Sunday, 21 March 2010

Last call for libel reform - Mass Lobby of Parliament on Tuesday March 23rdh

The Campaign for Libel Reform has organised a Mass Lobby of Parliament, to take place this Tuesday (March 23rd), offering people the chance to raise the Campaign's demands with their own MP and to make a public show of support to the likes of Simon Singh and Peter Wilmshurst who are bravely defending potentially devastating libel cases.

The Campaign has raised awareness of the urgent need to reform English libel law by engaging with the public and with lawmakers in arguably one of the most successful civic campaigns in recent years; through their petition (still open for you to sign if you haven't already joined the thousands who have already done so); through many supportive articles in the mainstream media written by those directly affected by the chilling effect of libel legislation and those who support the maintainance of free speech; and most recently through an outstanding night of comedy at London's Palace Theatre that saw the likes of Dara O'Brian and Robin Ince wow the crowd.

The real battle remains a political one, a battle to convince the authors of the laws of the land that the iniquitous legislation be reformed. Much progress has been made - the Liberal Democrats have pledged their support to libel reform, and a Parliamentary Select Committee report last month endorsed many of the Campaign's claims. And yet, with the General Election looming, there remains a pressing need to show our representatives that libel reform is urgently required to preserve our freedom of expression; to ensure that scientific discourse can proceed free of the fear of censure; that journalists can continue to hold those in power to account.

So if you can make it to Parliament on Tuesday, please write to your MP by visiting theyworkforyou, and asking you MP to meet you between 3pm and 4pm in Central Lobby. At 2pm there will be a meeting where leading campaingers will share their experience and prepare for the Mass Lobby.

Please try and come along if you're able to do so, we really do need to make a strong statement to to MPs from all parties - that we urgently need to reform our libel laws, in the interest of free debate - and we have one last chance to make our voices heard this side of the election.

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