‘Labor has blood on their hands’: why I quit the ALP

Labor’s support for Israel’s horrific war on Gaza is creating tensions within the party. Solidarity spoke to one member about why she quit the ALP.

Nish is a member of the CPSU, the union for federal public servants, in Sydney. She has been an ALP member for five years in the Canterbury-Bankstown area.

“Labor has blood on its hands over Palestine. The moral cowardice on this issue is unforgiveable. It’s simply beyond the pale.

“I grew up in one of those staunch migrant Labor households. My parents have always been pro-Labor. I voted Labor and sometimes Greens.

“I’m in a safe Labor seat and I joined to get involved in activity—local branch meetings and stuff.

“I know 29 Labor branches have called for a ceasefire but it’s not enough. And when people put a query around our branch about voting for a ceasefire it was met with silence. It was like, we’re just going to ignore it.

“Canterbury-Bankstown Council voted to fly the Palestine flag and I think the lived experience for councillors matters—they know people affected.

“But a lot of party members, particularly those in power, are divorced from that reality.

“It’s part of a bigger problem with politics. It’s run by lawyers rather than people in the community.

“I was at the meeting of the Inner West Council where they refused to support Gaza. Labor councillors weren’t prepared to turn and look at the audience. They were toeing the party line.

“My resignation is a result of so many things. The way Labor follows the Coalition in refugee-related policies. The premier, Chris Minns, lighting up the Opera House in Israeli colours and attacking pro-Palestine protesters.

“Palestine is the straw that broke the camel’s back. I know more people have left and Labor head office is bombarding people with emails.

“I like the way the Greens have stepped up but I’m feeling a bit cynical with party politics. I think I’ll be putting my energies into grassroots work, activist stuff. I want to help keep up the pressure.”

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