Minneapolis overrides mayor's veto of cease-fire resolution

In wake of override, mayor Frey releases his own document

A crowd of people cheer as a person wearing yellow steps off an escalator
Supporters greet council member Robin Wonsley after the Minneapolis city council voted to pass a resolution calling for a cease-fire in the Israel-Hamas war on Jan. 25, before the mayor's later veto.
Ben Hovland | MPR News

Minneapolis has officially enacted a resolution calling for a cease-fire in the Israel-Hamas war, after the City Council overrode Mayor Jacob Frey’s veto Thursday.

The council voted to override nine to three with one abstention, following the lines of its original vote on the resolution at a January meeting.

Council President Elliott Payne and Council Vice President Aisha Chughtai praised the passage of the resolution in a statement issued after the vote.

“We are proud of the nine Council Members who stood by what most Minneapolis residents believe: The defense of humanity is a shared project,” they said.

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It was the last step in a heated debate around the resolution. Supporters and detractors packed the meeting room and overflow spaces at meetings discussing the measure.

The symbolic resolution calls for an immediate and permanent cease-fire; humanitarian aid; an end to U.S. military funding to Israel; and the release of Israeli hostages taken by Hamas and the release of Palestinians held in Israeli military prisons.

Mayor Jacob Frey said that while he supports a cease-fire, he opposed the council’s resolution, calling it one-sided and divisive. It refers to the history of displacement and humanitarian crisis in Gaza.

A man looks sideways
Mayor Jacob Frey during a Minneapolis City Council meeting on Jan. 25.
Ben Hovland | MPR News

Frey issued his own proclamation calling for a cease-fire shortly after the vote. He criticized the council for moving ahead with the language in its resolution.  

“Almost all of the resolutions on cease-fire that have been passed throughout this country in many different cities, I would have signed,” Frey said. “I’m disappointed to see that this tone of division has been taken when there was every opportunity to bring people together.”

Frey’s shorter version supports humanitarian aid, release of hostages, funding for reconciliation and a two-state solution that recognizes both Israel and Palestine.

At its January meeting, council member Linea Palmisano introduced an alternative resolution, which omitted references to the history of the region. Frey put his support behind this alternative.

The council voted it down, saying they wanted to use the resolution crafted through committee hearings and public comments instead of the alternative introduced late in the process.

In a statement, the Jewish Community Relations Council called the council’s resolution “shameful.”

“Their intent was never peace but a maximalist approach that demonizes Israelis and erases the experiences and perspectives of the vast majority of their Jewish constituents,” the statement said.

Supporters and opponents filled the room to capacity at Thursday’s meeting, carrying signs and banners. Supporters clapped when the vote was tallied.

“We know that when it comes to apartheid and genocide, there is no such thing as ‘equal sides’ as mayor Frey suggests,” said Josina Manu Maltzman, a member of the Twin Cities chapter of Jewish Voice for Peace. “We’re encouraged by our council members who reject this false narrative and are committed to standing on the side of justice.”

Minneapolis joins several other cities around the U.S. that have called for a cease-fire, including Chicago, Seattle and Detroit. Supporters hope the symbolic resolutions add pressure to federal officials in their handling of the war.