Miami Five wives at Labour Conference
Campaign News | Friday, 26 September 2008
Packed fringe pledges support for cause and October vigil
Olga Salanueva and Adriana Perez addressed a moving and capacity fringe at this years Labour Party conference to mark the 10th year of their husbands arrests and the repeated refusal of the US government to grant them visas.
The fringe meeting, on Sunday 21 September, took place within the secure zone of the conference which assured maximum publicity for their case.
Almost 350 people attended including trade union leaders, MPs and members of the Labour Party national executive committee, making this one of the largest fringes of the entire conference.
During passionate speeches by Olga and Adriana, in which they read out letters and messages from their husbands, the audience was urged to do all they could to enable them to see their families again and one day return to their beloved Cuba.
The meeting then heard from trade union leaders Tony Woodley and Derek Simpson joint General Secretaries of Unite the Union, CSC Chair and Unison Deputy General Secretary Keith Sonnet, Billy Hayes, General Secretary of the CWU and Father Geoff Bottoms of CSC’s Miami Five campaign.
Shane Enright of Amnesty International also pledged the organisations international support for campaigning on visitation rights.
Of great significance, was the contribution from Leo Gerrard, President of the United Steelworkers Union, who pledged the support of his organisation which represents workers in the USA and Canada.
Hundreds of action cards on the Five were signed during the cause of the week, and awareness raised about their case and the 7 October vigil.