Put People First! PA joined Philly Mennonite Action in urging City Council members to support a Ceasefire in Gaza at City Hall on Monday, March 25.

Unexpectedly, the more than 70 people in attendance were refused entrance to the building. Only two adults and three children were allowed to enter and meet with council members and staff in their offices to ask them to join with more than 60 other cities whose councils have voted to endorse a ceasefire in Gaza.

Despite the lockout, the group continued their planned worship service outside, singing, praying, and reading names from a list of the thousands of children killed in Gaza. Their signs called for Peace, Ceasefire, and “Food not Missiles.” PPF-PA’s banner bore a quote from Martin Luther King, Jr., “Bombs Dropped Overseas Explode at Home.”

Afterward, Rev. Jay Berger of Germantown Mennonite Church introduced PPF-PA as a participant and praised our work for health justice for people on Medicaid. PPF-PA members Jacob, Ben, Jeanette, Steph and Janet attended and gathered names of people with Healthcare stories to share.

The Philadelphia Mennonite Action group is part of a network of churches across the U.S. and Canada. The Philadelphia events, also endorsed by Jewish Voices for Peace and Philadelphia Healthcare Workers for Palestine, was one of many events calling for a ceasefire in the region during the week before Easter.

— Janet Wells Greene, Southeast PA Healthcare Rights Committee

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