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Cardiff ceasefire campaigners to stage ‘fast’ outside UK Government building

06 Dec 2023 4 minute read
Image: Cardiff Stop the War Coalition

Emily Price

Campaigners calling for a ceasefire in Gaza are staging a collective “solidarity fast” outside the office of David TC Davies in Cardiff today.

Local residents from across the city have begun to gather on Central Square to take part in the 24-hour fast to demand that the UK Government call for “a sustained and permanent ceasefire in Gaza”.

Campaigners are staging a ‘fast’ outside the UK Govt building in Cardiff. Image: Cardiff Stop the War Coalition

Sit-in

Organisers from Cardiff Stop the War Coalition say that people will be fasting at work, home, school and university, while some will stage a peaceful sit-in outside the UK Government building on Central Square from 8 am to 5 pm.

Since October the network has staged a series of vigils outside the office of Cardiff MP, Jo Stevens calling for an immediate ceasefire.

They have also participated with other local peace groups in weekly city centre marches calling for justice for the Palestinian people.

The ongoing conflict in Gaza has killed more than 16,200 people – 70% of them women and children – and left more than 42,000 injured, according to the territory’s health ministry.

Gaza has been without electricity since early October, and Israel has severely limited fuel imports, forcing several hospitals to shut down because they cannot operate emergency generators.

Image: Cardiff Stop the War Coalition.

Israel says it must remove Hamas from power to prevent a repeat of the October 7 attack, when Hamas and other militants killed about 1,200 people, mostly civilians, and took captive some 240 men, women and children after bursting through Israel’s defences.

More than 100 hostages were released during last week’s ceasefire, along with 240 Palestinians imprisoned by Israel.

On November 8th, the Senedd voted in favour of a ceasefire motion which had been tabled by Plaid Cymru.

Following a debate in the Scottish Parliament, MSPs also voted in favour of a ceasefire in Gaza and the immediate and unconditional release of all hostages held by Hamas.

However, in the House of Commons, a motion calling for a ceasefire which was tabled by the Scottish National Party was defeated.

Image: Cardiff Stop the War Coalition

Both the Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and Labour leader Keir Starmer have taken the same line on the Gaza war calling for “humanitarian pauses” as opposed to a full ceasefire.

“Massacre”

In a statement issued ahead of the fast by the peace group, they said: “The situation in Gaza has been getting worse with each day. There are no safe zones in the Gaza strip, 2 million people are crammed wherever they can fit with no clean water or food. We are watching massacre after massacre unfold before our eyes and we urge it to stop.

“We demand a full, complete ceasefire for the preservation of human life. We demand that extensive humanitarian aid be allowed to enter Gaza. We demand an end to the occupation and justice. But none of this is possible without a full ceasefire.”

Image: Cardiff Stop the War Coalition.

Aiman Rahim, a Cardiff Stop the War Coalition activist said: “I am fasting in solidarity with the Palestinian victims of genocide, and to push our collective demand for an immediate and full ceasefire.

“The UK government has been supporting this genocide by refusing to vote for the UN ceasefire resolution as well as the King’s Speech amendment calling for a ceasefire. The government which our taxes and votes go towards are complicit in the genocide. We condemn the UK government’s complicity and demand that our voices are heard, that the UK supports a full and immediate ceasefire in Palestine.”

Adam Johannes, another Cardiff Stop the War Coalition activist added: “There is a long history of fasting in order to bring attention to an injustice. Fasting has been a protest tactic used by the Irish and Indian independence movement, the Sufragettes, and by many prisoners of conscience.

“All over the world people have fasted to highlight desperately urgent causes, and as an act of witness to the suffering of others.

“Today we are fasting in support of the right of Palestinians to live freely in their own land rather than being subjected to military occupation, siege, refugee camps and exile. I will donate any money I would have spent on food today to the Middle East Children’s Alliance, a charity who run community projects for Palestinian children.”


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