Lambeth Council Gaza Ceasefire Vote

According to Save The Children, Israel has, since October 7th, slaughtered over 11,000 Palestinian children(1). CNN has reported that Palestinians are forced to eat grass and drink polluted water – unfit for human consumption(2), as Israel continues to starve the population of Gaza whilst it kills with total impunity.

As an organisation dedicated to fighting hunger and injustice, the Resistance Kitchen can not remain silent whilst our government arms an apartheid regime that weaponizes hunger to commit genocide against children.

On Thursday  26th January we joined our community to protest outside Lambeth Town Hall, in Brixton in favour of a council motion to support an immediate ceasefire in Gaza.

The motion was tabled by two Green Party councillors in Lambeth Council – Scott Ainslie and Nicole Griffiths. Both addressed the crown outside the town hall (see video).

Green Party Motion For Ceasefire

As we can see there is nothing radical or controversial about the motion, in fact it’s quiet tame – nothing anyone could object to.

And yet shamefully out of 63 Lambeth councillors only 7 had the moral integrity to vote for the motion, to vote for ceasefire to end the genocide in Gaza that has already resulted in the slaughter of over 25,000 Palestinians.

These principled councillors that voted to end genocide included:

Green Party:

  • Councillor Scott Ainslie
  • Councillor Nicole Griffiths

Labour Party:

  • Councillor Martin Abrams
  • Councillor Sarina Da Silva
  • Councillor Deepak Sardiwal
  • Councillor Sonia Winifred

Liberal Democrats Party:

  • Councillor Matthew Bryant

Lambeth is a strong Labour council with 58 Labour councillors out of 63. Following the party whip, the labour council issued a long convoluted statement as to why it opposed the motion. It said “international conflict is a matter for the UK parliament, not local government” and said the notion was “divisive” and mentioned “the worrying rise in anti-Semitic… hate crimes. “

It was left to labour’s own Jewish councillor Martin Abrams to reject the party’s statement and its implicit weaponizing of anti-Semitism to suppress support for Palestine. At great personal cost he along with 3 other labour councillors broke the party whip and voted with their conscience for the ceasefire.

Previous Lambeth council actions with regards to support for Ukraine laid bare the dirty hypocrisy of the labour councils position. Lambeth council had openly lobbied the government on behalf of Ukraine; on many occasions hoisted the Ukrainian flag from the town hall in solidarity; and had urged the public to donate money to help Ukraine. But now when it came to genocide in Gaza they were silent, claiming they couldn’t speak on international issues let alone lobby the government to do something. One of the speakers at the protest pointed out the racism of the double standards, a sentiment many agreed with.

Shamed Councillors

Whist the motion was overwhelmingly defeated, it was not a waste. It exposed those councillors who were happy to go along supporting genocide if it furthered their careers. The community will not forget nor forgive their despicable action (or inaction) in supporting the slaughter of over 11,000 children.

Shameful Lambeth councillors who didn’t vote to end genocide:

