Tories and Labour unite to protect Israel in ceasefire vote

Posted on: February 21st, 2024 by TTE
A crowd shot of the Palestine demo in parliament square illustrating a story about the SNP Labour ceasefire vote

Anger at Israel—and its backers in the Labour leadership—outside parliament (Picture: Mandy Brown)

A cynical stitch-up—with the Tories trusting Keir Starmer to act in the role of a “national” leader—stopped MPs voting on Wednesday evening on an immediate ceasefire in Gaza.

Amid chaotic scenes in the commons, the Tories and Labour combined to shield Israeli genocide. And, particularly in Labour’s case, they tried to slither away from a clear indication on whether its MPs backed a ceasefire or not.

Just before the crucial votes began, Tory Leader of the Commons Penny Mordaunt said the government would “play no further part in today’s proceedings”. Tory whips told their MPs to abstain on a Labour motion. This meant it passed—without a vote. 

Therefore the Scottish National Party’s motion—which was supposed to be the subject of the debate—was not even put to a vote.

Just before the votes began, SNP and even some Tory MPs walked out of the Commons chamber in a protest over the way the speaker—the chair of the Commons—had handled the debate. The speaker then went missing.

All of these anti-democratic manoeuvres required trampling on parliament’s traditions (see below) something which British stuffy and conservative sham-democracy usually rejects. But they did it as their united service to imperialism. 

The debate came as Israel had begun a countdown to slaughter in Rafah in the south of Gaza. It says its ground offensive against the area where over 1 million people are sheltering could begin 18 days from now. And it follows the International Court of Justice finding there is a plausible case that Israel is carrying out genocide.

But despite this, British MPs put their loyalty to imperialism and Zionism first and voted against an unconditional call for an immediate ceasefire. The SNP motion had called for a ceasefire without caveats and loopholes. The Labour alternative used words about a ceasefire but in practice did not push for one.

It supported “an immediate humanitarian ceasefire, which means an immediate stop to the fighting and a ceasefire that lasts”. That’s a shift to using the word ceasefire because of the pressure of the millions-strong movement in Britain and recent changes in the US’s language. 

But Labour’s motion made any ceasefire conditional, “noting that Israel cannot be expected to cease fighting if Hamas continues with violence and that Israelis have the right to the assurance that the horror of 7th October cannot happen again.” 

So it defended Israel’s right to murder Palestinians if Hamas does not surrender. For Starmer, Palestinians can live only if they cease to resist extermination, ethnic cleansing, apartheid and dispossession. For Labour to oppose their deaths, Palestinians must become compliant with Zionism.

Labour leaders said they were particularly angry that the SNP motion called for “an end to the collective punishment of the Palestinian people”.

How else to describe Israel’s murder of at least 30,000 people, its policy of starving more than 2.2 million Gazans and driving three-quarters of them from their homes?

A few hours before the debate began, Andrew Gilmour, UN’s Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights from 2016-19 said Israel’s onslaught against Gaza is “probably the highest kill rate of any military killing since the Rwandan Genocide of 1994”.

And a British International Development Committee parliamentary delegation has just returned from a visit to report on Gaza’s conditions. Its chair said, “Nothing that has been reported braces you for the true scale of the horror in Gaza. We’re simply not getting accurate information about the levels of destruction and brutality.”

The SNP’s Anum Qaisar told MPs during the debate, “Gaza is under siege from the air” and mentioned the F-35 bomber and other weapons being made in British factories. She added these weapons may be “used by Israeli authorities in the massacre of families and children in Gaza”.

Shadow foreign secretary David Lammy accused the SNP motion of being “one-sided”, saying Israel cannot be expected to cease fighting if Hamas continues with violence.

Previously Lammy has rammed home his party’s cowardice, opportunism and desire to suck up to imperialism. He said Labour doesn’t “want to do anything in an election year, in which the Labour Party might have the privilege of serving, that cuts across our ability to do that.”

There was one sensible Tory contribution. Conservative MP Kit Malthouse said there can be no military victory over Hamas. That is widely accepted across the world and “whispered even in Israel,” he added.

Around 3,000 pro-Palestine supporters gathered in the rain outside parliament before the vote. Reshma from East London told Socialist Worker, “I’ve always supported Palestine, I am angry and upset when MPs have a chance to vote for a ceasefire and don’t try to protect Palestinian lives.”

Josie who works in the music industry said, “Britain has blood on its hands, I felt helpless to be able to do anything but joining the protests has been something I can do.

