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Pro-Palestine group shows support for Kate Osamor after Edmonton MP suspended

Local members of Palestine Solidarity Campaign say they “stand with Kate Osamor” after the MP was disciplined by Labour for comments she made about Gaza

Supporters of Kate Osamor gather in Edmonton Green last night
Supporters of Kate Osamor gather in Edmonton Green last night

Members of a pro-Palestine campaign group have shown their support for Kate Osamor after the Edmonton MP was suspended by the Labour Party for comments she made about Gaza.

Osamor lost the Labour whip in parliament on Sunday night, two days after sending out a newsletter in which she listed the ongoing war in Gaza among genocides that should be remembered alongside the Holocaust.

After being widely criticised for the remarks by Jewish groups and others, Osamor said she apologised “for any offence caused by my reference to the ongoing humanitarian disaster in Gaza as part of that period of remembrance [of the Holocaust]”.

But the Edmonton MP has been suspended while the incident is investigated by the Labour Party. It means she is effectively an independent MP until such time as she is reinstated.

On Tuesday (30th) members of Palestine Solidarity Campaign staged a demonstration in support of Osamor outside Edmonton Green Station. They were also joined by members of Stop the War Campaign.

Holding banners saying “we stand with Kate Osamor”, the two groups also issued a statement and said: “We are appalled at the outrageous decision to suspend Kate Osamor MP.

“Kate has been the MP for Edmonton since May 2015. She is an exceptional MP and a champion for her constituents. She has also been an advocate for human rights, including a stand for a ceasefire and the cessation of the government’s arming of Israel in its killing of Palestinian civilians.

“Kate’s stand on these matters are in accordance with the wishes of many of those she represents. In fact, over 250 people took to the streets of Edmonton on Saturday 27th January to peacefully march for a ceasefire and for the end of the violent occupation of Gaza and other Palestinian areas. The vast majority of the people in the UK want an immediate ceasefire. 

“In less than four months, 26,000 Palestinian civilians have been massacred, over 64,000 injured, countless missing buried under rubble. And now nearly two million people are displaced, facing ongoing slaughter, famine and disease. It is a horror like no other.”

A ruling last week by the International Court of Justice warned the Israeli government to “take all measures within its power to prevent and punish the direct and public incitement to commit genocide in relation to members of the Palestinian group in the Gaza Strip”.

But the court has not yet ruled on whether or not the war in Gaza has amounted to a breach of the Genocide Convention, after being asked to consider claims made by South Africa.

Osamor’s newsletter last week referenced Holocaust Memorial Day and then listed “recent genocides” including those in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia “and now Gaza”.

The joint statement in support of her comments adds: “We are deeply concerned that the Labour Party is ousting any MPs speaking about the horrors happening in Gaza. In protest at this disgraceful decision, we demonstrated outside Edmonton Green Station on the evening of 30th January. We fully stand behind Kate and demand that she be reinstated as MP for Edmonton immediately.”

A pro-Palestine protest in Edmonton last weekend
A pro-Palestine protest was also held in Edmonton last weekend