Companero Miliband!

Justice For Colombia News | on: Tuesday, 23 September 2008

During a speech at Labour Party conference, union leader Gerry Doherty turned to British Foreign Secretary David Miliband to urge; "Companero Miliband, stop giving British military aid to those who kidnap, kill, torture and imprison trade unionists in Colombia". The line was the culmination of a powerful speech delivered by Mr Doherty during which he explained why it was wrong for the UK to continue supporting the Colombian regime. His concluding point, aimed directly at the Foreign Secretary, was met with a huge round of applause from the thousands of delegates in the hall.

Doherty's speech, which was widely considered one of the best at Labour conference this year, talked of how he had met the parents of three young union activists who had been killed by British-trained troops in Colombia and how he had sat with trade unionists locked up for over two years in Colombian jails without charge.

The speech came shortly after Ellie Reeves, a member of the ruling Labour Party National Executive Committee, had opened the international debate at the Party's annual conference. In her opening remarks Reeves pointed out that the Foreign Affairs Select Committee of the British Parliament had recently described British military assistance to Colombia as "inappropriate".

To see Gerry Doherty's speech please visit this BBC website and, unless you wish to watch the entire debate, move forward to 1:17:30

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