TIMELY TOONS ~~ SUNDAY IN TURKEY

Images by Carlos Latuff

Erdogan's Crackdown on Freedom of Speech in Turkey

Erdogan’s Crackdown on Freedom of Speech in Turkey

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How Erdoğan is Blackmailing Europe

How Erdoğan is Blackmailing Europe

Meanwhile, in neighbouring Greece …

Greece and the Refugee Crisis ....SEE

Greece and the Refugee Crisis ….SEE

GREECE ~~ LOOKING TO THE FUTURE WITH OPTIMISM

Image by Vladamir Kremkov

Image by Vladamir Kremkov

First a very fitting joke ….

“It is a slow day in a little Greek Village. The rain is beating down and the streets are deserted. Times are tough, everybody is in debt and everybody lives on credit.

On this particular day a rich German tourist is driving through the village, stops at the local hotel and lays a €100 note on the desk, telling the hotel owner he wants to inspect the rooms upstairs in order to pick one to spend the night. The owner gives him some keys and as soon as the visitor has walked upstairs, the hotelier grabs the €100 note and runs next door to pay his debt to the butcher.

The butcher takes the €100 note and runs down the street to repay his debt to the pig farmer. The pig farmer takes the €100 note and heads off to pay his bill at the supplier of feed and fuel.

The guy at the Farmers’ Co-op takes the €100 note and runs to pay his drinks bill at the taverna. The publican slips the money along to the local prostitute drinking at the bar, who has also been facing hard times and has had to offer him “services” on credit. The hooker then rushes to the hotel and pays off her room bill to the hotel owner with the €100 note.

The hotel proprietor then places the €100 note back on the counter so the rich traveler will not suspect anything. At that moment the traveler comes down the stairs, picks up the €100 note, states that the rooms are not satisfactory, pockets the money and leaves town.

No one produced anything. No one earned anything. However the whole village is now out of debt and looking to the future with optimism.

Now the real story …. (Click on link to see report)

Greek finance minister steps down after overwhelming ‘No’ referendum

61% reject European bailout offer, leaving Greece in risk of financial and political isolation within the euro zone, and a banking collapse.

 

LATUFF’S TAKE ON GREECE TODAY

Greek PM not rushing to uproot nazism in Greece today …

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Image ‘Copyleft’ by Carlos Latuff

antonis-samaras-greece-golden-dawn-crackdown-nazis

NEW IMAGES ~~ DEMOCRACY AGAIN MURDERED IN GREECE

 Both images ‘Copyleft’ by Carlos Latuff
greek-antifa
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killing-democracy-in-greece
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Related report ….

BDS MOVEMENT IS ALIVE AND WELL ~~ MESSAGE OF SUPPORT FROM GREECE

Despite every effort and the passing of illegal legislation to put a stop to the Israeli Boycott, it is alive and well and GROWING!
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Martha Frintzila cancels participation in Jerusalem Oud Festival
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After the calls from Israeli citizens and the Greek Association for Solidarity with the Palestinian People – INTIFADA, but also after messages of individuals from her audience, Greek singer Martha Frintzila with a short message at Facebook, announced that she will not participate in Jerusalem Oud Festival for conscientious and political reasons.
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The message is the following:

Martha Frintzila will not participate in Oud Festival in Jerusalem for conscientious and political reasons.

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Ευχαριστώ Martha /// Thankyou Martha

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Watch the following to see what the ‘Boycott From Within’ is …
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ONE MORE ATTEMPT TO BREAK THE SIEGE OF GAZA

 Three of those on board already sailed towards Gaza in last years’ flotilla. One of them, Greek sociologist Vangelis Pissias, claims that while in detention in Ashdod last year he was severely beaten by Israeli security forces. Also on board for the second time is Dror Feiler, the Israel-born Swedish national, who is chairperson of ‘European Jews for a Just Peace.”
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Fuelling the Dignite-Al Karama ship at Kastellorizo port, Greece, on July 15, 2011.

Photo by: Amira Hass
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Gaza-bound ship carrying pro-Palestinian activists sets sail from Greece

Ten activists head to Gaza aboard the French Dignite-Al Karama ship, regarding themselves as representatives of the entire abortive flotilla.

