Editorial: Free speech

IssueDecember 2023 - January 2024
Comment by Milan Rai

Radicals excluding radicals because they have the ‘wrong’ ideas on trans rights is nothing new.

I was surprised, however – surprised, saddened and shocked – when I learned at the Anarchist Bookfair in London that the organisers of the bookfair had excluded a group not because it had the wrong ideas about trans rights, but because it had not expelled members who had expressed the ‘wrong’ ideas about trans rights in an internal discussion. (See p5 for the story.)

I don’t see how we’re going to build a new society that is worth living in unless it is founded on the right to free speech and free expression.

I don’t see how we’re going to build a radical mass movement that can transform the world unless it has freedom at its core.

If someone does something oppressive, they need to be held to account in some way.

If someone you are working with, active with, has what you think is an oppressive belief, you are not going to change that by excluding them or expelling them. (For a valuable lesson in ‘calling in’, see PN 2590-2591.)

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