New York City Council Approves Resolution Opposing Iraq War Until Options Exhausted
Wednesday 12 March 2003
The City Council in the place hit hardest by the Sept. 11 attacks approved a resolution Wednesday opposing war with Iraq except as a last resort.
The 31-17 vote came after months of debate over whether New York should stake out a position.
"We of all cities must uphold the preciousness and sanctity of human life," said Councilman Alan Gerson, a Democrat who voted for the resolution and whose district includes the World Trade Center site, where 2,792 people were killed in the attacks.
Democrat Alan Jennings said that after losing one of his closest friends in the trade center attack, he was in no mood to vote for an anti-war measure.
"Our troops are in the Middle East at this time to fight for our democracy," Jennings said. "I think this resolution sends the wrong message to our men and women in uniform."
The resolution, which carries no legal weight, backed war only if "other options for achieving compliance with United Nations resolutions calling for the elimination of weapons of mass destruction and the means of their development have failed."
Last month, 100,000 to 350,000 people took part in an anti-war protest near the United Nations. Recent polls show that 75 percent of New Yorkers oppose a war without the support of the United Nations.
Since September, anti-war resolutions have been approved in such cities as Los Angeles; Kalamazoo, Mich.; Chicago; Portland, Maine; and Milwaukee.
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