Hoffman
2. "The law is agnostic about truth. It's very skeptical of ultimate truth. That's why freedom of speech permits lies to be told."
Author: Alan Dershowitz
3. "Ignorant free speech often works against the speaker. That is one of several reasons why it must be given rein instead of suppressed."
Author: Anna Quindlen
4. "First Amendment freedoms are most in danger when the government seeks to control thought or to justify its laws for that impermissible end. The right to think is the beginning of freedom, and speech must be protected from the government because speech is the beginning of thought."[Ashcroft v. Free Speech Coalition (00-795), 198 F.3d 1083, affirmed.]"
Author: Anthony M. Kennedy
5. "Better a thousandfold abuse of free speech than denial of free speech."
Author: Charles Bradlaugh
6. "In terms of political contributions, the free speech rights of corporations I don't think deserve the same protections as the free speech rights of real living, breathing, voting humans."
Author: Chris Coons
7. "He bent his gaze sternly on them. "First, let no one rule your mind or body. Take special care that your thoughts remain unfettered. One may be a free man and yet be bound tighter than a slave. Give men your ear, but not your heart. Show respect for those in power, but don't follow them blindly. Judge with logic and reason, but comment not."Consider none your superior, whatever their rank or station in life. Treat all fairly or they will seek revenge. Be careful with your money. Hold fast to your beliefs and others will listen." He continued at a slower pace, "Of the affairs of love... my only advice is to be honest. That's your most powerful took to unlock a heart or gain forgiveness. That's all I have to say." He seemed slightly self-conscious of his speech."
Author: Christopher Paolini
8. "If you love freedom, if you think the human condition is dignified by privacy, by the right to be left alone, by the right to explore your weird ideas provided you don't hurt others, then you have common cause with the kids whose web-browsers and cell phones are being used to lock them up and follow them around.If you believe that the answer to bad speech is more speech - not censorship - then you have a dog in the fight.If you believe in a society of laws, a land where our rulers have to tell us the rules, and have to follow them too, then you're part of the same struggle that kids fight when they argue for the right to live under the same Bill of Rights that adults have."
Author: Cory Doctorow
9. "I think free speech is probably the coolest thing we have in this country, and again, you can label it hate speech and dismiss it, and then you're allowed to censor it."
Author: Dana Carvey
10. "It is from him, from Beolco Ruzzante, that I've learned to free myself from conventional literary writing and to express myself with words that you can chew, with unusual sounds, with various techniques of rhythm and breathing, even with the rambling nonsense-speech of the 'grammelot.'"
Author: Dario Fo
11. "The good guys fight for freedom, justice and most words that don't put food on the table. The bad fight to scrub those words from our speech. Only problem is, both sides claim to be good."
Author: David Gunn
12. "And why do we, who say we oppose tyranny and demand freedom of speech, allow people to go to prison and be vilified, and magazines to be closed down on the spot, for suggesting another version of history."
Author: David Icke
13. "Free speech is against governments, not against the NBA. So the players and coaches and indeed owners have been fined for their speech, which is costly rather than free. I sort of acknowledge that there is not free speech when you agree to work in the NBA."
Author: David Stern
14. "Democracy was supposed to champion freedom of speech, and yet the simple rules of table decorum could clamp down on the rights their forefathers had fought and died for."
Author: E.A. Bucchianeri
15. "To suppress free speech is a double wrong. It violates the rights of the hearer as well as those of the speaker."
Author: Frederick Douglass
16. "I joined the Labour party because I believed in equality, in freedom of speech and in tolerance, compassion and understanding for people, irrespective of their background and views. In whatever I decide to do in the future I will hold to those principles."
Author: Geoff Hoon
17. "America comes with both rights and responsibilities. You have, for example, the right to free speech, but you have the responsibility to not yell 'fire' in a crowded theater. If you don't live up to that responsibility, you face certain consequences. It's a simple but effective formula. Unfortunately, tenured professors are completely insulated from it. They can scream fire in their classrooms all they want - and then hide behind their tenure if anyone questions them on it."
Author: Glenn Beck
18. "By placing discretion in the hands of an official to grant or deny a license, such a statute creates a threat of censorship that by its very existence chills free speech."
