Even as writers, it is difficult to find the language to express how we feel about the immense suffering of the past month in the Middle East.
Instead, we add our voices to the many other voices calling for an end to the hostilities and for a lasting peace.
And we turn for guidance to other writers – the writers of humanitarian law, of international human rights and other laws – in calling for an immediate ceasefire, the creation of humanitarian corridors for aid, civilian safe havens, and to take all steps to remove children from harm. We also call for the immediate and safe return of all hostages taken into Gaza.
As writers, we are deeply concerned that words are being weaponised in hate speech, in antisemitism and in Islamophobia, and that these words are fuelling hate crime, including here in the UK. We stand against racism, in all its forms, wherever we find it.
We are also troubled that writers and other creators are being censored worldwide. Freedom of expression has always been an important part of our union’s work, and will continue to be. We believe all voices should be heard, and supported. People must be allowed to speak, and be prepared to listen.
We will ensure we continue to adhere to these principles ourselves – through discourse with our wider membership and with our international sister guilds and unions.
The WGGB Executive Council
9 November 2023