Protesters at a national demonstration for Palestine last year (Picture: Guy Smallman)Labour

Police officers dragged out pro-Palestine protesters from a Labour fundraising event in Stockport after they confronted Angela Rayner—Labour deputy leader—last week. 

The campaigners interrupted Rayner’s speech to push Labour to support a ceasefire.
 
Dalloul Al-Neder approached the stage and challenged Rayner while holding a photo of his family in Palestine. “I lost my family in Gaza. Why did you not demand a ceasefire?” he said.
 
Al-Neder has lost his mother, brother, pregnant sister-in-law and two nieces. They were all murdered by Israeli bombs.
 
Police officers grabbed him and pulled him away after his intervention. Police officers removed seven people in total from the £35-a-ticket fundraising event.
 
Another activist shouted, “Fifteen thousand children and women are dead. Where has your voice been?”
“Women are having to use scraps and tents for sanitary towels. You call yourself a feminist?”
 
Natasha Khan, who joined the protests, said her wrist was injured when police dragged her away from the stage.
 
“I barely said anything. I wasn’t resisting. I was walking out. The only thing I tried to do was pick up my Palestinian flag,” she said.
 
Khan has now lodged a complaint against the Greater Manchester Police. Police officers escorted Rayner and shadow business secretary Jonathan Reynolds away as pro-Palestine activists heckled them.
Rayner herself abstained from the recent vote over a ceasefire.
 
Al-Neder said afterwards, “I went there to give a voice to the Palestinian people.
“It’s not just about my mother or the five members of my family killed, but about the thousands who have been killed in Gaza.
 
“I went to ask for a ceasefire. The Labour Party must take action and vote for a ceasefire rather than against one.”
 
A protest was also held outside the event at the Village Hotel in Cheadle, which was attended by other Labour MPs in the area.
 
James Harker, a pro-Palestine activist from Bolton, said afterwards, “As a former Labour member, I’m sickened by the way Angela Rayner and the majority of Labour MPs abstained on a ceasefire vote.
 
“How can anyone defend the murder of 26,000 people in Gaza? How can I be part of this community in Bolton—with Muslim friends and neighbours—and not take a stand against this anti-Palestine Islamophobia in British politics?”
 
“Though Dalloul was handled roughly by the police, I was allowed to stand right next to Rayner and Reynolds and say everything I wanted.
 
“Just look at the videos of both Dalloul and my fellow protestor Natasha being treated aggressively, while a room of white Labour supporters look on tutting and doing nothing to help her.
 
“To me the most important thing is the message that Dalloul conveyed so clearly, both in his words and in the way he was treated. There is a human cost to Labour’s disdain for Palestinians.
 

“That cost is being paid every day by civilians in Gaza.”

Former mayor quits party 
Newcastle’s first Muslim mayor, Habib Rahman, quit Labour last Friday in protest against the party’s stance over Israel’s war.
 
The resignation comes as part of a grassroots pushback against Labour, as Rahman joins more than 70 Labour councillors who have quit the party over its backing for Israel.
 
In a letter, Rahman slammed Keir Starmer, whose “unwavering support for the Israeli government’s bombardment of Gaza is nothing short of advocating for the decimation of the Palestinian people”.
 
“I cannot accept your inhuman position. I was also appalled to learn of your initial stance supporting the Israeli government in withholding a vital lifeline in food, water and electricity from Gaza.
 
“No one is free until the land of Palestine is freed from its oppressors.” 
 
Rahman will now sit as an independent on Newcastle City Council.
Labour MP suspended by party for genocide post  
The Labour Party suspended MP Kate Osamor on Sunday after she listed Gaza as an example of genocide in a message to local members on social media. 
 
The suspension is the latest attack by Labour on those who stand in solidarity with the Palestinian people.
 
Osamor wrote on Friday, “Tomorrow is Holocaust Memorial Day, an international day to remember the 6 million Jews murdered during the Holocaust, the millions of other people murdered under Nazi persecution of other groups and more recent genocides in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia and now Gaza.”
 
Members of her party attacked her comments, including shadow business secretary Jonathan Reynolds, who said it was not acceptable to equate the Holocaust to the situation in Gaza.
 
“What is happening in Gaza is clearly a humanitarian catastrophe that is recognised.  But there are specific reasons why the Holocaust is considered as it is,” he said. 
 
Under fire from party leaders Osamor, MP for Edmonton in north London, backtracked and apologised for the comment. 
 
She met Labour party whips on Monday to discuss the message. But Osamor shouldn’t have to apologise for calling the Israeli government’s terror against the Palestinian people what it is—a genocide.
 
She is the tenth MP elected to represent Labour in 2019 to now be sitting as an independent.
 
They include fellow members of the Socialist Campaign Group including Jeremy Corbyn, Diane Abbott and Andy McDonald.
 
Labour is no place for socialists or for Palestine supporters.
 
It’s time to leave and join a socialist alternative that doesn’t bow to Keir Starmer or the limitations of the Labour Party. 
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