‘Every government, every politician and every activist must be straining every sinew to secure a ceasefire’: Benali Hamdache’s speech to the Palestine Solidarity demonstration in London
On October 21, 300,000 people marched in London to demand an end to the war in Gaza. The demonstration was organised by Palestine Solidarity Campaign, Friends of Al-Aqsa, Stop the War Coalition, Muslim Association of Britain, Palestinian Forum in Britain, Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament.
The Green Party’s migration spokesperson Benali Hamdache spoke at the demonstration. With his permission, we are reprinting the speech in full:
Every civilian life lost is a catastrophe. It is a disaster.
I cannot bear the images of dead children. Screaming children. Orphans. Children are not a legitimate target of war. Civilians are not a legitimate target of war.
Every advancement of this conflict is going to kill innocent people. A full and immediate ceasefire must be called. Every government, every politician and every activist must be straining every sinew to secure a ceasefire.
No collective punishment. No more missiles and mortars raining down on homes. No government should be cheering on retaliation and illegal acts of war.
A ceasefire and a return to negotiations. Peace shouldn’t be a bold or radical choice, but in this context it feels like it. But only lasting peace will be secured with a ceasefire and negotiations.
An end to illegal occupations. Full rights for all, regardless of religion or race. Refugees with a right to a home.
Rishi Sunak no one is winning here. Only death is winning here. Your government is cheerleading for more innocent lives lost.
I’m proud to be a Green and I will say these facts we hold true: War crimes are not acceptable, collective punishment is not acceptable, the killing of civilians is not acceptable.
Do you hear that Keir Starmer? A full and immediate ceasefire is the only answer.