More than two dozen Islanders held a rally at Five Corners in Vineyard Haven Sunday, calling for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza.

Resident David Mintz helped organize the event, the first action held by the newly-formed group Ceasefire MV. The impetus for the demonstration, he said, is to call attention to the humanitarian crisis in Gaza following Israel’s military response to Hamas’s terrorist attack on Oct. 7.

Although Mr. Mintz and his fellow organizers had attended protests for ceasefire in Boston and Washington D.C., he said it was equally important to stand in one’s own community.

“The hope is that those who are too timid to speak out are inspired to take a stand, and the hope is that those who don’t know much about the conflict and its history are inspired to learn more,” Mr. Mintz said.

Linda Cohen helped organize the day’s event after attending demonstrations in Washington D.C., having met Mr. Mintz only a week ago, she said. Ms. Cohen is the owner and founder of Olive Branch Fair Trade, a shop in Vineyard Haven that sells Palestinian and other international fair trade goods. Since Oct. 7, Ms. Cohen said her partners, many of whom are artisans in Gaza and the West Bank, have struggled to maintain operations. Even shipping in the West Bank — miles from the conflict in Gaza — had been halted, she said, as all international shipping in the territory must go through Israel first.

Ms. Cohen said she is also planning a teach-in with retired teacher Lynn Ditchfield to educate interested residents in the history of the conflict beyond recent events. Although she has participated in protests with thousands of attendees, Ms. Cohen said she felt the same sense of urgency ahead of Sunday’s event.

“It felt just as important as going to Washington D.C.,” she said. “It feels important...even if it’s just on a little corner on Martha’s Vineyard.”

An hour and a half into the event, a man who did not identify himself showed up with a sign bearing a swastika. Attendees asked the man to take his sign down or leave for several minutes before a young woman grabbed the swastika sign and began ripping up the cardboard.

The incident was reported to the Tisbury police. No arrests were made.

Sgt. Edward St. Pierre said incidents like these do happen occasionally, although they are rare. In the future, Sergeant St. Pierre said organizers should call the police to de-escalate the situation.