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Flotilla News

Exclusive Video: ‘Freedom Waves’ delegates speak out

Democracy Now! reports:

At the end of our live broadcast today, Democracy Now! received breaking news from a source aboard “The Tahrir,” a ship involved in the “Freedom Waves to Gaza” flotilla. Without any public notice, the ship left from an undisclosed port in the eastern Mediterranean Sea earlier today which the participants say is bound for the Gaza Strip.

The “Freedom Waves to Gaza” flotilla marks the latest attempt by international activists to break the Israeli naval blockade of Gaza. Earlier this year, Greece blocked the departure of several ships from another flotilla heading to the region. In 2010, Israeli forces killed nine activists, including a U.S. citizen, on an aid boat called the “Mavi Marmara,” which was part of the first such international flotilla. Additional information on the “Freedom Waves” flotilla will be posted on our website, www.democracynow.org, once received.

Watch their interviews with three of the delegates on board the Tahrir, currently headed toward Gaza:

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Flotilla News Media Releases

Australian on board Freedom Boat to Gaza

Canadian and Irish ships set to challenge Israel’s illegal blockade with Freedom Waves to Gaza

(0200/3 November 2011 Sydney time)

The next “Freedom Wave” to Gaza is on its way. Sydney based youth worker Michael Coleman (http://freegazaoz.org/delegates/) joins delegates from several countries on the Canadian boat Tahrir as it sets sail for Gaza.

Two civilian boats, the Canadian Tahrir (Liberation), and the Irish Saoirse (Freedom), carrying 27 people from nine countries have successfully reached international waters. The boats are currently in the Mediterranean Sea, preparing to sail for Gaza within a matter of hours.

 

On board, Michael says: “We make this move towards freedom for all of those who have been oppressed and all those in the struggle.”

In July this year, Michael took part in the Freedom Flotilla 2, which attempted to sail from various Greek ports in order to challenge the siege on Gaza. Michael was arrested and charged in Greece for his role in assisting the Tahrir leave port to sail toward Gaza.

Free Gaza Australia spokesperson James Godfrey said: “The Tahrir and Saoirseare now in international waters and hope to reach the shores of Gaza in a matter of days. Our main obstacles now are the Israeli Occupation Force and the complicity of western governments including Australia. The wind of public opinion is in our sails as the people of the world reject this illegal blockade.”

“We demand that the Australian Government takes all necessary steps to ensure Michael’s safety and that of the Tahrir. In particular we call on Prime Minister Julia Gillard and Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd to make representations to Israel to not interfere in any way with either of the boats as they peacefully sail to Gaza to challenge Israel’s illegal blockade.”

“Palestinian people in Gaza demand their human rights. They call for solidarity not charity. While humanitarian aid is helpful, Gazans are still prisoners with no freedom of movement, in violation of fundamental human rights. The blockade also prevents imports and exports of most goods which stifles economic activity and independence for the people of Gaza.”

The Freedom Waves to Gaza initiative is a non-violent, civil society movement to challenge the illegal blockade of Gaza. Like the Occupy movement, the people of the world are saying ‘no’ to military and economic power taking precedent over human dignity and freedom.

For more information or to interview Michael Coleman on board the Tahrir, contact:

Raul Bassi, 0403 037 376

James Godfrey, 0424 340 630

 

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