Maggie Grether, Contributing Photographer

Approximately 30 organizers, many wearing keffiyehs in solidarity with Palestine, attended Monday’s Board of Alders meeting to support a resolution calling for an immediate and permanent ceasefire in Israel and Gaza. The proposed resolution also calls for the release of all hostages, the unrestricted entry of humanitarian aid into Gaza and a commitment to combat antisemitism and Islamophobia. 

The resolution has not yet been assigned to committee and was not discussed at Monday’s meeting. According to Chloe Miller, one of the organizers who helped submit the proposal, the resolution was submitted to the Board of Alders on Nov. 28. 

Alder Tyisha Walker-Meyers, president of the Board of Alders, could not be reached for comment on when the resolution would be assigned to committee. 

“Locally, organization and municipal action helps build a national consensus,” Miller said. “We’ve seen a lot of gridlock at the federal level … I think it’s super important that cities speak out and pass resolutions to reflect the views of the residents that live within the cities.” 

Miller also pointed to polling showing national support for a ceasefire. The Reuters poll Miller referred to, dated Nov. 15, found that 68 percent of respondents agreed with the statement “Israel should call a ceasefire and try to negotiate.”

On Oct. 7, Hamas attacked Israel, killing at least 1,200 people and taking 240 as hostages, according to Israel’s Foreign Ministry. In its military response against Gaza, Israel has killed more than 15,890 Palestinians, the Associated Press reported on Dec. 5. The Associated Press called the December estimates from the Gazan Health Ministry a “sharp jump” from the previous Nov. 20 count of over 13,300 killed, noting that officials in the Hamas-controlled region have only been able to sporadically update the count since Nov. 11 and fear thousands more might be dead under the rubble. 

Monday’s Board of Alder’s meeting came just days after the end of a seven-day pause in fighting. The temporary ceasefire began on Nov. 24 and was initiated to allow for the release of some Hamas-held hostages and to deliver humanitarian aid to Gaza, according to the Associated Press. That pause ended early on Dec. 1. Israel resumed airstrikes on Gaza after claiming that Hamas violated the ceasefire’s terms in its final hours by firing toward Israeli territory.

Reuters reported that Israeli airstrikes between Friday, Dec. 1 and Monday, Dec. 4 killed around 900 people in Gaza, according to the Gazan Health Ministry. Israel expanded its ground offensive to cover all of the Gaza Strip on Dec. 3, with its military vowing to hit south Gaza with “no less strength” than the north, the Associated Press reported.

The resolution proposed to the Board of Alders follows several similar municipal-level resolutions across the country calling on the U.S. Congress to support a ceasefire. 

In October, the city council of Richmond, California passed a resolution that condemned Israel for “ethnic cleansing and collective punishment” in Gaza — a move that marked one of the first municipal-level resolutions in the U.S. supporting Palestine. 

Early last month, the city council of Cudahy, California passed a resolution in support of “Immediate De-Escalation and Cease-Fire in Israel and Occupied Palestine.” The city council of Providence, Rhode Island passed a similar resolution calling for a ceasefire and for the federal government to “send and facilitate the entry of” humanitarian aid into Gaza. 

On Nov. 14, the town council of Carrboro, North Carolina narrowly passed a similar resolution, as did the city councils of Detroit and Akron, Ohio during the week of Nov. 19. Last Monday, the city council of Oakland, California, joined these cities in calling on Congress to demand a ceasefire.

There is precedent for the New Haven Board of Alders to take a stance on international foreign policy issues. In 2022, alders unanimously passed a resolution urging Biden to end the embargo against Cuba, and in 2020, the Board affirmed a resolution to oppose a war with Iran

Harmony Solomon Cruz-Bustamante, the senior student representative on the Board of Education and a political literacy teacher with the Connecticut Democratic Socialists of America, was at Monday’s meeting to show support for the proposed resolution. 

“Representing 19,000 students in New Haven public schools — they all come from very diverse backgrounds, ethnicities, races, genders, ages and a lot of them are refugees,” said Cruz-Bustamante, who is a senior at Wilbur Cross high school. “I feel like it would be disingenuous of me to not show up with solidarity with the Palestinians who are being expelled and cleansed and killed and pushed out of their homes when I’m in charge of representing those students.” 

Nigel Harris, a DSA-affiliate who attended Monday’s meeting to support the ceasefire resolution, also called on Yale to divest from weapons manufacturers. 

On Friday, Dec. 1, Yale students rallied outside of the Schwarzman Center, demanding that Yale divest from arms manufacturing companies such as Lockheed Martin, which supplies weapons to Israel. 

“I want Yale to show up,” Harris said. “Yale students have been showing up, there’s a lot of action on campus, and it won’t stop until they divest.” 

The next Board of Alders meeting is scheduled for Dec. 18.

Maggie Grether covers housing and homelessness for city desk. Originally from Pasadena, California, she is a sophomore in Ezra Stiles college.