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Jun-29-2011 15:21TweetFollow @OregonNews
The Gaza Freedom Flotilla has Set SailSalem-News.com
"Now Israel is saying they will let us go (as if we ever asked them for permission) and they have made an arrangement with the Egyptians to offload our cargo in Al Arish. They don't get it. We are going to Gaza. We are opening the sea route to Gaza. We go to stop the illegal blockade. We're NOT going to Al Arish." - Greta Berlin
(ATHENS) - In spite of Israel's threats of violence (snipers, attack dogs, sound bombs) against unarmed people on unarmed ships, threats from the US government of legal action against American participants, and the Obama administration's clear permission granted to Israel to attack the boats, including the American-flagged "Audacity of Hope", the FLOTILLA HAS SET SAIL! The first boat left France today. The French boat sails to meet the other 9 boats, two cargo ships and 7 passenger boats, including the Audacity of Hope, in the Mediterranean, and on to Gaza with 3000 tons of aid for that destroyed region.
At this time, the Audacity is still being held in a Greek port but organizers believe they may be close to success in their attempts to persuade the Greek government to allow their boat to leave the Greek port to join the others in the Flotilla. The Greek government has been under tremendous pressure from the US and Israel, including financial in the midst of their failing economy, to prevent the flotilla boats from leaving. And we just learned that the Greek passenger boat has been sabotaged, it's propeller axle having been cut.
I believe that the US boat is the most dangerous to Israel because of the possibility of American passengers being injured or killed in an attack on the boat in international waters, and they are concerned about how that might play. A number of high profile people are on the boats, including cabinet members, writers, and well-known journalists . Among the passengers on the Audacity are writer Alice Walker, retired Colonel Ann Wright, non-violent activist Kathy Kelly, Code Pink's Medea Benjamin, former CIA analyist Ray McGovern and an Israeli former Air Force pilot. About 25% of the passengers are Jewish, and almost 20% of the American boat are over 60, the oldest being 81 and 86.
Things you can do:
Until the boats are released from greek ports, call or email the Greek embassy, asking that they be released, and that Greece not succumb to pressure to prevent aid from reaching a desperate people on unarmed ships.
Call the State Department to demand the US end the pressure on Greece, and particularly that they retract the permission they gave to Israel to attack this unarmed flotilla. (Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has told the world that "Israel has a right to self-defense" against the flotilla, even though they know the boats and people are unarmed, and will sail only in international waters despite Clinton's geographically challenged statement.
202-647-4000 (the "mailbox is full", as a rule)
Monitor the flotilla on the internet and by Twitter. We have a Rapid Response network in place to set off the emergency resonse in case of attack on any boat in the flotilla. Some suggested sites:
Come out to the Response Demo when it's called:
Third and Monroe in Spokane, 5:30 p.m. the day after an attack, sponsored by PJALS. And you KNOW we'll send you the notice!
NAME OF BOAT
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