By Amira Hass

SOMEWHERE IN THE EAST MEDITERRANEAN – On Saturday evening a Gaza-bound boat left Greek territorial waters. Its 10 participants regard themselves as representatives of the entire abortive flotilla to Gaza, and are determined to exhaust all possibilities in order to reach their destination, or at least carry out the symbolic act of protesting the blockade. They are well aware of the Lilliputian dimensions of their venture, compared with the massive impact organizers had initially planned to have with the 10-odd vessel flotilla.

Dignite-Al Karama, one of two yachts purchased by the French delegation in the second Freedom Flotilla, left a port in Corsica on June 25. Thus, it was spared the fate of eight other boats which were supposed to sail out of Greek ports, but were impounded by Greek authorities.

Last Wednesday Karama left the port of Sitia in Crete, where it had been anchored for a week, awaiting the other boats in vain. Once it was clear that Greece, under strong Israeli pressure, would not allow those boats to sail, its remaining passengers ¬ three French nationals and one Tunisian ¬ were joined by three representatives of other delegations, a Greek, Swede and a Canadian, and by three more French activists who arrived from France. Also on board are three crew members and three journalists from Al Jazeera and Haaretz.

The decision to carry on the mission of sailing to Gaza was not automatically welcomed by other delegations or by the steering committee of the flotilla. Some preferred to officially end the current campaign. Karama’s participants spent long hours negotiating and convincing the others.

On Thursday evening Karama reached the eastern Greek Island of Kastellorizo in order to fuel and meet the additional delegates from France. Kastellorizo’s history is connected to Gaza: During World War II, after having been occupied by the British army and fearing German attacks, some of the inhabitants fled to Gaza and remained in Palestine for a couple of years. This made the inhabitants of the island and its small port city especially hospitable to the small boat and its mission.

Three of those on board already sailed towards Gaza in last years’ flotilla. One of them, Greek sociologist Vangelis Pissias, claims that while in detention in Ashdod last year he was severely beaten by Israeli security forces. Also on board for the second time is Dror Feiler, the Israel-born Swedish national, who is chairperson of ‘European Jews for a Just Peace.”

Claude L’Eostic, a French flotilla organizer and a veteran activist for Palestinian causes, said that even the sailing of one tiny yacht was the best way to expose the Israeli policy of blockading Gaza, and its illegality.

Source
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This just in….. from Huwaida Arraf ….
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For Immediate Release 

French boat Dignité of Freedom Flotilla II leaves Greece

The French boat “Dignité/Karama” (Dignity) left the Greek island Kastellorizo around 8:30PM local time on Saturday July 16, 2011, heading south. The ten passengers onboard view themselves as representatives of the whole Freedom Flotilla II – Stay Human. The rest of the Flotilla’s ships have been detained in different Greek ports, through bureaucratic obstruction, sabotage, sudden restrictions and withdrawals of flags.

The Dignité, sailing under a French flag, left Corsica on June 25th, and has, over the past weeks, been in Greek waters.  It has now left– so far without being followed by the Greek coast guard or Navy.

Among the delegates on board is Jacqueline Le Corre, member of the French Communist Party, Jean Claude Lefort, former French Member of the European Parliament, as well as representatives of the Canadian, French, Greek and Swedish initiatives within Freedom Flotilla II. Onboard the Dignité are also renowned Israeli journalist Amira Hass, reporting for Haaretz, and a team from Al-Jazeera TV. (Full list of passengers below).

Kastellorizo, in the far east of the Greek archipelago, is only miles from Turkish mainland. A substantial part of Kastellorizo’s population fled during the Second World War to Gaza, where they stayed for years. The present mayor of the island, Paul Panigiris, was born in Gaza, and feels strongly, as do many other people from Kastellorizo, for a population that once hosted them and is now under siege.

The action of Dignité is not a mini-version of Freedom Flotilla 2, but a first wave that will be followed by others.  It is a message to the Israeli government, to the international community and to the besieged people of Gaza: The Free Gaza Movement and the coalition of Freedom Flotilla II are not giving up until the inhumane and illegitimate blockade of Gaza is lifted.

Gaza, we are coming!

