The following statement has been released by Unionist Voice Policy Studies (‘UVPS’) and Let’s Talk Loyalism (‘LTL’) launching a new project.
Let’s Talk Loyalism and Unionist Voice Policy Studies have launched a joint “Free Speech for Everyone” campaign.
The objective of Free Speech for Everyone is to promote and protect our community’s right to freedom of expression; challenge any illegitimate de-platforming of Loyalist voices; and monitor media censorship.
“Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.” (Art18 UDHR)
It is both disappointing and equally concerning, that public figures in Northern Ireland have recently sought to stifle and censor debate by criticising media outlets for platforming certain members within our community.
Censorship denies an individual and/or community their democratic rights by silencing their perspectives and filtering political/media discourse that favours one ideology over the other.
Both Let’s Talk Loyalism and Unionist Voice represent a broad range of Unionist and Loyalist views. We will continue to lobby for and champion the platforming of all Unionist and Loyalist voices and challenge, without fear or favour, any effort to censor or suppress the views of any person within our community.
We therefore call upon all political parties in Northern Ireland to publicly demonstrate their commitment to freedom of expression and in particular, the freedom of the press to be inclusive of different viewpoints within society.
“I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.”
― S.G. Tallentyre, The Friends of Voltaire