Waiheke Local Board Demand An Immediate And Permanent Ceasefire In Palestine
29 November 2023
Waiheke Local Board today unanimously passed a motion demanding an immediate and permanent ceasefire in Palestine. The board also agreed to fly the Palestine flag from their Local Board building for one month, starting from today to mark the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People.
The motion was called for in today’s Local Board public forum by Susi Newborn and Liz Tivoli, members of Stand with Palestine Waiheke, a newly formed chapter of PSNA (Palestine Solidarity Network Aotearoa).
Newborn urged peace activists across the country to follow suit, and call for similar motions at the local level. “While a call for a ceasefire can be seen as largely symbolic, symbols matter, and calling for this at a local level means that constituents... can feel their political agency matters” she said. “We used a similar approach successfully when securing a nuclear free future, when Waiheke became the first community in New Zealand to declare itself a nuclear free zone” she continued.
New Zealand voted in favour of a UN General Assembly resolution calling for an immediate and sustained ‘humanitarian truce’. However, Prime Minister Christopher Luxon is yet to call for a ceasefire.
Deputy Chair of Waiheke Local Board Bianca Ranson, who is currently in Dubai attending COP28 stated, “I’m glad our board showed the leadership our country’s leaders are failing to. We must use every power that we have to put the pressure on for a permanent ceasefire and to end the targeted bombing of civilians, hospitals, schools, mosques, and refugee camps.”
Councils in the US including Providence City, Rhode Island, Seattle and Detroit have called for a ceasefire. In Australia, Maribyrong City Council in Melbourne, and the Sydney suburb of Marrickville have also called for a ceasefire.
“You can feel hopeless when trying to affect change in global politics, but if more local boards call for a ceasefire, this will send a powerful message” Newborn concluded.
More than 15,000 people including over 6,000 children have been killed in Gaza by Israel since October.