Thursday, June 30, 2011
.http://is.gd/L2bQ5q FOREIGN EMBASSIES IN GREECE (long list) Call your embassies & demand that they pressure greece to Free #Flotilla2 #Gaza
Contacts for embassies in Greece & Greek embassies abroad*Please share -Call & DEMAND #flotilla2 be allowed to leave!
Foreign Embassies in GreeceUnited States Embassy, Athens: +30 210 721 2951.
British Embassy, Athens: +30 210 727 2600.
Canadian Embassy, Athens: +30 210 727 3400.
Australian Embassy, Athens: +30 210 870 4000.
South African Embassy, Athens: +30 210 610 6645.
Irish Embassy, Athens: +30 210 723 2771.
New Zealand Consulate-General, Athens: +30 210 692 4136.
Greece EmbassiesGreek Embassy, Washington DC, United States: +1 202 939 1300.
Greek Embassy, London, United Kingdom: +44 (0)20 7229 3850.
Greek Embassy, Ottawa, Canada: +1 613 238 6271.
Greek Embassy, Canberra, Australia: +61 (0)2 6273 3011.
Greek Embassy, Pretoria, South Africa: +27 (0)12 430 7351.
Greek Embassy, Dublin, Ireland: +353 (0)1 676 7254.
Greek Embassy, Wellington, New Zealand: +64 (0)4 473 7775.
|Weekly Report On Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (23– 29 June 2011)|
|Thursday, 30 June 2011|
Israeli soldiers arrest a human rights defender during a peaceful demonstration against the construction the annexation wall in Nabi Saleh village near Ramallah
Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) Continue Systematic Attacks against Palestinian Civilians and Property in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT)
· IOF continued to use force against peaceful protests in the West Bank.
- A Palestinian civilian was wounded.
- IOF arrested two human rights defenders and 6 Palestinian civilians.
· Israeli gunboats opened fire at Palestinian fishing boats in the Gaza Strip.
- A fishing boat was damaged, and IOF arrested two fishermen, but released them later.
· IOF conducted 31 incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank.
- IOF arrested 21 Palestinian civilians, including 7 children a Member of the Palestinian Legislative Council, a human rights defender and a journalist.
· Israel has continued to impose a total siege on the OPT and has isolated the Gaza Strip from the outside world.
- IOF arrested 3 Palestinian civilians, at military checkpoints in the West Bank.
- IOF arrested a physically disabled young man at Beit Hanoun (Erez) crossing in the Gaza Strip.
· IOF have continued settlement activities in the West Bank and Israeli settlers have continued to attack Palestinian civilians and property.
- At least 100 graves were bulldozed in a cemetery in East Jerusalem.
- IOF demolished two barnyards and will in Arab al-Rashaida village near Bethlehem.
- IOF confiscated a plot near Hebron to establish an aircraft strip.
- IOF destroyed irrigation networks near Hebron
- IOF uprooted 300 olive trees in Deir Estia village near Salfit.
PRESS RELEASE, 30/6/11
IRISH SHIP TO GAZA CAMPAIGN
SABOTAGE OF M.V. SAOIRSE IN TURKEY 'AN ACT OF INTERNATIONAL TERRORISM'
The Irish-owned ship, the MV Saoirse, that was meant to take part in Freedom Flotilla 2 has been sabotaged in a dangerous manner in the Turkish coastal town of Göcek, where it had been at berth for the past few weeks. Visual evidence of the undership sabotage, which was carried out by divers, will be presented today at a press conference in Dublin at 11am in Buswell's Hotel. Photographs and video footage of the damage are available from the Irish Ship to Gaza campaign.
Concerns for the boat first emerged on Monday evening following a short trip near the Göcekmarina and an inspection was carried out by divers and by skipper Shane Dillon on Tuesday morning. Evidence was found that the shaft of the starboard propeller has been interfered with and it was decided to take the boat out of the water for a further visual inspection. On Wednesday, the boat was put on land at a local shipyard and the extent of the sabotage was immediately visible.
The propeller shaft had been weakened by saboteurs who cut, gouged or filed a piece off the shaft. This had weakened the integrity of the shaft, causing it to bend badly when put in use. The damage was very similar to that caused to the Juliano, another flotilla ship, in Greece. The consequent damage would have happened gradually as the ship was sailing and would have culminated in a breach of the hull.
The Irish Ship to Gaza campaign believes that Israel has questions to answer and must be viewed as the chief suspect in this professional and very calculating act of sabotage.
