Speakers’ Corner in Hyde Park
Speakers’ Corner in Hyde Park was inaugurated in 1872 by an act of parliament that set aside a small part of Hyde Park explicitly for the use of public speaking. If you don’t know where Speakers’ Corner is, you can find it on the north-east side of Hyde Park, the two nearest tube stations being Marble Arch and Oxford Circus just to give you some idea.
Many a famous figure have given speeches on Speakers’ Corner from Karl Marx to George Orwell, and it was common for them in their time for them to often use this space to exercise their right of free speech. Even in 2022, if you head to Speakers’ Corner in Hyde Park on a Sunday morning, you’re likely to find a crowd gathered to listen to people portraying their views on anything from local culture to global warming to politics and climate change. Anyone is welcome to speak if they are respectful and lawful.
Although Speakers’ Corner was established in 1872, the origin story goes back to the year 1866. A meeting of the Reform League was suppressed by the Government. Marches and protests had for years ended in Hyde Park and more importantly at Speakers’ Corner itself so when demonstrators found the park locked they gained access and a three day riot took place. In 1872 the Park Regulations Act gave people the right to meet and speak freely in Hyde Park as the Government established a series of rules that governed the conducts of the meetings that took place.
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