I have been attending the IBMT‘s annual in commemoration in London for over ten years now and, in my opinion, this year’s event was the best yet. Fears that the death of the last UK veteran would lead to an inevitable decline in the charities fortune have certainly proved to be ill-founded. Attendance this year was higher than ever.
Clearly the weather played a part and there’s no denying that Owen Jones is a big draw. And not to forget a plug from the consistently supportive Robert Elms. But there was more to it than that. This year’s line-up was not just strong, it was well-balanced: a few, well-delivered speeches, some atmospheric music and the recital of an extremely moving poem.
Speaking and performing at this year’s event in Jubilee Gardens were:
- Jim Jump, Marlene Sidaway and Dolores Long of the International Brigade Memorial Trust
- Almudena Cros, President of the Asociación de Amigos de las Brigadas Internacionales
- Karl Lewkowicz writer and director of the Spanish Civil War musical, Goodbye Barcelona
- Francesca Beard, performance poet
- Carmen Negrín, grand-daughter of Juan Negrín, the last premier of the Spanish Republic
- Owen Jones, journalist and activist
And performing afterwards in the Camel and Artichoke were:
It was great to see so many familiar faces; it was also great to see so many new faces. Congratulations to all involved. Roll on 2016!