Archive for May 2010

ISMer loses eye on West Bank flotilla demo

May 31, 2010

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 21 year old American activist loses eye after being shot in face with tear gas canister

31 May 2010: An American solidarity activist was shot in the face with a tear gas canister during a demonstration in Qalandiya, today. Emily Henochowicz is currently in Hadassah Hospital in Jerusalem undergoing surgery to remove her left eye, following the demonstration that was held in protest to Israel’s murder of at least 10 civilians aboard the Gaza Freedom Flotilla in international waters this morning. Read more the ISM pages here

…and no clear word from our friends, except an unconfirmed rumour that Kevin Ovenden from Viva Palestina is injured, and that not all the injured have been taken to treatment yet. No names confirmed yet but in this footage it looks like David Schermerhorn and Kathy Sheetz, veterans of the original FreeGaza journey in 2008, plus Colonel Ann Wright, are prisoners.

2pm: UK demos and update

May 31, 2010


Demos I’m aware of today:
London 2pm Downing Street, York 2pm Samson Square, Manchester 5pm outside the BBC,Bolton 5pm Victoria Square, Preston 5.45pm Lune St, Hebden Bridge 5.30pm traffic lights
See more or register them here, also email protests AT freegaza.org

Regularly updated Guardian Coverage here
Interview with Adam Shapiro on Democracy Now

Still cannot get any word on any passengers beyond what you see on twitter, including Caoimhe who pre-recorded the above message. We believe more than one ship attacked

Live footage from 4am

May 31, 2010


…this is what I was watching as it happened during the night, it hasn’t appeared to this extent much on the web, there is some Arabic and Turkish but it is interspersed with English, and finishes with orders in Hebrew from the boarding soldiers.
“Despite the white flag being raised, the Israeli army is still shooting…”
“This is an important announcment: please, go back to your cabins, take your seats…do not show resistance…they are using live ammunition…we have lost control of the ship.”

16 dead, don’t know where injured taken

May 31, 2010

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CALL FROM GAZA FOR GLOBAL RESPONSE TO KILLINGS ON THE FREEDOM FLOTILLA

May 31, 2010

PRESS RELEASE

GAZA, PALESTINE

31.MAY.2010

CALL FROM GAZA FOR GLOBAL RESPONSE TO KILLINGS ON THE FREEDOM FLOTILLA

We, Gaza based Palestinian Civil Society Organizations and International activists, call on the international community and civil society to pressure their governments and Israel to cease the abductions and killings in Israel’s attacks against the Gaza Freedom Flotilla sailing for Gaza, and begin a global response to hold Israel accountable for the murder of foreign civilians at sea and illegal piracy of civilian vessels carrying humanitarian aid for Gaza.

(more…)

May 31: 4.15am – Israeli firing on peace ships

May 31, 2010

My god, Israel has lost it. There is live streaming at http://www.livestream.com/insaniyardim of Israel firing on the IHH Turkish charity ship with hundreds of volunteers. The twitter message is that they’re being boarded by commandos from helicopters who are taking over the ship, that 2 passengers are dead and 30 are wounded. THEY ARE UNARMED AND IN INTERNATIONAL WATERS. I’m trying to think of what best to do – it’s four in the morning and I can’t even get a train anywhere yet. There will be demos in response and I’ll do my best to get some press. English coverage will be at www.witnessgaza.com. I will probably not get to post again for a bit, but you don’t need me… please WATCH, SPEAK OUT AND ACT now. with love and rage.

May 29: Flotilla sailing for Gaza right this minute!

May 29, 2010


…and I’ve gone so far as to sign up to FreeGaza on Twitter so that I can get the up-to-the-minute reports of what’s happening at sea. They need our protection desperately as Israel has threatened to stop them and has been practising navy maneuvers.

This flotilla carries 10,000 tonnes of aid, and 800 activists and about 30 politicians from 40 countries, including many you’ll have read about in my Gaza journals on this blog or in Gaza: Beneath the Bombs, plus all sorts of startling other people – the Americans for example include:

Amb. EDWARD L. PECK, JOE MEADORS, HEDY EPSTEIN, ANN WRIGHT
Ambassador Peck was chief of mission in Iraq and Mauritania and deputy director of the White House Task Force on Terrorism in the Reagan administration. Meadors is a survivor of the 1967 attack by Israel on the U.S. military ship the USS Liberty in which 34 Americans were killed. Epstein is a survivor of the Nazi Holocaust and author of Remembering Is Not Enough. Wright is a 29-year U.S. Army/Army Reserves veteran who retired as a Colonel and a former U.S. diplomat who resigned in March 2003 in opposition to the invasion of Iraq. She just wrote the piece “The Audacity of the Free Gaza Flotilla: Breaking the Israeli Siege of Gaza May Lead to an Attack at Sea, Detention Camps and Deportation.

The EU’s new Foreign Affairs minister has just issued a statement that aid must get to Gaza. So much hangs in the balance. Please, witness the journey now , tell all your friends about the Free Gaza Movement, and help keep everyone – and the desperately needed aid cargo – safe, all the way to Gaza. Be ready to call your politicians, or take direct action (whichever you think most effective!) to keep our friends alive and free. It is possible sabotage has already occured:

May 21: Remember our friends in Faraheen?

May 24, 2010


Above, April: Israel destroys the crops…a month before they come back to kill the animals.

Readers of my blog will remember getting to know Jaber and Leila and their six kids, just one farming family who dodge bullets to try to grow food for Gaza, resulting in a broken foot for Leila last year. You’ll remember they have had to rent a second village house because their farmhouse, less than 500 metres from the Israeli fence, is too full of bullet holes to keep the kids safely in. You’ll remember the destruction wreaked upon their farm already by the Israeli army during the last two 08/09 major incursions. (more…)

Look how far we’ve come!

May 20, 2010

Last week, the Irish FreeGaza boat was the first to set sail towards the Mediterranean to meet the rest of the flotilla. Here’s the letter Jenny (who first sent cargo by the FreeGaza boat Dignity when she shipped her warmest jacket over from Cyprus to keep me cosy through Gaza winter and war 08/09) had published in the Dundalk Leader yesterday.

One day after purchasing at auction, the then named MV Linda, my husband Derek and myself, along with 2 other activists, Fathi and Michael, climbed aboard a cold, dark ship and so began a long, hard, but rewarding journey involving many strangers who were not strangers for very long. Over time activists had to leave and crew arrived but Derek and i remained on board and began to mould into the life of locals on the port.

For over a month we lived aboard the cargo ship, which, gradually over time, became home , and we can now look back with pride and astonishment at what we all together have achieved ….so far. The now named, MV Rachel Corrie, named in honour of a young fellow activist brutally murdered in Gaza in 2003 by the Israeli Army, sailed with dignity , out of Dundalk port on Friday night, to applause, car horns, cheering , clapping and a mixture of emotions. (more…)


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