Sunday, June 28, 2015

Freedom Flotilla III : 47 Participants on Four Boats Sailing Now

For immediate release:
Freedom Flotilla III : 47 Participants on Four Boats Sailing Now
Freedom Flotilla III, consisting of four boats, the converted fishing trawler "Marianne of Gothenburg" and the supporting sailing vessels “Rachel”, “Vittorio” and “Juliano II”, carrying 47 people from 17 countries, has been sailing since Saturday morning (Gaza time) to challenge the blockade of 1.8 million Palestinians in the Gaza Strip. Our primary goal is to break the illegal and inhumane blockade of Gaza and to call on opening the port of Gaza, the port of Palestine to the world.
Three sailing vessels are accompanying the Marianne, her freedom sailors and cargo on her way to Gaza. Their names (Rachel, Vittorio and Juliano II) were given in memory of peace activists Rachel Corrie, Vittorio Arrigoni and Juliano Mer-Khamis, while Juliano II also recalls the Juliano, another boat that was about to leave port but had to stay, due to technical reasons. It is not yet clear whether this boat has been sabotaged, as happened in 2011, and this suspicious case is still under investigation.
While the Flotilla bears much-needed aid, our main cargo is, as always, human solidarity and non-violent direct action for the respect of human rights.
Since Saturday, the Marianne has been under surveillance by what crew described as military vessels and reconnaissance airplanes, without changing direction or plans. Currently the Marianne is approximately 170 nautical miles from the port of Gaza and could reach its destination within one to two days.
From the beginning of this campaign, the Freedom Flotilla Coalition has been constantly evaluating the prospects for small sailing vessels like Rachel, Vittorio and Juliano II to reach their destination or to return to their ports of origin. In order to increase the international presence in this Flotilla we decided to also have boats that would have a different strategy and final destination. The participants on these sailing boats bear witness to the Flotilla and help focus the world's attention not only on Israeli state piracy against civil society activism, but also to the more than eight years of suffering and arrested development in blockaded Gaza. See  for updates on boats' positions and itineraries.
During recent days, political support for our challenge to the blockade has been building in Israel and throughout the world. The Flotilla has for years continuously put pressure on this illegal  and inhuman blockade. We are renewing our strategies while staying true to our history of sailing to restore international law in the eastern Mediterranean. More international figures are standing by, prepared to participate in Freedom Flotilla III. By land and by sea, and with one common goal, we will continue until Israel’s illegal blockade is lifted, Egypt stops the arbitrary closures of the Rafah crossing, and Gaza’s port is fully open for both people and products
The 47 participants on board at this time include:  
MARIANNE AV GÖTEBORG (Swedish flag, 18 people)            
Dror Feiler                         Sweden       Musician & composer
Bassel Ghattas                 Israel           Member of Israeli Knesset, Palestinian politician
Dr. Moncef Marzuki          Tunisia        Human Rights activist, Ex-President of Tunisia
Ana Miranda                     Spain           Member of the European Parliament (BNG)
Nadya Kevorkova             Russia         Journalist
Kajsa Ekis Ekman             Sweden       Journalist, Author
Robert Lovelace                Canada       University Professor & retired Algonquin Chief
Joel Opperdoes              Sweden       Crew
Gustave Bergstrom          Sweden      
Herman Reksten           Norway      
Kevin Neish                   Canada      
Jonas Karlin                   Sweden      
Charlie Andreasson          Sweden                             
Ammar Al-Hamdan           Norway       Aljazeera Arabic
Mohammed El Bakkali     Morroco      Aljazeera Arabic
Ohad Hemo                      Israel           Channel 2  Israeli TV Ruwani Perera                 New Zealand MaoriTV Jacob Bryant                    New Zealand MaoriTV
RACHEL (Greek flag, 8 people)
Ehab Lotayef                     Canada
Christian Martel                Canada       Retired Québec trade-unionist
Anouar Gharbi                  Tunisia        Founding member of the ECESG
Yannis Vaitsis                    Greece      Doctor K     Greece          Crew X Greece    Crew Marietta Simegiakou          Greece Aissa Boukanoun              France           Euronews Arabic
VITTORIO (Greek flag, 9 people)
Ann Wright                        USA            ret. U.S. Army colonel & fmr. State Dept. Official Nasser Hamdaduche           Algeria        MP D                                 Greece    Crew L                           Greece         Doctor Gerd von der Lippe       Norway       Professor in Sports Sociology & Author N        Greece          Crew Wellu Koivisto                    Finland Achilleas Karaklis               Greece Abdel Lateef Belkaim       Algeria        Shourouk TV
JULIANO II (Greek flag) 12 people
Martin Lejeune                  Germany     Freelance journalist Zohar Chamberlain           Israel           Rumbo a Gaza M         Greece            Crew Claudio Tamaglini             Italy             International Solidarity Movement Anas Nairoukh                  Jordan Lennart Berggren             Sweden Freelance journalist Abouzaid El Mokrie El Idrissi Morocco           MP, ruling party Odysseas Voudouris              Greece             Surgeon, ex president of MSF-Greece, ex MP Iasonas Voudouris            Greece N                                     Greece            Crew M                               Greece Crew Tayfun Jalci                       Turkey        Anadolu news agency


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home