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City of Chicago Passes Ceasefire Resolution—Largest City Thus Far!

Over the last couple of months, there has been an all-out brawl in the City of Chicago over the ceasefire resolution titled “Uniting for Peace.” This resolution was introduced by Alderman Rosanna Rodriguez-Sanchez and Alderman Daniel La Spata on Dec. 13, 2023 which simply asserts:

”...BE IT RESOLVED, that we, the members of the Chicago City Council, support the United Nations implementation of Resolution 377, known as ‘Uniting for Peace,’ which called an emergency session of the General Assembly which voted in favor of ‘immediate humanitarian ceasefire’ in Gaza and

“BE IT RESOLVED, that we, the Chicago City Council, do hereby call upon President Joseph J. Biden, Jr. and the United States Congress to call for and facilitate a lasting Peace in Gaza starting with a permanent ceasefire to end the ongoing violence and to promptly send and facilitate the entry of humanitarian assistance including medicine, food, and water, into the impacted region....”

Read the full resolution.

A coalition of organizations across the country met in Chicago just three weeks ago for an emergency summit hosted by Jesse Jackson’s organization, Rainbow PUSH. The event brought together interfaith leaders, peace leaders, civil rights leaders and other organizers to have a serious dialogue on how to actually achieve peace in Gaza, with this Chicago resolution as a highlighted focus. It was very clear that those who gathered, despite the Midwest snowstorm and below-freezing temperatures, were very determined. Organizers in Chicago reported that tons of money were being pumped in to stop the resolution, and even worse, aldermen were being threatened with the withdrawal of funding from schools and projects if they voted “yes” for a ceasefire.

The vote was scheduled to happen on Wednesday, Jan. 24, but it was postponed one week due to “Holocaust Remembrance Day,” which had never before been acknowledged or cared about by the city, according to the organizers. This spurred organizers to approach Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnson, who subsequently came out that he was endorsing the ceasefire resolution. Two letters were soon circulated to all the Aldermen, one signed by over 1,000 Jewish Chicago citizens, demanding a ceasefire and calling upon the best of humanity to prevail for peace, and a second personal letter from Jesse Jackson, himself endorsing the resolution.

Young people, especially highschoolers, turned out in force, with 10 schools organizing a walk-out in support of the ceasefire resolution today. There were 1,000 students lined up early in the cold Chicago morning before City Hall even opened, having marched from their schools. Organizers reported that, by their count, there were 5,000 people assembled outside and in City Hall, possibly more, waiting for the news of the vote for nearly three hours. In the lobby, protesters were chanting “ceasefire now!” and, directed at Alderman Silverstein who was the worst counterorganizer of the ceasefire resolution, “Silverstein you can’t hide, you’re supporting genocide!”

After a long debate, and many passionate testimonies, the vote went one by one. It came down to a tie! 23 yes, 23 no, with Mayor Johnson casting the final tie-breaker, voting yes and the resolution passed. That made Chicago, a city of 2.75 million people, the largest city in the U.S. thus far to pass a ceasefire resolution. Expect more to be introduced in larger cities, hopefully making Chicago the second largest city to pass very soon.