environment & politics

42 Writers

Writers ask for a change to UK terror laws. Essential, I think, that writers act like cultural spokespeople, and speak out when required. If any other bloggers want to link to this, then please do. The more people that see it, the better.

Welcome to the 42 Writers for Liberty website, part of Liberty’s urgent campaign, Charge or Release. The campaign opposes the Government’s current proposals to extend pre-charge detention in terrorism cases from 28 to 42 days.

The site is constructed as a calendar to illustrate graphically the sheer length of time it is proposed that a person be held without being charged with any offence. Simply click on a day to open up a text from one of the 42 writers who have contributed to the project. You may find a story, an essay, a poem, a statement or even an interview – all a response to the simple question ‘What do you think of the proposed extension to 42 Days?’

It is a measure of the unpopularity of the proposed legislation that not a single writer declined to contribute on the grounds that they in fact supported it. Whereas 42 of the best novelists, essayists, memoirists, poets and journalists around sent us the uniquely powerful contributions you will read on this site.

We would like to thank all of the writers involved, as well as the site designer Richard McCoy and the staff of Liberty.

With your help, we can stop this now – please do circulate the site URL as widely as you can and visit for more information about the campaign. The more pressure on the Government now, the less likely this unjust proposal is to become law.

Hari Kunzru
Simon Prosser
Anya Serota
October 2008

By Mark Newton

Born in 1981, live in the UK. I write about strange things.