Education International
Education International

Upholding the inalienable right to freedom of expression at all costs

published 8 January 2015 updated 13 January 2015

As the search continues for those responsible for yesterday’s horrific acts in Paris, trade unionists and other people across the democratic world have been forced to come to terms with a vicious attack on their right to freedom of expression.

As a global trade union, Education International (EI) expresses its solidarity with the journalists and cartoonists of Charlie Hebdo, and with the police officers who tragically lost their lives yesterday.

If terrorists can shape our thinking, our reactions, and our actions, they win. If frontal attacks on democracy, from those who want to impose theocracy or forms of human slavery, effectively undermining democracy, they work.

A century ago, the Great War was fought to "make the world safe for democracy". The campaign for the right to freedom of expression is not a "war" in the same sense, but it is about making the world safe for democracy in a non-military way in which the "trenches" seem to be nearly without limit.

The response to the attack against Charlie Hedbo and the murder of journalists and police, which strike directly at freedom of expression - at our democratic principles - must continue to be fought with the same weapons and passion and perseverance as that of the journalists whose lives were stolen from them: with the power of the pen and the word.