Fight Back! News

News and Views from the People's Struggle

CityCouncil

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.

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By Annie Russell

Saint Paul students stand with Palestine. | Fight Back! News/staff

St. Paul, MN – On February 27, over 100 students rallied on Macalester College campus, followed by a march to the high-traffic intersection of Snelling and Summit Avenues, to demand that Saint Paul city council take a stand and pass a ceasefire resolution.

At the intersection the students chanted, “City council you can’t hide, we charge you with genocide!” at rush hour traffic, with a dozen supporters who joined off the street.

Minneapolis, Saint Paul’s neighboring city, passed one of the most progressive ceasefire resolutions in the country on February 8, calling for an end to U.S. aid to Israel. Despite this, Saint Paul city council has shown considerable resistance to even introducing a ceasefire resolution, which has already been written by a coalition of local organizations, to be voted on.

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By Meredith Aby

Pro-Palestine protesters pack Saint Paul city council meeting. | Fight Back! News/Brad Sigal

St. Paul, MN – On February 21, the Free Palestine Coalition organized their Saint Paul supporters to pack the Saint Paul city council meeting for the third week in a row to show support for their passage of a ceasefire resolution.

When Palestine solidarity activists tried to speak during the public comment section they were told that their comments were not on topic and that they had to stop talking.

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By Sarah Martin

Palestine solidarity protest in Saint Paul, Minnesota. | Fight Back! News/staff

St. Paul, MN – On February 9, 60 activists rallied at the weekly Women Against Military Madness (WAMM) Free Palestine bannering to celebrate the historic victory in Minneapolis, On February 8, the Minneapolis city council voted to override the mayor's veto and passed the strongest ceasefire resolution in the country, which included a demand for the U.S. to end aid to Israel. Activists at the rally vowed to continue the work for a similar resolution in Saint Paul. The Saint Paul campaign began this week with a large rally at the Saint Paul City Hall and by packing the city council meeting the next day.

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By Gemini Gnull

Pro-Palestine protesters demand an end to the siege of Gaza in Tacoma, Washington. | Fight Back! News/staff

Tacoma, WA – A group of about 30 people disrupted the Tacoma city council meeting Tuesday, February 6, demanding the city issue a statement of support to the Palestinian people and an end to U.S. aid to Israel.

The crowd gathered outside the Tacoma Municipal Building as the council meeting was beginning inside. Demonstrators chanted “Gaza Gaza you will rise, Palestine will never die!” and “Israel bombs, USA pays, How many kids were killed today?” while informational fliers were handed out. The fliers highlighted how over $300 billion in U.S. aid has been sent to Israel since 1948, and that money has been used to kill hundreds of thousands of Palestinians. Of those killed in these attacks, 40% were children.

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By staff

Supporters of Palestine after veto override of Palestine resolution. | Fight Back! News/Sabry Wazwaz

Minneapolis, MN – The Minneapolis city council voted, February 8, to override Mayor Jacob Frey’s veto of their ceasefire resolution.

Palestinians and Palestine solidarity activists are celebrating the victory across the country. They are excited that Minneapolis is joining cities like Chicago, San Francisco, Atlanta and Detroit in calling for a ceasefire and an end to the genocide in Palestine.

Sana Wazwaz, a leader with American Muslims for Palestine-MN, explains the significance of the vote, “Our victory signals a radical shift in what is considered acceptable criticism of Israel. We are the first city in the U.S. to pass a resolution to call for a complete end to U.S. aid to Israel; a measure that was once ‘too radical’ is now becoming normalized. Minneapolis has broken that barrier, and we believe that our city will set the precedent for cities across the U.S. to continue pushing that boundary, for language to become more and more progressive. To override Mayor Frey's veto is to send the message that principles win over politics – that Minneapolis stuck to their strong language, and didn't back down despite pressure to conform to ceasefire resolution norms.”

Meredith Aby, an activist with the Anti-War Committee, explains the next steps for the Free Palestine Coalition: “We have started attending Saint Paul city council meetings and pressuring them to join Minneapolis in calling for a ceasefire and an end to the U.S. support for genocide in Palestine. We want to keep this momentum growing so that we can end U.S. aid to Israel.”

#MinneapolisMN #AntiWarMovement #International #MiddleEast #Palestine #CityCouncil #Ceasefire #MNAWC #AMPMN

By Kim DeFranco

Protest demands  passage of pro-Palestine resolution in St. Paul, Minnesota. | Fight Back! News/Kim DeFranco

St. Paul, MN – 200 people packed the Saint Paul city council meeting on February 7 to send a message to the city council that the residents of Saint Paul want them to take a stand against genocide.

Their signs stressed the importance of Saint Paul having a ceasefire resolution. The signs read, “Take a stand against genocide” and “Palestine is a local issue!” All of the signs also demanded, “Pass a ceasefire resolution now!”

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By Meredith Aby

Protest against Mayor Frey's veto of Palestine resolution. | Fight Back! News/Brad Sigal

Minneapolis, MN – On February 1, 400 people gathered across from the Minneapolis City Hall to protest Mayor Jacob Frey’s veto of the ceasefire resolution that the Minneapolis city council had passed the previous week.

The Free Palestine Coalition organized the protest to urge the city council to override Frey’s veto. The original resolution passed with nine votes, enough to override the mayor’s veto if all nine stay united behind the original resolution.

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By Joe Iosbaker

Alderwoman Rossana Rodriguez-Sanchez speaking to the rally following the passage of her Palestine resolution. | Fight Back! News/Alec Ozawa

Chicago, IL – The Palestinian community and their movement allies won an historic vote January 31. With 500 protesters crowded into City Hall, the Chicago city council passed a ceasefire resolution, becoming the largest city in the country to have done so.

The vote was extremely close: 24 to 23. In fact, the vote among council members ended in a tie – 23 to 23. Mayor Brandon Johnson broke the tie. He forecast his courageous action after last week’s city council meeting when he said to the press, referring to the genocide in Gaza, “The killing has to stop. So, yes, we need a ceasefire,” Johnson said.

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By staff

 Protesters in Minneapolis force city council to adopt pro-Palestine resolution. | Fight Back! News/Nadia Shaarawi

Minneapolis, MN – With hundreds of Palestine supporters packing the city council’s meeting room and the hallway outside for the third time in recent weeks, on January 25 the Minneapolis city council voted to pass a Palestine resolution that’s more progressive than most others around the country.

Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey, who opposed the resolution, attended the city council meeting to make an impassioned plea to council members to reject the resolution and instead pass a watered-down substitute resolution brought forward at the last minute by Councilmember Linea Palmisano.

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