Residents lobby Greenfield City Council for Gaza cease-fire resolution

Dozens of residents gathered out the John Zon Community Center prior to Wednesday’s City Council meeting to urge the council to adopt a resolution calling for a case-fire in Gaza. The resolution is likely to come before the council in March.

Dozens of residents gathered out the John Zon Community Center prior to Wednesday’s City Council meeting to urge the council to adopt a resolution calling for a case-fire in Gaza. The resolution is likely to come before the council in March. STAFF PHOTO/CHRIS LARABEE

Dozens of residents gathered out the John Zon Community Center prior to Wednesday's City Council meeting to urge the council to adopt a resolution calling for a case-fire in Gaza. The resolution is likely to come before the council in March.

Dozens of residents gathered out the John Zon Community Center prior to Wednesday's City Council meeting to urge the council to adopt a resolution calling for a case-fire in Gaza. The resolution is likely to come before the council in March. STAFF PHOTO/CHRIS LARABEE

Dozens of residents gathered out the John Zon Community Center prior to Wednesday's City Council meeting to urge the council to adopt a resolution calling for a case-fire in Gaza. The resolution is likely to come before the council in March.

Dozens of residents gathered out the John Zon Community Center prior to Wednesday's City Council meeting to urge the council to adopt a resolution calling for a case-fire in Gaza. The resolution is likely to come before the council in March. STAFF PHOTO/CHRIS LARABEE

Dozens of residents gathered out the John Zon Community Center prior to Wednesday's City Council meeting to urge the council to adopt a resolution calling for a case-fire in Gaza. The resolution is likely to come before the council in March.

Dozens of residents gathered out the John Zon Community Center prior to Wednesday's City Council meeting to urge the council to adopt a resolution calling for a case-fire in Gaza. The resolution is likely to come before the council in March. STAFF PHOTO/CHRIS LARABEE

By CHRIS LARABEE

Staff Writer

Published: 02-22-2024 3:22 PM

GREENFIELD — Dozens of residents gathered outside the John Zon Community Center Wednesday evening urging the City Council to adopt a resolution calling for a cease-fire in Gaza, which the council may consider at its March meeting.

Standing with signs demanding a cease-fire prior to the council’s monthly meeting, the residents packed into the John Zon’s meeting room for public comment, asking councilors to adopt the resolution, which they say could put pressure on state and federal lawmakers.

“I vehemently agree that this does have a place in the City Council. If we can be one of the cities raising our voice against this atrocity, other cities will follow and then the federal government will begin to listen,” said Koby Leff during the meeting’s public comment period. “We have a real meaningful opportunity to be on the right side of history and to feel pride that we stood against horror and genocide.”

The rally outside the meeting and the push for public comments urging a cease-fire are part of a coordinated effort from local activists and organizers to have Greenfield join a growing list of more than 50 cities around the U.S. that have approved resolutions calling for some form of peace in Gaza.

Greenfield residents are bringing the matter forward as a change.org petition, now signed by nearly 250 people. Several local activist groups, including Western Mass. Showing up for Racial Justice (SURJ), Jewish Voice for Peace Western Mass. and Massachusetts Peace Action, among others, are supporting efforts around the Pioneer Valley.

In Massachusetts, Cambridge, Somerville and Medford have passed resolutions calling for a cease-fire, while Boston’s City Council recently withdrew its resolution. Locally, resolutions are being brought forward to city councils in Greenfield, Northampton and Easthampton, as well as Amherst’s Town Council.

Standing outside the John Zon Community Center, resident Ella Condon said Americans’ liberties are bound to Palestinians, and communities banding together can make a powerful impact.

“All these cities, no matter how small they are, they’re putting pressure on big government and showing the American people do want this,” Condon said. “It’s free Palestine, until its free Palestine.”

Article continues after...

Yesterday's Most Read Articles

Cleary Jewelers plans to retain shop at former Wilson’s building until 2029
Orange man gets 12 to 14 years for child rape
$427K to expand Camp Apex capacity in Shelburne
Conway resident leading pilot program to help families facing financial ‘cliff effect’
Franklin County Technical School Honor Roll, Semester 1
Greenfield Police Logs: April 2 to April 8, 2024

While the vast majority of public comments about the cease-fire were in support of the resolution, resident Devorah Rose said she respected those using their voice to call for a cease-fire, but there was already one in place, which she said was broken by Hamas.

“Do you realize what Hamas did to the hostages? Do you know that on the news everyday … ” Rose said, before she was interrupted by yells in the crowd claiming she was citing “propaganda,” which required Council President John Bottomley to extend Rose’s speaking time and to ask the crowd to let her finish her comments. “There was a cease-fire. On Oct. 7, terrorists, not Palestinians, the terrorists of Hamas attacked.”

No action was taken by the councilors, but the resolution is likely to come before the council at its March 20 meeting. The cease-fire petition can be viewed at  bit.ly/3SYXiwt.

Chris Larabee can be reached at clarabee@recorder.com.