Commenting on the attack from Göcek in Turkey, Dr Fintan Lane, national coordinator of Irish Ship to Gaza, who own the vessel, said: "This is an appalling attack and should be condemned by all right-thinking people. It is an act of violence against Irish citizens and could have caused death and injury. If we had not spotted the damage as a result of a short trip in the bay, we would have gone to sea with a dangerously damaged propeller shaft and the boat would have sunk if the hull had been breached. Imagine the scene if this had happened at nighttime."
"Israel is the only party likely to have carried out this reckless action and it is important that the Irish government and the executive in Northern Ireland insist that those who ordered this act of international terrorism be brought to justice. This was carried out in a Turkish town and shows no respect for Turkish sovereignty and international law."
He continued: "One of the most shocking aspects is the delayed nature of the sabotage. It wasn't designed to stop the ship from leaving its berth; instead, it was intended that the fatal damage to the ship would occur while she was at sea and this could have resulted in the deaths of several of those on board. This was a potentially murderous act."
Dr Lane, who was on board Challenger 1 in last year's flotilla, said: "The Freedom Flotilla is a non-violent act of practical and humanitarian solidarity with the people of Gaza, yet Israel continues to use threats and violence to delay its sailing. They attacked us in international waters last year; now they are attacking us in Turkish and Greek ports. There is no line that Israel won't cross."
"We will not be intimidated by attacks like this - it simply highlights the aggression that the Palestinian people of Gaza have to put up with on a daily basis. It strengthens our determination to continue until this illegal and immoral blockade is lifted."
Calling on the government and northern executive to demand safe passage for Freedom Flotilla 2, Dr Lane said: "The Irish government needs to publicly condemn this dangerous act of sabotage but it also should insist on the flotilla being allowed to make it to Gaza unhindered. Israel has no right to interdict the flotilla and even less right to carry out attacks against vessels in Greek and Turkish ports."
"It is important that everybody make their voices heard in solidarity with the people of Gaza and in support of the flotilla. The Israeli embassy should become a focal point for street demonstrations. These saboteurs came very close to killing Irish citizens."
Also speaking from Göcek, the skipper of the MV Saoirse, Shane Dillon, said: "The damage sighted and inspected on the starboard propeller shaft on the MV Saoirse had the potential to cause loss of life to a large number of those aboard. The nature of the attack and malicious damage was such that under normal circumstances the vessel would most likely have sunk at sea. If the ship was operating at high engine revs, the damage done by the saboteurs would have caused the shaft to shear and the most likely outcome would be the rupturing of the hull and the vessel foundering. If, as was intended, the vessel had proceeded to Gaza at reduced revs, the stern tube would have been forced off line and a large and rapid ingress of water would have resulted, sinking the vessel."
Mr Dillon continued: "The shaft was filmed and photographed when the vessel was lifted from the water on Wednesday afternoon in a shipyard in the Turkish coastal village of Göcek. A local marine engineer inspected the shaft and his opinion was that the interference was the work of professional saboteurs intent on disabling the Saoirse. However, the most shocking aspect of the attack was that its intention was to cause failure of the shaft when the vessel was offshore and this shows a total disregard for human life."
He ended: "It is also worth noting that the damage inflicted on the Saoirse was identical to that that caused to the Greek/Swedish ship, the Juliano, which was sabotaged in the Greek port of Piraeus a few days ago."
Pat Fitzgerald, a Sinn Fein member of Waterford County Council and chief engineer on the Saoirse, commented: "We were very lucky to discover this act of sabotage when we did. We felt vibrations from the shaft as we were returning to the berth on Monday evening following a short trip in the bay for refuelling purposes. Close inspection by divers on Tuesday and then on land on Wednesday revealed a large man-made gouge on one side of the propeller shaft. The integrity of the shaft had been compromised and a very serious bend had developed. This could have caused fatalities had we set to sea and almost certainly would have sunk the boat when the engine revs were increased. It was an act of sheer lunacy and endangered the lives of all on board."
The sabotage has been reported to the harbour master in Göcek and Irish Ship to Gaza are asking for a full investigation by the Turkish police.
The repairs have yet to be fully costed but could be more than E15,000 and they will take some time, meaning that the Saoirse cannot participate in Freedom Flotilla 2.
