Plainfield Mayor Proclaims Solidarity With Gaza, Calls For Cease-Fire

PLAINFIELD, IL — Plainfield Mayor John Argoudelis proclaimed solidarity with the people of Gaza and called for a permanent and immediate cease-fire in the Palestinian city during Monday night’s regular Village Board meeting.

The mayor said he received “many, many emails” urging the village to speak out regarding “the pain and suffering” caused by the ongoing conflict between Israel and Palestine in the Middle East.

“We’re not here weighing in on the geopolitics of things; some of us are more studied at it than others,” Argoudelis said. “I think our main thrust in this proclamation … was just a simple call for humanity, for the protection of life and safety and property of all people, especially those suffering in Gaza today.”

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The proclamation, dated March 18, urges the United States government and President Joe Biden to call for and implement an immediate cease-fire and prioritize sending “ample critical humanitarian aid to Gaza immediately, including food, water, and medical supplies.”

The document also condemned “all forms of racism, colonization, anti-senitism, ethnic cleansing, genocide, and collective punishment.”

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Argoudelis read the proclamation in its entirety to the audience before meeting-goers erupted in a round of applause.

“We rarely delve into international or national politics,” Argoudelis said at Monday night’s regular Board meeting. “It’s something really beyond what we do as a Village Board. We gave on occasion; we did a proclamation on behalf of Ukraine in the past, so it’s not unprecedented. … We’re you’re elected officials, and we need to be responsive.”

The proclamation highlights the mayor’s viewpoint but does not reflect the opinions of the remainder of the Board of Trustees, prompting dozens of locals to speak out during the public comments portion of the meeting to urge the Board to turn the proclamation into a cease-fire resolution.

“These are a land of people who are starving, who have little hope, and yet their stories are being played throughout the world, throughout our social media, throughout our internet,” one woman commented. “If we have it within our hearts and minds to look at what’s happening, we understand for ourselves what our position will be, what we will do about and how even our few voices can make an impact, a domino effect because … big changes start in small places.”

“I’d like to echo the words of one of the speakers from the March 4 meeting who said, ‘Plainfield should have been the first city to pass a cease-fire resolution,'” said a Plainfield resident and fifth-grade teacher.

“You are our reflections in our communities. You are our voices; you are our proxies,” commented a man who represented a Plainfield mosque at the meeting. “It will give us a lot of pleasure that if this proclamation can be converted into a resolution … in the next meeting. This is not an international issue only; this is a humanitarian issue.”

“The road to peace and justice in Gaza will not be easy, but it is a journey worth taking,” another man said. “It is a journey that requires courage, compassion and unwavering determination. Let us seize this moment to sow the seeds of peace so that future generations may reap the rewards of our efforts.”

In mid-February, neighboring village Bolingbrook became the only town in Illinois besides Chicago to adopt a Gaza cease-fire resolution, Patch reported.

RELATED: Bolingbrook Board Calls For Cease-Fire In Gaza: ‘We Are Listening’

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