Danny Chivers is an environmental activist, the type who gets arrested for climbing onto power station chimneys and shutting down the station for a week. He's also a poet, the type who will march into a tax-evading upmarket department store and perform poetry about tax evasion.
He's also performing at Edinburgh Festival Fringe, with a sell out show "Arrest that Poet!".The show, which I went to last night, takes the audience through a history of Chiver's involvement in environmental campaigning, in a fast paced mix of humour and performance poetry.
The set moves with ease from ridiculous humour (including a vision of Martin Luther King advising the poet on composting) to information on UK energy policy and concerns about policing tactics, including the use of undercover police officers to infiltrate climate camps with the express instruction to seduce members to get close to them and find out the group's secrets, referred to by Chivers as 'state sponsored stalking'. After being arrested for his part in one climate change protest, Chivers was invited to speak to police at the riot police training headquarters. 'Riotland' is a poem imaging this centre as a theme park.
Arrest that Poet is showing tonight, Friday 12 August at Stafford Centre, Broughton Street. The show is part of the Edinburgh Free Fringe, but for a donation of £5 you get a CD of Chiver's poetry.