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Minnesota: Columbia Heights passes Palestine ceasefire resolution

By Andrew Josefchak

Supporters of Palestine resolution at Columbia Heights, Minnesota city council meeting.  | Fight Back! News/Sima Shakhsari

Columbia Heights, MN – On Monday, February 26, the city council of Columbia Heights voted 4-1 to pass a resolution calling for an end to Israel's genocidal campaign in Gaza. The Columbia Heights community packed the room, as it did at a previous city council meeting to provide public comment and encourage the council to vote in favor of the resolution.

The Columbia Heights resolution is just one example of a wave of historic resolutions adopted by cities across the country. Minneapolis has passed the most progressive ceasefire resolution in the U.S., which calls for an end not only to the genocide in Gaza, but also to all military aid to Israel. Columbia Heights’ resolution cites the International Court of Justice’s ruling against Israel and demands an immediate halt of all weapons shipments that may be used in Israel’s genocide in Gaza.

The Free Palestine Coalition, a Twin Cities-based coalition of Palestine activist groups like the Minnesota Anti-War Committee, American Muslims for Palestine-MN; Faculty, Librarians, Alumni, Graduate Students, and Staff for Justice in Palestine (FLAGS-JP), and many others, organized several call-in campaigns and turned out community members to city council meetings to make an impact on the council.

Brandon Veal, a member of the Minnesota Anti-War Committee, states, “All of [the council members’] statements focused on how this was very much a local issue. Many of the members pointed out that they received more calls and emails from members of the community about this issue than any other as long as they’ve been on the council.”

Veal continued, “As the final vote was made, the crowd erupted in applause for the successfully passed resolution. There were many moments of warm embraces from community members. Both the meeting two weeks ago and Monday’s felt like times of collective grieving and healing. At the previous meeting, community members stepped up to the podium one by one to express why this resolution was so important to them, something that went on for nearly three hours.”

Over 70 cities across the U.S. have now passed resolutions demanding a ceasefire. The Free Palestine Coalition is currently campaigning to get a similar resolution passed in Saint Paul. Dr. Sima Shakhsari, a member of FLAGS-JP, stated “It was heartwarming and refreshing to see the Columbia Heights city council take the time to listen to their constituents and vote for a ceasefire. As a Saint Paul resident, I hope that my city council members join Columbia Heights and stand on the right side of history by voting to stop this genocide.”

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