 

 

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Passengers on the Dignité

 

Stéphan Corriveau, Coordinator of Canadian boat to Gaza

 

Dror Feiler, spokesperson of Ship to Gaza-Sweden, President of the European Jews for a Just Peace, artist, musician, composer

 

Jérôme Gleizes, France, Europe Ecologie Les Verts

 

Jacqueline Le Corre, France, Médecin-Collectif 14 de soutien au peuple palestinien, member of Parti communiste francais

 

Jean Claude Lefort, former MEP, French Communist Party –PCF

 

Claude Léostic, spokesperson of Un bateau français pour Gaza

 

Yamin Makri, France, Collectif 69 de soutien au peuple palestinien

 

Omeyya Naoufel Seddik, Tunisian, Fédération des Tunisiens pour une citoyenneté des deux rives (FTCR), and Ligue tunisienne des Droits de l’Homme (LTDH), Phd in Political Science

 

Thomas Sommer-Houdeville, spokesperson of Un bateau français pour Gaza, Researcher, Political Sciecnce, Middle East Studies, at the Institut francais du proche Orient

 

Vangelis Pissias, spokesperson of Ship to Gaza-Greece, Professor at Technical University of Athens

 

Amira Hass, Israeli journalist – Haaretz

 

Ayyache Derradji, Journalist from Al Jazeera

 

Stéphane Guida, Cameraman from Al Jazeera

 

Zacharia Stylianakis, Captain

 

Hilaire Folacci, Mariner

 

Yannick Voisin, Mariner

 

Jo Leguen, Navigator

THREE WOMEN STILL HELD ‘HOSTAGE’ ON AMERICAN BOAT TO GAZA

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Athens, July 16, 2011 – Day 16 of the imprisonment of the U.S. Boat to Gaza, The Audacity of Hope, at a U.S. Embassy shared pier near Piraeus, Greece, just outside of Athens.

The U.S. Embassy has done absolutely nothing to help us in 100 + degree heat at a U.S. Government shared pier!  No shore power, no alternatives provided (like another pier). No consular visits to see the conditions for themselves. NOTHING, ABSOULTELY NOTHING!!!

This weekend, please call the State Department 202-647-4000 and ask for the 24 hour Emergency Operations Center. Tell them that 3 people are still enduring the inhumane, dangerous conditions on the boat. 

All are women–2 Americans and 1 UK citizen.  They are:

Regina Carey (http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2011/07/06/18683952.php) from San Rafael, California, is a consultant specializing in strategic planning and planned giving. In her lifetime commitment to human rights she has focused her time and energy to the Rights of the Indigenous (original people), Water Rights and Peace. She is a co-founder of the Black/Jewish Dialogue Group in Marin County, California. She has been an active participant in the World Social Forum and the UN Conference Against Racism (Durban, South Africa).

Crew member Jenny Linnell, is a British citizen from Devon, England, and was a Free Gaza crew member in 2008 on the first boat that broke the naval blockade of Gaza.  She stayed in Gaza for a year and worked with the International Solidarity Movement.  Her exit from Gaza into Egypt a year later took over 6 weeks because she had arrived by boat. She holds a “Day Skipper” license from the Royal Yachting Association and founded a sailing collective called “Learning the Ropes”. 

Ann Wright is a former U.S. diplomat with 16 years in the State Department and Deputy Chief of Mission (Deputy Ambassador) at 4 U..S Embassies (Sierra Leone, Micronesia, Afghanistan and Mongolia) and who got the State Department’s award for Heroism for her actions protecting civilians during the civil war in Sierra Leone. She resigned in March, 2003 in opposition to Bush’s war on Iraq.

Press Release FROM


THE FLOTILLA; ISRAEL SUNK ITS OWN SHIP THIS TIME AROUND

Through it all, the Israelis helped us turn a potential non-story into a media blitz that has not ended. The passengers are now returning home to the local public spotlight. Rather than being depressed by Israeli maneuvers to prevent the flotilla from reaching its destination, they are more motivated to speak out about the siege of Gaza and bullying tactics of the Israelis. Flotilla organizers are still fighting to get their boats released by the Greek government and vow to try again
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By Torpedoing the Gaza Flotilla, Israel Sunk its Own Ship
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Instead of high-fiving each other for their success in thwarting the Gaza Freedom Flotilla, Israeli officials should be throwing overboard the propaganda hacks who catapulted the flotilla into headline news for weeks and left Israel smelling like rotten fish.

Armed Greeks Confronting the Peace Mission

Last year, when the Israeli military killed nine aboard the Turkish ship, the incident made waves around the world. But in previous years, the same international coalition had sent boats to Gaza five times, successfully reaching their destination with a symbolic shipment of humanitarian aid. No blood, no military interception, no story. That’s why the advice of many of Israel’s best buddies, including the lobby group AIPAC, was to just ignore the flotilla.

