This evening, Rishi Sunak made a massive attack on the enormous peaceful mobilisations for Gaza, suggesting that those extraordinary demonstrations of humanity, to end the genocide, to defend human rights and to uphold the right of the Palestinians to sovereignty, are tainted or even motivated by extremism.

What has politics come to when those who oppose genocide are vilified, when the concept of democracy is distorted and manipulated in an attempt to curtail our right to speak out, to demand a change to government policy. This is the very fabric of our democratic rights, and they are under attack as never before.

Our determination remains the same; we will continue to work for a ceasefire, for peace and justice, and we will not be intimidated or allow our communities to be demonised by a political establishment that enables and condones crimes of the utmost horror. Our best response is to protest in greater numbers and with greater determination. This is what CND and our friends in the Palestine coalition, and many others across society will do. We will not fall silent. Our efforts will continue as long as Britain continues to arm, give succour to and otherwise support Israel’s actions.

CND has a decades-long record of peacefully opposing government policy where it supports nuclear weapons and war, and of campaigning to introduce policies based on peace and justice. We have always defended the right to protest, to disagree with government policy, and to demand change. We have always defended these democratic rights and we do not intend to abandon this record.

We call on all of our members and supporters to continue to come out onto the streets, calling for a ceasefire, expressing the view of the majority of the British people; and we will continue to demand an end to the genocide – alongside millions worldwide; and we will continue to protest until peace and justice prevail, and the rights and sovereignty of the Palestinian people are fulfilled.