Author: Harry A. Blackmun
19. "Pastor Ted and other evangelical pastors I hear about in the media seem to perceive just about everything to be a threat against Christianity. Evolution is a threat. Gay marriage is a threat. A swear word uttered accidentally on television is a threat. Democrats are a threat. And so on.I don't see how any of these things pose a threat against Christianity. If someone disagrees with you about politics, or social issues, or the matter of origins, isn't that just democracy and free speech in action? How do opposing viewpoints constitute a threat?"
Author: Hemant Mehta
20. "Criticism of government finds sanctuary in several portions of the 1st Amendment. It is part of the right of free speech. It embraces freedom of the press."
Author: Hugo Black
21. "I've skewered whites, blacks, Hispanics, Christians, Jews, Muslims, gays, straights, rednecks, addicts, the elderly, and my wife. As a standup comic, it is my job to make sure the majority of people laugh, and I believe that comedy is the last true form of free speech."
Author: Jeff Dunham
22. "Religion should be subject to commonsense appraisal and rational review, as openly discussible as, say, politics, art and the weather. The First Amendment, we should recall, forbids Congress both from establishing laws designating a state religion and from abridging freedom of speech. There is no reason why we should shy away from speaking freely about religion, no reason why it should be thought impolite to debate it, especially when, as so often happens, religious folk bring it up on their own and try to impose it on others."
Author: Jeffrey Tayler
23. "Free speech includes the right to not speak."
Author: Jimmy Wales
24. "About these developments George Orwell, in Nineteen Eighty-Four, was quite wrong. He described a new kind of state and police tyranny, under which the freedom of speech has become a deadly danger, science and its applications have regressed, horses are again plowing untilled fields, food and even sex have become scarce and forbidden commodities: a new kind of totalitarian puritanism, in short. But the very opposite has been happening. The fields are plowed not by horses but by monstrous machines, and made artificially fertile through sometimes poisonous chemicals; supermarkets are awash with luxuries, oranges, chocolates; travel is hardly restricted while mass tourism desecrates and destroys more and more of the world; free speech is not at all endangered but means less and less."
Author: John Lukacs
25. "[I]n my own case at least I feel my professional need for freedom of speech and expression prejudices me toward a government whose constitution guarantees it."
Author: John Updike
26. "The west has fiscalised its basic power relationships through a web of contracts, loans, shareholdings, bank holdings and so on. In such an environment it is easy for speech to be "free" because a change in political will rarely leads to any change in these basic instruments. Western speech, as something that rarely has any effect on power, is, like badgers and birds, free. In states like China, there is pervasive censorship, because speech still has power and power is scared of it. We should always look at censorship as an economic signal that reveals the potential power of speech in that jurisdiction."
Author: Julian Assange
27. "A state that suppresses all freedom of speech, and which by imposing the most terrible punishments, treats each and every attempt at criticism, however morally justified, and every suggestion for improvement as plotting to high treason, is a state that breaks an unwritten law."
Author: Kurt Huber
28. "Any kind of restrictions put on free speech would have worse consequences than bullying."
Author: Lady Starlight
29. "Laws protecting the United States flag do not cut away at the freedom of speech guaranteed in the First Amendment... Congress made this position clear upon passage of the Flag Protection Act of 1989, which prohibited desecration of the flag."
Author: Larry Craig
30. "It is easy to believe in freedom of speech for those with whom we agree."
Author: Leo McKern
31. "I know. But I hate weddings.""Because of Darcy?""Because a wedding is a ceremony where a symbolic virgin surrounded by women in ugly dresses marries a hungover groom accompanied byfriends he hasn't seen in years but made them show up anyway. After that, there's a reception where the guests are held hostage for two hours withnothing to eat except lukewarm chicken winglets or those weird coated almonds, and the DJ tries to brainwash everyone into doing the electricslide and the Macarena, which some drunk idiots always go for. The only good part about a wedding is the free booze.""Can you say that again?" Sam asked. "Because I might want to write it down and use it as part of my speech."
Author: Lisa Kleypas
32. "Free expression is the base of human rights, the root of human nature and the mother of truth. To kill free speech is to insult human rights, to stifle human nature and to suppress truth."
Author: Liu Xiaobo
33. "Free speech is the cornerstone to every right we have."
Author: Mark Thomas
34. "In our country we have those three unspeakably precious things: freedom of speech, freedom of conscience, and the prudence never to practice either."
