Protesters call on Rep. Pingree to sign Israel-Gaza ceasefire resolution
Around 80 protesters rallied outside Congresswoman Chellie Pingree's office in Portland today, calling on the Maine Democrat to support a ceasefire in the Israel - Hamas war. The protest was part of a global day of pro-Palestinian rallies, and the latest in a string of actions in Maine.
Protesters urged Pingree to sign on to House Resolution 786, which calls for an "immediate deescalation and cease-fire in Israel and occupied Palestine."
Fateh Azzam, a Palestinian human rights researcher who lives in Maine, said a ceasefire is needed to save lives, and rejects the idea of a "humanitarian pause", languageadopted by the U.N. security council this week.
"A humanitarian pause gives time to bury the dead and treat the wounded, but only for the cycle of killing and destruction to start again," Azzam said.
The ceasefire resolution has 17 cosponsors in Congress, all of them Democrats.
Devon Miller, with Maine Voices for Palestinian Rights, criticized Pingree for not being one of them.
"Chellie, your endorsement of resolution 786 is long overdue. And if you think we're going anywhere, we are not," Miller said.
The Portland rally was among dozens taking place across the country and the world Friday in solidarity with Palestine.
It also drew a handful of counter-protesters, who waved Israeli flags and held up posters of some of the hostages still held in Gaza.
A recent Reuters/Ipsos poll found 68% of respondents supported a ceasefire.
Earlier this month, protesters calling for a ceasefire were arrested during sit-ins at Pingree's office and at the Bangor office of Congressman Jared Golden.
Since the Hamas attacks on Oct. 7 killed around 1,200 people in Israel, the Israeli military's air and ground attacks in Gaza have killed more than 12,000 Palestinians.