Exactly a month has passed since my speech on freedom of expression in Copenhagen was interrupted by Kalashnikos shots. I decided to reconstruct it, to pronounce every single word that I intended to say on this precise day, from the beginning to the end, in the very same way it was planned.
In this video, you will see my speech, in its entirety. I feel a need to pronounce it over and over again, I feel a need for more speeches about freedom of expression, more cartoons and more protests. I feel a need for it because I am in panic.
I am in panic and you should be as well. During the last few months, we have seen people that were supposed to shape our future, like those from Charlie Hebdo, became the past. Moreover, our progress, our fundamental rights, and globally everything that humanity has achieved is in danger. Whereas this danger is growing on a daily basis, I am not going to remind you again about the terrorists. Yes they are dangerous, yes they will act again, yes I am scared as I have received more and more threats since the Copenhagen terror attacks. But I want to warn you about something else, about something more dangerous than some helpless fanatics moved by dogmas.
After the events in Paris and Copenhagen, politicians of so-called democratic countries took measures to prevent future terrorist attacks. The "Vigipirate" plan was reinforced in France and similar security forces were successfully deployed throughout the world. Even the French President Francois Hollande, who was known as the most unpopular President of all time, jacked up his opinion poll rating through his reaction and declarations after the terror attacks in France. However what we can now observe is that not all security measures that were taken by those "in power" were for you and me, as some were for "them". Indeed, they are trying to protect themselves from us by using our fears about the current situation and our obsession with the threat of terrorism.
Rolling back the boundaries of human freedom
The so-called 'Ley Mordaza,' now known as the Spanish 'gag law,' has been pushed by the conservative government through the Senate in the past few weeks, in a planned attempt to crack down on freedom of assembly and expression and pass it off as a necessary security measure. Whereas it is shocking that such a thing can happen in a European country, everybody has got used to the regular attempts by the right-wing People's Party to bring back Franco's spirit, either through crippling austerity measures or by trying to roll back the country's abortion law. This time it seems they have finally succeeded, as the gag law is scheduled to be approved by the end of the month.
Similarly oppressive actions are being taken by the supposedly democratic Canadian government, which recently proposed a piece of anti-terror legislation, known as the C-51 Bill, which would allow the police to stop forbidden protests, to detain terrorism suspects more easily and broaden the Canadian Security Intelligence Service's (CSIS) power. According to the bill, the agency could "enter any place or obtain access to any thing", copy any document or "do any other thing that is reasonably necessary to take those measures".
Slowly, the same type of outstanding crimes that were committed by the American government and revealed by Edward Snowden a few years ago are being legalised in many other countries. And the worst thing is that it is attacks on our freedom of speech that are stimulating these even bigger attacks, that are now being justified not by the words of an imaginary god, but by real governments that we elected.
Exactly a month has passed since my speech on freedom of expression in Copenhagen was interrupted by Kalashnikov shots. After the attack, besides fearing for our lives, I feared that this kind of event would not happen anymore because people would be too scared to attend. I was wrong. This kind of event might not happen anymore because they are about to become forbidden by law, and we are facing the prospect of losing opportunities to celebrate freedom of speech as we did in Copenhagen.
I am in panic and you should be as well. The danger is growing on a daily basis. Whereas terrorists can only kill people, our governments can destroy our rights and kill our ideas. Terror does not necessarily require a Kalashnikov, a depute mandate can be enough. It is time for everybody to understand that, and to begin to resist.