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Vets for Peace Symbolic ‘Ceasefire’ resolution fails to get a vote from Evansville City Council

John O'Leary with Veterans for Peace holds a banner during the Tuesday afternoon protest.
File Photo
John O'Leary with Veterans for Peace holds a banner during a recent protest for peace, at USI. His group proposed the city council vote on a ceasefire resolution calling for peace in Gaza.

The local Veterans for Peace had proposed a Ceasefire Resolution for the Israel-Hamas War to the Evansville City Council for a vote; the resolution has failed for lack of council support

Evansville City Council Member Courtney Johnson listen to public comments over the devastation of the war in Gaza. Johnson voiced his support for the resolution in late April, joining original sponsor Mary Allen.
File Photo
Evansville City Council Member Courtney Johnson listens to public comments over the devastation of the war in Gaza. Johnson voiced his support for the resolution in late April, joining original sponsor Mary Allen.

To bring a resolution to vote at the Evansville City Council, it must be sponsored by at least three of the nine members.

But at the Monday afternoon meeting, resolution sponsor Mary Allen let supporters know that it wouldn’t be happening.

“With regret, it does not look like we will bring a resolution to the floor for a vote. When Veterans for Peace approached me with the resolution I did agree to sponsor because I wanted to show that we are a city of compassion.”

President Zach Heronemus declined to comment on-record about his reasoning for not supporting the resolution, and other members didn’t return comments via email.

The other sponsor was Courtney Johnson.

“Talking to individuals, I truly believe that us doing this, we're just saying that we all want peace as well.”

Allen, a veteran herself, suggested that some community members think it's not their place to make comments on international events.

“I understand that there are folks throughout the community and people in this city who don't think we should insert ourselves into geopolitical issues,” she said. “However, nations are made of states and states are made of cities and cities are made of people. And I believe those people's voices rising up together can, and do make a difference.”

She said she received more communications from constituents on this topic, than for concerns over the proposed CenterPoint Energy electric rate increase.

The 111 word-resolution would have called for the ending of all hostilities, release of all hostages and unfettered humanitarian aid for Israelis and Palestinians while decrying antisemitism and islamophobia.

Should another sponsor arise, the resolution could still at least get a vote.

The resolution was proposed by the Veterans for Peace, and drew several public comments throughout the spring, urging the support of the council.

The Resolution via Veterans for Peace:
In accordance with our mission, in particular our work to increase public awareness of the costs of war and to seek justice for victims of war;

And in accordance with our firm understanding that peace at home and peace abroad are inextricably connected;

And with the knowledge that one more clear voice on behalf of peace can help turn back the tide of a humanitarian crisis;

Veterans For Peace Chapter 104 in Evansville calls on the Evansville City Council to formally speak as one with the following resolution to uplift the people who are suffering in the conflict between Israel and Palestine (boldface text added 4/19/24):

"Council expresses its unwavering support and sympathy for all, Palestinian, Israeli, Muslim, Jewish, Christian and all other members of our shared humanity around the world, including those in our own community, who have been impacted by the atrocities of this war."

“Council desires a lasting bilateral ceasefire, release of all hostages, and unrestricted humanitarian aid.”

"Council condemns the terrorist attacks on October 7 and the escalation of hostilities that have led to a humanitarian crisis. Council condemns all forms of anti-Arab and anti-Palestinian racism, antisemitism, and Islamophobia; each of whom has a right to learn, work, worship, gather, advocate, mourn, and celebrate free from intimidation, harassment, and fear of violence."