However, six of the 20 crew and passengers aboard the Saoirse will transfer to another ship in the flotilla. The six Irish who will join the Italian/Dutch ship are Fintan Lane, national coordinator of Irish Ship to Gaza and a member of the Free Gaza Movement; Trevor Hogan, former Ireland and Leinster rugby player; Paul Murphy, Socialist Party MEP for Dublin; Zoe Lawlor of the Ireland-Palestine Solidarity Campaign; Hussein Hamed, a Libyan-born Irish citizen; and Gerry MacLochlainn, a Sinn Fein member of Derry City Council.
The MV Saoirse will be repaired and used in future flotillas to Gaza if they are needed.
PRESS RELEASE ENDS
For further information:
Phone Claudia Saba at 086 3938821, or Laurence Davis at 086 3605053
Phone Fintan Lane (Göcek) at 087 1258325, or 537557811 (Turkish number)
Wednesday, June 29, 2011
"The Irish boat has a problem with its propeller, we don't know yet how serious it is, but we believe it may have been sabotaged," said flotilla coordinator Claude Leostic.
The problem with the "Saoirse" (Gaelic for freedom) -- one of 10 vessels trying to leaving the Greek port of Piraeus -- followed Monday's news that the propeller on the "Juliano" boat, belonging to Swedish activists, had been cut.
n Irısh Shıp to Gaza press conference wıll be held at tomorrow mornıng (Thursday) to present evıdence of the (lıfe-threatenıng) sabotage of the MV Saoırse by Israelı dıvers: 11am, Buswells Hotel, Dublın. More detaıls wıll be released then."
Tuesday, June 28, 2011
Support the Canadian Boat to Gaza
Several cities across the country are mobilizing for action from Victoria, BC to Yellowknife, NWT to Halifax, NS. Here are 2 actions that have been announced.
If you want your event announced send us information at firstname.lastname@example.org
Wednesday 29 June 2011
Place Émilie-Gamelin (métro Berri-UQAM)
Come and tell the Palestinians of Gaza that they are not alone and that we are in solidarity with their struggle for liberation.
Come and encourage delegates from Quebec and Canada who will sail aboard of the Tahrir in order to contribute to break the Israeli blockade of Gaza.
Come and protest against the Harper government unilateral and unconditional support of Israeli policies.
Come and demand respect for international law, the only guarantee for justice and peace in this conflict.
Sunday July 3, 1 pm
Human Rights Monument (Elgin St./Lisgar St)
At this event, we will symbolically "launch" a boat to show our solidarity with the people of Gaza and our support for the participants in the Freedom Flotilla II and the Canadian Boat, the Tahrir.
Several organizations will place a symbolic item on or in the boat to illustrate their support. (We suggest making a box with text or images indicating its contents and identifying the organization.) Individuals will be invited to put in messages. The idea is to represent the actual Canadian boat to Gaza. You may find ideas for what to place in the boat at http://www.tahrir.ca
We will also take this opportunity to collect donations in food items for the Ottawa food bank.
Everyone is welcome!
For 24/7 updates on the progress of the Freedom Flotilla and the Tahrir, be sure to follow us at twitter.com/CanadaBoatGaza , on Facebook like the page and check our website http://www.tahrir.ca ----- http://www.freedomflotilla.
1 - Agissons maintenant :
Appui le Bateau canadien à voguer vers Gaza
Plusieurs villes à travers le pays se mobilisent pour l'action de Victoria, en Colombie-Britannique à Yellowknife, TN-O à Halifax, NS. Voici deux actions qui ont été annoncés.
Si vous voulez que votre événement soit annoncé faites-nous parvenir les informations à email@example.com
Mercredi 29 juin 2011
Place Émilie-Gamelin (métro Berri-UQAM)
Venez dire aux Palestiniens et Palestiniennes de Gaza qu’ils ne sont pas seuls, que nous sommes solidaires de leur lutte de liberation.
Venez encourager les délégué-e-s du Québec et du Canada qui navigueront à bord du Tahrir pour contribuer à faire lever le blocus de Gaza par Israël.
Venez protester contre les positions unilatéralement et inconditionnellement pro-politiques israéliennes du gouvernement Harper.
Venez exiger le respect du droit international, seul garant de la justice et de la paix dans ce conflit.
Dimanche, 3 juillet, 13h
Monument des droits humains (coin Elgin et Lisgar)
Lors de cet événement, nous enverrons symboliquement un bateau pour exprimer notre solidarité avec la population de Gaza et notre appui pour les membres de la Flottille de la liberté et du bateau canadien, le Tahrir.
