This morning, I woke up with a heavy heart recounting the loss of last night’s attempt to introduce a resolution in Santa Clara to call for a ceasefire. Ceasefire: to stop fighting. Stop the bloodshed. To stop the collective punishment. Stop the blockade medical aid, fuel, water, and other supplies to the people of Gaza. To stop holding people captive. To just stop being inhumane.
Yet with the largest mosque in the country located in Santa Clara, despite thousands of letters, calls, and public testimony, our city council prevented us from INTRODUCING a ceasefire resolution! They rejected our alternate drafts. They even rejected our neutral bland language to add to the United Against Hate resolution. They rejected hearing from nearly 100 waiting to speak in person/Zoom. They rejected us.
On this depressing, rainy day as I drove my kids to school, I saw something I never thought I’d see on this miserable morning: two brave souls battling the elements to put up banner signs with messages to SAVE GAZA. SUBHANALLAH! (Glory be to God). They did not let last night’s losses dissuade them from taking action. I believe it was a sign from God to never give up, despite the hurdles, despite every thing and everyone working against us, to NEVER GIVE UP.
So while last night had a disappointing outcome, we were successful in mobilizing thousands of people from all backgrounds, all faiths, all ages to speak up. We showed up in the HUNDREDS to council meetings. We held dozens of meetings with elected officials/city staff. We organized in person/virtual planning meetings and multiple chat groups. We mailed over 24,519 letters to the council!!! We gathered at vigils outside City Hall to pray together. We showed humanity by feeding people regardless of position, with pizza, donuts, and snacks at the long meetings. We showed up and conducted ourselves with grace and dignity.
I am so proud of our community for taking action. We have a unique role here in America to speak up for those who can’t, to take action when others might be jailed for doing the same. We have the power to do this.
While the results are only with God, we must still put in the effort. We must continue to mobilize and take action whether it be writing/calling electeds, attending related council meetings, using social media platforms, bannering over freeways, VOTING!, supporting supportive candidates like SC Councilmembers Kevin Park who championed the resolution and Raj Chahal who was the sole supporter of this. I thank them for their solidarity! Their leadership encourages us to also run for office. If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em,… and then lead them! We can do this inshaAllah (God willing)!!!
I want to thank everyone for showing up over the past few weeks, especially with our amazing partners with the South Bay Jewish Voice for Peace, DSA, and unions. And the THOUSANDS of people whose hearts were united calling for peace! InshaAllah we will make a change. We have already made a difference.