Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights

July 1, 2011

Choctaw Jimbo Simmons with Free Palestine Delegation

Just in from the Free Palestine Movment: Largest Passenger Boat Joins Flotilla: The Egyptian Gazette reports that a large passenger boat will join the Gaza Freedom Flotilla. This is the boat that FPM helped to purchase, along with the other partners in the International Committee to Break the Siege of Gaza, and which will be carrying the FPM delegation of U.S. citizens, along with participants from other nations.
Gaza Flotilla: Greek officials arrest captain of US boat
SATURDAY: The captain of the US boat, Audacity of Hope, was arrested and is being held in a police station in Greece:
FRIDAY NIGHT UDPDATE: Ships halted, disabled and afloat:
Watch video at Al-Jazeera: Greek Coastgaurd blocking US ship:
Globe and Mail: "Greek officials boarded The Tahrir, a Canadian-chartered vessel anchored at an undisclosed location in Greece, and seized the ship’s registration papers.
At a port near Athens, a U.S.-sponsored boat, The Audacity of Hope, made a break for the open seas with several dozen activists on board but was overtaken by speed boats from the Greek Coast Guard and escorted back to shore.
Of the six other able vessels in the flotilla, five are believed to be in Greek ports, apparently unable to move. The sixth, a French ship, set sail from France earlier in the week and is believed to be on the Mediterranean still bound for Gaza.
Two other vessels, the Irish MV Saoirse, anchored in a Turkish port, and a Swedish-chartered ship, The Juliano, anchored in a Greek port, were disabled earlier this week when propeller shafts of both boats were damaged in what organizers say were acts of sabotage, saying they suspect the Israelis of dirty tricks."
US Boat, Audactiy of Hope
July 1, 10 pm, Eastern TimeSorry for the delay in getting this to you all.
As you know, earlier today the U.S. Boat to Gaza - The Audacity of Hope - was stopped by the Greek Coast Guard. After a stand off that unfolded over several hours a 2nd Greek Coast Guard boat arrived. This boat carried heavily armed Greek commandos and this shifted the dynamic. Soon after a decision was made to bring the boat back to a dock in Athens, not the same one the boat had previously been at.
Once docked we learned that the Greek authorities are most likely going to bring some type of charges against the captain of our boat, and that should happen tomorrow (Saturday) morning. In solidarity with the captain, most of the passengers and other crew members decided to spend the night on the boat. We do not yet know what their plans are for tomorrow, or what the next steps in all of this will be. As soon as we find out we will get word to you all.
The good news today was the tremendous outpouring of calls and emails sent to the Greek Embassy in Washington, DC as well as Greek consulates around the country. Many people have also contacted the U.S. State Dept. urging them to stop supporting the Israeli efforts to undermine the flotilla.
Please be sure to check our website for regular updates and to sign up for Twitter and Facebook notices.
Thanks everyone for your support and great work today!

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