Alexi Dimond spoke at the rally to Stop Genocide in Gaza at Sheffield Town Hall on Wednesday.

Here is his speech in full.

Yesterday, the Al Ahli hospital was bombed in the single most egregious act of barbarism so far in Israel’s genocidal campaign against Palestinians in Gaza. A social media advisor to the Israeli PM Hananya Naftali tweeted immediately after the attack: “Israeli Airforce struck a Hamas terrorist base inside a hospital in Gaza” and posted a picture. This has since been deleted as has an IDF post on Facebook boasting about the attack. Over 500 people and likely hundreds more were killed in this attack. Now our media is scrambling to cast doubt on who is responsible, a willing accomplice in covering up for war crimes, just as they try to obscure the truth about the history of Palestine and the occupation.


There is no new war between Hamas and Israel as our media like to claim, but rather a continuation of a 76-year-long conquest and occupation which has intensified under the most repressive right-wing Israeli government in history. The situation persists because Western governments allow Israel to flout international law and subject the Palestinian population under its occupation to racist apartheid policies and subjugation, including a 15-year-long siege of Gaza.


Western racism against Palestinians has a long history, and the dehumanisation of Palestinians is a continuation of the colonial mindset that allowed Europeans to colonise and enslave the world. In 1937 Winston Churchill said of the Palestinian people and I quote: “I do not agree that the dog in the manger has the final rights to the manger even though he may have lain there for a very long time, I do not admit that right. I do not admit for instance that it is a great wrong has been done to the Red Indians of America or the Black people of Australia, I do not admit that a wrong has been done to these people by the fact that a stronger race, a higher grade race, a more worldly-wise race, to put it that way, has come to take their place”. This was the real Winston Churchill, not the white-washed version venerated today.

Alexi Dimond addresses the Stop Genocide in Gaza rally

Unfortunately, this racist worldview is one that persists to this day. It is one that informs most of the British media, and politicians from both the Conservative and Labour Parties. Let us not forget that Keir Starmer said “Israel made the desert flower”. Over the last few weeks, we have heard unequivocal support for Israel’s war crimes from both the Leadership of the Conservatives and the Labour Party. Shame on them. They are complicit in these war crimes and must be held accountable.


I salute the few brave former Labour Councillors who have left the party over their leadership’s support for genocide. Councillors such as Amna Abdullatif from Manchester, Shaista Aziz and Amar Latif from Oxford and Cllr Jessie Hoskin, from Stroud district council who said: “The Labour party is no longer consistent with the values of human dignity, equality, and a world where everyone is safe and has what they need to thrive that I believe in and will continue to organise for in other areas of my work.”


Unlike the Labour and Conservative Parties and the UK media, we reject all racism, we reject anti-Palestinian racism, we reject antisemitism, we reject Islamophobia and we reject ethnic cleansing, settler-colonialism and apartheid.


We know that international law must apply equally and that attacks on civilians and collective punishment can never be justified. We condemn our government for supporting Israel’s genocidal assault on Gaza – including vetoing UN resolutions calling for a ceasefire. We are witnessing an attack on a captive civilian population of 2.3 million people, two-thirds of whom are refugees and half of whom are children with nowhere to go. Everyone in Gaza is a hostage. 


We call for the release of all hostages. We also demand the release of those held in Israeli prisons – men women and children held without charge in administrative detention in contravention to international law. Every single person in Palestine must be free, free to move, free from discrimination, free from checkpoints and daily humiliation. That is what justice looks like. That is what will bring about peace. 


Returning to Gaza. You don’t need to be a human rights lawyer to know that cutting off water, food and medicine, and targeting civilians are war crimes under international law. It is the definition of collective punishment, it is an act of genocide. Ordering 1.1 million people to leave their homes in less than 24 hours, and bombing them while they flee is genocide. Bombing the Rafah crossing to Egypt to stop aid from coming in and people getting out is genocide. 


I urge everyone to keep protesting every day you can join groups supporting Palestinian rights, donate to Sheffield PSC, write to your MPs and councillors, let them know that you will not vote for them if they support war crimes and apartheid – and as my colleague Maliki said last night – ask them specific questions and publicise their responses. If they will not condemn occupation – out them. If they will not condemn apartheid – out them.  If they will not condemn genocide – out them. 



Martin Phipps
Cllr Martin Phipps

July 2023 was the hottest month on record. In Southern Europe, there were wildfires near Athens in Greece and in Rhodes, Switzerland, Croatia and the Spanish Canary Island of La Palma with temperatures in some places in the mid-40s.

While global temperatures soar and the UN Secretary-General has said we are in an era of “global boiling”, Rishi Sunak has just approved hundreds of new gas and oil licences.

You might think that Labour, the official opposition, would oppose this and the Tory race to “cut the green crap”. It seems an obvious position to take, given the deteriorating state of the climate, that building onshore wind is the cheapest way to generate electricity and that mass insulation is the best way to lower heating bills and reduce household emissions –  but you would be wrong.

 Labour have said they will not revoke the gas and oil licences. They’ve also said they can’t commit to their already-too-small green investment plans, as they need to stick to their fiscal rules. Never mind that the cost of inaction on the climate emergency comes with staggering environmental, human and financial costs.

It’s not just nationally that Labour is siding with the Tories on fuelling the climate crisis. Here in Sheffield, Labour is well known for the tree-felling saga when thousands of healthy street trees were felled unnecessarily and against residents’ wishes by a Labour majority council.

What Sheffield Labour may not be as well known for is their politicking on transport. Labour say they want better public transport, walking and cycling. But when it comes to it, they tried to axe schemes that improve bus times and reliability. They campaigned against low-traffic neighbourhoods and red routes. At a South Yorkshire level, they failed to attract funding for bus improvement plans that were so unambitious they aimed for a reduction in passengers even if successful. And Labour repeatedly voted against investigating a workplace parking levy that would fund millions of pounds for public and active transport each year.

Whether it’s in Sheffield or Westminster, it’s clear that only the Green Party will act on the climate emergency.


Martin Phipps, Green councillor for City ward

Sheffield Green Party

Christine Gilligan Kubo
Cllr Christine Gilligan

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has ordered a review of low traffic neighbourhoods (LTNs), saying that he is on the side of drivers and is supporting people to “use their cars to do all the things that matter to them.”

He argues the LTNs harm the freedom of motorists.

It seems this government is willing to put the lives of our children and grandchildren at risk by refusing to fund any more Low Traffic Neighbourhoods and scrapping existing ones.This is a massively backwards attitude that shows the Tory government is not serious about road safety, tackling climate change, improving air quality in local neighbourhoods, encouraging more active lifestyles and better health outcomes.

Around 200 LTNs have been set up since 2020. They aim to reduce through-traffic in residential streets to encourage people to walk, cycle or use public transport. People who need to drive to their homes or visit friends can still drive to homes in an LTN.

They open up networks of streets so people can safely travel through the area on foot, bicycle, using wheelchairs or by bus. They can also create spaces to play and to socialise.

Reducing motor traffic, reduces air pollution, noise pollution and road collisions and makes the character of residential streets more pleasant, inclusive and safer for people to walk and cycle.
Making space on our streets is key to achieving cleaner air and a lower carbon footprint whilst building healthier, safer and more resilient communities.

Many car journeys in Sheffield are under a mile and these short distances can easily be walked or cycled if people feel safer on their streets.

Removing existing LTNs and cancelling funding for future schemes is not harming the freedom of motorists. It is harming the future of our city, our children’s health and our planet.

Cllr Christine Gilligan Kubo,
Sheffield Green Party