On Sunday mornings in London’s Hyde Park, people will stand on small boxes or chairs and speak their minds about everything from foreign policy to religion.
It’s known as “Speakers’ Corner,” a century-old tradition in London and a fun place to take tweens or teenagers who like to follow (or debate) religion or politics.
No profanity is allowed, so it’s usually pretty PG-13, and megaphones are prohibited. Which is good, because there are definitely a few whackjobs ranting about something and others who try to get the crowd to argue with them.It’s a fun — and free — way to spend a Sunday morning in London.
Crowds often gather around some of the more interesting speakers, and you are free to heckle or engage the speaker in debate.
My husband and I stopped to listen to a male chauvinist talk about how the woman’s place is in the kitchen. My husband, in an effort to rile me up, started cheering “Yeah!” and waving his arm in the air like Arsenio Hall. Soon I was speaking out too, and the chauvinist was arguing back and forth with me .. it was all in good fun and a memorable part of our London trip.
I’m told this is done in several other countries, but not in the U.S. Can you even imagine how dangerous that could be in the U.S.? Another interesting fact to ponder.
So if you’re in London and are tired of the Royal Wedding festivities, take your older kids for a walk around Hyde Park on Sunday morning. Most speakers are on the northern end of the park, near the Marble Arch. Grab a coffee and a scone first, and then enjoy the show.