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Human Resources Department

Commission on Human Rights

For Immediate Release

Ceasefire Letter

SANTA ROSA, CA | February 23, 2024

On February 22, 2024, the Sonoma County Commission on Human Rights voted unanimously to pass a ceasefire letter that reads the following:

In light of the severe human rights violations occurring in Gaza, Palestine, and Israel, the Sonoma County Commission on Human Rights extends this appeal to all parties involved and affected community members. Acknowledging that the impact of armed conflict reverberates through generations, we understand that healing begins with a collective commitment to ending violence in all its forms. As a nation with a long legacy of violence, including slavery and the genocide of Indigenous Peoples, that evolved to comprise many people from around the world who also experienced genocide and acts of inhumanity, we understand that international conflicts impact us here at home and within our local communities. The Sonoma County Commission on Human Rights calls upon all conflicting parties to unite in building bridges between communities, championing protections for all humans, regardless of any descriptor, and advocating for an end to armed conflicts worldwide.

“Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced.” - James Baldwin.

We condemn war, genocide, and terrorism. We recognize we cannot stop this as divided communities. International Humanitarian Law provides a set of rules that seek, for humanitarian reasons, to limit the effects of armed conflict. International Humanitarian Law is made up of treaties including the Geneva Conventions, which imposes limits on the means and methods of warfare and protects persons who do not, or no longer, take part in the fighting (including civilians, journalists, medics, aid workers, wounded, sick and stranded troops, prisoners of war or other detainees). The Geneva Conventions emphasize a moral and ethical obligation to protect innocent lives during conflicts.

The Sonoma County Commission of Human Rights recognizes the imperative need for adherence to the principles outlined in the Geneva Conventions, and urges all sides to safeguard the lives of innocent people, including those who have chosen to lay down their weapons. It is our sincere belief that advocating for the protection of non-combatants is a shared responsibility transcending borders, fostering a global commitment to ethical conduct. We condemn all terrorists. We call for the release of all hostages. We call for a ceasefire. The only way to find the beginnings of peace is through a ceasefire - a suspension of fighting so that peace talks may take place and humanitarian aid can reach those in need.

Only through collective action can we declare "enough is enough" and strive for a future marked by peace, love, and healing for all. The Sonoma County Commission on Human Rights acknowledges and condemns the rise of white nationalism, racism, anti-semitism, Islamophobia, and anti-Arab violence locally and throughout our nation. We call upon our community to build bridges of peace, love, and healing locally. Let this appeal be a beacon guiding us toward a shared commitment to humanity.

Media contact 
Katrina Phillips, Chair
(707) 565-2693