Wednesday, August 02, 2006
UNISON renews ceasfire call
UNISON's TUC delegation meeting today endorsed the action of our General Secretary in sending a letter to MPs reiterating our call for our Government to demand a ceasfire in the war in Lebanon.
In a letter to Labour MPs today, general secretary Dave Prentis voiced the union’s feelings about the “humanitarian catastrophe” and urged them to put pressure on Tony Blair “to make an unequivocal call for an immediate ceasefire” between Israel and Hezbollah.
“To many of our members, our failure to do this in recent weeks has put at risk the moral authority of our Labour government both at home and abroad,” he wrote. “It is widely perceived that our apparent inaction has undermined international efforts to halt the violence and isolated us from key European and Muslim world allies.“The deaths of innocent women, children and men, and Israel’s latest declaration that they now intend to widen their ground offensive against Lebanon, make the case for speaking out for an immediate ceasefire even more pressing.”
He said that UNISON members the breadth of the country had contacted him to express their horror. “They spend their lives caring for others, helping the vulnerable, building safe and healthy communities. They are appalled at the scenes of despair and destruction, as entire villages and communities are destroyed.”
Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has said that there will be no ceasefire in Lebanon until an international force is deployed in the south of the country.
About 750 people - mainly civilians - have been killed so far by Israeli action in Lebanon, according to Lebanon's health minister. A total of 54 Israelis, including at least 19 civilians, are known to have been killed by Hezbollah.
Those who can get to London on Saturday can join the national demonstration. Saturday 5 August: Assemble 12 NoonSpeakers Corner, Hyde Park, LondonMarch to Parliament Square for rally - for more details and other actions go to www.stopwar.org.uk.
You can sign a letter to Tony Blair online at the Stop the War Coalition website.