Friday, September 21, 2018 Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 licence.

Lucy Stone

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I think, with never-ending gratitude, that the young women of today do not and can never know at what price their right to free speech and to speak at all in public has been earned.

 
Lucy Stone

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Our young friend [The Young Man] has spoken very much and very strangely . his speech is just as dubious as he himself is. If I had foreknowledge of his speech as he demands to have of erotic love, then I would have forbidden him to speak.

 
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When we speak freely, let us speak plainly, for plain speech is wholesome; especially, plain speech about public affairs and public men.

 
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I am here to speak on freedom of speech. It is a great topic, and I am going to make my speech as free as possible. But you know that this cannot be done, for when anyone announces that he is going to speak his mind freely, everyone is frightened. This shows that there is no such thing as true freedom of speech. No one can afford to let his neighbors know what he is thinking about them. Society can exist only on the basis that there is some amount of polished lying and that no one says exactly what he thinks.

 
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Fear of serious injury cannot alone justify suppression of free speech and assembly. Men feared witches and burnt women. It is the function of speech to free men from the bondage of irrational fears.

 
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Without free speech no search for Truth is possible; without free speech no discovery of Truth is useful; without free speech progress is checked, and the nations no longer march forward towards the nobler life which the future holds for man. Better a thousandfold abuse of free speech than denial of free speech. The abuse dies in a day; the denial slays the life of the people and entombs the hope of the race.

 
Charles Bradlaugh
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