Poetry against the Vietnam War - Adrian Mitchell

Adrian Mitchell, 1932 – 2008, was a poet who aimed to make his poetry easy for people to read and understand.  He came to public attention when he used poetry against the war in Vietnam and read his Tell me lies about Vietnam at a protest in Trafalgar Square in London in 1964. 

The poet adapted the last part of this poem to keep it relevant to events as the happened over the years.  See Mitchell speaking the 21st century remix of the poem himself.  Near the end of the poem he says, "Tell me lies about Israel".  He died just before the latest attacks by Israel on Gaza and otherwise do you think he might also have been saying, "Tell me lies about Gaza"?

Thanks for the comment, Sebastian.  I have changed the title of my blog entry because the previous title may have been misleading, suggesting that Adrian Mitchell was opposing all wars in his poetry.  I think that Mitchell was really attacking the use of deception and lying to make people accept wars done in their name and it was the Vietnam War that he first pointed at.  The current war in Iraq has also brought attention on the accuracy of what people in the UK and in the United States were told to make them feel that the war was justified or necessary. 

Wars cause terror and suffering to people; international laws and organisations such as the United Nations seek to prevent war and encourage negotiation or to prevent the most dreadful consequences if war does take place.  

My blog entries are mine and do not of course necessarily represent the views of Amnesty International.  People who disagree are entitled to comment as well.  I am pleased that Amnesty provides the facilities for blogging and debate. 

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Our blogs are written by Amnesty International staff, volunteers and other interested individuals, to encourage debate around human rights issues. They do not necessarily represent the views of Amnesty International.
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