No Ceasefire No Vote Conference Call

After the International Court of Justice’s (ICJ) ruling, almost the entire world is beginning to acknowledge what we have known all along: Israel’s war on Gaza is an act of genocide.

More than 30,000 Palestinians have already been killed, the majority of them women and children.

Hundreds of thousands of Palestinians are facing starvation. In response to the ICJ the Western powers have cut funding to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) on which over 2 million people in Gaza depend for survival.

In Britain, the Labour Party has supported Israel’s genocidal attacks, refusing to call for a ceasefire and disciplining those within its own ranks who do. Labour also supports the withdrawal of funds to UNRWA. This has created a situation where scores of Labour Party councillors have left the party in order to campaign against the genocide. They join other councillors who have left because of Labour’s inexorable shift to the right, including the refusal to confront Islamophobia and racism in their own party.

This is the most significant break from the party in many years. They are now sitting as independent socialists and beginning to coordinate as a network. There will be a growing number of independent pro-ceasefire candidates standing in the forthcoming general election.

No Ceasefire No Vote will be a conference bringing together those independent councillors and general election candidates and solidarity campaigners determined to create mass pressure for every candidate to call for a ceasefire and an end to the occupation.

It aims to support those who have broken from Labour over its repeated refusal – over months – to call for a ceasefire, and to make the demand for a ceasefire central to the general election campaign.

It can lay the basis for continuing coordination between independent councillors, candidates and grassroots activists who are committed to justice for the Palestinians.

No Ceasefire No Vote aims to bring the huge anger and energy of the street demonstrations for Palestine into the general election campaign, shifting the debate away from right-wing distractions and onto the most important international issue of our time.

Together at this conference we will discuss the way forward and draw together these important threads of resistance. The preparation of this conference is an important step on the road to a challenge to Labour and ultimately an alternative to Labour.

Labour must have no place to hide over its complicity in genocide. Every candidate must be asked, repeatedly and assertively, where they stand – and pressed to stand for what is right. We stand ready to support parliamentary candidates who call for a ceasefire, and challenge those who refuse.

We envisage the conference being held in two sessions: the first in London on 2nd March and the second in Blackburn on 13th April which the Blackburn, Burnley and Pendle councillors have agreed to jointly host after Easter and Ramadan.

‘Politics as usual’ cannot be allowed to continue. Our conscience demands that we say:

No Ceasefire No Vote.

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