MANCHESTER, N.H. – Protesters seeking a cease-fire in the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas protested before Tuesday’s Manchester Board of Mayor and Aldermen meeting, later requesting that the board support a resolution demanding a cease-fire.
The rally was organized by the New Hampshire Congress of Workers Organization, with members of that organization, the Democratic Socialists of America and other Manchester residents supporting their efforts testifying to the board during the public comment session of its meeting.
During those comments, the group requested that the city divest from Israel and request an immediate cease-fire in the conflict.
New Hampshire Congress of Workers Organizations member Matei Alexander has low hopes that the board will address their cause, but was buoyed by what he saw outside City Hall.
“We definitely want to effectuate any improvements in the conditions Palestinians are dealing with. If we’re being realistic, we’re dealing with an institution that is callous at best and can only be persuaded if there’s something in it for them at worst,” he said. “A lot of the people driving by are honking, and if I’m using that as any sign, there’s quite a lot of support for the Palestinian cause.”
Matt Perzyk, a fellow member of the organization felt that Manchester’s voice is important even though it has no direct role in U.S. foreign affairs.
“As small as Manchester is in the grand scheme of things, it’s important that every single city, every single town, every single constituency make some noise about it and hopefully we can help pass a ceasefire resolution that can help end the genocide going on in Gaza,” he said.
While no Aldermen referenced the comments by the protestors, with Chairman Joseph Kelly Levasseur and Ward 8 Alderman Ed Sapienza leaving the room for most of their testimony, Alderman At-Large Dan O’Neil said that what he heard earlier in the meeting made him feel like the city had let down its youth. On that note, Levasseur proposed a new Youth Sports Committee for the board.