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Aberdeen City Council calls for Gaza Ceasefire

Members of Scottish Palestinian Solidarity protest inside Council Chambers Over Ceasefire Amendment

 

By Nour Elshenawy



Photo Credit: SPSC

 

In a bid to secure support for a motion urging a ceasefire in Gaza, members of the Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign (SPSC) recently descended upon the Aberdeen City Council chambers on Wednesday morning.


Before the meeting, Kate Ramsden, a representative of SPSC, shared insights into their cause and criticism of the Lord Provost David Cameron.

 

Ramsden explained the dual motive behind the group's presence. Firstly, to express support for the impending motion advocating a ceasefire in Gaza. "We want to show solidarity with that," she affirmed, emphasizing their consistent advocacy for a ceasefire since the onset of the conflict. The second reason stemmed from their disappointment with the Lord Provost's decision not to fly the Palestinian flag on the UN Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People.

 

"We're also very disappointed that the Lord Provost chose not to fly the Palestinian flag on the UN day of solidarity with the Palestinian people on the 29th of November," Ramsden explained.


She underscored the significance of this symbolic gesture, especially during a critical period marked by Israeli bombardment and what she characterised as collective punishment of the Palestinian population.

 

The Gaudie delved into the Lord Provost's rationale, questioning the perceived neutrality. In response, Ramsden invoked the words of Desmond Tutu, stating, "If you're neutral in situations of injustice, then you have taken the side of the oppressor."


She criticized the Lord Provost's decision as a departure from the city's proud history of international solidarity, highlighting past honours bestowed upon figures such as Nelson Mandela.

 

Expressing hope for the passage of the ceasefire motion, Ramsden stressed its fundamental nature. She underscored that it should be a cause supported by anyone with a "sense of humanity."


Her disappointment in the Lord Provost's response was palpable as Ramsden revealed the lack of communication in response to numerous appeals to fly the Palestinian flag.

 

Ramsden then conveyed her appreciation, leaving an air of anticipation regarding the Aberdeen City Council's response to the impending motion and the broader call for solidarity with the Palestinian cause.

 

In a pivotal turn of events during the Aberdeen City Council proceedings, Councillor Watson presented a motion addressing the ongoing conflict in Palestine/Israel.


The motion highlighted the Council's commitment to local and international solidarity, expressing deep concern over the significant suffering caused by the conflict.

 

The motion, acknowledging the recent acts of terror and escalated violence, called for an immediate ceasefire of all hostilities, the release of hostages, and international support for substantial and urgent UN-led humanitarian relief for the citizens of Gaza.


Just minutes before, Pro-Palestinian protestors had interrupted the proceedings, chanting slogans like "Long Live Palestine" and "Shame on You, Lord Provost."

 

In response, the Lord Provost ordered the meeting adjourned until the gallery was cleared. Despite the disruption, councillors later voted to approve a motion by Councillor Watson calling for a ceasefire in the ongoing conflict in Gaza.


However, members of the Conservative party, as well as several independent members abstained, arguing that foreign policy was not a matter for the Council. The outcome sets the stage for further discussions on the Council's stance and actions in solidarity with the Palestinian cause.

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