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‘The politics of who is allowed to say what in Australia today’ – Anne Summers AO Ph.D

July 12, 2014 IN WIP
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Sydney PEN Free Voices Lecture
Sydney Writers Festival 22 May 2014
Melbourne PEN 29 June 2014

Why are we even having this conversation?

The politics of who is allowed to say what in Australia today.

On 29 June 2014, Melbourne PEN were honoured to hear leading writer and columnist Anne Summers AO Ph.D speak to free speech and racial vilification in Australia.

“It the best way to acknowledge and honour the suffering of those who are imprisoned around the world for trying to exercise freedom of expression would be for us to have an open, honest and comprehensive debate in this country about free speech,” she noted.

Read her speech in full by clicking here.

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People say that (writers) are pretty powerless: we don’t have an army, we don’t have a bureaucracy. But if that were true, then why would writers be arrested?... Because the spoken word is powerful.

— John Ralston Saul on the work of PEN International