KC Tenants and Al-Hadaf KC have combined community forces to create a dynamic ceasefire action organizing group, including leaders with PeaceWorks KC. Daily action Zoom calls happen every weekday at 8AM and 12PM, with an action sheet designed to put pressure on our Missouri reps and senators–demanding they listen to their constituents: CEASEFIRE NOW.
These actions only take about 10 minutes a day. Contact email@example.com for the link, or you can call every day on your own time using 5calls.org, and entering your zip code to be connected to your representatives.
The demands we make of those elected to represent us do push our leaders to join the right side of history. However, Emmanuel Cleaver has been steadfast in his narrative conflating Hamas with Palestinian civilians. A group of 30 local organizers for ceasefire support showed up at Cleaver’s local office wearing black to mourn the lives lost and share personal reasons for showing up and standing against this flagrant injustice. With freshly made cloth signs, we showed up in dignity and righteousness at the door of his office. We rang the doorbell–three times–and no one answered. We know they are in the office 5 days a week, but ultimately couldn’t face us. Without missing a beat, we took our seats on the floor outside his office, surrounded by 6 news stations. We knew Cleaver was gonna hear about this, whether they let us in or not. Our program was one hour, and it flew by. Leaders stood to share their story; how they have been affected by the humanitarian crisis in Gaza. Whether they have Palestinian family trapped in the genocide, or if they are jewish community members appalled at the violence happening in their name–“NOT IN OUR NAME,” they cry.
Many have called upon Emmanuel Cleaver as a proclaimed man of God. Where is humanity or holiness in ethnic cleansing? The war crimes and human rights violations committed by Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) have been documented for decades. This did not start on October 7th, and did not start when Hamas was founded in the 80s. Israel has been persecuting Palestinians since before the First Nakba in 1948. History never forgets.
Holding our sit-in in the hallway only gave us more visibility to passersby. It took two full elevators to get all participants to Cleaver’s office. Someone uninvolved in our organizing was in the first elevator ride, and knew something was afoot. Tara, an organizer for the event, welcomed him saying “Join us.” And he did. He stood among the news cameras and heard what organizers had to say. The collective support and solidarity in the room was powerful. This kind stranger couldn’t stay for the whole program, but before he left, he called out in a quiet moment, “I have to leave, but I want you all to know, I believe this is what heaven looks like.” And I agree.
That day, Cleaver released an insulting press statement without consulting any Palestinian community members, and denied the call for a ceasefire.
Weeks go by, and folks are still organizing in solidarity with Palestine. Palestinians were the first to show international solidarity with the protests in Ferguson, MO, and we will continue to show support for them and their humanity.
Finally, Cleaver agreed to meet with Palestinian-American organizers based in Kansas City–his constituents. And he verbally supported a ceasefire.
Unfortunately, this was in word only. He has since ignored our calls to sign onto the ceasefire resolution.
We will keep calling and keep organizing actions in solidarity with those suffering this genocide. We will not forget how those in power ignored the call of the people, not just in Kansas City, but across this divided country. Politicians care more about the funding they receive from Israel than the thousands of people senselessly slaughtered–And we see them. They cannot hide from history, and the will go down as complicit. This is not a war, this is a genocide. The facts are clear, and Palestinians deserve to live.
If you believe our leaders should take a stand for peace, make your voice heard at 5calls.org today.
Follow Al-Hadaf KC to learn more.