Plusieurs organisations placerons un objet symbolique dans ou sur le bateau pour illustrer leur appui. (Nous suggérons de garnir une boîte avec du texte ou des images indiquant son contenu et identifiant le groupe.) Les individus pourront y placer des messages. Le but est de créer une représentation du bateau canadien pour Gaza. Vous pourrez trouver de l’inspiration pour votre contribution en visitant http://www.tahrir.ca.
Nous accepterons aussi les dons de nourriture pour la banque alimentaire d’Ottawa.
Bienvenue à toutes et tous!
Pour des mises à jour continuelles sur les progrès de la Flottille de la Liberté II et du Tahrir, ne manquez pas de nous suivre sur twitter.com/CanadaBoatGaza et visitez notre site web, http://www.tahrir.ca --- http://www.freedomflotilla.ca
2 - Media coverage of the Canadian Boat to Gaza / Couverture de presse entourant le Bateau canadien à voguer vers Gaza
Photos from Athen's press conference Monday June 27 / Photos de la conférence de presse d'Athènes lundi 27 Juin
CBC report from the boat (At the 40min, 50sec. mark) / Reportage de la SRC à partir du bateau (Au 40min, 50sec. marque)
Saskatchewan interview with Ehab Lotayef / Entrevue à Saskatchewan avec Ehab Lotayef
News items / articles Nouvelles
An article from one of the Canadian delegates / Un article de l'un des délégués canadiens
Check our website for more news / Consultez notre site Web pour plus de nouvelles http://www.tahrir.ca
You have received this message from the Canadian Boat to Gaza.
“Resolves that the refugees wishing to return to their homes and live at peace with their neighbors sh"
Monday, June 27, 2011
Sunday, June 26, 2011
Freedom Flotilla II on USTREAM: An international effort against the siege of Gaza, aiming to break the naval blockade imposed by Israel, with a flotilla of...
Take Action Now: Help send off the Canadian Boat to Gaza - Agissons maintenant : aidons le Bateau canadien à voguer vers Gaza
Take Action Now:
Help send off the Canadian Boat to Gaza
Let’s Create a Wave of Support for the Gaza Freedom Flotilla.
Any day now, the Canadian Boat to Gaza, ‘The Tahrir’, will set sail.
The culmination of almost a year of organizing and fundraising from coast to coast, the Tahrir will be part of an international Freedom Flotilla bringing humanitarian aid to a population that suffers daily from the illegal Israeli blockade and occupation.
The international "Freedom Flotilla II - Stay Human" will include 10 ships, two of which are cargo boats carrying aid such as medical supplies, while the rest are passenger ships will carry hundreds of people, among them, politicians, writers, religious faiths representatives, people of arts and culture and activists. All participants are united in the commitment to nonviolence and freedom for the people of Palestine. Many TV crews will be also on board (CNN, NBC, Al-Jazeera, CBC-Radio Canada and others) as well as journalists sent by various world media outlets, both mainstream and independent.
The flotilla movement has already made a profound impact, but Israel’s blockade of Gaza is still in place. The Israeli military has threatened to attack the boats, preventing them from reaching Gaza on their humanitarian mission. And, shamefully, the Conservative government in Canada has called this mission “provocative”, siding with Israel’s illegal blockade of Gaza. What is truly provocative is the Conservative government under Harper, and their ongoing uncritical support for Israel’s illegal activities such as abuse of human rights and the occupation of Palestine.
Where governments fail, the people step forward. That’s why we are asking you for your help at this crucial moment for the Freedom Flotilla II and the Canadian Boat to Gaza. Your help will make a difference. With you we can make sure the world is watching. This will help protect the Flotilla and will continue to bring the world’s attention to the cause of human rights of Palestine.
We are calling out for two specific things:
1. Local Actions:
As Tahrir and the other boats of the flotilla depart towards Gaza we are calling on you to join a local action or help organize a send off event in your city or community early next week (preferably Tuesday or Wednesday).
Actions are planned in Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver, Ottawa, Victoria, Halifax, and many other Canadian cities. Follow the local activist lists for details.
2. Raise the profile of Tahrir and the flotilla:
During the voyage: help us keep the Flotilla in a high profile. You could do a gathering like a vigil or a rally, but there are other options as well:
- A banner drop or leafleting in a high traffic area.
- A ‘phone in’ or a ‘tweet in’, sending messages to Canadian politicians urging them to support the Freedom Flotilla and to defend the Canadian citizens taking part.
- Coordinated tweeting, Facebook posting and blog posting. Stay tuned to our Facebook page, our twitter feed and our website to get up to date information and material that you can share through your networks.
