June 20, 2024

Whole Community News

From Kalapuya lands in the Willamette watershed

Activists encourage city to stand for Gaza cease-fire

4 min read
Madison Lusk: "Councilman Keating, I appreciate that you spoke. I also think that we need to ask for more than a Red Cross donation. We need to ask for real action from our government and you are our representatives in that space. We ask that you use your voice to amplify our voices and ask that this genocide ends."

At the city council Nov. 13, comments in reaction to the crisis in Gaza.

Councilor Matt Keating: I tuned in to KLCC and heard NPR reports—some of the most horrific accounts of hospitals being bombarded and bombed. And, I would just ask that if you also heard said accounts or are moved and shaken to your core and share a visceral reaction, please consider donating to the American Red Cross.

[00:00:30] The American Red Cross transcends borders. And if you do give to our local Red Cross chapter, please indicate ‘Middle East Conflict’ in your online or physical contribution to the American Red Cross.

John Q: Later in the meeting, public comment:

[00:00:48] Madison Lusk: My name is Madison Lusk. I’m here to ask you to speak out on a ceasefire in Gaza. The brutal and violent occupation and genocide that is currently happening in Palestine is unforgivable and the United States role in that genocide is also unforgivable.

[00:01:06] Israel is committing international crimes at a mass scale. Those include collective punishment, as defined by the Geneva Convention; apartheid, as defined by the Rome Statute; and genocide, also defined by the Rome Statute. All of these things were signed by the U. S. government, and we agreed that we would act against them.

[00:01:26] Instead, we are funding this bombing and this killing that is happening. This is an ongoing collective punishment, apartheid, and genocide of the Palestinian people. And your constituents, your people are on the streets and they’re begging for cease-fire. As our representatives, we ask that you use your voice to speak out on this issue.

[00:01:47] Councilman Keating, I appreciate that you spoke. I also think that we need to ask for more than a Red Cross donation. We need to ask for real action from our government and you are our representatives in that space. We ask that you use your voice to amplify our voices and ask that this genocide ends.

[00:02:05] Will you use your platform to demand a cease-fire in Gaza, or will you use your platform to continue to perpetuate a violence on these innocent people? Because those are the only two options that we have. You are our representatives in this government, and we need you to use your voice. You can either demand an end to this, or you can live with the blood on your hands of these Palestinian people.

[00:02:27] The choice is yours, but we will be watching.

[00:02:32] Kamryn Alexandria Stringfield: My name is Kamryn Alexandria Stringfield.

[00:02:35] I’m a member of the organization Movement for Peoples Democracy, and I am one of the many Eugene citizens to rally in defense of the Palestinian people who are facing a genocidal assault by the Israeli military.

[00:02:47] I’ve been at the Oct. 21 Free Palestine demonstration outside of the federal building where hundreds of people rallied and marched in your streets calling for action.

[00:02:56] I’ve also been attending weekly demonstrations outside the old federal building, continuing the solidarity with the Palestinian people, even as many are trying to move on and stop talking about it.

[00:03:08] There are plenty of people in Eugene, including Palestinian Americans, Jewish and Muslim people, people young and old. We’re all thoroughly disgusted by what is being carried out in Gaza. I would hope the city council members feel the same way.

[00:03:22] John Q: It’s hard to imagine anything more horrific than the massacre of civilians on Oct. 7, which took the lives of 1,200 people. Yet as Kamryn pointed out, the horror has increased by nearly an order of magnitude.

[00:03:35] Kamryn Alexandria Stringfield: Over 11,000 Palestinians have been murdered by Israeli forces since then. And the number continues to rise all the time.

[00:03:43] Over 68% of the population of the Gaza Strip has been displaced. Israel is recklessly targeting hospitals, refugee camps, UN RWA facilities, churches and mosques, claiming each time that Hamas was there to cover up their war crimes against unarmed civilians. This is called collective punishment, and it is a war crime.

[00:04:06] Palestine has no formal military. They have no tanks, no jets, no navy. They’re being hammered by Israel with the most advanced weaponry in all of history. This also has the potential to spiral out of control and become a wider regional war, if not a global war. Nuclear catastrophe will not be good for the people of Eugene, I can assure you.

[00:04:28] We need our elected representatives to stand with the Palestinian people and join cities such as Cudahy, California and Providence, Rhode Island in adopting a resolution standing with the Palestinian people against apartheid, ethnic cleansing and occupation and endorsing the Cease-fire Now resolution submitted by U.S. Rep. Cori Bush calling for a humanitarian ceasefire and the delivery of humanitarian aid to Gaza.

[00:04:57] As far as I am aware, no city in Oregon has passed a resolution such as this. And you can set a precedent that cities across Oregon follow. History is watching you and so are the people of Eugene. Make the right decision. Free Palestine.

[00:05:10] John Q: Democratic Party of Oregon National Committee Person Matt Keating encourages Red Cross contributions. Two speakers during the public forum Nov. 13 ask him for real action, and call on Eugene to be the first Oregon city to demand a cease-fire.

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