Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Announcing: The International Free Press Society

Wonderful and good news!

Lars Hedegaard and Diana West, two of the bravest people who fearlessly defend our freedom of expression and the rest which follows, one big cheers.
Read the full interview with Lars Hedegaard in Right Side News, exclusive interview by Alysa Lappens: The Eternal Danish Optimist

By Diana West

From Right Side News:

In an exclusive interview with Alyssa A. Lappen, Lars Hedegaard announced the December 21 formation of International Free Press Society (IFPS), following the lead of Denmark's Free Press Society, established in 2004. The founders chose Hedegaard as their president, and Diana West as vice president. Among the organization's Board of Advisers is Fitna producer Geert Wilders.

As Lars explains in the interview:

We are trying to create an organization that will defend free speech in the Western World, on the assumption that if free speech goes down where we live, it will be doomed in the rest of the world as well.

The organization will be built up over the next few months. I am the president of the Danish Free Press Society, created in 2004, and a very successful organization. The enemies of free speech are organized and well financed and we have to counteract their activities. The new international organization will lead the fight for free speech on a global basis. We will then set up national organizations where they do not exist, as sisters to the Danish organization. We have very ambitious plans to recruit people. We already have a board of directors, and want to recruit for the board of advisors. We will set up a website and will pull together all we know about relevant issues, that is, attacks on free speech everywhere.

Q: How do you defend against an onslaught against free speech that is so prevalent and
widespread?

Hedegaard: You make the public understand that free speech is under attack. That was why we thought of [forming the Free Press Society] in Denmark. We found ourselves in Denmark in a situation where most of the press was not telling the truth and not dealing with real issues.

Q: How exactly does Denmark's Free Press Society help?

Hedegaard: It is a fact that we exist. Even that alone [has made us successful]. The membership is 500 to 600, which is quite big for a country of our size. Membership is growing all the time. The very fact that we have the audacity to organize ourselves gives our members courage to express themselves. The biggest fear is that anyone thinks, "here, I am, Joe Schmo. I am all alone and no one thinks like I do. I can't see anyone who expresses the same opinions or fears as I do, so I am probably crazy."

Bottom line: You are not alone and you are not crazy. You are, however, a potential member of the International Free Press Society.

The extensive interview (illustrated by Kurt Westergaard of Motoon fame) with Lars is here. More on Lars and Denmark here. More on Lars and Kurt's new collaborative book Groft Sagt (Rough Talk), complete with rave reviews--I mean, death threats--here.

More to come.

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