The public soapboxes of Speakers’ Corner – Hyde Park, London, UK

A highlight of my Remembrance weekend in London this November was when I stumbled across what I soon learned to be Speakers’ Corner, located at the northeast corner of Hyde Park near Marble Arch.  Speakers’ Corner gained unofficial status as a “right to speak” area in 1872 and has since been considered a special free speech zone.  There was a cacophony of shouting and competing grandstanders with or without their makeshift pedestals.  At least six such public speakers (or “preachers”), some freaky, were in progress at any given time amidst their crowds that would gather for what was seemingly a one sided debate.  It seemed that active listening was not the speakers’ forte, more rant like, which of course brought on their fair share of hecklers.  The discussions seemed to focus on hot issues of race, religion and nationality, and the speakers didn’t hold back – enough to create lots of drama and entertainment for some.

This became an instant paradise for me as a budding street photographer.  I won’t add much narrative below, let my photos speak for themselves :-)

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One listener was not pleased that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict was being portrayed as one-sided, and that indeed, innocent children were being killed as victims on both sides as he attempts to show the TV evidence from his smartphone.

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Just getting underway…

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This guy was very entertaining and the most animated.  I missed his short dance routine before I arrived.

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Then there was time for prayer…

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This gentleman preacher had just arrived, building his crowd one by one.

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This guy must have had celebrity status, he had his own video entourage.

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Even a university professor had his communication class out for a round of public speaking practice.

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4 thoughts on “The public soapboxes of Speakers’ Corner – Hyde Park, London, UK

  1. Louise Di Nobile

    Interesting! If I ever get to London I’ll check it out!

    • Robbie

      Yes, by way of a trans Atlantic cruise :-)

  2. Mom

    Very interesting, would love to see and hear it all!

    • Robbie

      There is so much to do and see in London

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