Thursday, July 27, 2006

UNISON repeats ceasefire call


According to the Union website (www.unison.org.uk) UNISON will continue to campaign for a ceasefire in the Middle East, despite the ‘disappointment’ of the international meeting in Rome, general secretary Dave Prentis declared today.The union was one of a number of high profile signatories to an open letter to the prime minister on Tuesday, urging him to use the UK’s influence to resolve the crisis. War on Want, Oxfam, Save the Children and Christian Aid were also among those “deeply alarmed” at the humanitarian suffering in Lebanon, Gaza and Israel, and at the UK government’s failure to back a UN call for an immediate ceasefire. Their open letter argued that the government’s policy, based on the assumption that such calls would be ignored, “risks putting civilian lives at continued risk, rather than helping to protect them”.But the UK joined the US in resisting the wishes of 13 other countries and UN secretary-general Kofi Annan to push for a ceasefire.

Labour leadership challenger and UNISON member John McDonnell has commented that the world will not forget or forgive the role played by George Bush and Tony Blair at this time. When there was a desperate need for the rest of the world to stand together to secure an immediate peace to save lives they not only failed but connived to allow Israel to prosecute a savage invasion of Lebanon.We must all now do all we can to press our Government to act and call for an immediate ceasefire. If Tony Blair will not make this call the British people will have to do it together themselves, using every form of media available to us, particularly by using the internet to get our message across (see www.john4leader.org.uk).

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