An idea came to mind! I will propose a local “speakers’ corner” to my city councilors.

A speakers’ corner is an area where open-air public speaking, debate and discussion are allowed. The original and most noted is in the northeast corner of Hyde Park in London.

I was there in 1963, as a teenager, with my family. It made a huge impression on me. It is so incredibly democratic to hear individuals on their soapbox, speaking about their concerns. There are discussions and debates taking place each week at speakers’ corners. They exist all over the globe.

There are not many at all in the U.S., as far as I know. Why not? It’s more entertaining and educational than DVDs, TV and computer games, in my opinion.

I am suggesting, here, that we, the people, create speakers’ corners wherever we live! There is more on the internet to inform you about the history of speakers’ corners.

I notice that there are many people wherever I go with interesting thoughts and opinions. What I remember from being at Speakers’ Corner in London in 1963 were the huge crowds. There were as many as 20 or 30 individuals at a time, speaking on their own soapboxes (milk crates?), with crowds choosing which one to listen to and discuss or debate with.

Each one, maybe, gets 15 minutes on their soapbox. You can walk around and decide who you want to listen to and for how long you want to listen to him or her in a big, beautiful green park.

I plan to present this idea during the public comment period of Monday’s Rockland City Council meeting.

Ananur Forma

Rockland