- A ‘flash mob’ or some other kind of creative action to draw attention to the flotilla.
There is another important way you can help as well: make a donation to help maximize our emergency response capacities once the flotilla is on the water. Visit http://www.tahrir.ca to make your contribution today.
The Canadian Boat to Gaza and the Freedom Flotilla thank you for your continued generosity and solidarity. Together, we will achieve of our goal of contributing to freedom for the people of Palestine and the end of the blockade of Gaza.
*For 24/7 updates on the progress of the Freedom Flotilla and the Tahrir, be sure to follow us at twitter.com/CanadaBoatGaza
*Send us information about your event at firstname.lastname@example.org
Agissons maintenant :
aidons le Bateau canadien à voguer vers Gaza
Créons une vague de soutien à la Flottille de la Liberté II pour Gaza.
D’un jour à l’autre, le Bateau canadien pour Gaza, le « Tahrir », mettra le cap sur Gaza.
Point culminant de près d’un an de travail d’organisation et de collecte de fonds d’un océan à l’autre, le Tahrir fera partie d’une Flottille de la liberté II qui acheminera de l’aide humanitaire à une population qui souffre quotidiennement en raison du blocus et de l’occupation israélienne, toutes deux illégales au plan du droit international.
La « Flottille internationale de la Liberté : Restons humains» comprendra 10 bateaux dont deux sont des cargos qui transporteront de l’aide tels des médicaments alors que les autres sont des navires de passagers transportant des centaines de personnes, dont des politiciens, des écrivains, des représentants de différentes confessions religieuses, des travailleurs des arts et de la culture et des militants. Tous et toutes sont unis dans un même engagement pour la non violence et pour la libération du peuple palestinien Plusieurs équipes de télévision seront également à bord (CNN, NBC, CBC-Radio Canada, Al-Jazeera, etc.) de même que des journalistes provenant de médias du monde entier, officiels et indépendants.
Certes le mouvement de la flottille a déjà créé un impact important, mais le blocus de Gaza est toujours en place. Les militaires israéliens ont menacé d’attaquer les bateaux pour les empêcher d’atteindre Gaza dans le cadre de leur mission humanitaire. Et, de façon honteuse, le gouvernement conservateur canadien a qualifié cette mission de « provocation », prenant parti pour Israël et son blocus illégal de Gaza. La véritable provocation, c’est plutôt l’appui inconditionnel du gouvernement conservateur de M. Harper aux activités illégales d’Israël dont les violations des droits humains et l’occupation de la Palestine.
Là où les gouvernements manquent à leurs responsabilités, les citoyens et citoyennes prennent le relais. C’est pourquoi nous demandons vous aide à cette étape cruciale pour la Flottille de la Liberté II et pour le Bateau canadien pour Gaza. Votre aide fera la différence. Avec vous à nos côtés, c’est certain, nous pouvons faire en sorte que monde entier regarde. Ceci aidera à protéger la Flottille et continuera d’attirer l’attention du monde sur la cause des droits humains des Palestiniens et Palestiniennes.
Nous vous lancons un appel pour deux choses
1. Actions locales:
Alors que le Tahrir et les autres bateaux de la flottille partent pour Gaza, nous vous encourageons à participer à une action organisée localement ou à aider dans l'organisation d'une action locale marquant le départ du bateau (préférablement en début de semaine prochaine, disons mardi ou mercredi).
Des actions sont prévues à Montréal, Toronto, Vancouver, Ottawa, Victoria, Halifax, ... Pour les informations détaillées sur ces actions, consultez vos listes locales.
2. Assurer la visibilité du tahrir et de la flottille:
Durant le voyage vers Gaza: aidez-nous à maintenir un haut niveau de visibilité pour la flottille. Vous pourriez organiser une vigile ou un rassemblement, mais d’autres actions sont également possibles
- Le déroulement d’une banderole ou une distribution de tracts dans un site achalandé ;
- Une campagne d’appels téléphoniques ou d’envoi de messages twitter aux politiciens canadiens, les enjoignant d’appuyer la Flottille de la Liberté II et de défendre les citoyens canadiens qui y participent ;
- La coordination twitter/facebook/blogs. Restez branchés sur notre page facebook, notre twitter et notre site pour demeurer à jour sur l’information et la partager avec vos réseaux.
- Une mobilisation éclair (flash mob) ou toute autre action créative pour publiciser la Flottille.
