This multi-award winning channel produces programmes made by volunteers trained by the charity WORLDwrite

Free Speech Read-a-thon

The Free Speech Read-a-thon at the Barbican was a huge success. We were delighted to listen to all the readers took part. Below are some of the terrific people who helped make the day a great success and put Free Speech on the map. We’re really pleased to say that. The Read-a-thon has so far raised over £500, to help young people make programmes, with a commitment to free speech with no ‘ifs’ or ‘buts’ , for WORLDbytes. You can still sponsor this terrific initiative through our justgiving page here .

I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.” – The Friends of Voltaire , 1906

From banned books to controversial texts to rallying cries for freedom of thought and speech, all sorts of content will be expressed in this no-holds-barred sponsored Read-a-thon. The Battle of Ideas festival involves two days of high-level, thought-provoking and free thinking public debate. As media partners and free speech lovers WORLDwrite- WORLDbytes are running an event at the festival.   The Free Speech Read-a-thon in partnership with Spiked’s Free Speech Now! campaign, is celebrating the tenth anniversary of the Battle of Ideas and its commitment to the ideal of ‘Free speech allowed!’  International speakers, volunteers and guests will read aloud, continuously, for four hours from texts which highlight the need for freedom of thought and speech. In light of recent events, debate-choking defamation statutes and a host of methods to regulate the internet and press, it has never felt more necessary to put the case for the right of people to think for themselves and express themselves in public life, regardless of their viewpoint, without interference from officials, jobsworths or the moral majority. We believe free speech is far too important to be curtailed by legislators or any intolerant networks. Where and when is the event taking place? The Read-a-thon will take place on Sunday 19th October, from 11am -3pm in the Barbican foyer.  But don’t panic, we don’t expect people to read aloud for 4 hours continuously, everyone taking part will read aloud a chosen text for 10 minutes and that’s harder than you think. We’ll have a super smooth rota over the 4 hours for this great read. We’re launching a Free Speech HELPLINE at the festival too, as helplines are so in vogue for victims of everything. This one, of course, will be a little different; it’s for people to ring not for counselling or protection, but for some backbone! If you’d like to help out with the Read-a-thon do email us.



WATCH: Come along to the Barbican Centre and lend us your ear – it’s great to have a live audience to read aloud to. With some big name speakers and guests reading aloud from their chosen texts, we’re very excited and hope all of our friends, crews and subscribers will come and listen in. Download the full Read-a-thon programme here. We look forward to seeing you there. DONATE: The event should be both inspiring and fun for all who take part and watch, but to raise the banner for free speech, we need your help to raise funds. Your sponsorship of the Read-a-thon will enable the charity to provide free media training for young people, assisting them to produce Citizen TV programmes which make the case for unfettered free speech. We’d be delighted if you would sponsor this event through our justgiving page here or  by texting FSWW55 £5 / £10 to 70070 BECOME A VOLUNTEER: We believe Citizen TV has a vital role to play in covering the ideas and stories rarely told, without the constraints of commissioners’ whims, mainstream “ratings” wars or fears of upsetting conventional wisdom. There is a different tale to be told and WORLDbytes’ motto is “Don’t shout at the telly, change the message on it”. Join crews and future events at WORLDbytes, the online Citizen TV station and make hard-hitting programmes with us. All you need to do is fill out the application form here.

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