Author: Mark Twain
35. "In fact, after living in Communist China for so many years, I realized that one of the advantages enjoyed by a democratic government that allows freedom of speech is that the government knows exactly who supports it and who is against it, while a totalitarian government knows nothing of what the people really think.~pg 55"
Author: Nien Cheng
36. "Now she understood a few things: that the American academy, which one might have thought the place to defend freedom of speech, had been the seat and soul of abrogating freedom of speech, if the first assault on its freedom can be said to be restricting, or handcuffing speech. The day she heard "redneck" on NPR, she turned NPR off, not because broadcasters were still using the term, but because she knew one day they would not be. In fact, she had a vision of the quiet moment backstage at a Boston studio when a good, surprised correspondent was let go for saying "redneck" the last time it would be said."
Author: Padgett Powell
37. "Liberalism is a creation of the seventeenth century, fathered by British philosopher John Locke (1632–1704). For Locke, liberalism means limited government, the rule of law, due process, liberty, freedom of religion, freedom of speech, freedom of the press, freedom of assembly, separation of church and state, and separation of government powers into branches that oversee each other's authority."
Author: Peter Boghossian
38. "I grew up under Communism so we could only learn Russian, and then when Communism fell in 1989 we could learn a few more things and have the freedom to travel and the freedom of speech - and the freedom of dreaming, really."
Author: Petra Nemcova
39. "I begin to feel like most Americans don't understand the First Amendment, don't understand the idea of freedom of speech, and don't understand that it's the responsibility of the citizen to speak out."
Author: Roger Ebert
40. "And, I hope now that everybody understands that the Labour Party - as it always has done - stands for free speech and individual Members of the Labour Party are entitled to exercise that free speech."
Author: Ron Davies
41. "He was learning that to win a fight like this, it was not enough to know what one was fighting against. That was easy. He was fighting against the view that people could be killed for their ideas, and against the ability of any religion to place a limiting point on thought. But he needed, now, to be clear of what he was fighting for. Freedom of speech, freedom of the imagination, freedom from fear, and the beautiful, ancient art of which he was privileged to be a practitioner. Also skepticism, irreverence, doubt, satire, comedy, and unholy glee. He would never again flinch from the defense of these things. p. 285"
Author: Salman Rushdie
42. "And once again I am I will not say alone, no, that's not like me, but, how shall I say, I don't know, restored to myself, no, I never left myself, free, yes, I don't know what that means but it's the word I mean to use, free to do what, to do nothing, to know, but what, the laws of the mind perhaps, of my mind, that for example water rises in proportion as it drowns you and that you would do better, at least no worse, to obliterate texts than to blacken margins, to fill in the holes of words till all is blank and flat and the whole ghastly business looks like what it is, senseless, speechless, issueless misery."
Author: Samuel Beckett
43. "To The Veterans of the United States of AmericaThank you, for the cost you paid for our freedom, thank you for the freedom to live in safety and pursue happiness, for freedom of speech (thus my book), and for all the freedoms that we daily take for granted."
Author: Sara Niles
44. "People demand freedom of speech as a compensation for the freedom of thought which they seldom use."
Author: SOREN KIERKEGAARD
45. "People hardly ever make use of the freedom which they have, for example, freedom of thought; instead they demand freedom of speech as compensation."
Author: Søren Kierkegaard
46. "Speech that compliments is, by definition, free from derision, which clouds the mind with enemies and makes it tense. Kind speech makes the mind feel safe and also glad. [p.74]"
Author: Sylvia Boorstein
47. "But I had also learned that freedom of speech means freedom from rhetoric."
Author: Umberto Eco
48. "Direct and easy communications—freedom of speech in all forms and its broadest sense—has become vital to the very survival of a civilized humanity."
Author: Walt Disney Company
49. "Oh he was like them, like those laced-up ladies—warm from wards. A man, he still chewed the nipple, titillation, and risked no freer, deeper draught. Fearless in speech, he was cowardly in all else…ah, to be rich, luxuriant, episcopal…well, he'd conquered that by flight."
Author: William H. Gass
50. "Lebanese freedom of speech : You get to say whatever you like as long as the authorities approve of it... Hilarious."
Author: Ziad K. Abdelnour

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PLEASE TELL ME YOU KNOW OF SYLVIA PLATHConventions bleed my soulsqueeze me oldwear me grey like a headstone in transit.It's tradition and form—fear of the unknown—driving me deadin tight spaces darkly.I cry aloudbut who can hearwhen I stand alonein the middle of an art show…."
Author: Chila Woychik

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