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The Eastern Echo

Ypsilanti City Council approves new Gaza ceasefire resolution

The Ypsilanti City Council brought forward a new Gaza ceasefire resolution that passed in a 4-2 vote at the latest meeting on Tuesday, Dec. 5.

A crowd of Palestine supporters attended the meeting to share their thoughts about the ceasefire resolution reversal and people opposed to the resolution spoke their concerns in front of the council.

The meeting began with the standard city council agenda and an award presentation to three police officers for different acts of service. The city manager also had a presentation regarding the city's financial capacity to purchase the 599 S. Mansfield property.

The public comment portion came after, where each speaker was allowed three minutes to share their thoughts with the council. Mayor Nicole Brown suggested, for the sake of time, to cut initial comments to an hour and a half while community members in the room spoke up against it. Councilwoman Me'Chelle King spoke against the time cut and the public comments proceeded to let everyone who signed up speak.

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“I was born in this city. I go to school here and I love Ypsilanti, but to facilitate the process of this great city it's my civic duty to hold my political officials accountable and I’m calling for your support for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza,” Raven Marin, an EMU student and Ypsilanti resident said.

The meeting was interrupted when the fire marshal came to inform the council that the room had reached capacity, and some people had to leave the room and hallway to watch the meeting on the basement televisions. The room capacity was 65 people, yet the room exceeded that by 12, including individuals in the hallway.

The first public comment portion lasted over five hours before the ceasefire resolution could be voted on. Ninety-five public comments were made during the first public comment round of the meeting.

Outside the meeting, the protesters' chants could be heard alongside rallying cries of freedom for Palestine with signs, drums, and waving Palestinian flags.

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The original ceasefire resolution was brought forward on Nov. 7 and was passed unanimously. Then at a city council meeting on Nov. 21, the resolution was retracted stating the resolution was not balanced, causing waves of confusion throughout the community.

“So when you rescinded it [the resolution] you said were going to take a passive stance on that, we actually don't care, maybe you didn't realize that, but that is what that means,” Ravin Calphan, a Ypsilanti resident said. “So I implore you to pass this resolution. I don’t understand why it's a problem because you all passed a resolution in 2022 condemning the Russian invasion of Ukraine.”

The new Gaza ceasefire resolution was read into the record by Councilwoman Desirae Simmons during the meeting, stating this was a different version than on the meeting agenda and it was put together with thoughts from her constituents. 

“This is a comprised resolution,” Simmons said. “This is a divisive issue in this city, we have many issues that divide this community.”