I first visited
What is do remember is that I was fascinated by the idea of a place where anyone could stand up and talk about anything they chose and nobody could haul them off to prison or sue them for slander.
So when I found myself in
It was my last day in
I was almost tempted to grab a place against the fence and start talking about something, anything. What would the people gathered there have made of an Indian girl in a funny accent ranting about how the only people in England who made her feel uncomfortable were the people of Indian descent? They would probably just have wondered why I did not think to equip myself with something to stand on.
The moment passed. I did not get on the soapbox. I did not air my views.
But neither did I ever forget that one place where anyone could say anything. Whether or not anyone heard you was not the point. Whether the people you would have wanted to speak to heard you was not the point either. The point was that you were free to say anything you wanted. Anything!
I often through fondly of Speakers’ Corner at