The final post…for a while

Posted October 18, 2010 by talestotell
Categories: Uncategorized

(But the book tour continues in the UK and Australia!)

In the last couple of weeks, I’ve finished the last 12 hour shifts of my first year of midwifery studies, begun attending the lectures for my second year, and facilitated an international FreeGaza meeting in Brussels in the middle. Also this year so far, I’ve done about 30 book events – and thank you so much to all the groups and people who’ve made those happen. I’ve been posting occasionally to this blog since I returned from Gaza, but I’ve decided it’s time to stop…I need to step up the attention to my degree (it’s getting harder, and I’m not getting smarter!), while keeping going with more book events in my spare moments.

In Palestine, and in Palestine solidarity, there’s so much going on, and I’m very aware this blog is in no way keeping up. The Jewish Boat to Gaza just got stopped by Israel; Ewa has just written about the Flotilla attack, while Adie is writing from Gaza about his work with some of the people you met via my blog, including Dr Mona and the Samouni family; Sarah my co-author is blogging from the West Bank for a few weeks; the Russell Tribunal is about to convene in London and needs your support, the UN Human Rights Commission enquiry into the flotilla attacks has reached some very strong conclusions and a summary of the report is here (but it doesn’t actually recommend anything…hmm…); and the Viva Palestina convoy is on the road again. And the FreeGaza boats will sail again soon…

Anyway, for me, the role of my own writing has been much less important since I left Gaza, and I would rather you went and read writing coming out of Palestine right now (look at my links page if you need some contacts to start you off.) I will continue to tell Gaza stories via my book – you can invite me along anywhere you need a random activist-author-midwife type person (so keep an eye on my events calendar which I will keep updating) and one day I will be back here writing again. I don’t really have the words I need to thank all of you – the readers who opened your hearts to my stories of Gaza, when that meant, and continues to mean, a lot of pain and sometimes horror. I hope what you’ve also found here is some of the courage, hope, and joy that my Gaza friends have shared with me.

Ken Loach on why he supports the Russell Tribunal:

August 23 2010: Happy 2nd Birthday Free Gaza!

Posted August 28, 2010 by talestotell
Categories: Uncategorized

Go Emily! Go Tristan!

Posted July 26, 2010 by talestotell
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Emily and her specialty arty eye wear

Resistance is the secret of joy. Alice Walker said it and – while she also said “everything we love can be saved” and I still feel mad at her for that cos however way you look at it that is heartbreakingly not true – sometimes, sometimes, I believe the one about resistance. It looks like Emily does too. Still attached to FreeGaza twitter texts, I have just followed a link to discover 21 year old Jewish-American Emily, whose eye the Israeli army removed with a tear gas cannister last month, singing the cheerfulest blues I’ve heard in a long time about the whole thing, on her own blog, Thirsty Pixels. Read the rest of this post »

Gaza Freedom Flotilla: This is who we lost

Posted July 3, 2010 by talestotell
Categories: Uncategorized

Killed: Cengiz Akyüz, 41, with a surviving daughter

Lawrence of Cyberia has rounded some pictures and a handful of sentences about those who Israel killed when they attacked the Freedom Flotilla. This is who we lost. Lawrence also contrasted Israel’s pictures of “weapons” found on the Mavi Marmara with “Picture of weapons found during a cursory search of my kitchen and basement.” Sums it up perfectly.

July 2: All decommissioners NOT GUILTY!

Posted July 2, 2010 by talestotell
Categories: Uncategorized

Smash EDO Press Release: 2 July 11am

Press Contact: Andrew Beckett or Simon Marsh

07526557436, 07722953180

Hove Crown Court, Brighton UK

Final two Decommissioners Found NOT GUILTY!

The jury in the trial of seven activists who decommissioned a Brighton arms factory to prevent Israel war crimes in Gaza in January 2009, have now found all seven activists not guilty of Conspiracy to Cause Criminal Damage by unanimous verdict in Hove Crown Court. Read the rest of this post »

UK decommisioners: Verdict soon…

Posted June 27, 2010 by talestotell
Categories: Uncategorized

From the Smash EDO anti-militarist Campaign in Brighton, UK:

The trial of eight anti-war activists, who decommissioned a Brighton weapons factory (EDO MBM) during the Israeli attacks on Gaza in 2009, is drawing to a close. The jury is expected to be sent out early this week (Starting June 27th) after closing speeches.

The first half of the trial saw the managing director of EDO MBM/ITT Paul Hills quizzed on the stand for five and half days about his company’s role in arming the Israeli Air force and his alleged complicity in war crimes. Read the rest of this post »

Freedom Flotilla: From the other side

Posted June 17, 2010 by talestotell
Categories: Uncategorized

Originally posted as an author guest post at

On Sunday evening, May 30th, at 10.30pm, I was in bed reading. In bed with me was my mobile phone; it had taken me several days to understand how Twitter worked and set it up so I could receive FreeGaza flotilla updates, but I’d finally achieved it. Earlier in the day I’d spoken at a Transition Town event locally, taking advantage of a crowd to ask for people to do the same, to go online that night and witness the journey of the Freedom Flotilla, with a particular concern for 8am Monday morning when the boats would reach Gaza waters. When the Israeli navy had rammed and stolen FreeGaza boats in the past, it had waited until Gaza waters, daily occupied by its gunboats which weekly kill, injure and kidnap Gaza fishermen.

So as the twitter texts had several times announced good progress in international waters that evening, I thought that perhaps we would all get some sleep tonight, even the people on the flotilla. When I journeyed on FreeGaza missions one and four, two of the five trips that successfully reached Gaza, I’d managed to doze a little myself – they may have been two of the most exciting nights of my life, but by the time we made it onto our beautiful boats, after the weeks, months, years of work, we were knackered! Read the rest of this post »