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Glenwood Springs is the first Colorado city to pass a resolution calling for a ceasefire in Gaza

Glenwood Springs has joined the more than four dozen of cities in the U.S. calling on the federal government to push for a ceasefire in Gaza.
Caroline Llanes
Aspen Public Radio
Glenwood Springs has joined the more than four dozen of cities in the U.S. calling on the federal government to push for a ceasefire in Gaza.

On Thursday, Feb. 15, the Glenwood Springs City Council unanimously agreed to a resolution calling for the ceasefire in Gaza. It’s the first municipality in Colorado to do so.

According to NPR, about 1200 people in Israel were killed in the October 7th attacks, and more than 28,000 Palestinians have been killed in the ensuing Israeli military offensive.

Glenwood’s decision to adopt the resolution comes in response to members of the group Ceasefire Now Roaring Fork Valley, who showed up to the city council meeting with draft language from the Colorado Palestine Coalition.

Glenwood resident Maya Hunt is part of Ceasefire Now RFV. She spoke during the public comment period.

“I think there’s growing understanding that caring for our neighbors is not just about those that we can see or who are in close proximity, but showing up in our community when we are needed,” she said. “What our community represents matters, and how we use our voice locally matters.”

Longtime Glenwood resident Jessica Richardson, who is Jewish, agreed.

“I was raised to believe that we are a small community in a big world, and that we can and do make a difference,” she said. “I think this is another chance to speak on an issue that is hugely important, and to use your platform to help motivate our state legislators, and hopefully our national legislature, into a ceasefire at the bare minimum.”

About half a dozen people spoke in favor of the resolution, and no one spoke against it.

The council agreed to place the resolution on its agenda after the public comment period. It had not been on the council’s agenda previously.

“I would love to at least have a conversation about this since we have a lot of young people here that took the time out tonight,” said Councilor Jonathan Godes. “I think asking for more peace is better than a continued genocide, which is what we’re seeing.”

In January, the International Court of Justice said it was “plausible” that Israel had violated the Genocide Convention, and that it needed to take “immediate and effective” measures to ensure Gaza received humanitarian aid and basic services. Israel, as well as the U.S. State Department, said accusations of genocide were “unfounded.”

All council members agreed that they did not have enough time to read the entirety of the group’s draft resolution, but they agreed to simplified language calling for a ceasefire. Godes read the updated resolution:

“Resolution calling for an immediate and permanent ceasefire in Gaza and occupied West Bank. Immediate, unhindered humanitarian aid into Gaza, and release of all hostages and arbitrarily detained Palestinian civilians in order to work towards a long term, lasting peace.”

The motion passed 7-0.

Mayor Ingrid Wussow thanked the group for their passion and their activism, and invited Ceasefire Now RFV to stay in touch.

“It’s one thing for us to sign something and for it to not do anything, but we have some ability to kind of disseminate the message even further if it resonates with us,” she said.

Glenwood joins a growing number of other cities that have called for a ceasefire, including Chicago, Detroit and San Francisco.

After controversy in October, Aspen declines to consider ceasefire resolution

It was a very different story in Aspen earlier this week. Ceasefire Now RFV spoke at the Tuesday Feb. 13 regular meeting, asking the council to consider adopting the same resolution.

Carbondale resident Will Hodges is an organizer with the group. He spoke during public comment, saying that a lot of people feel hopeless about the scale of death and destruction in Gaza, and said this is one way they can take action.

“We’re hoping that you all could consider passing something in unison, something as uncontroversial as calling for a ceasefire,” Hodges said. “Aspen speaks with a much louder voice … relative to its size. You guys are a very important international destination.”

Multiple members of the group who spoke during the public comment period echoed similar sentiments on Aspen’s international importance.

In response to the speakers, Councilor Ward Hauenstein said he felt that city council was not the appropriate venue for comments on international affairs. He was also concerned that passing such a resolution would cause even more division in the community. The council drew significant backlash in October after it declined to hang the Israeli flag at city hall next to the Ukrainian flag.

But he thanked Ceasefire Now RFV for coming, and said he also was distressed at the scale of human suffering in the Middle East.

“And I honor your courage to stand up for your beliefs in a peaceful and civil manner, and so for that, I’m thankful,” he said. “I would invite all of us on the council to face this head on, to have respect for people, and to not turn your back on it.”

Councilor Sam Rose objected to Hauenstein’s comments, saying they were a “shot” at him and Councilor Bill Guth, who literally had their backs turned to the speakers throughout the meeting.

“I stand by turning my back to them in their comments, because I was listening, but they don't deserve my face,” he said.

Rose also said that the speakers from Ceasefire Now RFV were anti-Semitic and anti-Zionist.

Mayor Torre told the group that the council has decided not to issue comments on international affairs as a unified body, though individual members may do so in their personal capacity.

Also this week, Denver’s city council considered a similar resolution, and ultimately voted 8-4 to reject it.

Caroline Llanes is a general assignment reporter at Aspen Public Radio, covering everything from local governments to public lands. Her work has been featured on NPR. Previously, she was an associate producer for WBUR’s Morning Edition in Boston.