Citizen Action Monitor

Gaza-bound Canadian boat, Tahrir, helps restore pride in Canadian identity

No 325 Posted by fw, November 4, 2011

Speaking for myself, after 69 months of authoritarian rule by a morally-challenged, bullying prime minister whose blatant wedge politicking has sapped the pride I once felt in my Canadian identity, my heart swelled yesterday as I watched Democracy Now’s video report from the decks of the Tahrir, the Canadian boat attempting to break the illegal Israeli blockage of Gaza.

The Tahrir is part of a flotilla of two boats named “Freedom Waves to Gaza”, marking the latest attempt by international activists to break the Israeli naval blockade of Gaza. The ships will likely reach Gaza by Friday, but Israel has threatened to intercept them. “I anticipate that the Israeli army, the navy, is probably considering boarding us, at some point, on our way to Gaza and the siege,” said passenger Kit Kittredge of the group, Code Pink. “I am not feeling fearful. I am feeling actually pretty peaceful. And that’s what we are: We are a peaceful boat and a peaceful flotilla going to end the siege.”

Watch Democracy Now’s 14-minute video below or watch it here on Democracy Now, where you can also download a transcript of the broadcast.

And below the video please read and act on the CALL TO ACTION to support the Freedom Waves Flotlla

EXCLUSIVE: Video Report From Gaza-Bound Flotilla Attempting to Break Israeli Blockade, uploaded by Democracy Now on Nov 3, 2011

CALL TO ACTION, November 3, 2011

WE NEED WAVES OF SUPPORT FOR GAZA — We Will Not Let Israel Control Gaza

In July, after Freedom Flotillas I and II we promised that we would “keep coming by sea, by air, by land and in the media until the blockade collapses and Palestine is free.  At this moment, two boats are in international waters in the Mediterranean heading to Gaza. One boat, the Canadian Tahrir, carries representatives from Canada, the U.S., Australia, and Palestine – and journalists from Democracy Now and Al Jazeera.  The Soaires, an Irish boat, carries members of civil society including members of parliament. We have begun the Freedom Waves to Gaza campaign.

Civil society organizations in Gaza await their arrival, and look forward to the delivery of letters collected from thousands of supporters in the “To Gaza With Love” campaign. The Palestinians living in Gaza want solidarity not charity, and have made it clear to the world that their primary demand is for freedom. It is in this spirit that we sail to Gaza.

It is imperative that we mobilize in order to ensure that delegates on are not harmed and that the Tahrir and the Saoirse reach Gaza. There have been three attempts in the last year and a half alone to break the siege of Gaza. The world knows about the terrible outcome in May, 2010. Earlier this summer, we watched and were as dismayed as everyone else when the Freedom Flotilla boats were turned back by Greece at Israel’s and the United States’ behest. But we knew the movement would continue, and today it has! Please stay tuned as we await the outcome of this important human rights mission. We remain committed to non-violently supporting the Palestinians in the movement to end the blockade.

Here are some of the things that you can do to help: We need your help to make this mission a success. The Harper government will certainly be working with Israel to undermine this mission. We can minimise the possibility that violence will be used against the nonviolent activists and the boats by letting our governments know we are watching. We here, on land, can play a key role to breaking the blockade.

Please take these actions immediately.

Talking points for calls/emails to government:

  • Gaza has been under siege since mid-2006, depriving 1.6 million people of their liberty and basic human rights.  Although the siege has been condemned by the United Nations, the Red Cross, and many national governments, little has been done to ease the plight of these civilians. Civil society has had to act where governments would not. Two ships with 27 passengers from 5 countries are sailing to Gaza to confront the Israeli naval blockade, and to bring medical supplies and letters of support.
  • The Freedom Waves to Gaza initiative has supporters around the world with the goal of challenging the illegal blockade of Gaza, and bringing humanitarian aid to the civilian population of Gaza in the spirit of the U.N. Security Council Resolution 1860 (2009). It also seeks to challenge The Canadian Boat to Gaza seeks to carry much needed medical supplies. All delegates on the Tahrir are committed to peaceful and non-violent action. The Tahrir and the Saoires are not breaking the law but are actively upholding international law.
  • As Canadians, we demand that our government support human rights and international law by insisting Israel permit the ships’ safe passage and end its illegal blockade of Gaza. There are many alternatives for Israel to ensure its security without subjecting 1.6 million people to collective punishment.  Gazans are still prisoners with no freedom of movement; Israel’s illegal blockade prevents not only imports into Gaza, but exports as well. And the blockade prevents Palestinians from moving freely between Gaza and the West Bank, in violation of fundamental human rights.

The Freedom Waves to Gaza initiative is a non-violent, civil society movement to challenge the Israeli blockade of Gaza.

FAIR USE NOTICE: This blog, Citizen Action Monitor, may contain copyrighted material that may not have been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. Such material, published without profit, is made available for educational purposes, to advance understanding of human rights, democracy, scientific, moral, ethical, and social justice issues. It is published in accordance with the provisions of the 2004 Supreme Court of Canada ruling and its six principle criteria for evaluating fair dealing

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