Portland demands county support for Gaza

A broad coalition of Portland groups for Palestine packed the Multnomah County Board of Commissioners meeting on Feb. 1, calling on them to issue a resolution calling for an immediate and permanent ceasefire in Gaza and unimpeded delivery of humanitarian aid.

Over a dozen community members gave testimonials at the meeting, including a number of Palestinians living in Portland. They brought home the reality that their relatives in Gaza are living in horrific conditions.

Demonstration to demand Multnomah County Council pass a resolution calling for a ceasefire in Palestine, Portland, Oregon, Feb. 1, 2024.
WW Photo: Lyn Neeley

Laurie King, representing Jobs with Justice, talked about her father’s escape from Nazi Germany and his entry into the U.S. Army in order to fight fascism. King’s lifelong activism in the labor, environmental and anti-war movements was inspired by her parents and their Jewish values of life and justice. “I am one of thousands of proud American Jews calling for a ceasefire,”she said. She shared her statement with this reporter, who was not able to get inside the Commission meeting.

King pointed out that “huge unions like the United Auto Workers, SEIU [Service Employees Union], postal workers and the largest teachers’ unions, all representing hundreds of thousands of workers, have called for a ceasefire … showing the horror that workers feel about how the people of Gaza are being treated.” 

King asked the County Commission to “think about how unprecedented thousands of Israeli and U.S. bombs dropped on Gaza bring not just death but a toxic legacy that will be felt for generations from explosive chemicals, dust and debris from destroyed buildings. Please think about white phosphorus that Israel is using that is infecting the drinking water. Imagine how sewage is draining into streets because treatment plants cannot be operated.” She asked the Commission to join the growing anti-genocide opinion among the U.S. population and help let Gaza survive by voting for a ceasefire resolution!

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