The independent student newspaper at the University of Illinois since 1871

The Daily Illini

The independent student newspaper at the University of Illinois since 1871

The Daily Illini

The independent student newspaper at the University of Illinois since 1871

The Daily Illini

The independent student newspaper at the University of Illinois since 1871

The Daily Illini

 Community members gather at Urbana City Hall to support revised ceasefire resolution

Aidan Miller-Hisgen
Community members speak at the Urbana city council meeting on Monday.

Some attendees, community members and organizers have elected not to be identified by name for safety reasons.

Crowds rallied at the Urbana City Council meeting on Monday to call for changes to a resolution that the Urbana City Council was drafting in support of Palestine. The push for this resolution is part of a larger movement occurring in cities across the United States in response to Israel’s military invasion of Gaza. 

The resolution has been in contention since its proposition over two months ago, with disagreement over what terms were appropriate to include. Ben Joselyn, Urbana resident and member of the Party for Socialism and Liberation, drafted the original resolution, which he said was not accepted by the Urbana City Council. 

“I drafted a ceasefire proposal; the city government has refused to take that one up,” Joselyn said. “Instead, there was a person who was vocally against the ceasefire. He said that if there was going to be a resolution, it should be more two-sided.” 

Diane Marlin, mayor of Urbana, supported the “two-sided” stance. As a result, the council drafted a resolution that many felt fell short of addressing the issues occurring in Gaza. 

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The proposed resolution did not include the word ceasefire or call for an end to U.S. military support for Israel. According to George Basil, an organizer with PSL, the resolution was also written without consultation from the Muslim community, Palestinian community or people involved with ceasefire organizing. 

“When this resolution was brought to the table without consultation from the vast majority of stakeholders in this community, it did not even include the word ceasefire,” Basil said. “There was no call to end violence, just a kind of vague call for peace in the future.”

This led to an over two-month push at city council meetings to revise the resolution — first to call for peace in Gaza, then to specifically include the word “ceasefire” and to urge the end of U.S. military support for Israel. Events culminated on Monday when, after hours of public comments by 70 people, the Urbana City Council amended the resolution to include the desired changes. 

People who spoke at Monday’s council meeting emphasized the sentiment that the current resolution did not go far enough, and it is the responsibility of the Urbana City Council to listen to the overwhelming public who are calling for an amended resolution. 

“The majority of the people in this town support the Palestinian people; they’re appalled by the genocide of the Palestinian people, and they expect elected representatives to do something about it,” said one speaker.

The edits to the resolution passed with a unanimous 7-0 vote by the council. It read, “The United States government and international community to stop funding weapons of war to Israel so as to create conditions for reconciliation between Israel and Palestine, which is the foundation for a just, secure and lasting peace.”

A small group in favor of the original resolution also attended the meeting, with one speaker expressing the opinion that the amended resolution was antisemitic. Other speakers stated the resolution itself is unimportant, as Urbana does not influence what happens in Israel.

While the passing of this resolution is largely symbolic, people present at the rally said they felt it was important that their opinions be reflected by their local government. Beyond that, supporters view their achievement on Monday as part of a larger movement, which they hope will pressure officials who can affect policy towards Israel. 

“What happens in Urbana by itself is not going to decide the fate, but we instead see ourselves as a part of a broader movement where over 70 other cities in the USA have passed ceasefire measures,” Joselyn said.

As of Jan. 31, cities including Chicago, Atlanta and Seattle have supported ceasefire resolutions. Beyond that, during the recent primary elections, over 100,000 voters between Minnesota and Michigan voted uncommitted in protest to Joe Biden and the Democratic Party’s policies towards Israel. 

“We’re hoping that this will pressure our representatives to higher government bodies, as well as make it very clear to Joe Biden and the Democrats that the American people do not stand with his reckless support for genocide,” Basil said.


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About the Contributor
Aidan Miller-Hisgen
Aidan Miller-Hisgen, Senior Copy Editor
Hi everyone, my name is Aidan Miller-Hisgen and I’m a junior studying Political Science with minors in History and Spanish. I’ve been with The Daily Illini since Fall 2023 working as a news writer before joining the copy team. Outside of school and The DI, I love playing sports, trying out new restaurants and listening to podcasts. Please feel free to reach out to me at any point!
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