Protesters push for Raleigh City Council to vote on Gaza ceasefire resolution

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Wednesday, February 21, 2024
Protesters push for Raleigh City Council to vote on Gaza ceasefire resolution
Protesters push for Raleigh City Council to vote on Gaza ceasefire resolution

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- Protesters once again are pushing for Raleigh City Council to pass a permanent ceasefire resolution in Israel and Gaza.

At Tuesday's city council meeting, those 30 people signed up to speak wanted the council to at least vote on a resolution.

This comes in light of Durham's City Council passing a resolution on Monday. The public comment meeting lasted until 1 a.m. so everyone signed up to speak got a turn.

"Durham is willing to take a stand against genocide, why aren't we?" Raleigh resident Damien Gu said to Raleigh City Council on Tuesday. "Durham is willing to let all the speakers speak, why aren't we? I would ask the council to pass a ceasefire resolution now, or at least call it for a vote."

At the beginning of February, Raleigh Mayor Mary Ann Baldwin said in a public meeting they could not reach a consensus among the council and would not be voting on a ceasefire resolution.

Public comment was moved to the end of the agenda for Tuesday's 1 p.m. meeting, meaning those signed up to speak had to wait about four hours. More than a dozen people who signed up had to leave before public comment began.

They also had their time cut to one minute because of the large volume of people signed up to speak.

No one from the public spoke Tuesday in opposition to a ceasefire resolution.

Raleigh City Councilwoman Christina Jones told ABC11 following Tuesday's meeting that she supports a ceasefire resolution. But, she won't call one for a vote because she knows not enough members of the council are on board.

Jones said she believes getting a "no" from the council could be a more painful outcome than the situation protestors are currently facing.

In October, Hamas-led militants rampaged into Israel, killing 1,200 people and taking 250 others hostage.

Since then, the Gaza Ministry estimated more than 29,000 Palestinians have been killed, most of which are women and children.

Some of those killed are the loved ones of the speakers at Tuesday's Raleigh City Council meeting, many expressing the grief and pain this war has brought to their families.

Some question the tangible impact of a ceasefire resolution passed by a city council.

Many of the meeting speakers expressed that only elected leaders the people of Raleigh have regular access to are city council members. They can not get an audience with Congress or members of the presidential administration in the same way.

They also shared concerns over taxpayer money being sent to support Israel in the conflict, asking those funds to be spent to improve our local communities rather than fund war.

Baldwin and the rest of Raleigh City Council did not respond publicly to the repeated calls for a ceasefire resolution on Tuesday.