Manchester City Council calls for peace in Gaza during emotive meeting

The call came at a meeting of the city council
Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now

Manchester has called for peace in Gaza and condemned the deaths of innocent lives caught up in the conflict.

An emotive gathering in the town hall started with three separate minute silences for the loss of life in the conflict between Israel and Palestine as well as the deaths of Sir Bobby Charlton and former councillors Patricia Conquest and Keith Barnes. Council leader Bev Craig stood in the chamber and read a joint statement on behalf of all political parties which condemned violence as well as any acts of antisemitism or Islamophobia.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The cross-party message was clear at full council, “no one should feel unsafe in their communities in Manchester”. 

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 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.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“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.”

Each party leader echoed these words in their individual statements, all promoting how the unity of the political parties should represent the togetherness of each community in Manchester against the violence in the Middle East and racial hatred.

Calls for peace in Gaza at Manchester full council. Uploaded by George Lythgoe. Credit: LDRSCalls for peace in Gaza at Manchester full council. Uploaded by George Lythgoe. Credit: LDRS
Calls for peace in Gaza at Manchester full council. Uploaded by George Lythgoe. Credit: LDRS

Later in the meeting, Coun Zahra Alijah said she wanted the council to become pioneers and promote awareness of Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) – in what she claimed would be her last motion. She stated that FASD is a hidden epidemic in the area which affects four per cent of the population. 

FASD happens when a pregnant woman consumes alcohol.  Alcohol crosses the placenta and interferes with the development of the foetus.  This has a significant impact on the executive brain and body function.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Coun Alijah said: “I want us all to have compassion for the mothers who have taken alcohol during their pregnancy. No one is to blame for this. It is society who is to blame and not the mothers.”

The motion was unanimously supported by the council. In addition to this, the launch of the council’s Manchester: A City for Life was largely celebrated. This is a new strategy that seeks to promote a more positive outlook on age in the area.

Coun Joan Davies explained that this would mean not just focusing on the needs of the younger generation, but considering how these changes impact the older generation who are still very much part of the Manchester community.