“My MP said she’d vote for a ceasefire in November but at the last minute didn’t. I’ve no faith she’ll vote for a ceasefire tonight

“Britain has spread war across the Middle East for decades. Britain needs to stop arming Israel and bring in sanctions like we did against Russia.”

After this shameful day in parliament, the movement needs to stay active and militant. Campaigners, for example, need to be on the streets this weekend. The fact that it’s the Palestine Solidarity Campaign’s (PSC) annual general meeting should not mean there isn’t a huge day of protest—particularly as the bloodbath in Rafah nears.

And the next scheduled national demo on 9 March is too far away. Let’s be on the streets, build for a militant workplace day of action on 8 March, encourage action such as this weeks’ student occupations—and try to find ways to make Britain ungovernable.

Speaker bends rules for Labour

Earlier in the day, the speaker—the chair of the House of Commons—overthrew normal procedure to help out Starmer.  

Senior Labour figures told BBC’s Newsnight programme that they made clear to Commons speaker Sir Lyndsay Hoyle that they would remove him from his position after the general election unless he called their party’s Gaza amendment.

John Craig, Sky News’s chief political correspondent said it was Starmer and Labour chief whip Sir Alan Campbell who had applied the pressure.

In almost every previous case, when the opposition puts forward a motion—as the SNP did on Wednesday—no other opposition party is permitted to put forward an amendment.

That would have meant Labour MPs would have been forced to choose between the SNP motion or the government’s one. Starmer feared lots of his MP, might have felt forced to back the SNP one.

But Hoyle tore up the usual methods and allowed a vote on Labour’s amendment. This gave its MPs an excuse not to back the SNP one.  

The Clerk of the House, Tom Goldsmith, who’s the chief adviser on matters of parliamentary procedure in the Commons, wrote a letter putting on record his belief that Hoyle’s decision was a “substantial breach” of procedures.

These weird rules might not seem to matter. But the episode underlines Starmer’s fears of rebellion.

Hands up for genocide from the United States

The United States has again vetoed a UN Security Council (UNSC) resolution calling for a ceasefire in Gaza.

The move on Tuesday was the fourth US veto of such a UN motion. It came a day after the US circulated a measure that would support only a temporary ceasefire—and linked to the release of all Israeli detainees captured by Palestinian resistance groups.

The vote on a ceasefire in the 15-member council was 13 to one. Britain abstained—an act almost as vicious as the US, but with a dash of added camouflage and cowardice. Britain is nervous about alienating Arab regimes that it relies on for juicy contracts. It has also feared in recent years to use a veto in case other countries, rightly, seek to dump Britain from the UNSC. Its last veto vote was in 1989.

Britain and the US are urging on the genocidal logic of the Israelis. Their sighs about the number of civilian deaths are hypocritical and empty. 

Hamas said, “President Joe Biden and his administration bear direct responsibility for derailing the resolution for a ceasefire in Gaza. 

“The US position is considered a green light for the occupation to commit more massacres and kill our innocent people through bombing and starvation.”

‘Our struggle goes hand in hand with Palestinians’ struggle’—Lebanese protester

Posted on: February 21st, 2024 by JC
Pro-Palestinian protester holding placard reading "End the Apartheid - Free Palestine" 2023 - key- Lebanese solidarity with Palestine outside Egyptian embassy

End the apartheid placard on protest in London (Picture: Alisdare Hickson)

“Targeting the Egyptian embassy was a direct response to the regime’s complicity in besieging Gaza,” Hadi, a Lebanese activist, told Socialist Worker. He and other protesters blocked entrances to the Egyptian embassy in Beirut, Lebanon, on Monday to rage against their state’s collaborating with Israel’s genocide.

They also blocked the road outside the embassy and doused the floor in red paint. One protester held up a sign that said, “You siege Gaza; we siege your embassy.” 

The action came after reports that the Egyptian state plans to build a walled camp in the Sinai Peninsula for Palestinians from the Gaza Strip. 

The Wall Street Journal newspaper quoted an Egyptian official who said a “walled enclosure” was built in an area that could accommodate 100,000 people. 

Protesters outside the embassy were met with repression. “We faced brutality from internal security forces who attempted to suppress our demands to protect the embassy’s building, blocking our way,” he said.

“They did this despite the presence of individuals with disabilities, including those in wheelchairs.”  

Hadi added, “Our demands include opening a crossing to deliver food and medical aid to Gaza,” he said. “And we want journalists to enter through the Rafah crossing to document Israeli occupation crimes.

