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The Dartmouth
June 20, 2024 | Latest Issue
The Dartmouth

Town of Hanover passes ceasefire resolution

Hanover residents approved a resolution calling for an “immediate and permanent” ceasefire in Gaza and the West Bank at the annual town meeting last week.

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At the annual town meeting on May 14, Hanover residents voted 101 - 89 to pass a resolution calling for an “immediate and permanent” ceasefire in Gaza and the West Bank, according to former Hanover Selectboard member Nancy Carter. 

Upper Valley for Palestine — a coalition that includes the Dartmouth Palestine Solidarity Coalition, the Vt./N.H. chapter of Jewish Voice for Peace, Sunrise Dartmouth and Upper Valley Democratic Socialists of America — brought forward the petition to the town of Hanover for warrant article 24. 

The vote was held during the business portion of the meeting at Hanover High School and followed discussions about budgetary issues, union contracts and zoning, according to Hanover Town Manager Alex Torpey. 

The article defines a ceasefire as the U.S. government “immediately end[ing] U.S. arms shipments and military aid to the Israeli government” and “ensuring the safe delivery of food and medical supplies to Gaza,” according to past reporting by The Dartmouth. The article was signed by 116 Dartmouth students and town residents.

Roan Wade ’25, the hub coordinator of Sunrise Dartmouth, said the coalition was inspired by a February ceasefire vote in Lebanon to “do the same thing in Hanover.” She said there was “amazing turnout” by Hanover residents to vote during the meeting.  

“The U.S. government is not listening to us,” she said. “We need to work at a local level to have our voices heard.”

In April, the Selectboard abstained from endorsing an earlier version of the resolution— and Selectboard member Carey Callaghan called the issue “highly divisive.” 

At the May 14 meeting, more than a dozen individuals spoke about their opinions regarding the ceasefire resolution, according to Dartmouth Student Government town affairs liaison Nicolás Macri ’24. 

“I think more information on how the population thinks about this particular political issue is important,” Macri said. “Because you hope [in a] democracy that the members of the federal government would take the beliefs of citizens into account.”

Carter said those who spoke had different points of view but “remained civil” and “willing to have a good discussion” during the meeting.

“They really cared,” Carter added. “All the way from people talking about babies dying in Gaza to people talking about not feeling safe in Hanover as Jewish students.”

Torpey said the article vote was conducted through a secret ballot. 

“It certainly wasn’t perfect,” Torpey said. “But overall, regardless of anybody’s opinions, I just appreciated that people were generally respectful of each other when they were commenting.”

Carter said that the result of the vote on the petition article would be sent to “our entire congressional delegation” — which is composed of Democrats Sen. Maggie Hassan, Sen. Jeanne Shaheen and Rep. Annie Kuster ’78 — as well as President Joe Biden.

Torpey said the town also passed the municipal budget at the town meeting, authorizing their spending across all departments for the year to come. The meeting also helped update union contracts to “treat staff better” and “create a better place for people to work,” according to Torpey. 

He added that the new union contracts were created “through a much more collaborative process” than typical negotiations and will make Hanover “more competitive” and “supportive.” Torpey also said that zoning changes, including a “downtown height increase,” would allow for the town to build more affordable housing.