For immediate release: 27 July 2006
On the same day that Tony Blair flies to Washington to meet George Bush, CND and other groups campaigning for peace in the Middle East will hand in a letter to Downing Street, demanding that Blair backs calls for an immediate ceasefire. Tony Benn, together with representatives from the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, the Stop the War Coalition, the Palestine Solidarity Campaign and the British Muslim Initiative, will hand in the letter, which has received thousands of signatures over the last few days.

There has been a huge outpouring of public opposition to the violence and unfolding tragedy and humanitarian crisis in the Middle East. There has also been outrage here in the UK at Tony Blair’s decision to isolate the UK from world opinion by allying with the US. The hand-in of the letter will be accompanied by a protest in Whitehall, expressing the widely held view that the UK must back a peaceful solution.

Kate Hudson, CND Chair, said:

“Only an immediate ceasefire can bring a halt to the devastation and suffering in the Middle East. It is completely unacceptable that Britain is being isolated from the overwhelming majority of world public opinion by the Prime Minister’s support for another war backed by George Bush. Tony Blair must call for an immediate ceasefire to ensure that aid and medical treatment reaches those who need it most and so a peaceful settlement of the dispute can be agreed.”

She added “As the only nuclear weapons state in the Middle East, Israel’s aggressive rhetoric toward Syria and Iran only escalates tensions in an already volatile area.”


Notes to Editor:

1. The demonstration will take place from 5-7pm in Whitehall, opposite Downing Street. The hand-in of the letter will take place at 6pm at Downing Street.
2. For further information and interviews please contact Rick Wayman, CND’s Press & Communications Officer, on 0207 7002350 or 07968 420859.
3. The Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND) is one of Europe’s biggest single-issue peace campaigns, with over 32,000 members in the UK. CND campaigns for the abolition of all nuclear weapons everywhere.