“We want the evacuation of the wounded and injured from Gaza. immediately and unconditionally.

“We also want the Egyptian state and Arab rulers to clear the way for militants to support armed Palestinian resistance and defend Gaza and Palestine.” 

Anger at the Israeli state inside Lebanon isn’t going away. “It is profound and widespread,” said Hadi. “This anger stems from the ongoing colonial violence and oppression perpetrated by the Israeli occupation forces against the Palestinian people, specifically the people of Gaza. 

“It has been expressed in Lebanon through protests and various forms of militancy aimed at opposing settler colonialism and supporting the struggle of Palestinians for liberation.

“The Israeli occupation state has also launched an ongoing aggression since 8 October targeting civilian infrastructure in Lebanon.” 

On Monday Israeli forces bombed the town of Ghaziyeh in southern Lebanon. Since 7 October, the Israeli state has murdered at least ten people in Lebanon. 

The Israeli state justifies these attacks by saying that it is trying to root out the Lebanese resistance group Hezbollah.

But Hadi added that people in Lebanon aren’t just angry with the Israeli state. “People in Lebanon are deeply frustrated towards Arab rulers’ complicity in supporting the Israeli occupation,” he said.

“The betrayal of Arab rulers, including the Egyptian regime, is a grave injustice. We understand that our liberation from reactionary regimes in the region goes hand in hand with the struggle to liberate Palestine.”

Museum workers start historic strike in Liverpool

Posted on: February 20th, 2024 by Thomas Foster
Museum workers strike and picket in Liverpool

Museum workers picket in Liverpool Photo Credit: PCSLiverpoolMuseums

Some 217 PCS union members working at the National Museums Liverpool (NML) kicked off eight weeks of strikes last Saturday. The dispute is over the failure of NML to pay the £1,500 cost of living payment agreed as part of the PCS pay dispute settlement last year. A lively picket that swelled to 80 began at the World Museum in William Brown Street.

Tracey Hylton of the PCS NEC addressed the strikers and Audrey White of the Merseyside Pensioners Association described it as the “happiest picket line I have ever attended”. At 10am strikers discovered that management was attempting to open another site at the Museum of Liverpool Life at the Pier Head so the picket relocated. The other five sites—the Walker, Lady Lever and Tate Northern Art Galleries and the Maritime and International Slavery Museums— remained closed.

Both the International Slavery Museum and the Maritime Museum have planned redevelopment projects costing £58 million. Some of this could easily be used to resolve the dispute. PCS Livepool Museums said, “The problem is, the secret to our museums isn’t the priceless objects. “It’s the priceless staff. About time you invested in them.”

The Museum of Liverpool stated it was open for its usual hours last Sunday. PCS responded by identifying that it was “opened with the slimmest numbers of staff” as most were picketing. The union added, “Good scousers don’t cross picket lines.”

  • Picketing is every day between 8am and 11am until 14 April but may move between sites depending on which management try to open. Send messages of support to PCS@

Dave Owens

Coventry Amazon workers unfulfilled

Hundreds of Amazon workers joined big picket lines outside the BHX4 fulfilment centre in Coventry on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday last week. Around 400 striking GMB union members held up workers going into the Coventry Amazon depot for more than half an hour. They tried to convince them not to cross the picket line.

Amazon worker Darren Westwood tweeted last Tuesday, “Amazon BHX4 is out again. “As Amazon boss Jeff Bezos sells £1.6 million worth of Amazon stock, we are asking for £15 an hour. Every worker should be getting this as a minimum.”

On the second day of the three day strike, workers chanted, “No work today,” and, “What do we want? —£15.” And workers continued to join the union on the picket lines. Since the summer of 2022, over 1,000 have joined the GMB at BHX4.

The company’s internal online bulletin board is bombarded with messages from workers supporting the union with links to join, usually deleted by admins within minutes. Management is doing everything to try to break the strikes—such as bringing in new starters. But many of these new starters joined the GMB— and are now among the most enthusiastic pickets.

Amazon is also trying to convince workers that they would be better off not joining the union. Amazon managers sent an email claiming, “Union recognition may mean that BHX4 employees will not automatically see pay increases offered at other sites.” Management is trying to bribe workers to cross the picket line with a pathetic offer of a £2.50 voucher to spend in the canteen.

