Enforce the rules regarding praying at speakers corner for all religions.
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While Britain’s constitution remains famously unwritten (and it was only in 1998 that Parliament formally adopted its own Human Rights Act), this country has had a tradition of respect for freedom of speech and the right of assembly which has not only shaped its own democracy but has also inspired and continues to influence the development of others.
One of the most powerful symbols of that tradition is to be found on a parcel of land which lies roughly between the site of the old Tyburn gallows and the Reform Tree in London’s Hyde Park. There for over a century men and women, some famous (including Karl Marx, William Morris, Vladimir Lenin, George Orwell, Marcus Garvey and Lord Soper) but most not, have dissented and denounced, canvassed and converted, preached and proselytised, and in so doing given expression to the fundamental rights of citizens to gather together to hear and be heard.
Speakers’ Corner was itself born out the struggle for civil liberties in Victorian Britain and its establishment was a significant milestone in the development of our democratic institutions.
It occupies a part of Hyde Park where, in the mid-nineteenth century, the Chartists held mass protests against the suppression of the rights of working people, including the right of assembly, and the Reform League organised huge rallies to demand the widening of the franchise.
The Times, reflecting the unease of the establishment of the day, declared after one such demonstration that “it is against all reason and all justice that motley crowds from all parts of the metropolis should take possession of Hyde Park, and interfere with the enjoyments of those to whom the Park more particularly belongs”.
In the end the Government had to bow to popular pressure. In the Parks Regulation Act of 1872 Parliament granted the Park Authorities the right to permit public meetings and Speakers’ Corner, already heavy with history, was born. For over a century it has been a focus for protest and debate and the symbol of a free society and a mature democracy.
The Royal Parks (TRP) does not permit collective acts of worship or other
religious observances in the TRP estate, either in their own right or as part of
a demonstration, event or other activity. This includes spoken or sung
communal prayers or other events that are primarily religious in focus.
Exceptions are made for annual acts of remembrance at the regimental
memorials in the Parks, which have taken place since the First World War.
As a public body, it is not the place of The Royal Parks to make value
judgments between one religious observance and another. We must either
permit all collective religious observances or refuse them all. Our approach is
to continue to refuse all such observances on the grounds that they are not
traditional park-related activities and the disadvantages to the public at large of
allowing them would almost certainly outweigh the benefits to adherents of a
particular religion or belief. The policy extends to the construction of
structures within the estate with a religious significance.
Cultural events that do not include collective religious activity are permitted
subject to the standard approval process.
My point being the park has never aloud religious prayers it is not permitted for anybody. Yet week after week there are Muslims in mass praying. The police do not stop them. They turn a blind eye. They remove anybody from the area tht questions WHY acts of worship are being allowed.
We have to keep the history of the park and what speakers corner has been used for, for many many years.
Stop ALL religious prayers and worship from all religious groups.
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