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Manchester Greens join cross-party call for lasting peace in Gaza

Manchester Greens joined with the city’s Labour, Liberal Democrat and independent councillors this morning to issue a cross-party call for peace in Gaza.

The city’s Green councillors joined colleagues in calling for a sustained ceasefire between Israel and Hamas, with the two sides having observed a temporary ceasefire since 24 November.

The statement, announced at today’s Manchester City Council meeting, aims to ease community tensions in the wake of the conflict, which has caused a sharp rise in antisemitic and Islamophobic attacks across Greater Manchester.

Cllr Astrid Johnson, leader of the Green Party on Manchester City Council, said: “The Green group, the Labour group, the Lib Dem group, and our independent councillor Amna Abdullatif are united in calling for a lasting ceasefire now. 

“The killings have to stop. The killing of children must stop. There is no military solution. This call comes not from a weak place, but a strong one. We know that we must come to a peaceful solution. The path to peace will be difficult, especially after recent events in the Middle East, but violence only breeds violence.

“We call on the government and the main opposition party Labour to listen to the people of Manchester and their elected representatives. In our city we can do our part by healing the pain between different communities and ensuring mutual love and respect.”

The statement by Manchester’s 96 councillors calls for the UK government to work for a ‘long-term ceasefire on all sides’ of the conflict, and an international effort to bring about the creation of a Palestinian state.

Councillors have also pledged to engage with the city’s interfaith leaders to promote dialogue and cohesion, and offer their support to create a ‘safe and tolerant’ community without threats of violence or prejudice.

The statement from Manchester City Council read: “In the face of the horrific violence of the last few weeks and growing concerns in the West Bank, we are clear that a lasting peace is the only way to guarantee the dignity and security which both Palestinians and Israelis deserve.

“As a council, we have the responsibility to create a safe city for people of all backgrounds and faiths. We have a duty to support all communities impacted by the events in Israel and Palestine. We must ensure that people feel comfortable and safe accessing vital local services.

“As politicians we recognise that residents of Manchester are appalled by the loss of life in Israel and Palestine, and come together united in these difficult times.

“Manchester will continue to be a strong and consistent advocate for justice, human rights and international law and condemn the unacceptable use of violence towards civilians everywhere.

“Manchester is a city that knows the importance of coming together as one to support each other, and restates [that] we are stronger when we stand together.”

Cllr Ekua Bayunu, deputy leader of the Greens on Manchester City Council, added: “This statement is not ours. It is rooted in the passion, the energy, the deep-rooted desire for justice that our residents demand from us. 

“It bears witness to every march, to every vigil; to every letter written to our MPs, to our councillors, to our union leaders; to every penny raised by ordinary – no, extraordinary – people for humanitarian aid for people we will never meet.

“It is the words of the people that matter. This is your statement, and this is the beginning of our response.”

At today’s council meeting, Greens also supported a motion to raise awareness of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD).

FASD is a brain and body disability caused when a pregnant woman consumes alcohol, interfering with an unborn child’s brain development.

The motion aims to make the council’s services more conscious of FASD, which affects up to 4% of Greater Manchester’s population.


Notes to editors: 

The Green Party is the joint opposition party on Manchester City Council with four councillors. The Green group leader is Cllr Astrid Johnson. The deputy leader is Cllr Ekua Bayunu.

The four Green councillors on the council are Cllr Astrid Johnson, Cllr Anastasia Wiest and Cllr Rob Nunney, who represent the ward of Woodhouse Park, and Cllr Ekua Bayunu who has a seat in Hulme.

Manchester City Council is formed of 87 Labour members, four Greens, four Liberal Democrats, and one independent.

Cllr Astrid Johnson will be available for interview upon request. 

For further information, please contact Chris Ogden at