That’s barely enough for a coffee. The company pretends to ignore the union, but pay has increased from £10.15 to £12.50, already a rise of 23 percent. Workers at other Amazon fulfilment centres also need to join the action. Last month, workers at the newly-opened Minworth site near Birmingham went on strike for the first time.

Andy Pettit

Black trade unionists in revolt at union approach

A democratic body of the UCU union has disengaged from the union following what it describes as “entrenched racism and systemic disrespect within our union”. The Black Members’ Standing Committee (BMSC) has said its concerns about racism have been met with “resistance, indifference and deliberate stalling” from those at the top of the union. The group also said it wanted to address “internal censorship around the issue of Palestine”.

It added that a statement written by members of the BMSC was censored on UCU’s official channels. Hakim Adi, the first history professor of African descent in Britain, is being made redundant and his course is being scrapped by Chichester University. He said that he wasn’t surprised that UCU has a problem with racism. He said, “I still have no legal support and no action from UCU despite numerous resolutions of support and pious words. We need an anti-racist union led by its members.”

The statement from the BMSC clearly shows that transformative change needs to occur at the top of the UCU. For too long the current general secretary Jo Grady and others have ignored the members’ concerns and tried to bypass democratic structures. The UCU Left group has called on the union to convene an immediate emergency NEC meeting as soon as possible.

Referring to UCU’s silencing of BMSC over Palestine, it wrote, “We reject a bureaucratic move to protect organisational reputation through shutting down the voices of our self-elected Black representatives.” UCU Left is demanding “that the position statement is shared through UCU communications”. Saira Weiner, who is running for general secretary of the UCU, expressed her solidarity with the BMSC and “black members facing structural racism and bullying”. UCU needs a stronger anti-racist voice at the top of the union.

Labour’s call for an ‘immediate humanitarian ceasefire’ shows Starmer’s scared of the Palestine movement

Posted on: February 20th, 2024 by TTE
People hold up a sign that says Starmer shame illustrating a story about the Labour ceasefire amendment

A protest against Starmer in London last November (Picture: Guy Smallman)

The Labour Party—rocked by mass protests, internal splits and the threat of electoral punishment—has changed its language about a ceasefire in Gaza. But it is still refusing to go against Israel’s genocidal assaults. 

In advance of a parliamentary vote set for Wednesday, it put out a new line on Tuesday. Labour still won’t back the Scottish National Party’s motion for an immediate ceasefire. Instead, it tries desperately to move away from its overt support for the killing while sticking with the Israeli state.

Labour’s amendment backs “an immediate humanitarian ceasefire, which means an immediate stop to the fighting and a ceasefire that lasts. But it makes this conditional, “noting that Israel cannot be expected to cease fighting if Hamas continues with violence and that Israelis have the right to the assurance that the horror of 7th October cannot happen again.”

So there could be a ceasefire so long as the Palestinian resistance surrenders and there is no longer opposition to Zionism.

It admits “an Israeli ground offensive in Rafah risks catastrophic humanitarian consequences and therefore must not take place” but immediately “condemns the terrorism of Hamas who continue to hold hostages”.

As well as the pressure from the millions-strong movement for Palestine, another factor weighing on Keir Starmer will be a shift from president Joe Biden. 

The resilience of the Palestinians, the scale of the global movement and the fears of wider revolt in the Middle East have shaken his administration. It is now using the word “ceasefire”. 

The US has drafted a UN Security Council resolution that calls for a “temporary ceasefire” in Gaza “as soon as practical” and based on “all hostages being released”. It also warned against what it described as a “major” ground offensive in Rafah, “under the current circumstances”.

That’s not a pro-Palestine motion, but where the US leads loyal supporters of imperialism—such as the Labour Party—follow.

As Starmer is on the defensive, it’s time to increase the pressure. Let’s drive home the confusion and the fear on the other side.

The Palestine Solidarity Campaign said on Tuesday, “The Labour Party leadership has tabled an amendment seeking to water down the SNP motion calling for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza. 

“This amendment seeks to dilute the clear call for an immediate ceasefire by handing the Israeli government a veto over whether or not a ceasefire should happen, at a time when Israel is on trial at the ICJ for the crime of genocide. 

“Labour’s amendment amounts to asking for another pause—allowing Israel the option to continue with the slaughter unless its preconditions are met. 

“Pointedly, the Labour amendment removes all reference to the collective punishment of Palestinians —a crime under international law. 

“This is not an accident. While some shifting of the Labour position is testament to the hundreds of thousands who have campaigned for more than four months for an end to the killing of Palestinians by Israel, this amendment indicates that the Labour leadership is still trying to excuse Israeli war crimes and not willing to put pressure on Israel to end its atrocities. 

