Gaza ceasefire supporters pack city council meetings across Bay Area

Lauren Martinez Image
Tuesday, December 5, 2023
Ceasefire supporters pack city council meetings across Bay Area
At four Bay Area city council meetings, crowds of people echoed the same calls for a ceasefire resolution for the Israel-Hamas war.

SAN JOSE, Calif. (KGO) -- At four Bay Area city council meetings, crowds echoed the same calls for a ceasefire resolution for the Israel-Hamas war.

In San Francisco, the line for public comment not only stretched outside City Hall - it went down the block.

Supervisors Dean Preston and Hillary Ronen introduced a resolution for a ceasefire in Gaza, joining cities like Richmond and Oakland.

By 11 p.m., public comment in San Francisco was still going on - so it's unlikely they will vote on a resolution Tuesday night.

MORE: Israel strikes in and around Gaza's second-largest city in a bloody new phase of the war

In San Jose, speaker after speaker demanded city council introduce a resolution in the first place.

"A ceasefire is ceasing fire. It means that people stop dying," one speaker said.

Following hours of public comment there, Mayor Matt Mahan said city policy prevents council from taking positions on foreign policy.

"Should one of the members of the council bring forward a resolution, I just want to be clear with folks of our legislative process would have that land were it to move forward, through the rules committee in January," Mahan said.

During the Berkeley City Council meeting, calls for ceasefire led to several disruptions for the second week in a row.

Berkeley Mayor Jesse Arreguín repeatedly asked the public within the community chambers to come to order.

At one point, Arreguín said people were standing too close to the dais and to staff.

The council had to take 5 minute recess breaks before reconvening.

"The vast majority of people are simply asking you, our local officials to call an end to the bloodshed," one speaker said.

MORE: Oakland Unified opposes pro-Palestinian lesson planned by teachers

There was no vote in Berkeley.

And people in Hayward asked their city council members to draft a ceasefire resolution there, too.

"We are here to invite you to stand with us. We come to you because you have institutional power that we do not," one speaker said.

In Hayward, the mayor said they can't make a decision Tuesday night, but some of the council members said they're interested in continuing the conversation.

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