Sunday, May 9, 2010

we dont need another symbolic action


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via guerrilla mama medicine by mama on 5/9/10

what i love about this project: free gaza movment flotilla. is that it is not just another 'symbolic action' i am seriously tired of symbolism and rhetoric in place of effective and strategic action.

another thing that i love about this project is that honestly it started out with some loopy folks with good intentions. and they had to learn the hard way with hard knocks what matters in the work.  i know a bit about the inner organizing of these crews. and no one, no one is perfect in it.  there are a lot of egos involved. a lot of arguments. and a lot of agendas.  but, im not interested in the perfect organization/project.  what i am interested in is a vision that is not swallowed whole by bureaucracy, that is innovative and responsive to the needs and leadership of gazans, and that is focused on the liberation and empowerment of gazans and palestinians and all of us and not on its public image, protocol, or protecting the solidarity workers to the detriment of the autonomy of the people.

these are the possibilities i see in the free gaza flotilla.

(London, UK) On May 24, 2010, the Freedom Flotilla sets sail for Gaza determined to, once again, challenge Israel's blockade of 1.5 million Palestinians trapped in an open-air prison. Under the coordination of the Free Gaza Movement, numerous human rights organizations, including the Turkish Relief Foundation (IHH), the Perdana Global Peace Organization from Malaysia, the European Campaign to End the Siege of Gaza, and the Swedish and Greek Boat to Gaza initiatives will send three cargo ships loaded with reconstruction, medical and educational supplies. At least five passenger boats with over 600 people on board will accompany the cargo ships.

These passengers include members of Parliament from around the world, U.N., human rights and trade union activists, as well as journalists who will document the largest coordinated effort to directly confront Israel's illegal blockade of Gaza and take in basic supplies.

Said Mary Hughes Thompson, one of Free Gaza's co-founders, "Although we were happy with the first trips, it was bitter-sweet, knowing that our small boats and symbolic amounts of relief paled in comparison to what was really needed in Gaza. Now, we finally feel we are helping to organize a powerful action, one with the potential to translate into a sustained campaign of much more effective challenges to Israel's brutal siege."

In the past three months, Israel has limited fuel to run the power station. Much of Gaza is often in darkness. There are just enough trucks coming in to barely prevent total starvation, and Egypt, complicit with the Israeli-US policy of blockading Palestinians, is building an underground steel wall to prevent people in Gaza from bringing in vitally needed supplies through tunnels.

A cargo ship sponsored by the people of Malaysia and loaded with cargo donated from citizens of Ireland, Scotland, and Britain as well as thousands around the world, will depart from Ireland the second week of May. When it reaches the Mediterranean, she will be joined by the other boats and begin the journey to Gaza.

Dr. Mona El-Farra, Deputy Director of the Union of Health Work Committees in Gaza was pleased to hear we are coming back.  "When the two boats from Free Gaza entered the harbor in 2008, it was like a dream, it was historic. And all great things start with some dreamers who made it true. For us in Gaza, the dream of freedom will not be lost, and we welcome this next voyage with open hearts."

The Free Gaza Movement along with the partners listed above, are the organizers of this flotilla. However, dozens of organizations and tens of thousands of people around the world are taking part to make this voyage a success.


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