Here are just a few of the press reports about SCT and its local projects.

  • Free Speech Debate – 24 December 2014

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    Living in Outrageous Times

    Peter Bradley argues that we should tolerate offence but be less offensive

    Scarcely a day passes without reports of fresh demands that someone should be sanctioned for what they’ve said, or denied a platform for what they might. It seems sometimes as if social media, and Twitter in particular, were created solely to make it easier for us to cause and take offence.

    I am myself easily offended. I react badly to all kinds of attempts to influence my opinions and choices through the multiplicity of media – the deceit, the banality, the clichés, the mediocrity. I find them all offensive. But while I too often wish I could impose my high-minded values on my fellow citizens, my more democratic instincts – and a modicum of self-knowledge – remind me of the persistent fallibility of my judgment and of the many truths, now hidden, which might one day illuminate it.

    These two instincts – that I am right and that I may be wrong – co-exist more or less harmoniously: I recognise that suppressing ideas and opinions which I find offensive ultimately makes yet more remote the prospect of my own enlightenment.

    I acknowledge too that I am not entirely defenceless: I can screen out as best I can the stuff I find offensive – I don’t have to read the Daily Mail or watch Made in Chelsea on TV – and, if I feel strongly enough, I can seek to persuade others that they shouldn’t either. But I can’t deny their right to choose.

    This is really just a reiteration of John Stuart Mill’s classic defence of the right to free speech – that its suppression can keep us from truths we have not considered and, importantly, from testing and perhaps reinforcing our own convictions … read more »

  • Flex Photography Blog – 22 September 2014

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    High noon on Saturday saw Chathamites ready to duel… with words!

    Medway Speakers’ Corner (MSC) was pitched by the Anchor, on Military Road in Chatham, for an exposition of free speech and equality. This was an opportunity for the people of Medway to, well, speak! On this open forum, developed by the Speakers’ Corner Trust, working with the local MSC Committee, we heard a wide variety of people express their views, from those who had come to speak, to passers-by, who stopped, heard and were moved to vent their own opinions. Despite the common apathy that we hear so much about in today’s Media, it was encouraging to hear that so many people do feel passionate about our society and want to strive to make it better place, for all of us!

  • Croydon Advertiser – 27 June 2014

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    CROYDON is to get its very own Speakers’ Corner.

    A microphone and space will be available outside Croydon Village Outlet in North End tomorrow (Saturday) lunchtime to anyone with something to say.

    Organisers are also looking to set up a permanent Speakers’ Corner – an area for open-air public speaking and debate – somewhere in the town centre, and plan to set up temporary ones elsewhere in the borough.

    The idea is to “provide opportunities for local people to express their ideas and opinions and get involved in debate”, they said.

    National charity Speakers’ Corner Trust is behind the project, together with Croydon community leaders including Nero Ughwujabo, chief executive of the Croydon BME Forum.

    The Croydon Speakers’ Corner Committee also includes representatives from the Council, the police, Age UK Croydon, Croydon College and other local groups.

  • Medway Messenger – 13 June 2014

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    Medway Speakers’ Corner is backed by Messenger editor Bob Bounds, who has attended some of the planning meetings.

    He said: “It’s a great idea and perfect for Medway where we have no shortage of issues to get stuck into, and lots of people with something to say about them. We hope it will complement the debate in our paper, website and social media pages.

    “Freedom of speech is particularly important to the press at the moment when we have people who would like to see journalists shackled by legislation and controlled by politicians.”

  • Reading Post – 14 March 2014

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    On the first Saturday of this month a trial was held for a Reading Speakers’ Corner.

    Sponsored by the Co-operative and run by a group of enthusiastic volunteers, the project aims to promote freedom of speech as a cornerstone of our democratic life.

    There are many ways that people can express their opinions to the public.

    There are the letter pages of this newspaper for example – which have been a forum for debate for generations.

    Then there are the new social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter which people have taken to with gusto.

    But what can be a more social space than addressing your fellow townsfolk face to face and articulating your views directly to them?

    getreading is a big supporter of Reading Speakers’ Corner and we hope more people will get involved as it becomes a permanent feature of our town.

  • Yorkshire Evening Post – 11 March 2013

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    Residents who have been fighting to start a Speakers’ Corner have finally had their voices heard.

    The new group held its first meeting in Leeds city centre on Saturday. Members of the public didn’t let the wet weather put them off and congregated at Victoria Gardens just outside the Leeds City Art Gallery.

  • Free Speech Debate – 22 February 2013

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    Peter Bradley describes a British initiative promoting free expression, public debate and active citizenship.

  • The Guardian – 18 October 2012

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    Successful pilot this week means that street philosophers, ranters and persuaders will have the public’s ear next year. And a hunt through shrubberies may find the a lost old ‘speakers’ stone’.

  • Bradford Telegraph & Argus – 17 October 2012

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    Bradford residents braved the elements yesterday to welcome the return of a Bradford Speaker’s Corner.

    The initiative called Bradford Speaks was launched from a temporary open air location on Tyrrel Street and is designed to give the public the opportunity to share their views.