“It is grotesque to play parliamentary word games with the lives of Palestinian people. All MPs should vote for the SNP motion clearly calling for an immediate ceasefire and against this and any other amendment that seeks to weaken this urgent demand.”

Pressure from the streets makes a difference—let’s have more of it.

  • Join the demonstration to demand a ceasefire now, Wednesday 21 Feb, from 3.30pm, Parliament Square (south side), London (not new time and assembly point)

‘This is real democracy’—Goldsmiths students occupy for Palestine

Posted on: February 20th, 2024 by JC
Students occupy Stuart Hall at Goldsmiths university

Students occupy the Stuart Hall building at Goldsmiths University in London

Students have occupied university buildings as part of a day of action for Palestine. At Goldsmiths in south London, students occupied the Stuart Hall building on Tuesday to demand action from management over Palestine.

Elsewhere students at Leeds university occupied their university union building. And in central London, students from UCL and Soas marched, chanting, “Shame,” and calling out management’s complicity and silence over Israel’s genocide.

Students at City and Queen Mary universities in London also walked out and held protests. From the occupation at Goldsmiths, student Samira told Socialist Worker, “We are officially in occupation. 

“We had a walkout earlier and a teach out. And now we want our demands to be addressed by Frances Corner, our university’s warden.

“It’s really exciting being here. It’s real action and democracy. Our university has shut down discussion about Palestine. But we’ve taken over a building to say we need to have the space to talk about winning liberation for Palestine.”

Samira said that after the walk out, security almost didn’t let the students back in. “We made sure that didn’t happen,” she added.

“We stayed in the building and those that were still here voted to occupy. Our demand is that we’re addressed by Corner here in our occupation.”

Students, along with UCU union members and other outside speakers, organised the teach-out. It included discussion on Palestine, apartheid, violence against women and Western imperialism in the Middle East.

Over 30 students are now in the occupation, and many more joined the action earlier in the day. During the walk-out students chanted, “Goldsmith students it’s our time, shut it down for Palestine.”

“We’ve put a call out for support and more students to join us,” Samira said. “The UCU members are also putting a call out, and we’re asking for support from local unions and activists.” 

The students have also asked for solidarity in the form of food, bedding and supplies. “We’re now drafting a statement to get students and staff to sign. We’re not leaving until our demands are met,” she added.

The occupation follows students storming a management meeting last Wednesday chanting, “Free Palestine”. They called-out management’s hypocrisy—and promised to escalate action if management didn’t respond.  

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A post shared by Goldsmiths For Palestine (@goldsmithsforpalestine)

“We received a response, which was a victory. But all it did was call for a humanitarian ceasefire—no mention of a genocide, the university’s complicity or protecting students. It wasn’t good enough—so we escalated,” Samira said.

Samira says that the scale of Israel’s violence requires militant escalation from students. “The situation in Rafah means all actions need to be more radical and more militant.

“As students at a university that is meant to represent social justice, we need to call out its hypocrisy and shut it down. It’s been four months and there’s been complete inaction from management—we need to for their hands.”

More occupations, militant action and joint student and worker action is crucial in the fight against Israel and its backers.

Galloway is not the answer for Rochdale

Posted on: February 20th, 2024 by Isabel
Marching in London for Palestine in November

Marching in London for Palestine in November (Picture: Guy Smallman)

If George Galloway wins the Rochdale by-election on Thursday next week it will be because of his support for the Palestinians. It will be a searing judgement on Keir Starmer and the Labour Party’s backing for genocide. But there are strong reasons why Socialist Worker can’t call for a vote for Galloway.

He is focusing the movement for Palestine around the rotten politics of the Workers’ Party of Britain (WPB). It peddles the reactionary “for the workers not the wokers” line. This spurns many battles that are part of the working class fight, such as oppression and environmental collapse.

The WPB says, for example, that it “offers a migration policy that reflects the anxiety felt among the working class about an influx of migrants which appears to be out of control”. It adds, “People are not wrong to worry about undue burdens being placed on local services and about the cost of hosting escalating numbers of asylum seekers.”

It’s a party against “apocalyptic Green hysteria that floods our media”, will “keep an open mind” about the reality of climate change and says there is “no need to be rushed” into a green economy. It denounces “increasingly unhinged identity politics”—by which it means struggles for full trans rights.

