Bookmarks’ Words of Resistance event was a brilliant and stimulating kickoff to the ESF at a packed hall in Bloomsbury.
It was an event of radical poetry and performance, which put a flowering artistic movement at the heart of the social movement which is shaking the world.
Adrian Mitchell’s famous anti-war poem “Tell Me Lies About Vietnam” was played over images of war and resistance.
Adrian then read the poem, which links the wars in Vietnam, Afghanistan and Iraq through the rhetoric our leaders use to justify war.
“They are only dropping peppermints and daisy chains,” he said.
Michael Rosen was on top energetic form, and had the audience rolling with laughter with his comical poems.
His poem about the black Chartist William Cuffay went down to riotous applause.
Ghada Karmi read moving extracts from her book In Search of Fatima, a child’s perspective on the forced exile of the Palestinians.
As Mike Rosen put it in a poem about migration:
We have all come from somewhere,
Flats, fields, deserts,
Down from the mountains...
This is a movement.
Along with other poets, they made it a great start to the ESF.