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Letter to the editor: Stroud MP must press for ceasefire in Gaza

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Stroud Ceasefire Coalition announce the urgent escalation of local protest in response to Israel’s rejection of a ceasefire and return of hostages, in favour of a deadly invasion of Rafah.

On Tuesday, 14th May scores of protestors will turn out in a strong show of protesting against Stroud MP, Siobhan Bailey’s continued support for Israel’s genocide in Gaza and demand a ceasefire.

Stroud parents and children will draw a large chalk memorial outside MP Siobhan Bailey’s office to remember 13,800 children murdered by Israel in seven months, including mock dead baby shrouds at the MP’s office door to represent complicity in Palestine’s murdered babies.

“In only seven months Israel has murdered more Palestinian children than the entire population of Stroud,” said Oonagh Cousins from Stroud Parents for Palestine.

“As local parents we cannot stand silently by to see daily footage of Israeli war crimes against Palestinian children, parents and grandparents. These families have been bombed, shot, starved, tortured, buried alive and even newborn babies left by Israel to be eaten by dogs. Stroud Parents for Palestine call out this unspeakable depravity, astonished by our MP’s continued support for such abominable crimes against humanity.” 

Further protests will take place, including:

Friday, 10th May, 6pm, Siobhan Bailey’s office, the 30th weekly Ceasefire Now! vigil.

Saturday, 11th May, 2pm, Kings Square, Gloucester City Centre. Gloucestershire Palestine Solidarity Campaign hosts, Nakba Day 76 Years of Oppression. On the 76th anniversary of the Nakba (catastrophe), when more than 700,000 Palestinian’s were driven from their homes in Palestine by the incoming Israeli state.

IMG 5781 | Letter to the editor: Stroud MP must press for ceasefire in Gaza

We urge our MP to use her unique privilege as an official in ‘Conservative Friends of Israel’ to:

1. Immediately cease sale of arms to Israel.

2. Break diplomatic relations with Israel in protest of the genocide of Palestine.

3. Press for a Ceasefire Now!

Member groups of Stroud Ceasefire Coalition have commented: “The UK establishment, including the Conservative government and the Labour opposition are complicit in providing diplomatic cover for a genocide that has been unfolding in Gaza for the last seven months. It is right that responsibility for this has been brought to the MPs doorstep.

IMG 5778 | Letter to the editor: Stroud MP must press for ceasefire in Gaza

“Our MP – our representative in Government – has huge agency and political power that she can bring to bear to help end this genocide and to bring about a ceasefire now. As a senior officer of the Conservative Friends of Israel, Siobhan Baillie can deliver a message to the government and its partners overseas that this must end,” Robin Layfield on behalf of Stroud PSC.

Emma Calcutt, from Community Solidarity Stroud District, read a statement from Standing Together, the largest Arab-Jewish grassroots movement in Israel, with about 5,000 members as of October 2023: “Invading Rafah will not magically make Hamas disappear – but it will lead to mass amounts of civilians being killed and more damage to civil life in Gaza. There are over a million people sheltering in Rafah – an attack would be an absolute catastrophe.

“For months, Netanyahu has been saying that Israel is “close to victory,” convincing people all over the country and the world that he is acting in the best interests of the people that live here, and that he cares about bringing back the hostages. If it was not clear before, it must be crystal clear now – Netanyahu has been endangering the lives of the hostages this entire time, and he is driving us all into a nightmare situation. His main concern is himself and he will do whatever he can to prolong this war and keep himself in power. An invasion of Rafah will be catastrophic – for Palestinians in Gaza, and for the future for all of us in Israel-Palestine.”

IMG 5782 | Letter to the editor: Stroud MP must press for ceasefire in Gaza

Nailsworth Quakers said: “We stand with the other members of Stroud’s Ceasefire Now Coalition in calling for an immediate end to all hostilities in Gaza.

“As an individual Quakers, we are increasingly appalled at the inhumanity and intransigence of the Israeli government and the weakness of other governments who fail to stand up for the human rights of the people of Gaza.”

Stroud Ceasefire Coalition

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