From the heart of London’s East End and streamed live for the world to tune in, volunteers will read aloud from books and articles for twelve hours, from 10 o’clock in the morning to 10 at night. Excerpts and chapters from banned books, censored texts and great tracts on freedom will be read to make the point that free speech and a free press should be non-negotiable.
Director Ceri Dingle said today: “This timely event should serve to remind us all of the importance of freedom in our lives, we either have free speech and a free press or we don’t and in the UK it’s mythical that we do. With draconian libel laws, hate speech laws, creeping censoriousness and conformity post-Leveson and the authoritarian crackdown on tweets and social media we really are being regulated and treated like children. Robbed of the capacity to decide for ourselves what we read, believe, hear, think and say, not only degrades us and our ability to learn, argue and develop, but is a dangerous anti-democratic trend. We should all have the right to read, watch and listen to whatever we want and make our own minds up about what we think of it, whether it’s news, high-minded literature or celebrity gossip. We hope serious education charities and many members of the public will support our stand and big read.”
Among texts chosen by volunteers for the Freedom Read-a-thon are libel law stories, the American constitution, Nabokov’s Lolita, Mill, Milton and one tenacious young participant, 14 year old Alex Barnfield will read a speech by Rowan Atkinson on reform of the public order act section 5 ‘Feel free to insult me’.
The Freedom Read-a-thon will take place at the WORLDwrite Centre, 201 Millfields Road in London E5 on Saturday 12th January 2013 and is open to the public. There will be tea and cakes available and a second-hand bookshop to browse in. The event will be streamed live and can be watched online by visiting http://www.ustream.tv/
For more information and interviews contact:
Ceri Dingle at world.write@
Notes to editors:
WORLDbytes is a unique online Citizen TV channel featuring reports and programmes created by young volunteers learning to shoot 'on the job'. Its programmes aim to get behind the headlines and promote a people-first perspective on a wide-range of issues. The channel's credo is "don't shout at the telly, change the message on it".
WORLDbytes is run by the education charity WORLDwrite, registered charity number 1060869. The charity champions quality citizen reporting and provides free film training to make this possible.
For more information, please visit: www.worldwrite.org.uk & www.worldbytes.org