  • Sheffield Star – 13 October 2012

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    People on Sheffield are urged to have their say when a speaking initiative launches next week. Sheffield Speaks wants people to take the opportunity to address their fellow citizens on a subject of their choice for 60 seconds.

  • Sampsonia Way – 28 June 2012

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    Sampsonia Way recently conducted this e-mail interview with Peter Bradley, former Member of Parliament and current director of the Speakers’ Corner Trust. Here Bradley talks about the process of establishing a Speakers’ Corner in Nigeria, the importance of face-to-face community interaction, and the work it takes to maintain an effective democracy.

  • Evening Standard – 13 July 2011

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    The Speakers’ Corner Trust has submitted its own proposal to make the square “at least in part a platform for the expression of citizenship such as existed in the Athenian Agora and the Forum of the Roman Republic”.

    The trust launched its proposal after Parliament commissioned the political research and education charity the Hansard Society to investigate the redesign of Parliament Square and the Whitehall area.

    Peter Bradley, director of the Speakers’ Corner Trust, said: “We would like to see a public space in which people are free to express their views and debate them. This isn’t about replacing the Speakers’ Corner in Hyde Park, but it’s about creating a space in Parliament Square that reminds the Establishment about the importance of the views of the public.

  • Nottingham Evening Post – 23 September 2010

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    Nottingham Speakers’ Corner can make an important contribution to public life. The organisation aims to encourage public speaking and debate. It has already organised a number of events on topics as diverse as football, cricket, crime, religion, politics and society.The latest, held on Tuesday at the Council House, considered the need for, and potential impact of, public spending cuts.

  • Waltham Forest Guardian – 17 September 2010

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    Schoolchildren are standing up for local issues after the city’s second speakers’ corner was unveiled in Stoneydown Park today (September 17). To mark its launch, children from Stoneydown Park Primary School in Pretoria Avenue, Walthamstow, gave opinions on subjects which included animal cruelty, bullying, and knife crime across the borough.

  • Lincolnshire Echo – 17 September 2010

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    Tony Benn was guest speaker at the official opening of Speakers’ Corner. Passionate speakers have gathered to welcome a new era of free speech in the streets of Lincoln.

    Nuclear war, progress throughout history, public perception and walking on the left were topics up for discussion on the first official day of Speakers’ Corner in High Street.

  • Lincolnshire Echo – 23 November 2009

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    Impassioned pleas and forceful arguments could soon have a new home in Lincoln if plans to set up an official Speaker’s Corner are approved. It would be a city version of the famous Hyde Park corner in London – where soapbox orators can wax lyrical on the topic of their choice.The idea has been put forward by members of the Speaker’s Corner Trust and Take Part programme at the University of Lincoln.

  • Waltham Forest Guardian – 19 November 2009

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    IN 1872, the first Speakers’ Corner was born in Hyde Park and has seen such famous figures as Karl Marx, Vladimir Lenin and George Orwell use it as a platform to share their ideas. Since then, other corners have sprung up in Lichfield and Nottingham – and the next could be in Walthamstow.

  • Lichfield Mercury – 22 June 2009

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    A bronze plaque marking the site of Lichfield’s very own Speakers’ Corner has been unveiled in the city centre.

    The project launched at the start of last month and gives those with something to say the chance to do so.

    “It’s brilliant to see the plaque in place by Minster Pool,” said Canon Pete Wilcox, chairman of Speakers’ Corner Lichfield.

  • Birmingham Mail – 7 May 2009

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    Lichfield’s Speakers’ Corner has been officially launched.

    BBC radio presenter Joanne Malin helped launch the city’s Speakers’ Corner, which is only the second outside London, at the event which saw a host of local dignitaries and ex-Coronation Street star Chris Walker.

    The only other speakers’ corner outside London is Nottingham.

  • Express & Star – 31 March 2009

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    A special exhibition will be unveiled in Lichfield to mark the launch of the city’s Speakers’ Corner. The platform for public debate will be situated in Dam Street, near Minster Pool, from May 2.

    It will be only the second Speakers’ Corner to be launched outside of London. South Staffordshire College is one of a number of organisations backing the project, and the college’s Lichfield campus will host an exhibition of various platform designs in its Wedge Gallery from April 20.

  • Nottingham Evening Post – 26 February 2009

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    The first permanent Speakers’ Corner outside of London has been officially opened in Nottingham’s Old Market Square by Justice Secretary Jack Straw. Mr Straw said its spot next to the statue of Brian Clough was particularly appropriate given the former Forest manager’s reputation for being outspoken.

  • Lichfield Mercury – 5 December 2008

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    The Committee set to oversee the country’s second-only Speakers’ Corner project in Lichfield has been drawn up.
    The Committee set to oversee the country’s second-only Speakers’ Corner project in Lichfield has been drawn up. Canon Pete Wilcox has been elected the group’s first chairman while the head of Lichfield School of Art, Alison Churchill, has been named vice-chairman. The rest of Lichfield Speakers’ Corner founding committee is taken from the district’s public, private and voluntary sectors.

