Bristol: Palestine supporters chant during solidarity march
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Coronation Street star Dame Maureen Lipman, 75, has reportedly resigned from the actors union Equity, following claims the organisation urged members to join a pro-Palestine march. Maureen, who plays Evelyn Plummer in the long-running ITV soap, stated that she “didn’t join a political union” and condemned them for trying to “incite a mob”.
I didn’t join a political union. I joined a union to protect its members
Dame Maureen Lipman
As reported by The Daily Telegraph, the actress also plans on asking for her membership fee of £1,000 to be given back so that she can give it to those in need “on both sides”.
“I’m going to resign and I’m also going to ask for my £1000 a year membership fees to be given back to me, and I’m going to send it a charity for the victims on both sides,” she told the publication.
“I didn’t join a political union. I joined a union to protect its members.”
She added: “You don’t dictate to artists what they believe in, and don’t incite them to join a mob.”
“How dare they demand sanctions?
“Where is Maureen Beattie on the Uyghurs, Rohingyas, the Sudanese, the Yemenites?”
The actress, who has been apart of the union for 54 years, isn’t the only one to have opposed Equity’s stance on the conflict.
Comedian Dom Joly and former Eastenders actress Tracy-Ann Oberman have also criticised the organisation.
Equity released a statement to Express.co.uk, saying: “Equity is saddened to hear that Dame Maureen Lipman has resigned membership of our union. We have not yet had direct contact from her, but we will be endeavouring to listen to and understand her concerns privately as soon as she is able.
“Any instance of antisemitism must be rooted out and condemned, including the abhorrent abuse that has been directed towards members of the Jewish community in the past couple of weeks, as well as the small minority of hateful banners and rhetoric present on recent and otherwise peaceful Palestinian solidarity marches.”
They continued: “Equity stands in solidarity with the Jewish community and the fight against antisemitism, and is having ongoing conversations with our Jewish members and their allies on how we can continue to do so. The union has a long and proud history of standing up for peace and justice around the world.”
It comes after the union issued a statement last Thursday, encouraging members to join the “Covid-safe protest organised by Trade Unions for Palestine” over the weekend.
It read: “Equity has a long, and proud history of standing up for peace and justice around the world – including in Palestine.
“Violence directed against ordinary working people in both Israel and Palestine is appalling, and it is to be condemned by our movement.
“The disproportionate actions of the current Israeli government over the past few weeks, both in the policing of Jerusalem and toward Gaza, are particularly horrifying.”
They concluded: “We stand in solidarity with Palestinians taking industrial action, and workers around the world taking action in support of them.”
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