St. Paul City Council adjourns before cease-fire resolution could be introduced

St. Paul City Council meets on February 28
Pro-Palestinian protesters quietly hold signs and watch the St. Paul City Council meeting on Wednesday.
Clay Masters

St. Paul City Council Member Nelsie Yang is taking issue with the council president for adjourning their meeting Wednesday before she could introduce a resolution calling for a cease-fire in the Israel-Hamas war.

Pro-Palestinian protesters packed City Hall. They watched quietly, holding their signs up, while the council approved more than $40 million in spending on parks and streets from a new sales tax. Last week, the council adjourned early because of protester interruptions. This week, Council President Mitra Jalali ended the meeting abruptly after nearly 50 minutes.

Those gathered began to boo and shout in protest as Yang tried to keep the meeting going. Council members walked out quickly after the meeting adjourned.

"What you saw here was so undemocratic, and especially from, from St. Paul's most progressive city council. This is a poor example of what public leadership is,” Yang said to the gathered protesters after the meeting. “And so I am very apologetic to you that you have to witness this. Because this is something that should have never happened."

Yang said she couldn’t find a council member ahead of the meeting who would second a motion to introduce a resolution.

“The most frustrating thing is that I know for a lot of my colleagues personally, they support a cease-fire resolution, but will not use their platform as a council member nor the powers that they have as an elected official to do anything about it,” Yang said to journalists after the meeting.

“I am determined to find out a way to get it on the agenda. And if in the end, it doesn't work out, then you know what, it's not on me. It's on my colleagues,” Yang said.

Other council members did not publicly speak to the media or protesters after the meeting.