International Projects

The involvement of two of SCT’s founding Trustees in the creation of a Speakers’ Corner in Prague, inaugurated in 2004 by the Czech Foreign Minister and the UK’s Minister for Europe on the fifteenth anniverasry of the start of the Velvet Revolution, predates the founding of Speakers’ Corner Trust. However, work is now under way on a national Speakers’ Corner project in Nigeria, the first initiative in SCT’s international programme.

  • The People’s Platform at Federal Hall, New York

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    Federal Hall – The Birthplace of American Democracy

    federal-hall-2SCT is working with the National Parks of New York Harbor Conservancy (Harbor Conservancy) on the multi-million dollar restoration of Federal Hall, one of New York’s – and the United States’ – most iconic national memorials.

    Federal Hall stands on the site on Wall Street on which it can truly be said that American history was made and American democracy forged. It was here in 1789 that the first Federal Congress of the United States convened in the nation’s first capitol and George Washington was inaugurated as its first President.original-federal-hall

    It was here too that that first Congress established the American system of government and conceived the Bill of Rights which has promoted and protected the liberties of American citizens for over 200 years – and, of course, includes the First Amendment which guarantees the right to free expression.

    The original building was demolished in 1812 and the one which stands there now was conceived in the mid-nineteenth century as an architectural embodiment of the democratic ideal, drawing inspiration not only from the American past but also from the Parthenon of ancient Athens and the Pantheon of republican Rome.

    The building has had many uses over the years but for decades its front steps have served as America’s soapbox. From the bond and political rallies of the 1940s, 1950s and 1960s to the Occupy Movement of the new millennium, Federal Hall is where Americans come for debate, dissent and dialogue.

    Building on the Legacy

    washington-statue-crowdNow the Harbor Conservancy in partnership with the National Park Service has launched an ambitious plan for the regeneration of Federal Hall which aims not only to restore the fabric of the historic building but also to showcase, celebrate and build upon its incomparable heritage.

    At the heart … read more »

  • Berlin Speakers’ Corner

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    On 9 November 2011, SCT in partnership with the political think tank and human rights campaign Zentrum für Politische Schönheit (the Centre for Political Beauty) and supported by Google, brought Speakers' Corner to Berlin. A specially designed temporary Speakers' Corner was set up at the Brandenburg Gate to commemmorate the 22nd anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall and to celebrate the right to free expression which the events of 1989 helped to secure for all German citizens. In an almost five hour event - until the light began to fade and the cold set in - more than thirty people queued up to speak.
  • Nigeria

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    SCT is working with a wide range of civil society organisations in Nigeria to develop a national Speakers’ Corner project in Africa's most populous country. The initiative’s principal aim will be to create new opportunities for public participation in governance by developing a forum for open debate through which citizens can exchange ideas and opinions, develop consensus and avoid conflict, hold their elected representatives and others to account and influence policy-making and decision-taking.
  • Oslo – The Marketplace of Ideas

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    SCT's prototype Speakers' Corner, designed by Central St Martins College of Art & Design and sponsored by the British Council, made its first appearance as the centerpiece of the aptly named Marketplace of Ideas in Oslo on 6 June 2009. The Marketplace, created in the University Square on Oslo's principal street Karl Johan's Gate, was organised by FK Norway (the successor body to the Norwegian Peace Corps) and the Global Forum for Freedom of Expression as the culmination of a major international conference which had brought together campaigners for free expression, civil liberties and human rights and journalists from 100 countries around the world for a week of meetings, seminars, lectures and workshops.
  • Prague

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    In 2004, Euan Edworthy, a young British businessman based in Prague, conceived the idea of developing a Speakers' Corner there as his contribution to the burgeoning civil life of the new Czech republic. He initially sought advice from Peter Bradley, then MP for The Wrekin, and they agreed three central objectives for the initiative, namely to secure and underpin a sustainable commitment from the Czech Government to the principles of free speech and public assembly, create a new landmark in the Czech capital which could become a focus for and symbol of the country's developing democracy and promote freedom of speech and grass-roots democratic values and rights among the Czech people.
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