AND OTHER SPEAKERS at LONDON Speakers' Corner
Marble Arch, London Hyde Park, England and Sydney Speakers
Domain Sydney Australia
Corner is symbolic of the democratic process: freedom
of speech and assembly. But to many people it is a place
for entertainment. Many tourists who visited London Speakers'
Corner were absolutely stunned at the British tradition
of freedom of speech.
Speakers' Corner - London and Sydney- 32
before talkback radio and the internet, Speakers’
Corner in London and Sydney attracted many thousands of
people every Sunday afternoon. From
the 1870’s until about 1985 Speakers’ Corner
was a place where people shared new and sometimes radical
ideas. It was an afternoon out- free entertainment, politics
and education. Orators John Webster and Victor Zammit who
both spoke in London Speakers Corner as well as Sydney Domain
Speakers Corner in the 1970‘s held crowds of thousands
spellbound with their brilliant oratory. Sadly today (2010)
London Speaker's corner is only a fraction of what it was
and Sydney Speaker's Domain is virtually silent.
Victor Zammit orating at Speakers' Corner Sydney
Victor Zammit (inside the black circle) attracted huge crowds
at Speakers' Corner - Marble
Arch, Hyde Park, London, this picture 2002. People loved
Victor's great sense of humor ... that was part of his successful
formula which worked all the time.
There were - and still are those speakers at Speakers' Corner
who defend and those who speak against the government, against
taxation of all kinds, against being involved in wars in
the Middle East and the Far East. The Christians, Human
Rights Campaigners, the Israelis, the Socialists, religious
crusaders, women's' liberation, atheism, pro and anti-Americanism,
those for and those against the monarchy, world revolutionists
speak every Sunday afternoon at Speakers' Corner.
Visiting speakers from other countries such as from Australia
visit London's Speakers' Corner at Marble Arch. It is a
tradition going back hundreds of years ago. Police visit
this highly provocative to maintain order.
A memorable statement by a British police officer afterlife
there was some fighting will never be forgotten. He said
(with some humour):
"All right you lot. Those who want to invade the
Queen's home here on one side - get your own platform. And
you lot who don't want to invade the Queen's home, keep
your platform away from this lot here!"
That is democracy. That is freedom of speech and that is
freedom of assembly. A great British tradition in practice.
The rivalry between capitalism and communism was at all
time very high in the early 1970's.. Victor states that
it was critical then to entertain the big crowds. The use
of humor, satire and vicious wit were essential. Victor's
message was sandwiched between the humor and the satire,
between serious oratory and the sharp one liners. At times
hecklers tried to take Victor on - but as always, Victor
showed he had vast experience in dealing with the most aggressive
hecklers. The extracts below were recorded in the early
seventies at a time when the cold war was still very intense.
The oratory, the heckling, the wit, the dialogue reflects
the attitudes of the historical times of the early seventies.
Of course, the great orators like Lord Soper, Webster and
others have gone. The great oratory has gone too. So have
the big crowds.
transcript of one afternoon's talk on the next page
gives the reader a good idea of the oratory, entertainment
and confrontations that went on in an era of the 1970's
which are not likely to come back ever again. This unique
edited documentary evidence of these highly interesting
transcripts at Speakers' Corner are not to be found anywhere
Victor Zammit: email@example.com