Dozen arrests, chambers cleared during Sacramento City Council discussion of Gaza cease-fire resolution


Chambers cleared during Sacramento City Council discussion of Gaza ceasefire resolution

Chambers cleared during Sacramento City Council discussion of Gaza ceasefire resolution


SACRAMENTO – Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg cleared the City Council chambers over outbursts during a debate over his proposed Gaza cease-fire resolution Tuesday night. Twelve people were arrested, police say.

The decision to clear the chamber of members of the public came after he delivered several warnings from the dias.

The Sacramento Police Department said that happened at around 9 p.m. but a dozen people remained in the chambers. They were arrested shortly before 11 p.m., charged with unlawful assembly and failure to disperse and booked into the Sacramento County Jail, police said.

The chambers were completely cleared by around 11 p.m. and the meeting resumed just before 11:30 p.m.

The council wound up passing the resolution with a 6-1 vote. The only “no” vote came from councilmember Lisa Kaplan. 

Supporters and opponents of the resolution had packed the chambers to capacity, often erupting in chants and shouts.

Mayor Steinberg’s resolution attempts to approach the war in what his office calls a “balanced” manner. Steinberg says he recognizes the sovereignty of Israel and an independent Palestinian state but also calls for the condemnation of the Oct. 7 attacks.  

He’s also asking for the release of all hostages, noting the tens of thousands of Palestinians killed in Israel’s military response in Gaza, and calling for a stop to the rise in antisemitism and Islamophobia across the nation.

One after another, supporters and opponents spoke their minds to the council.

Raymond Lee opposed to the resolution but was pleased with the dialogue before the chambers were cleared.

“I think it’s going as well as to be expected given the tumultuous situation,” Lee said. “And this is a volatile situation. We all know that.”

Scott Anglim supports the resolution.

“I think everyone’s here with the common understanding that every human is entitled to peace, dignity and freedom, and they’re vocalizing it as such,” Anglim said.

The mayor says the resolution is meant to bridge a divide in Sacramento’s interfaith community. He presented the resolution alongside a coalition of interfaith leaders including Sacramento’s Council on American Islamic Relations.

The Jewish Federation of Sacramento opposes it.

“Nothing in this resolution that we will present tonight, that I will present tonight, pretends to solve the war in the Middle East,” Steinberg said earlier in the day. “This is about Sacramento.”

Ahead of Tuesday’s meeting, Councilmember Kaplan issued a lengthy statement against the resolution.

“It is best when we stand together as leaders in Sacramento and focus on issues that we can control and not on conflict in the Middle East for which this resolution will have no impact,” Kaplan wrote. “With that said, I fundamentally do not believe it is within the Council’s purview to weigh in on international conflict.  However, as the resolution is before us, I believe in supporting and backing a resolution where leaders from both sides have come together in agreement. Sadly, such a resolution is not before the Council tonight.”


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