Labour Party

  • Councillor Ibtisam Adem – Knight’s Hill
  • Councillor Danial Adilypour – Streatham Common and Vale
  • Councillor David Amos – Kennington
  • Councillor Donatus Anyanwu – Brixton Windrush
  • Councillor Liz Atkins – Streatham Hill East
  • Councillor Martin Bailey – Vauxhall
  • Councillor Christine Banton – Gipsy Hill
  • Mayor, Councillor Sarbaz Barznji – Brixton Acre Lane
  • Councillor Linda Bray – Clapham Town
  • Councillor David Bridson – Brixton Acre Lane
  • Councillor James Bryan – Brixton North
  • Councillor Marcia Cameron – Brixton Rush Common
  • Councillor Judith Cavanagh – West Dulwich
  • Councillor Rezina Chowdhury – Streatham Hill East
  • Councillor Malcolm Clark – Streatham Wells
  • Councillor Andrew Collins – Clapham East
  • Councillor Diogo Costa – Oval
  • Councillor Fred Cowell – West Dulwich
  • Councillor Liam Daley – Kennington
  • Councillor Joe Dharampal-Hornby – Stockwell West and Larkhall
  • Councillor Jim Dickson – Herne Hill and Loughborough Junction
  • Councillor Ibrahim Dogus – Waterloo and South Bank
  • Councillor Jacqui Dyer – Kennington
  • Deputy Mayor, Councillor John-Paul Ennis – Brixton North
  • Councillor Olga FitzRoy – St Martin’s
  • Councillor Paul Gadsby – Myatt’s Fields
  • Councillor Annie Gallop – Myatt’s Fields
  • Councillor Adrian Garden – Brixton Rush Common
  • Councillor Pauline George – Herne Hill and Loughborough Junction
  • Councillor Dr. Mahamed Hashi – Stockwell East
  • Councillor Claire Holland – Oval
  • Councillor Alison Inglis-Jones – Clapham Common and Abbeville
  • Councillor Issa Issa – Oval
  • Councillor Saleha Jaffer – St Martin’s
  • Councillor Maria Kay – Brixton Acre Lane
  • Councillor Ben Kind – Brixton Rush Common
  • Councillor Jessica Leigh – Clapham East
  • Councillor Nanda Manley-Browne – Brixton North
  • Councillor Marianna Masters – Streatham Wells
  • Councillor Verity McGivern – Clapham Park
  • Councillor Jackie Meldrum – Knight’s Hill
  • Councillor Irfan Mohammed – Clapham Park
  • Councillor Scarlett O’Hara – Brixton Windrush
  • Councillor David Oxley – Stockwell West and Larkhall
  • Councillor David Robson – Clapham Town
  • Councillor Tom Rutland – Streatham Common and Vale
  • Councillor Henna Shah – Streatham Common and Vale
  • Councillor Joanne Simpson – Stockwell West and Larkhall
  • Councillor Rebecca Spencer – Gipsy Hill
  • Councillor Tom Swaine-Jameson – Vauxhall
  • Councillor Martin Tiedemann – Clapham Park
  • Councillor Tina Valcarcel – Stockwell East
  • Councillor Timothy Windle – Clapham Town
  • Councillor Isla Wrathmell – Vauxhall

Liberal Democrats

  • Councillor Ben Curtis – Clapham Common and Abbeville
  • Councillor Donna Harris – Streatham Hill West and Thornton

And it brought to the fore seven principled hero’s who showed courage in voting for humanity, many at great personal cost. All four labour councillors who voted for ceasefire are now facing disciplinary action from the labour leadership. Some were already under immense pressure, and bullying with threats of deselection, before the vote due to their support for Palestine.

Letter Of Solidarity

As a community organisation, the least we could do was to reach out to them, and send letters of community solidarity to all seven councillors who stood up for humanity.

Dear Councillor ..

Our humble community kitchen, the Resistance Kitchen, is on the border of the boroughs of Croydon, Lambeth and Merton (on the Croydon side, 100m from the border with Lambeth). We serve around 70 guests every Saturday, they come from all three boroughs and further a field. We appreciate food aid is not a solution and campaign for structural change, against hunger and injustice, both locally and globally.

We were present protesting outside Lambeth town hall during the recent council vote for a ceasefire in Gaza.

We would like to thank you for your courage and humanity in standing up for what is right.

Rosa Parks wrote “To bring about change, you must not be afraid to take the first step. We will fail when we fail to try.”

Thank you for trying.

We have already received several wonderful replies. Councillor Martin Abrams touching letter explained that voting for a ceasefire, despite any personal costs, was not a difficult decision for him, as the slaughter of tens of thousands crosses fundamental red lines for him a Jew:

Thank you very much for your message of solidarity and support which means a huge amount. Having spoken and listened to hundreds of Lambeth and Streatham resident’s deep concerns about the events in Gaza over the last few months voting for the Ceasefire motion was not a difficult decision for me. I am fully aware that the actions of a single Councillor in relation to a global conflict like this don’t make a huge amount of difference but if my actions and this of my colleagues inspire others to take action and spread solidarity then it is all worth it. Solidarity is a very powerful thing!

There has to be a red line for everyone and this was mine as I will simply not sit idly by as tens of thousands of Palestinian civilians including an inconceivable number of children are slaughtered. As a Jewish Councillor who is pro-humanity I am proud of the stance that I took and I slept well that night. Whatever happens next I will keep fighting for a full and immediate ceasefire, the release of Israeli and Palestinian hostages and for a lasting peaceful solution in the region.

Once again thank you for your message and for your solidarity. I would love to come and visit Resistance Kitchen soon. 


Cllr Martin Abrams

Labour Councillor for Streatham St. Leonard’s Ward

Councillor Sarina Da Silva’s reply was more personal, sharing about her work with a charity that offers a community fridge, she gave valuable advice for the Resistance Kitchen. Both promised to visit our kitchen soon, we really look forward to seeing them.❤️

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