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San Francisco anti-war protesters call on Nancy Pelosi to support cease-fire in Gaza

People gather on a street corner with sign that says Biden and Pelosi ceasefire for the children
Demonstrators rally in support of a cease-fire in Gaza outside Nancy Pelosi’s home in San Francisco on Dec. 3, 2023. | Source: Joel Umanzor/The Standard

Dozens of protesters gathered in front of Nancy Pelosi’s San Francisco home on Sunday to demand that the former House speaker call for a permanent cease-fire between Israel and Hamas.

The demonstration, organized by women's social justice group CodePink, aimed to remind elected officials—including Pelosi—that many of their constituents are steadfast in denouncing the war in Gaza, Cynthia Papermaster, an organizer, told The Standard.

Papermaster said she hopes San Francisco follows the lead of other cities, like Richmond and Oakland, in calling for a cease-fire. The San Francisco Board of Supervisors is expected to consider a resolution on the Israel-Hamas conflict as soon as this week.

“Cities all over the country are doing it, but it’s not enough,” Papermaster said. “We need our member of Congress, who controls the federal budget with her colleagues.”

Papermaster added that Pelosi should not ignore the scores who have protested in various demonstrations around the city since the violence broke out on Oct. 7. Hundreds of demonstrators marched through Downtown in support of a cease-fire on Saturday.

Protesters wave Palestinian flags under a foggy sky outside San Francisco City Hall.
Demonstrators rally in front of San Francisco City Hall on Saturday in support of Palestinians in Gaza. | Source: Julie Makinen/The Standard

READ MORE: Hundreds of San Francisco High School Kids Walk Out in Support of Gaza

During Sunday's rally, protesters marched around Pelosi's house in San Francisco's ritzy Pacific Heights neighborhood, carrying signs and a Palestinian flag. They chanted, "Viva, viva Palestina" and "Hey, hey, ho, ho; the occupation has got to go," and wrote "Free Palestine" and "Ceasefire Now" in chalk on the street.

When reached by The Standard, a spokesperson for Pelosi declined to comment on Sunday's demonstration. The House speaker's residence is a frequent target of political protests.

More than 14,000 people have been killed in Gaza since the start of the war in October, including roughly 10,000 women and children, according to the New York Times. A weeklong temporary cease-fire ended early Friday. The health ministry in Hamas-run Gaza says more than 15,500 Palestinians have been killed.

Many of Gaza's 2.3 million people are crammed into the south after Israel ordered civilians to leave the north in the early days of the war, which was sparked by the Oct. 7 Hamas-led attack in Israel that killed about 1,200 people, mostly civilians.

Shannon Snapp, a San Francisco resident and psychology professor at California State University Monterey Bay, said she has been leaving voicemails with Pelosi’s office on a daily basis to urge the representative to take action.

Woman wearing sweatshirt that states cease fire holds sign saying liberation is the birthplace of peace
Shannon Snapp protests the violence in Gaza outside former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's home in San Francisco's Pacific Heights neighborhood on Sunday. | Source: Joel Umanzor/The Standard

“I am desperate at this point,” Snapp told The Standard. “I’m overwhelmed and in grief watching countless thousands of children and innocent Palestinians being killed and displaced.”

Although demonstrating outside Pelosi's home might seem futile, Snapp said she feels there is still a need to join the call for peace.

“It feels like nothing, but at the same time, what can we do?” Snapp said. “We can continue using our voice and calling for a cease-fire in any way possible. There’s so many steps we can take, so I hope enough of us can help turn the tide.”

Joel Umanzor can be reached at jumanzor@sfstandard.com