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Pro-Palestine Activists Urge City Council To For Cease Fire Resolution

The Group Had Previously Been Prohibited From Making Public Comments

The Fredericksburg City Council permitted public comments this week pertaining to the ongoing conflict in Gaza.

Several individuals spoke at Tuesday evening’s council meeting, including students from the University of Mary Washington and members of the Students for Justice in Palestine (UMWSJP). The group previously said attempts to make public comments at the council meetings were rejected due to the subject matter.

Their concerns included recent acts targeting Muslims and pro-Palestine demonstrators across the country, doxxing and harassment of student activists at UMW, as well as the continued silence from campus faculty and city officials regarding the ongoing violence in Gaza.

“The bare minimum the Council can do is say, ‘I hear you,’” one commenter said.

UMWSJP’s founder Amirah Ahmed was also present to address council. Ahmed started the UMW chapter of the national group in the spring of last year and has since organized sit-ins, chalk-outs, fundraisers and several public demonstrations through downtown Fredericksburg in recent months.

“You stood up for Ukraine because you saw yourselves in their people. I’m standing in front of you today to ask that you don’t turn a blind eye to Palestine,” said Ahmed.

“You may not see yourself in my people, but I do.”

More than 70 localities have passed ceasefire resolutions while protests across the country continue, including American Air Force veteran Aaron Bushnell setting himself on fire in protest outside the Israeli embassy this week. February saw the United States issue its third veto of a UN Security Council resolution calling for a ceasefire.

“History is watching you and Fredericksburg is watching you,” Ahmed concluded.

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