Heiko Khoo

Heiko Khoo joined the Labour Party Youth at seventeen. While studying at Portsmouth Polytechnic he spoke at street meetings, for which he was once arrested. His first memory of Speakers’ Corner is from his Malaysian-Chinese father’s shoulders, aged three or four, watching a Marxist speaker with a red scarf. In 1986, he ended up on a similar platform. He used the Tory hecklers’ stereotypes about Communism in his performance, in order to undermine them. Heiko talks about his involvement in the East German revolution in 1989. In terms of political consciousness, he thinks, the fall of communism actually improved public thinking about capitalism’s place and its alternatives. Speakers’ Corner is “a second home” and “a community of the space.” Religious speakers there, he says, rely too heavily on “fire and brimstone” without argument; conspiracy theorists emasculate themselves by over-reaching; but he is not in despair about the public. His relationship to Speakers’ Corner is “more didactic than revolutionary” at the moment.

Audio of Heiko

”Incarnation of the enemy”