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Coalition of Faith and Community Groups Expected at Full Council Meeting in Demonstration of Solidarity with Palestine

On Wednesday 21st February, in solidarity with Palestinians, people from across Milton Keynes will come together outside Milton Keynes City Council offices.

 

The demonstration of solidarity comes after 5 months of bombardment of Gaza by the Netanyahu government in Israel. Almost 100,000 people have been killed or injured (1) with many missing beneath the rubble.

 

Wed 21st Feb is seen to be a vital moment in the conflict from the perspective of UK legislators, with both the SNP and Labour Party tabling ceasefire motions in Parliament.(2)

 

The organisers of the MK demonstration, a coalition of multi faith and community groups, have repeatedly requested that councillors pass a motion calling on the UK Parliament - specifically for the leaders of the main political parties to demand a full and immediate ceasefire in Gaza.

 

A petition to that effect, that was present to the last full council in January was rejected by the council leader yesterday (Tuesday 20th February) after being “considered” for a month. (3)

 

Council leader Peter Marland previously put his own motion to full council in October, 10 days after the Hamas attack, that affirmed Israel’s right to self defence and to a “two state solution” in the region. The original motion passed did not call for a ceasefire, instead opting to differentiate between the actions of “democracies” and “terrorists”. (4)

 

12, 400 children have now been killed according to the Hamas health ministry in Gaza with 36 killed in Israel, according to the United Nations.(5)

 

Today an estimated 1.5 million Palestinian civilians (6) have been forced into Rafa in the south of Gaza; an area the size of Heathrow airport. A potentially catastrophic ground invasion by Israel believed to be imminent.

 

Speaking in advance of the demonstration Kevin Vickers from the Milton Keynes Peace and Justice Network said


“So far our council has failed to use it’s weight to influence the government’s position on the humanitarian disaster (7) that continues to unfold in Gaza. The idea, mooted by the leader of the council, that what we do at local level has no impact on national and international politics is not true. When Russia invaded Ukraine, in the most recent phase of that conflict, our council was quick to pass a unanimous resolution. Many residents can’t understand why the council has failed to do so yet.

He continued:


Tonight, at the full council meeting, any councillor can put forward an emergency motion calling for a ceasefire. We hope that our representatives will unite this evening to make this happen.”

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