area for the freedom of expression
by Robin Kirk
The proposed installation would celebrate the University’s rich history of protest and encourage continuing activism in line with our shared values by providing a place to memorialize such movements. Modeled on the Speaker’s Corner in London, this site would be a permanent free speech area where anyone could stand and speak about the issues they feel impassioned by. The site would also include a permanent circular bench to offer opportunities for the University’s community members to congregate and have open discussion.
From the Bassett Affair to student protests and marchers, Duke University has been the frame for those pressing for social justice. Abele Quad is often the site for such protest, either in front of the Chapel or at the Allen Building. This lawn at the heart of social and academic life at the University has seen the largest protest to date -- the Silent Vigil of 1968. Through the years, it has also seen protests against unfair labor conditions and apartheid, as well as those in support of immigrants, Tibetans, humans rights, among many other populations worldwide.