As for crime, the WPB warms the cops’ hearts when it says, “We are not soft-hearted liberals who believe everyone is capable of redemption.” We need a much better expression of Palestinian freedom than Galloway’s party.

Radio programme captures the spirit of revolt against racism

Posted on: February 20th, 2024 by Sophie
racism anti-racism Southhall radio

The National Front organised in Southall in the 1970s (Picture: Socialist Worker)

During the 1970s the fascist National Front (NF) party grew at an alarming rate. 

A new Tory party leader Margaret Thatcher was tapping into the NF’s growth, talking about “alien cultures”.

A general election was called for May 1979 with the James Callaghan-led Labour government sinking in the polls.

The NF decided to stand local Nazi Ernest Pendrous in the staunchly Labour Southall constituency — by then a predominantly Sikh working class community within Ealing borough.

In their obsession with St George’s Day the NF got permission to use its small town hall on a Monday the 23 April for a general election meeting.

Ealing’s Tory council granted them permission with the backing of Labour Home Secretary Merlyn Rees. 

Deep community anger required sharp organisation so that on a wet windy morning buses didn’t leave the Hanwell garage. Factories and stores closed and supporters came from across London to stand with the locals.

That day, the NF were met with furious protests from community organisations, trade unions and willing political parties.  

A new play by writer Satinder Chohan, whose family lived close to where the meeting was held, is a drama about the events of that time period. 

“I wanted to write a drama that marked the 45th anniversary of these events somehow,” she explained to Socialist Worker. 

“I wanted to reignite memories for those who were there or who might remember fragments. But I also wanted to offer a sense of it to those who might know nothing at all about a really pivotal moment in the birth of a multicultural Britain. 

“I thought this would work best as a coming of age story because Southall ‘79 really felt like such a moment for our town. 

“It was when black and Asian residents really began finding their strength, solidarity and voices in a fractured Britain on the cusp of Thatcherism.

“There’s no way an hour can capture all the voices, memories, and stories of that day. At the very least I hope it evokes the spirit of resistance that shaped that day. 

“It features bursts of a banging reggae, punk, bhangra—it’s a late 70s soundscape.”

Turning Point—Uprising by Satinder Chohan Available on BBC Sounds until 9 March

Turn solidarity for Palestine into action

Posted on: February 20th, 2024 by Isabel
Young protesters marching for Palestine

On the 250,000-strong London demonstration for Palestine (Picture: Alamy)

The movement for Palestine can’t trust those at the top of society to bring freedom and justice. What we do now matters more than ever. At the start of this week the resilience of the Palestinian resistance, the scale of the global movement and the fears of wider revolt in the Middle East had shaken Joe Biden.

In an effort to look less signed up to genocide, his administration is now using the word “ceasefire”. The United States drafted a UN Security Council resolution that calls for a “temporary ceasefire” in Gaza “as soon as practical” and based on “all hostages being released”. It also warned against what it described as a “major” ground offensive in Rafah, “under the current circumstances”.

That’s not a pro-Palestine motion, but where the US leads loyal supporters of imperialism could follow. And that might include Rishi Sunak and Keir Starmer. Socialist Worker went to press before the ceasefire vote in parliament this week. But even before Biden’s move, Labour was altering its position because of its own fears of splits and rebellion.

We can guarantee that whatever Labour does will be too little and too late. Their version of a ceasefire won’t mean that Biden, Sunak or Starmer have broken from Israel. We need total liberation for the Palestinians. We want them freed from the grips of an apartheid state that has brutalised and oppressed them for more than 75 years.

The movement for Palestine needs to escalate. The nine national demonstrations in London have been a spectacular success and so have many others in Scotland, Wales and local areas of England. The 250,000 on the demonstration in London last Saturday were a sign of how strong the movement remains. It needs to stay active and militant.

Campaigners, for example, need to be on the streets next weekend. The fact that it’s the Palestine Solidarity Campaign’s (PSC) annual general meeting should not mean there isn’t a huge day of protest—particularly if the bloodbath in Rafah goes ahead. It’s too long until 9 March for the next scheduled national demo.

There also must be a deepening of actions within workplaces, schools, colleges and universities. The 8 March day of action needs to build on the positives of the last workplace events. More walkouts, strikes and protests can deepen and strengthen the movement.

And we need more militancy—big marches, mass mobilisation at the firms who supply the apartheid state, more occupations and efforts to make Britain ungovernable. The rage at Israeli terror has not subsided. Let’s keep turning that anger into action.