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Letter to the Editor: Stroud coalition urge Siobhan Baillie and Simon Opher to back Gaza ceasefire

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Dear Editor,

Stroud Ceasefire Now Coalition (SCNC) is calling on Siobhan Baillie MP to vote for the Government to join with the international community in urgently pressing all parties to agree to an immediate ceasefire in the Parliamentary King’s Speech. 

Two debate amendments have been tabled calling for an immediate ceasefire. Amendment (b) includes the immediate and unconditional release of hostages, an end to the total siege of Gaza and to allow full access to medical supplies, food, fuel, electricity and water, and to guarantee that international humanitarian law is upheld. Amendment (h) calls for the above and also for an end to the collective punishment of the Palestinian people. 

Dr Simon Opher 1 | Letter to the Editor: Stroud coalition urge Siobhan Baillie and Simon Opher to back Gaza ceasefire
Simon Opher Pic: Matt Bigwood

Siobhan Baillie MP has real agency and influence that she can use to bring an end to this awful and indiscriminate violence that we see on our screens every day. 

The Stroud Ceasefire Now open letter at https://tinyurl.com/stroud-ceasefire- now has over 500 signatures from Stroud constituents. Attendance at vigil outside the MPs office has jumped to over 200 people week on week. 

Our open letter is a humane and heartfelt demand for 

∙ An immediate ceasefire on all sides 

∙ For all captives to be released 

∙ An end to the blockade preventing civilians in Gaza from accessing food, fuel and water 

∙ A process for real and lasting peace for Palestinian and Israeli people

We are urging ALL political parties and their Parliamentary Political Candidates (PPCs) across the whole of Stroud district to support the call for an immediate ceasefire on all sides now. 

We welcome Green Party PPC Pete Kennedy’s full support and note that whilst the Labour party PPC Simon Opher has attended many of the vigils, he has yet to sign the open letter and we call on him to take this action. 

We are heartened to see that just under half of the councillors at StroudDistrict Council, as well as a handful of Gloucestershire County Councillors and Stroud Town Councillors support our call for a ceasefire. However, there

is a glaring lack of representation from the Conservative, and Labour Councillors. Your silence is deafening. 

The Stroud Ceasefire Now Coalition comprises the following community groups and organisations 

Community Solidarity Stroud District 

Stroud District Together With Refugees 

Stroud Against Racism 

Nailsworth Quakers 

The RYSE, 

Stroud District Palestine Solidarity Campaign 

Parties or political groupings of elected representatives that have signed the open letter and support the Stroud Ceasefire Now Coalition declaration. 

Stroud District Green Party

Stroud District Community Independents

MPs or Parliamentary candidates:

Pete Kennedy – Parliamentary Candidate for Stroud, Green Party

2 of 10 County Councillors representing the Stroud area:

Cllr Chloe Turner (Green Party, Stroud: Minchinhampton)

Cllr Nick Housden (Independent Conservative, Stroud: Stonehouse)

* Leader of SDC, Catherine Braun (Green Party, Wotton-under-Edge)

* Deputy Leader of SDC, Natalie Bennett (Independent Left Group, Nailsworth)

* Chair of SDC, Cllrdoinacornell (Community Independents, Dursley)

* Vice-Chair of SDC, Norman Kay (Green Party, Nailsworth)

and other district councillors in alphabetical order:

* Chloe Turner (Green Party, Minchinhampton)

* Chris Brine (Independent, Stonehouse)

* Chris Jockel (Green Party, Chalford)

* Cllr Colin Fryer – Cam West Ward, Stroud District Council (Community Independents)

* Gary Luff (Green Party, Painswick and Upton)

* Helen Fenton (Independent Left Group, Chalford)

* Cllr Jessie Hoskin – Cainscross, Stroud District Council (Independent Left Group)

* Jonathan Edmunds (Green Party, Randwick, Whiteshill and Ruscombe)

* Kate Crews (Green Party, Stroud Central)

* Cllr Laurie Davies – Slade Ward, Stroud District Council (Independent, Stroud Slade)

* Martin Baxendale (Green Party, Stroud Valley)

* Martin Brown (Green Party, Bisley)

* Mattie Ross (Independent Left Group, Stonehouse)

* Nick Housden (Independent Conservative (Stonehouse)

* Paula Baker (Independent Left Group, Stroud Uplands)

* Rebecca Aldam (Green Party, Thrupp)

* Cllr Robin Layfield – Rodborough, Stroud District Council (Community Independents)

* Rich Wilsher (Liberal Democrats, Kingswood)

* Stephen Hynd (Green Party, The Stanleys)

* Trevor Hall (Community Independents, Dursley)

2 of 15 Stroud Town Councillors

* Kevin Cranston

* Laurie Davies

We have also contacted MP for Stroud Siobhan Baillie and Simon Opher for Stroud – Parliamentary Candidate for the Labour Party. Neither have signed as of November 14th.

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