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Aug-11-2010 23:13printcommentsVideo

Gaza Flotilla Survivor Ken O'Keefe Will Visit Northwest for Speaking Tour

If you are in Oregon and you'd like to host a visit/speaking event from Ken and his entourage on our bus, let me know so we can make it happen.

Ken O'Keefe after the Israeli goons were done beating him.
Ken O'Keefe after the Israeli stormtroopers were done beating him.
Special thanks to The People's Voice

(EUGENE, Ore.) - Ken O'Keefe, survivor of the recent Israeli military attack on a civilian passenger ship participating in a flotilla to break the illegal Israeli military blockade of Gaza, is coming to Oregon and Washington in the later half of September.

O'Keefe was aboard the Mavi Marmara, which was attacked in international waters by Israeli Defense Forces while her crew was completely unarmed, something the Israelis attacking the ship were keenly aware of. The IDF killed nine activists aboard the ship, they had carried lists of the people Israel wanted assassinated for their efforts to aid the starving people of Gaza, surrounded at all times by Israeli guns and propaganda.

A former Marine, Ken was the one aboard the ship who disarmed the Israeli soldiers who were murdering innocents on the Mavi Mararma. He's also a writer for Salem-News.com.

He held the disarmed soldiers captive for a short time and turned them over to IDF soldiers **unharmed**, a magnificent display of non-violence that included forceful self defense, a legitimate human right.

He was subsequently beaten by the Israeli soldiers and later released. He has appeared quite a bit on YouTube, including an interview with a somewhat hostile host on The BBC's "HardTalk", and his post release video which shows him beat up. I've been following this guy ever since, been checking him out, and can find no reason he shouldn't be supported, and his powerful message spread. He has been a highly active advocate for Palestinian people since 2004, documented!

Ken O'Keefe after he was released from Israeli custody

.

One main purpose of this trip is to raise money for an upcoming Gaza relief boat trip, which he hopes to be on as well as support financially. This is a priceless opportunity to help spread a valuable and powerful message, and contribute to a very high profile international event.

Tim King, also a former Marines from the Salem-News, will accompany us on this trip for at least part of the way and provide REAL news coverage.

"Ken's upcoming trip is so exciting and it is such a gift for everyone who will have a chance to meet him and hear him talk. I look forward to as many stops as possible and we will not only cover the trip essentially as it happens, I will also record everything for a documentary that will chronicle Ken's time here."

King says fellow Salem-News.com writer Eileen Fleming will make the trip from Florida to accompany the group, and to talk to Ken on camera about the depth of his experience aboard the Mavi Marmara.

Fleming is the chronicler of Israeli nuclear whistleblower Mordechai Vanunu and she has personally taken several trip to the Mideast during the course of her research. Her endless enthusiasm in educating Americans about the plight of Palestine will be great energy at all times.

In addition to education and public speaking, Ken will raise proceeds to benefit another upcoming Gaza flotilla in the works for next year.

Ken O'Keefe on The BBC's Hardtalk

Tentative planning has broken up Ken's fund raising visit on the West Coast into two parts:

1) an Oregon leg that will loop the state in our bus during the time frame of September 18 through 26th, and

2) a Washington tour that will go from September 26 or 27, through October 4th.

This rough schedule is not set in concrete at all, just a sketch to keep the journey as fuel and time efficient as possible. Ken is interested in squeezing in as many talks & gatherings as possible so this places some demands on those doing the organizing - we are also hoping to find nighttime hosts that can provide safe space for the bus and crew in Oregon, and for sleeping accommodations for Ken and crew (3-4 total?) without the bus in WA. Can you help? Please write to either myself at gs@veteransagainsttorture.com or Tim King, tim@salem-news.com

So, if you are in Oregon and you'd like to host a visit/speaking event from Ken and his entourage on our bus, let me know so we can make it happen.

If you are in Washington State, we need set up similar arrangements. I'm unable to support the entire duration of his visit so am hoping to find a motivated Washington local or locals who are willing to orchestrate logistics of an exciting and intense series of events there.

FYI, here are his websites: worldcitizen.uk.net, and alohapalestine.com/

Salem-News.com has extensively covered the Mavi Marmara incident, there is a great deal of interesting background material in our links. Note how many regular Salem-News.com writers took time to write about the various parts of the story, as well as guest contributors from Israel:

Links to stories preceding the flotilla launch are available at this link on Salem-News.com articles with 'flotilla' tag


Gordon Sturrock is a friend of Salem-News.com who serves as the Editor for 'Radical Vet Gazette', groups.yahoo.com/group/RadicalVetGazette/, and he is also with the Squadron 13 Aviation Museum & Flights of Thought on War and Politics - squadron13.com. Gordon is the founder of VeteransAgainstTorture.com, and a member of Vietnam Veterans Against the War and Veterans For Justice.

"The world is a dangerous place, not because of those who do evil, but because of those who look on and do nothing"- Albert Einstein




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Jay C. September 3, 2010 5:15 am (Pacific time)

It's a GOOD thing that Ken wasn't poisoned with arsenic as were the Malaysians who were held captive in Ashdod and fed by the israelis. SEARCH ... arsenic, Malysians, Mavi Mar Mara on youtube.com The israelis painted over all the bullet holes on the ships before returning them and even washed the clothes of the murdered activists to erase the powder burns ... proof of close fire executions....


Gordon Sturrock September 2, 2010 8:42 pm (Pacific time)

Many anti-war veterans including myself are supporting Ken O'Keefe. A person who puts his life at stake for his principles is a person who can't be seriously criticized by anonymous critics. Gordon Sturrock Radical Vet for Truth, Justice and non-violence


Holden August 28, 2010 10:01 am (Pacific time)

O'Keefe is a nutcase. As well as a liar. Got this Napoleon complex thing a mile wide. Should have stayed a "human shield" for Saddam.

Editor: If you had a leg to stand on then maybe you would make a statement as to 'why?'  Brave human beings like Ken O'Keefe don't do what they do expecting hate based people to understand.  I'm sure Ken figured that out long ago.  He put himself at great risk for the benefit of the world; the people of Gaza who are treated like animals by Israel.  Nut job?  Yeah, me too  I'm sure, for thinking that we can actually change the position of Israel and its murderous tone toward the indigenous people of Palestine, whose land has been stolen by thieves.  Oh and by the way, Ken has no connection to Saddam, what a stupid thing to say.  


Anonymous August 12, 2010 5:55 pm (Pacific time)

sorry, the editors comment calling the previous poster 'sparky' made me laugh so hard I forgot what I wanted to say. \Good one editor.. sorry to sparky, I like u too, but you really should do some research besides tv or your evangelist sunday meetings. sparkey lol :-)


gp August 12, 2010 4:36 pm (Pacific time)

s'pec you all will be going up to Eugene to get an interview or at least hear the speaker. Plan to look for the report

Editor: Yes, and several other locations as well, we look forward to it also!


csparks August 12, 2010 9:32 am (Pacific time)

are you kidding me? please... tell me you're kidding... are there ppl dumb enough to go listen to this doody? ech!

Editor: Same to you sparky, everyone isn't into Zionism and racism.  He's a hero to millions, get over your ignorance.

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