Constituents Demand Rep. Katie Porter to Call for an Immediate Ceasefire
[October 19, 2023] Dozens of constituents met with the office of Representative Katie Porter (D-CA 47th District) to demand the Congresswoman address the escalation of violence against Palestinians. Constituents called on Porter to publicly condemn the loss of Palestinian civilian lives due to ongoing Israeli airstrikes and asked her to sign onto the Ceasefire Now Resolution.
In the face of the ongoing genocide in Palestine, where over 4,000 Palestinians in Gaza have already been killed, and more than a million people have been displaced, the Arab American Civic Council led a group of more than 60 constituents to Congresswoman Katie Porter’s district office to demand accountability and justice for the Palestinian people. This action was a response to Representative Porter’s public support for Israel without acknowledging the suffering of the Palestinian people, who are currently facing dire circumstances.
Elected officials build their campaigns on the values of human rights and justice but often do so on the backs of vulnerable populations. In times of crisis, representatives such as Porter must uphold these values of justice. Constituents who trace their heritage to Palestine are directly impacted by the ongoing oppression in Palestine. Elected officials who do not address their constituents’ experiences can dangerously open the door to dehumanizing treatment in the U.S. and abroad. Constituents call for an end to the ongoing oppression of the Palestinians and ending U.S. military funding that has directly supported Israel’s ongoing crimes against humanity.
During our visit to her district office, we delivered a letter that numerous and diverse local organizations had signed. In this letter, we outlined a set of demands that we believe are essential to address the current situation:
1. Immediate Ceasefire: We urged Representative Porter to take immediate steps towards a ceasefire and asked her to co-sponsor the Ceasefire Now Resolution, a critical step towards bringing about an immediate ceasefire in the region.
2. Condemnation: We urged Representative Porter to publicly condemn the loss of Palestinian civilian lives caused by ongoing Israeli airstrikes.
3. Humanitarian Aid for Gaza: We called for the immediate allowance of humanitarian aid into Gaza, emphasizing the urgent need for food, water, electricity, fuel, medicine, and other life-saving necessities.
4. Preventing Military Aid: We stressed the importance of preventing further U.S. military aid from being sent to the Israeli occupation, especially weapons currently being used against Palestinian civilians in Gaza.
5. Addressing the Root Cause: We emphasized the need to address the root cause of the violence, which lies in Israeli apartheid and military occupation.
It is disheartening to see Representative Porter express her support for Israel while overlooking the suffering and displacement of Palestinians. Past war-time rhetoric and political decision-making, especially during 9/11, have resulted in a deadly cycle of military spending and loss of innocent lives. As a responsible and conscientious community, we must hold our elected officials accountable for their positions and actions.
The action at Representative Porter’s office was a powerful and necessary step towards raising awareness about the crisis in Palestine and demanding change. Our communities stand united in pursuing justice, equality, and liberation for the Palestinian people. We will continue to advocate for the rights and dignity of all, and we invite others to join us in this important journey toward a more just and equitable world.