The UK public overwhelmingly supports an immediate ceasefire in Israel-Palestine.
Indeed, in a 19 October 2023 YouGov poll 58% said that there should 'definitely' be an immediate ceasefire in Israel and Palestine, with a further 18% saying that there 'probably should' be such a ceasefire.
Though the UK government continues to offer unequivocal support for Israel’s horrific attack on Gaza – with the Labour leadership not far behind – both Tories and Labour are clearly feeling the pressure.
This explains the cynical farce of their support for a ‘temporary cessation of hostilities’ in Gaza, even as the UK Government abstains on (and the US vetoes) a UN general assembly resolution calling for ‘an immediate, durable humanitarian truce’ (emphases added).
1,000s of messages
Meanwhile, as the government desperately attempts to smear those protesting in favour of an immediate ceasefire, the Guardian reports that: ‘Many Labour MPs ... say they have received huge amounts of correspondence and messages from constituents expressing worry about the official line, notably after an LBC interview during the Labour conference earlier this month in which Starmer said Israel had the right to cut off power and water to Gaza.’
We now need to increase that pressure still further. Critical to that will be moving passive supporters into becoming active supporters
And that: ‘Several Labour MPs have told the Guardian that they have received more emails and other messages about this than any other issue in the past. In some cases more than 1,000 people have been in touch with an MP, including a range of voices from Muslim communities and beyond.’ (emphasis added)
We now need to increase that pressure still further. Critical to that will be moving passive supporters (ie. those who support the call for an immediate ceasefire but have yet to engage in any form of action about it) into becoming active supporters (eg. writing to their MP, joining the next national demonstration in London on 11 November etc...)
Naming the dead
One possible way to engage with people, groups and institutions who’ve not yet stepped into action is a ‘Naming the Dead’ action: that is, holding a public ‘Ceasefire Now!’ ceremony in your town or city at which people read out the names of children (Palestinian and Israeli) who have been killed since 7 October.
Next Saturday (4 November) has been called as a ‘Day of Action for Palestine: Ceasefire Now!’, so this could be the perfect opportunity to stage such an action.
Here are links to three resources for this purpose:
a. A formatted printable PDF listing 2,529 names (suitable for a multi-hour name-reading):
b. A shorter formatted list of 240 names (suitable for an hour-long event):
(Click on the links for the lists to see more about where the names have come from, their credibility etc...)
c. A flier, with QR codes, that enables people to contact their MP simply and easily (assuming that they have a smartphone and internet access):
And here’s a simple how-to guide:
A THREE-STEP GUIDE TO HOLDING A LOCAL 'NAMING THE DEAD' ACTION
1. Before the event
> Find some people to organise the action with and decide when and where the action will be taking place (as well as for how long). If necessary (eg. if you’re planning a multi-hour reading) organise a rota.
> Make yourselves two large water-proof signs: ‘Ceasefire Now!’ and ‘Naming the Dead in Gaza and Israel’.
> Print off the names (see a. and b. above) to read and find something waterproof but accessible to put them in. A folding plastic clipboard works well.
> Ideally, source a megaphone and a handbell (or similar) – but don't worry if you can’t get these.
> Print some fliers to give to passersby (eg. you could use the PN one, c. Above)
> Publicise the event to local people and groups, inviting them to come and take part.
> Write a press release (see template below) and send this out to your local media outlets.
2. The event itself.
We suggest using the following format:
> At any one time we suggest that you have one or two people who are the designated ‘outreach’ people for the action: talking to members of the public, helping them to message their MP using the QR code on the flier (see c. above), welcoming new people, talking to the local media etc… Everyone else is part of the ceremony proper.
> People take it in turn to read a set number of names (eg. twenty or forty) slowly from the list, reading one name every 15 seconds (ie. four names a minute).
(The lists a. and b. have the following format:
NAME aged X killed in Israel’s attack on Gaza
NAME aged X killed in Hamas’s attack on Israel on 7 October)
> If you’ve managed to source a handbell or similar, then this can be tolled every fourth name (ie. once a minute if you’re reading the names at a rate of four a minute as suggested above).
> Those not reading form a silent presence (with the signs) around the current reader. This is protest but it’s also form of ritual. It will lose it’s power if everyone is just milling around talking, doing other things etc….
> If it’s going to be dark then tea-lights in jam jars can be used to form a striking visual.
> Take some photos.
> Hold a 1 minute silence at the close.
3. After the event
Send out a post-action press release – with links to any photos – to your local press contacts.
Share images etc... on social media.
TEMPLATE PRESS RELEASE
If you’ve never done any media work before then we strongly recommend having a look at George Monbiot’s Activist Guide to Exploiting the Media, especially sections 3.d and 5 on writing a press and speaking to the media respectively: http://www.networkforclimateaction.org.uk/toolkit/press_and_media/guides_for_using_the_mainstream_media/monbiot_guide_to_exploiting_the_media.pdf
You should be able to find emails, social media handles and (possibly) telephone numbers for your local media on their websites.
Template press release:
INSERT YOUR GROUPS NAME HERE
INSERT THE DATE HERE
Local residents to hold X hour ‘Naming the Dead’ ceremony in town centre, demanding ‘Ceasefire Now!’
INSERT TIME, DATE AND LOCATION OF YOUR EVENT: Local residents will be holding an X hour ‘Naming the Dead’ ceremony in YOUR TOWN centre on INSERT DATE, between START TIME and END TIME. Participants will be reading the names of children from Gaza and Israel who have been killed since 7 October 2023, demanding an immediate ceasefire.
According to Save the Children, more than 3,257 children have been reported killed in Israel-Palestine since 7 October, including at least 3195 in Gaza, 33 in the West Bank, and 29 in Israel .
According to a 19 October 2023 YouGov poll 58% of the British public said that there should 'definitely' be an immediate ceasefire in Israel and Palestine, with a further 18% saying that there 'probably should' be such a ceasefire .
The call for an immediate ceasefire is also supported by a wide range of civil society organisations including Oxfam, Save the Children and Amnesty International. 
Local resident, INSERT YOUR NAME said: ‘With the UK government offering “unequivocal support” for Israel's horrific attack on Gaza - and the Labour leadership not far behind it – it's critical that MPs' inboxes are flooded with demanding an immediate ceasefire and supporting a just peace. Today, as we remember the thousands of children that have killed over the last few weeks, we also urge members of the public to use the app at https://tinyurl.com/protectcivilians to contact their MP and demand a ceasefire.’
 https://www.oxfam.org/en/open-call-immediate-ceasefire-occupied-palestinian-territory, https://www.savethechildren.org.uk/news/media-centre/press-releases/save-the-children-calls-for-ceasefire-in-gaza, https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2023/10/israel-opt-urgent-call-for-an-immediate-ceasefire-by-all-parties-to-end-unprecedented-civilian-suffering/