“Protest, agitate, demand a ceasefire. Write to your MPs. Join the demonstrations taking place this Saturday. Don’t let those trying to justify the murder of a people be the loudest voices in any room.”Nabeela Mowlana, Chair of Young Labour
Young Labour Chair, Nabeela Mowlana, spoke at the ‘Why Labour should join calls for a #CeasefireNow’ event hosted by Labour & Palestine on November 8th. Read a published version of her speech or watch the event in full below:
The images coming out of Gaza are nothing short of horrific. In moments such as this we cannot hesitate to call it what it is. This is a genocide.
We know this is not just of Israel’s making. Behind every bullet, shell and bulldozer, stands the political, economic and military support of our world leaders – paid for by the United States and made in the United Kingdom.
The current Labour leadership’s stance and the comments they’ve made in public appearances have been shameful.
Yet, Labour members, a number of MPs, councillors and others in the labour movement have made clear their solidarity with the people of Gaza. I am a councillor in Sheffield, and last week Sheffield Labour Councillors didn’t stick by the national party’s line when they joined other parties in the Council and voted to call for a ceasefire.
As the death toll exceeds 10,000 we have heard a lot of people talking about peace.
Peace is good, we all want peace. As socialists who stand for peace, we must be clear that when we say peace we mean a truly lasting peace, rooted in justice and liberation.
Yes, the route to peace is a desperately needed ceasefire, but the route to peace is also an end to apartheid and an end to ethnic cleansing.
The route to peace means the lifting of the blockade on Gaza, an end to the occupation, and the continuous murders in the West Bank.
The route to peace is through generations of displaced Palestinians having the right to return to their home.
The route to peace is by actively building for peace, and not by condoning this massacre.
It is our duty as Labour members, as socialists and trade unionists to do everything we can to push our MPs and this government to recognize the inviolable rights of the Palestinian people to live in freedom and security. We know all too well that as we mourn the dead, we must fight like hell for the living.
I know that watching all that is unfolding on our phones as we live 1000s of miles away, its easy to feel despondent. We must remember that no matter how impossible it is made to seem, the truth is that every regime can fall, and every period in history comes to an end. The people of Palestine will be free. But whilst these atrocities are going on, Palestinians have made it clear that they don’t want our sympathy, they want our solidarity and we know that solidarity is a verb.
So protest, agitate, demand a ceasefire. Write to your MPs. Join the demonstrations taking place this Saturday. Don’t let those trying to justify the murder of a people be the loudest voices in any room.
There is so much more I could say, but for now, let us do everything in our power to fight for a world where Palestinian men, women and children live to hear the sounds of birds and not the sounds of bombs.
- ‘Why Labour should join calls for a #CeasefireNow‘ took place online on November 8th and was hosted by Labour & Palestine. You can watch the event back here or listen back on the Arise Festival podcast.
- Nabeela Mowlana is the Chair of Young Labour, you can follow her on Twitter/X here.
- You can follow Labour & Palestine on Facebook and twitter.