  • Lichfield Mercury – 29 October 2008

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    Students, councillors and members of local organisations have pledged support for a new Speakers’ Corner project in Lichfield – only the second of its kind in the country. Youngsters from The Friary School and Lichfield College, together with representatives from the police, Lichfield Festival, the city’s civic society, Lichfield Mysteries, the Garrick, Lichfield Chamber of Trade and the cathedral gave their unanimous backing to the scheme at a meeting at the city’s Guildhall last week.

    Work will now begin on forming a local committee to oversee the development of the project which will give Lichfeldians a public platform on which to discuss local issues.

  • Lichfield Mercury – 11 October 2008

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    An ‘imaginative project’ to give Lichfeldians a public platform to discuss local issues is set to be drafted into the city.

    Lichfield looks set to become the second city to be picked to develop a Speakers’ Corner, after the project was piloted in Nottingham earlier this year.

    And it is hoped that the cathedral city will pave the way for other towns to adopt the scheme, designed to promote freedom of expression, platforms for public debate and stimulate and support active citizenship.

  • The Liverpudlian – 23 July 2008

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    Freedom to stand up and speak one’s mind is safe guarded through Speakers’ Corners. Jonáš Jančařík speaks with Peter Bradley, director of the Speakers’ Corner Trust and explores the story behind this steadfast form of communication?

  • Christian Science Monitor – 11 June 2008

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    England moves to create more of the free-speech ‘corners’ – with a little less spectacle and a little more substance.

  • IPRA Frontline – 2 June 2008

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    Speakers’ Corner Trust is a new UK-based charity promoting free speech, public debate and active citizenship as a means of reinvigorating civil society in the UK and supporting its development in emerging democracies. Peter Bradley explains why it’s so important to get people talking again.

  • The Guardian – 22 April 2008

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    Who’s to blame for the parlous state of debate in this country – the politicians whose parliamentary point-scoring sets such a poor standard, or the media for its obsession with trivia and conflict? And how much blame should we, as citizens, bear for our diminishing interest in our own rights.

  • The Oldie – 1 April 2008

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    Last month Peter Bradley, the deposed MP for The Wrekin, saw his dream come alive with the creation of a Speakers’ Corner in Nottingham. It’s the first to be formed since the one in Hyde Park in 1872, and is what Bradley hopes will be the start of a national network of public debating places.

  • The Municipal Journal – 26 March 2008

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    It’s an age-old problem… what can politicians do about the democratic deficit and declining public participation in the running of councils and communities? But a former MP has a new and surprising solution – politicians shouldn’t blame themselves over the issue, but demand more debate from the population.

  • Nottingham Evening Post – 26 February 2008

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    When people come together to pool their ideas, experience and energies in a common cause, there’s very little they can’t achieve. The Nottingham Speakers’ Corner which we launched just a few days ago in Old Market Square is testament to that.

  • The Guardian – 27 February 2008

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    Tony Benn once announced that he was leaving parliament “to devote more time to politics”, and now another parliamentarian is continuing in the same vein. Last Friday, Peter Bradley, the former Labour MP for The Wrekin, Shropshire, saw a similar dream come alive with the creation of a new speakers’ corner.

  • The Guardian – 22 February 2008

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    The capital of the east Midlands has been in the news for the wrong reason more often than the right one in the past couple of years. But Nottingham’s history is mightier than its more recent reputation as the heartland of youthful binge drinkers.

  • The Daily Star – 17 February 2008

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    Comedian Eddie Izzard has praised plans for a nationwide network of Speakers’ Corner. The stand-up star, speaking on BBC One’s The Politics Show, welcomed Nottingham’s Speakers’ Corner – which will be launched on Friday – the first to be created in the UK since the Hyde Park original 150 years ago

  • Nottingham Evening Post – 11 February 2008

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    Talking of debates, how wonderful to see Nottingham reviving the tradition of a speaker’s corner in the city centre. And how appropriate that it will be sited at the bottom of King Street and Queen Street alongside the promised statue of Brian Clough. Now he could talk.

  • Local Government First – 20 October 2007

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    Most agree that our civil society is not working as it should. But though it’s fashionable to blame politicians for the decline of trust and falling voter turn-out, it’s also glib.

  • Nottingham Evening Post – 22 September 2007

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    In the 1960s grocers, former soldiers and miners would air their views to huddled crowds near the fountains in Old Market Square. Now a group is looking to set up a new ‘Speakers’ Corner’ – the first outside the capital.

  • RSA Journal – 25 June 2007

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    The original Speakers’ Corner, in London’s Hyde Park, has long been a potent symbol of Britain’s tradition of free speech. More recently, Euan Edworthy, a young British businessman living in Prague, decided to contribute to the civil life of the newly democratic nation by replicating the concept in the Czech capital.

  • PR Week – 18 May 2007

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    Two former Good Relations staffers are launching a new charity called Speakers’ Corner Trust in an attempt to encourage debate and free speech.

  • Czech Business Weekly – 5 February 2007

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    More than two years after London’s renowned Speakers’ Corner public speaking area was replicated outside the U.K., the ‘Czech Hyde Park’ site is now at the heart of a worldwide enterprise aimed at fostering freedom of speech.

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