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East Palo Alto City Council calls for Ceasefire in Gaza

After hearing from approximately one dozen speakers, who voiced their opinions either online or in the council chambers, the East Palo Alto City Council, with four of its five members present, voted unanimously.


In doing so, the council joined other civic and international bodies in calling for an immediate cease fire in Gaza.


The majority of those who spoke before the council urged the council to pass the resolution. Several of those who opposed the resolution called it divisive.


Before the vote, Council member Lisa Gauthier recommended that the council add to the resolution a statement that recognized Hamas' October 7 attack that killed 1,200 Israelis and called for the release of all hostages on both sides of the conflict.


The recommendation was added to the resolution.*


*See the original draft of the city resolution below, which does not contain the added statement.



RESOLUTION NO. XX – 2024


A RESOLUTION OF THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF EAST PALO ALTO


CALLING FOR AN IMMEDIATE CEASEFIRE; CALLING FOR THE RELEASE OF THE HOSTAGES; CALLING IN SUPPORT OF ALLOWING HUMANITARIAN AID TO GAZA; AND FOR A RESOLUTION THAT PROTECTS THE SECURITY OF ALL INNOCENT CIVILIANS IN ISRAEL AND PALESTINE


WHEREAS, the City of East Palo Alto community has a history of speaking out in defense of civil and human rights and for the protection of those most vulnerable in society; and


WHEREAS, the City of East Palo Alto’s official motto “building the just city” calls on local leaders elected officials and residents to stand against injustice and violence; and


WHEREAS, self-determination has been a foundational principle of the City of East Palo Alto since its establishment and was one of the driving forces behind the City’s incorporation in 1983; and


WHEREAS, the City of East Palo Alto understands the power of solidarity and the everlasting hope it could ignite; and


WHEREAS, the City of East Palo Alto understands the impacts of systematic oppression and its lasting impact on communities of color; and


WHEREAS, in 1984 the City of East Palo Alto passed a resolution in solidarity with South African people’s defiant struggle to liberate their land from the tyranny of the apartheid regime and to disrupt “business as usual” with South Africa and the City participated in the worldwide campaign to release Nelson Mandela and all South African political prisoners; and


WHEREAS, in 1988 the City of East Palo Alto recognized its moral responsibility to take positive steps to end the practice of racial discrimination both in the United States and abroad, in addition to continuing to boycott corporations with financial ties to South Africa, in support of the People of Namibia, during the system of apartheid; and

WHEREAS, the City of East Palo Alto condemns the recent rise of Antisemitic and Islamophobic attacks in our city and across the nation, including the doxxing of elected officials, students, professors, journalists, and others speaking truth to power; and

WHEREAS, the City of East Palo Alto advocates for the safety, dignity, freedom, and equality of all people, regardless of religion, race, or nationality; and


WHEREAS, International organizations such as Amnesty International, United Nations, including the United Nations Security Council, the World Health Organization, US Agency for International Development (USAID)International Rescue Committeeand many others have made a call for a ceasefire to prevent the further loss of life of civilians and to be in accordance with internationahumanitarian lawincluding U.S. Congressional Resolution H.R. No786 and U.NSecurity Council Resolution No. 2728; and

WHEREAS, increasingly, cities across the United States and the Bay Area, including Richmond, Oakland, San Francisco, Atlanta, Seattle, and Chicago, have adopted ceasefire resolutionsnumbering over 100 local governments to dateand

 

WHEREAS, the City of East Palo Alto recognizes that the current crisis takes place within a long history and affirms thatfor a pathway to lasting peace and justice to be developed, the root causes of the crisis need to be addressedand

WHEREAS, most Californians support a bilateral ceasefire including the Governor, citing, "It is time to work in earnest toward an enduring peace that will furnish the lasting security, autonomy, and freedom that the Palestinians and the Israeli people both deserve"; and

WHEREAS, the City of East Palo Alto urges the international community to work with the Israeli and Palestinian people to find a just and lasting peace.

 

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED THAT THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE

CITY OF EAST PALO ALTO HEREBY joins other cities in calling on Members of Congress to demand an immediate ceasefire; release of all hostages, the unrestricted entry of humanitarian assistance into Gazaand the security of all innocent civilians in Israel and Palestine.





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