Nelson City Council Hears Demand to Back Cease Fire in Gaza

Nelson City-Hall

A cease fire in Gaza that began November 24th was extended yesterday for two more days.

This after Nelson City Council heard from four members of the public, last Tuesday, November 21st, requesting that council make their own voices heard and back the call for a cease fire.

The first speaker, Mary Ann Morris, has spent time volunteering with a non-violent international organization, Community Peacemaker Teams, in Palestinian occupied territories:

“Calling for a cease fire will not address the underlying systemic injustices of the occupation or the regime of apartheid that is recognized by numerous intentional bodies. However, it will at least temporarily break this cycle of violence.”

Morris recalled soldiers in full combat gear yelling at adults and children, snipers on rooftops, the use of tear gas, tanks rolling through a market and more.

The speaker highlighted council’s support to stand with Ukraine, before requesting that further demands are made to the Canadian government: A call for an immediate ceasefire, access to humanitarian aid and releasing hostages.

The next two speakers spoke to pushback from a public event in Nelson held in October.

Zaynab Mohammed says the sentiment of that event, titled "Stand with Palestine against Genocide", was about standing for human dignity.

Mohammed says this sentiment was skewed when a group presented to city council claiming the event was about hatred:

“We had a letter writing station where we sent 80 letters to our MP and Prime Minister. We lit candles, cried, held signs and shared conversations. This was a solidarity event with the Palestinians who have been suffering a 75-year occupation of their traditional and historic land, who live in an apartheid state and who are denied basic human rights.”

Bessie Wapp referred to a statement by Jewish Voices Canada on the slogan "From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free":

“When Israeli officials are calling for the slaughter of Gaza, calling Palestinians human-animals, it’s worth asking why that genocidal rhetoric is acceptable while peaceful calls for human rights are demonized…. We must stand against apartheid, occupation, ethnic cleansing and genocide against anyone. We must call for freedom and protect human rights of everyone.”

The fourth and final speaker states that staying silent on the matter sets a dangerous precedent.