Women's Boat Is Afloat!
The dream of sending a women's boat to break the illegal Israeli blockade of Gaza has moved one step closer to reality--but it's a big step. The Women's Boat to Gaza, a project of the Freedom Flotilla Coalition, has acquired its first boat. The Amal-Hope is scheduled to set sail with 15 women, from Barcelona, Spain, on .
In Barcelona, members of the Palestinian solidarity community will send off the Amal-Hope on its journey around the Mediterranean before heading for Gaza.
In 1998, Barcelona was 'twinned' with Gaza, with the goal of fostering international support. In 2005, a park called the Barcelona Peace Park was inaugurated in Gaza. The park was destroyed by the Israeli military in the 2009 Israeli attack on Gaza. The park was rebuilt in 2010. As her name suggests, Amal-Hope will send a message of hope--and an international demand that the Peace Park and the whole of Gaza must never be bombed again.
Schedule of Events in Barcelona:
The Women's Boat to Gaza will carry prominent women, including Nobel Peace Prize winner Mairead Maguire, award-winning U.S. playwright Naomi Wallace, New Zealand parliamentarian Marama Davidson and Norwegian author and former sports star Gerd von der Lippe. The vessel will visit ports in the Western Mediterranean before reaching the shores of Gaza around.
The Women's Boat to Gaza is a Freedom Flotilla Coalition initiative. By launching a women's flotilla, women from all over the world aim to highlight the undeniable contributions and indomitable spirit of Palestinian women who have been central within the Palestinian struggle in Gaza, the West Bank, inside the Green Line and in the diaspora.
Gaza has been under Israeli blockade for the past decade, during which Israel has also launched countless attacks against the besieged population, turning their life into a nightmare and a continuous struggle. Through Freedom Flotillas and other maritime missions, we have brought international attention to their suffering and their resistance.
The Women's Boat to Gaza seeks not only to challenge the Israeli blockade, but to also show solidarity and bring a message of hope to the Palestinian people. With the support of women, men, non-governmental organizations, civil society groups and women's collectives and events around the world, we will make this happen.
The Freedom Flotilla Coalition is composed of civil society organizations and initiatives from many countries. We have been challenging the illegal and inhumane Israeli blockade of Gaza for years and are committed to continue the struggle until the blockade is unconditionally lifted and the Palestinian people everywhere regain their full rights.