• Our FREEDOM PARK
downtown los angeles
One time there was only one place in L.A.
where one could 'speak his mind'.
Nowadays anyone and everyone of
can be anyway they care to be.
Back then one would get downtown some way
by trolly, bus, car or walking to get to their place of
freedom, and this was not so long ago.
It was not so automatic to address one's ideas, as now.
Remnants from ww1 and ww2 when security was at it's upmost,
people had few areas to express themselves,
something we now expect any day and everywhere.
During World War I, the Square was often the scene for militia
receptions and provided a forum for public speakers.
In November 1918, a week after
Armistice Day ended World War I,
the park was renamed Pershing Square,
in honor of
Gen. John Joseph "Black Jack" Pershing
The park is exactly one square block in size, bounded by 5th Street
to the north, 6th Street to the south, Hill Street to the east,
and Olive Street to the west.
a square be it... Pershing Square
During these decades up through the sixty's the park was
lined with palm trees and walkways around the perimeter.
A Speakers' Corner is an area
where public speaking is allowed.
The original and most noted is in
the north-east corner of Hyde Park
in London, England.
In the photo above you see the palm
tree lined walkways with nearby office
buildings in the background,
people enjoying a sunny California day.
In the photo below we see those cement walkways filled
with people on either sides all engaged in many,
yet similar activities, at their 'speakers corners',
freely expressing any views they want.
Here is OUR L.A. HISTORY,
that in our modern times,
it has always included a place for
anyone to 'get up on their soapbox'
and express any views and debate with anyone on any subject.
Obviously NOT IN OUR MODERN TIMES...
PERSHING SQUARE L.A.
"speaker's corner, your soapbox"
...where did this freedom go ?
(you know you can't smell the roses or the cigarettes on the internet)