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Opinion: Let us raise our voice for justice

PUBLISHED: 08:30 26 October 2019

West Ham MP Lyn Brown is concerned that Brexit is pushing other issues to one side.

West Ham MP Lyn Brown is concerned that Brexit is pushing other issues to one side.

Lyn Brown

In parliament, over the past few years, so much effort has been consumed by Brexit. It's clear why: bad deals like Boris Johnson's will hit the poorest hardest. A No Deal Brexit is unthinkably worse.

I'm writing this on Saturday 19 and Boris Johnson's plans have just had their first defeat. I still don't know what will happen over the coming weeks; but, as debate reaches fever pitch, we are distracted from everything else that matters.

One thing is becoming clear. Brexit means we won't fulfil our role in the world. Massive injustices and destruction are happening beyond our borders but I fear we no longer have the courage to speak out. We appear too worried about future trade deals to fight injustice. The latest example is the attack on the Kurdish people of Syria.

Since 2014, Kurdish fighters have fought to defeat Daesh (Islamic State), losing 11,000 lives in the fight.

Their part of Syria is called Rojava. Since 2012, the people of Rojava have. They're an inspiration.

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Yet this month, Donald Trump offhandedly withdrew US troops, leaving Rojava unprotected.

Trump's decision paid no regard to lives or justice. Just three days later Turkey invaded, killing over 100 civilians already and displacing 160,000 people. What's more, 600 Daesh terrorists the Kurds were faithfully guarding, have escaped.

The betrayal of Rojava is a shameful. Rather than condemn the invasion, our government's only response was to urge Turkey to 'exercise restraint.' What does that even mean?

Brexit was supposed to make Britain great again, but we swallow our words and look away.

To our shame, we turned away when Trump locked children in cages. When China drove 1,000,000 Uyghurs into camps, because of their ethnicity and faith, we did nothing. We ignored Modi's India when it betrayed Kashmir and Saudi Arabia's crimes in Yemen.

Let's fight for a Britain that stands firm for justice at home and abroad. Justice was central to the Brexit promise. Let us raise our voice for justice, it's the very least we should do.

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