Jonathan Fitter

Jonathan Fitter spent several years at sea. When he left the merchant navy, he travelled round the world on his own, during which time he learned to play the tin whistle. He is a busker by trade. In 1992 he began promoting animal rights and veganism at Speakers’ Corner. After a trip to the Middle East in 1998, Jon began speaking on an even more controversial topic: the Israel-Palestine conflict, because his souvenir “keffiyah”, a Palestinian black and white chequered scarf, was attracting questions. He currently supports most policies of the Israeli state. He says he often wears both an Israeli and Palestinian flag to show he has sympathy with civilians on both sides and believes both nations have a right to exist. He describes the strong reaction of Muslim audiences to his arguments and heated territorial disputes between speakers. He likes the freedom of information provided by the internet, but thinks there’s no substitute for face to face debate.

Audio of Jonathan

“He was an irate butcher"

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Speakers' Corner, Hyde Park, London.

About the project

Sounds from the Park is a unique oral and visual history of Speakers’ Corner in Hyde Park: the UK’s last great open air oratory site.

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© Chris Kennett

Exhibition

Our exhibition can be seen online here or read our booklet about Speakers' Corner.

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© Philip Wolmuth

Radio show

Our radio show can be listened to here.

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Young man talking at Speakers' Corner, 2013 © Sophie Polyviou

Education resources

History and Citizenship resources for Key Stage 3 and 4. Complete with a timeline of events at Speakers' Corner and other resources.

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