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The Ugly Details of Israel's Gaza Siege & Attack Against the Mavi Marmara (VIDEO)Tim King Salem-News.com
Ken's Intl NW Tour concludes tonight, October 8 at Portland State; 7:00 PM at Smith Memorial Student Union bldg, Cascade Room.
(SALEM, Ore.) - The last thirteen days of my life will leave an indelible impression from here on out; to say any less would be a vast understatement. I have been accompanying Ken O'Keefe on an international speaking tour of the NW Americas.
This man who fought Israeli commandos last May aboard the passenger ship Mavi Marmara isn't afraid to admit that it takes strength to bring about real change. I like his program and I certainly admire Ken's spirit.
From the midst of a movement to free Palestine from Israeli occupation that is largely tied to non violence, Ken admits that it takes direct action, physical resistance, and yes, sometimes violence, to counter a deadly threat to peaceful action.
The message is truth. "All you ever have to do is rely on The Golden Rule," he says, boiling the complexity out of moral dilemma.
I had the good fortune of meeting and interviewing a second Mavi Marmara survivor in Victoria, British Columbia, on the tour; his name is Kevin Neish, a lifelong peace activist and friend of Ken O'Keefe's for many years.
It was very interesting to hear things that had missed my attention, and to record these thoughts and statements so they can be presented to the public.
The level of dedication these activists possess is definitely long term.
Ken O'Keefe's involvement in the future is centered around the company AlohaPalestine.com, though his activism goes back and includes years of fighting for Hawaiian national heritage, marine sea life and ecosystems, human shields in the beginning of the Iraq War, and many other accomplishments.
Ken renounced his U.S. citizenship in protest over political issues, specifically relating to the U.S. military industrial complex and the wars overseas. Today he is a citizen of Palestine and Ireland, though the U.S. he explains, does not release citizenship, even when one burns their U.S. passport in a public ceremony... twice.
The people who chose to attend the various speaking events so far have been curious though not hostile. It was almost surprising.
This video delves into areas that have not been fully explored:
Over the next several weeks we will deliver a great deal of information regarding Ken O'Keefe, future plans to break Israel's illegal siege of Gaza, and highlights from Ken's Northwest tour, which is extended to include one more speaking engagement at Portland State University.
This has been an extremely important and successful event and Ken's talks were well received everywhere in the U.S. and Canada.
Our party included Ken's mom Pat Johnson who had not seen her son since before the Mavi Marmara attack, and Salem-News.com Reporter Eileen Fleming, who discussed her seven trips to Israel/Palestine and her new book. Learn more by visiting WeAreWideAwake.org.
Needless to say, people are curious about what happened last May when the Turkish flagged Mavi Marmara was attacked by Israel's top rated commando unit 13 in international waters.
The ship was part of a larger flotilla operation that intended to break Israel's illegal blockade of the Gaza Strip.
This report is the first in an upcoming series that will examine many aspects of the attack that happened on 31 May 2010, leaving nine people dead, including one U.S. citizen who was 19-years old.
Ken O'Keefe speaks Friday, October 8:
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