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Preview next week’s Free Speech and the Left conference


conference preview - 20 hours in five minutes

View this 5 minute preview of next week’s Free Speech and the Left conference

Our panelists discuss censorship, cancel culture, identity politics, the relevance of today’s left and other issues during the upcoming Free Speech and the Left conference.

The online event will take place June 17 to 24 and feature authors, academics, journalists and activists from a dozen countries. The conference will consist of pre-recorded presentations, panel discussions and livestream segments.

Participants include Nadine Strossen, Richard Wolff, Freddie deBoer, Noam Chomsky, Jill Stein, Susan Neiman, Tara Henley, Paul Jay, Jacob Mchangama, Norman Finkelstein, Wayne Hsiung, Katherine Corcoran, Ioan Grillo, Matthew Hoh, Lawrence Wilkerson and others…

Co-hosted by Plebity, India & Global Left, Redline, and acTVism Munich, the conference will be broadcast on Plebity’s YouTube channel.

The full list of panels and conference schedule can be found here: https://www.plebity.org/conference-2023-free-speech-and-the-left/.

Noam Chomsky on What Defines the Left and on the Principle of Free Speech


Noam Chomsky on what is the left and on the principle of free speech

Panelists: Noam Chomsky

Moderator: Mark White

Description: Noam Chomsky offers his thoughts on what defines the left and on the enduring principle of free speech. Noam Chomsky is a longtime scholar, author, teacher, intellectual, activist and social critic.

Noam Chomsky is a longtime scholar, author, teacher, intellectual, activist and social critic.

Personal experiences and thoughts on identity politics, cancel culture and free speech


Personal experiences and thoughts on identity politics, cancel culture and free speech

Moderator: Tara Henley
Panelists: Amna Khalid, Jeff Snyder

Description: Tara Henley leads a discussion with Professors Amna Khalid and Jeff Snyder on their personal thoughts and experiences with identify politics, cancel culture and free speech.

Tara Henley is a Canadian writer and podcaster, and the author of the national bestseller Lean Out: A Meditation on the Madness of Modern Life. Over the past two decades, her work has appeared on CBC Radio and TV, and in dozens of newspapers and magazines across the country and around the world.

Amna Khalid is a history professor at Carleton College and writer on her substack Banished.

Jeff Snyder is a history professor at Carleton College with a strong interest in the issues of academic freedom and free speech.

Nadine Strossen: Conference Keynote


Nadine Strossen - keynote

Nadine Strossen reviews the history and importance of free speech as she welcomes participants and viewers of Plebity's Free Speech and the Left conference.

Nadine Strossen is past president of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU),1991-2017. She is Professor of Law Emerita at New York Law School, Senior Fellow of FIRE (Foundation for Individual Rights and Expression) and author of the book HATE: Why We Should Resist it With Free Speech, Not Censorship. Her latest book is: Free Speech: What Everyone Needs to Know (Oxford University Press fall 2023)

The woke left is to left as ersatz coffee is to coffee


1948 Nescafe advertisement

One of the hallmarks of today’s woke left is to conflate speech with violence. Fearful of the ‘harm’ that might be experienced from hearing certain words, the woke left has become widely confused about the issue of free speech in general and between speech and literal, physical violence.

In New Zealand this week, Posie Parker was assaulted as she tried to speak–a mob surrounded her and forced her off the stage and ultimately out of the country. The group that prevented her from speaking has taken to social media to declare a great victory.

Daughter of Spanish Civil War veteran speaks out about identity politics


Jim Higgins - Fighting for Democracy. A Canadian Activist in Spain's Civil War

“I couldn’t be myself,” or words to that effect: It was written in pencil on a piece of scrap foolscap I found amongst my father‘s papers after he died in 1982. He wrote that sentiment in 1977 when he was working on his memoir. My father’s name was Jim Higgins, and his book is called Fighting for Democracy: a Canadian Activist in Spain’s Civil War. It was not published until 2020.

Why the left needs free speech


Rosa Luxemburg

The Stepford Wives was a movie that came out in 1972 and might not be very well remembered today but which nonetheless contributed a useful metaphor for describing certain aspects of our society. Briefly, the Stepford Wives were the possessed and submissive versions of their original human selves, surreptitiously transformed one by one and reappearing as empty husks of what they had once been.