Votre aide peut prendre une autre forme significative : faites un don pour aider à renforcer notre capacité de réponse aux situations urgentes une fois que la Flottille aura pris la mer. Visitez http://www.tahrir.ca pour faire votre contribution dès aujourd’hui.
Le Bateau canadien pour Gaza et la Flottille de la Liberté II vous remercient de votre appui constant et de votre solidarité. Ensemble, nous atteindrons notre objectif de contribuer à mettre fin au blocus de Gaza et à permettre au peuple palestinien de vivre en liberté.
* Pour des mises à jour continuelles sur les progrès de la Flottille de la Liberté II et du Tahrir, ne manquez pas de nous suivre sur twitter.com/CanadaBoatGaza et visitez notre site web, http://www.tahrir.ca
* Faites-nous parvenir les informations sur vos événements à email@example.com
You have received this message from the Canadian Boat to Gaza.
GREEK OFFICIALS ATTEMPT TO BLOCK U.S. BOAT TO GAZA FROM LEAVING GREEK PORT PASSENGERS SUSPECT ISRAEL/US ECONOMIC PRESSURE ON BELEAGUERED GREEK GOVERNM
For Immediate Release:
June 26, 2011"
Athens – Passengers on the U.S. Boat to Gaza, The Audacity of Hope, are asking Greek government officials to clarify whether the boat they are leasing is being blocked from leaving Greece because of an anonymous request of a private citizen concerning the seaworthiness of the ship or whether a political decision has been made by the Greek government in response to U.S. and Israeli government pressure. They specifically want to know if the U.S. is using its leverage at the International Monetary Fund over the implementation of an ongoing bailout of European banks with massive Greek debts to compel the Greek government to block the U.S. Boat to Gaza from leaving Greece.
On the morning of June 23, the American passengers learned that a “private complaint” had been filed against the U.S. Boat to Gaza, which is part of an international flotilla scheduled to sail to Gaza in the next few days. This complaint, its origin still unknown to the Americans, claimed that the boat is “not seaworthy” and therefore requires a detailed inspection. On June 25 a police order declared that until the complaint is resolved the boat will not be permitted to leave.
The passengers are wondering if Israel, which has extensive economic trade and investments in Greece, is using its clout to pressure the Greek government. “Israel has said openly that it is pressuring governments to try to stop the flotilla, and clearly Greece is a key government since several of the boats plan to leave from Greece,” says passenger Medea Benajmin. “It is unconscionable that Israel would take advantage of the economic hardship the Greek people are experiencing to try to stop our boat or the flotilla.”
Given the very close relationship between Israel and the U.S., and the public efforts by Israel to denounce and try to stop the flotilla, the passengers on the U.S. boat want to know if the Obama Administration is using U.S. leverage at the IMF to compel the Greek authorities to stop the U.S. boat from leaving Greece. Greece’s economic and political crisis is a result of extreme austerity measures imposed by the European Union and the largely U.S.-controlled International Monetary Fund. Past U.S. governments have used their influence at the IMF to impose political conditions on indebted countries that have nothing to do with restoring economic growth.
Mark Weisbrot, Co-Director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research in Washington, said: “Greece is not going to be able to meet the targets that it is pledging to the IMF and the European authorities. In this situation the IMF and therefore the U.S. government will have enormous leverage because the Fund and EU authorities will decide what will be acceptable benchmarks for Greece to receive future tranches of IMF/EU funding.”
“We are guests here,” said Robert Naiman, a passenger on the U.S. boat. “But we ask the Greek authorities to be honest with us. What is the origin of this complaint? Is the decision to stop our boat from leaving truly due to legitimate technical issues that can be resolved, or is it a sign that our boat will be stopped from leaving no matter what we do? What is the role of the Israeli and U.S. governments in the Greek decision to stop our boat from leaving?”
“We have a right to protest the blockade of Gaza,” said Ann Wright, an organizer and passenger on the U.S. boat. “To its credit, the Greek government, like the Red Cross, Amnesty International, and Oxfam, agrees with us that the blockade on Gaza must be lifted. But for years, the only effective international action to challenge the illegal blockade has been freedom flotillas. We call upon the Greek government, which agrees that our cause is just, not to stand in the way of our peaceful protest in pursuit of our shared goal of lifting the blockade. The boat we are leasing for this journey, after its refitting for the voyage to Gaza, was surveyed by a professional surveyor and successfully completed its sea trials. There is no reason for any further delays on this matter, we are ready to sail.