Tuesday’s City of Poughkeepsie Common Council Meeting attracted over 100 people eager to express their views on a resolution urging their federal representatives to seek a ceasefire in the ongoing conflict in Gaza.

But at the start of the meeting, Chairperson Da’Ron Wilson announced that the ceasefire resolution was withdrawn from the agenda for further review by the council and that a task force would be established to refine the resolution’s language.

An audience member could be heard yelling, “Shame!” prompting Wilson to reiterate the council’s decorum rules and revealing that even though scores had signed up to speak, the public comment period would last only 45 minutes and afford commenters 3 minutes a piece to speak. 

Opponents of the resolution criticized the council’s involvement in international affairs, advocating for a focus on local issues. Supporters argued for the council’s responsibility to represent constituents’ interests, emphasizing the need for federal action to achieve peace in Gaza and Israel. Discussions touched on various aspects of the conflict, including the October 7 terrorist attack, civilian casualties, humanitarian aid, and concerns about anti-Semitic implications in the resolution’s language.

Throughout the session, sporadic disruptions occurred from both camps. Wilson managed interruptions swiftly, maintaining order while facilitating speakers’ participation.

As the public comment period concluded, tensions escalated, leading to further disturbances. In response, the Common Council adjourned the meeting and requested attendees to vacate the premises. Despite the adjournment, discussions persisted among attendees and council members for nearly 30 minutes.

The fate of the ceasefire resolution remains uncertain, with its return to the council agenda pending future deliberations.

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