Minneapolis, MN – On February 1, 400 people gathered across from the Minneapolis City Hall to protest Mayor Jacob Frey’s veto of the ceasefire resolution that the Minneapolis city council had passed the previous week.
The Free Palestine Coalition organized the protest to urge the city council to override Frey’s veto. The original resolution passed with nine votes, enough to override the mayor’s veto if all nine stay united behind the original resolution.
Protesters chanted, “Ceasefire, let it pass! Put your veto in the trash” and “Mayor Frey, Mayor Frey – how many children need to die?” outside Minneapolis City Hall for over an hour as rush hour traffic drove through downtown.
Speakers from Jewish Voice for Peace – Twin Cities, American Muslims for Palestine – Minnesota, the Minnesota Anti-War Committee, and Twin Cities Coalition for Justice 4 Jamar all spoke to the need for the city council to override the mayor’s veto. They praised the resolution for being the only one in the country so far to call for an end to U.S. aid to Israel, which facilitates genocidal attacks on Palestinians in Gaza.
In Mayor Frey’s veto message, he claimed the ceasefire resolution was “one-sided” and “uplifts the history of Palestinians, and all but erases that of Israeli Jews.”
Trent Fast, a member of the Minnesota Anti-War Committee, said he came to the protest to send a message to the mayor and the city council. “I came out tonight because Mayor Frey’s moral compass appears to be non-existent,” Fast said.
Fast continued, “If he wants to discuss Israel’s ‘history,’ I invite him to read about the Balfour Declaration of 1917, which literally stated the British government’s desire to establish a national home for Jewish people in Palestine. I invite him to read about the Nakba of 1948 and the atrocities inflicted on innocent Palestinian civilians by the Israeli army, as documented by Israeli author and historian Ilan Pappe in his book The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine. I invite him to consider that Israel exists solely as a vassal for American taxpayer funded racist terror in the Middle East, in the name of resource accumulation and geopolitical control. Once he comes to terms with these things, then maybe we can talk seriously about Israel’s ‘history’. The city council needs to put Mayor Frey’s shameful ignorance on full display by standing on the right side of history and overriding his veto next week.”
On January 31, Chicago passed a ceasefire resolution. When the Minneapolis city council overrides the mayor’s veto, Minneapolis will become the 47th city in the U.S. to pass a ceasefire resolution. The city council is expected to take the override vote on Thursday, February 8.