Monday, July 4, 2011

Freedom Flotilla II: Canadians make a run for Gaza

Twitter photos by Jesse Rosenfeld: Passengers on the Tahrir lock arms in nonviolent protection of the Tahrir as the Greek Military Coast Guard boards to takeover the boat.

Monday, 8 pm eastern time: "Canada Boat to Gaza Lack of electrical power prevents us from using sanitary facilities or refrigeration, and we are without lighting for security." There are reasons to believe the boat will be sabotaged in the port.

Canadians Make a Run for Gaza
By Brenda Norrell

Censored News

MONDAY, July 4, 2011
The Canadian Boat on the Freedom Flotilla II to Gaza, Tahrir, reports that the boat was rammed into a concrete pier by the Greek Military Coast Guard, after it made a break for international waters and Gaza. The boat was underway for 15 minutes, when overtaken. The boat began leaking fuel after it was rammed.
Two activists were handcuffed who were aboard kayaks, after trying to prevent the Coast Guard from blocking the Tahrir. The handcuffs were removed, but their arrest status is not known.
After the Coast Guard towed the Tahrir to port in Crete, the passengers remained onboard.
"We are all the captain," the delegation said on Twitter.
"All delegates except those detained are spending the night on the Tahrir. Some are sleeping, others keeping watch," the delegation said on Monday, July 4, at 7:30 pm eastern time.
"A number of local Greek people are spending the night on the dock next to our boat in a show of solidarity."
The activists are without electricity, but supporters have brought them pizza, the universal show of support. They may face arrest if they leave the boat. The Tahrir is carrying activists from Canada, Australia, Germany, Belgium and Denmark.
Meanwhile, more US passengers on the Audacity were Hope boat were arrested in Greece today, Monday, July 4. Yesterday, those fasting outside the US Embassy were cited and released. Those arrested today remain in custody:
Update from the US Boat Audacity of Hope:
Here's the latest news we have:
1) U.S. passengers harassed and arrested by Athens police
Nine of the passengers on the U.S. Boat to Gaza began a fast last night (7/3). They are Ken Mayers, Carol Murry, Medea Benjamin, Paki Wieland, Ray McGovern, Brad Taylor, Kit Kitteridge, Kathy Kelly and Linda Durham. After a rousing gathering in front of the U.S. Embassy (see photos and video on our website), they were all "cited" by the Athens police with occupying the sidewalk across the embassy and they were let go right away.
Today, 6 members of the U.S. Boat to Gaza were held at an Athens police station after Greek police arrested them for sitting on a park bench across from the residence of the U.S. Ambassador to Greece. Ray McGovern, Linda Durham, Debra Ellis, Ridgeley Fuller, Ken Mayers and Carol Murry were put into squad cars and taken to the police station. We are not sure of the status of these 6 people at the moment.
2) The captain of The Audacity of Hope - John Klusmire - is set to be at a hearing at 12 noon (Athens time) on Tuesday. There are 2 Greek lawyers serving as his defense council. It is important to keep the pressure on the U.S. State Department to make sure they in turn pressure the Greek government to release our captain. Below are numbers and email addresses you can use to contact them. Please keep the pressure on!
3) Status of some of the other boats in the flotilla
Shortly before 6 pm (Greek time) today the Canadian boat, named Tahrir, left its dock in Crete to set sail for Gaza. They got to within 4 miles of international waters when Greek Special Forces stopped them from going any further. The Greek military boarded the Canadian boat and there are reports that when they asked for the captain of the boat all 30 people on board answered, "I am the captain." The Greeks took command of the boat and at least report where headed back to be docked. We have heard reports that all of the people on the boat will be arrested, but we do not have confirmation of that.
Two boats from France - a cargo ship and a smaller passenger boat - are in international waters in the Mediterranean Sea. (They did not set sail from Greece.) We are not sure what they are planning on doing.
The Irish boat was sabotaged beyond repair last week and the Greek boat was also sabotaged but we do not have an update on their status.
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Censored News is published by censored journalist Brenda Norrell. A journalist for 27 years, Brenda lived on the Navajo Nation for 18 years, writing for Navajo Times, AP, USA Today, Lakota Times and other American Indian publications. After being censored and then terminated by Indian Country Today in 2006, she began the Censored Blog to document the most censored issues. She currently serves as human rights editor for the U.N. OBSERVER & International Report at the Hague and contributor to Sri Lanka Guardian, Narco News and CounterPunch. She was cohost of the 5-month Longest Walk Talk Radio across America, with Earthcycles Producer Govinda Dalton in 2008:
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