Immediate Press Release and Action Item
At this moment 27 activists are in international waters, on high seas in the Mediterranean, heading to Gaza. One boat, the Saoirse from Ireland, includes parliamentarians among its passengers. The other, the Tahrir, carries representatives from Canada, the U.S., Australia, and Palestine. 'Freedom Waves for Gaza', is the 11th attempt by international activists to deliver humanitarian aid through the Israeli blockade of Gaza since 2008.
Israel and the US outsourced the siege of Gaza to Athens last summer by preventing 8 boats in the Freedom Flotilla 2-Stay Human from sailing from Greek ports to Gaza. Despite this we were able to bring world-wide attention to the blockade of the Gaza Strip. Our efforts in Greece only fueled our determination to challenge the imprisonment of the people of Gaza. We said we would continue to sail and so we are!!!
The U.S. Representative on the Tahrir, Kit Kittredge, was a passenger on the U.S. Boat to Gaza, The Audacity of Hope mission in Athens in July.
A journalist from Democracy Now is on the Tahrir also. Civil society organizations in Gaza await their arrival, and look forward to the delivery of letters collected from thousands of U.S. supporters in the To Gaza With Love campaign.
We need your help to make this mission a success.
Please take these immediately actions:
- Check these websites for updates: US to Gaza, Irish Ship to Gaza and Canadian Boat to Gaza, watch or listen to Democracy Now for live coverage from the Tahrir. Look for twitter hashtag #Freedomwaves.
- Spread the word far and wide – send this alert to your contacts.
- Contact your representatives - demand they take immediate action to ensure safe passage of the boats and passengers and put an end to the siege of Gaza (see Talking Points below).
- Call the following individuals at the State Department:
- Secretary of State Hillary Clinton 202-647-5291
- U.S. Ambassador to Israel Daniel Shapiro 011-972-3-519-7575
- Office of Israel/Palestinian Affairs Paul Sutphin 202-647-3672
- Office of Consular Affairs, Kim Richter 202-647-8308
- and the White House: 202-456-1414
- email President Obama
Talking Points With Your Representatives:
Gaza has been under siege since mid-2006, depriving 1.6 million people of their liberty and basic human rights. Although the siege has been condemned by the United Nations, the Red Cross, and many national governments, nothing has been done to ease the plight of these civilians. Civil society has had to act where governments would not. Two ships with 27 passengers from 5 countries are sailing to Gaza to confront the Israeli naval blockade, and to bring $30,000 in medical supplies and letters of support.
As Americans we insist that our government (which sends Israel $3 billion in military aid every year), demands that Israel insures the ships’ safe passage and ends its illegal blockade of Gaza. There is absolutely no excuse to subject 1.6 million people to collective punishment.
Thank you for your concern and your support!