But no, the Israeli government refused to listen and instead announced with great bravado that it was prepared to stop the flotilla with lethal force–including snipers and attack dogs. Smelling blood, the media frenzy began. Before even leaving home, passengers were besieged with press calls inquiring why we were willing to risk our lives and giving us a chance to talk about the plight of the people of Gaza. Worse yet from the Israeli government perspective, mainstream media began bombarding us with requests to come along. With space for only ten media on our boat, we ended up choosing reps from CNN, CBS, Al Jazeera, AP, The Nation and Democracy Now. Other boats in the flotilla also started scrambling to accommodate more press. Thanks to Israel, we were guaranteed that no matter what happened, the whole world would be watching.

The Israeli government’s next blunder was a doozy. It sent a letter to foreign journalists warning them that if they participated in the flotilla, they would be denied entry into Israel for ten years and their equipment would be impounded. The outcry from journalists and media organizations worldwide was immediate. Israel’s Foreign Press Association said the threat “sends a chilling message to the international media and raises serious questions about Israel’s commitment to freedom of the press.” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was forced to rescind the decision, blaming it on his underlings.

But the blunders continued. A YouTube video of a “gay rights activist” who claimed he was not allowed to join the flotilla because he was gay and linked the flotilla to Hamas was exposed as a hoax disseminated by employees of the Israeli Government Press Office and the Israeli Foreign Ministry.

Senior Israeli defense officials told journalists that flotilla activists were intending to dump bags of sulfer on Israeli soldiers to paralyze them and/or light them on fire “like a torch.” We countered by holding an open house on the boat, inviting the media to inspect every nook and cranny and meet with nurses, lawyers, musicians, writers, grandmothers and other “terrorists” on board. The Israeli government looked so silly that even cabinet ministers criticized Netanyahu’s “media spin” and “public relations hysteria.”

Then there was the sabotage of the Irish and Swedish boats, the frivolous lawsuits and legal complaints by the Israeli Law Center (Shurat HaDin), the strong arming of the Greek government to issue a ban on all boats traveling to Gaza, and undoubtedly more dirty tricks that will be exposed in the future.

Through it all, the Israelis helped us turn a potential non-story into a media blitz that has not ended. The passengers are now returning home to the local public spotlight. Rather than being depressed by Israeli maneuvers to prevent the flotilla from reaching its destination, they are more motivated to speak out about the siege of Gaza and bullying tactics of the Israelis. Flotilla organizers are still fighting to get their boats released by the Greek government and vow to try again.

Our modest and peaceful initiative has exposed, for the world to see, the lengths the Israeli government will go to to stop nonviolent international initiatives. We have put the plight of Gaza and the illegality of the siege once again on the radar where it was previously ignored. We have exposed the sad but ultimately unsustainable fact that the Israelis have managed to extend their vindictive siege of Gaza to the shores of Europe and have widened the gulf between the Greek government and Greek popular sentiment with regard to Palestine.

Most importantly, we have given a boost to the larger, massive, multicultural, multinational movement for Palestinian rights. This Friday, hundreds of international activists are flying to Ben Gurion airport where they plan to tell border control agents of their intent to visit Palestine. This “flytilla,” as it has been dubbed, has also aroused a hysterical response from the Netanyahu government. Here again, the world’s attention will be focused on Israel’s control and blockade of movement in and out of the West Bank. The Knesset is on the verge of passing a bill that will effectively outlaw boycotts, a law that will likely only strengthen the resolve and increase the size of the international Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) Movement. And then there will be the showdown at the United Nations, when Palestinians will be calling for recognition as a state.

The Israeli government can only continue its egregious violations of human rights and torpedoing nonviolence initiatives for so long. Eventually, justice will prevail and Palestine will be free. And initiatives like the flotilla will be remembered as part of a continuous wave of resistance that helped turned the tide.”

Source

PHOTO OF THE DAY ~~ WHAT DOES COURAGE LOOK LIKE?

 

What does courage look like? It looks like every one of the passengers in the Stay Human Freedom Flotilla.  *

And it looks like these Canadian passengers using kayaks to prevent the Greek Coast Guard from raiding their boat…(they were arrested)

Eventually, the Canadian boat was raided and when asked to identify the Captain, passengers responded “We are all the Captain”…

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The boat was impounded and deliberately damaged by the Coast Guard.

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THAT’S WHAT COURAGE LOOKS LIKE!

 

LATEST REPORTS AND PHOTOS FROM THE CANADIAN BOAT TO GAZA

yfrog Photo : http://yfrog.com/h8pifvitj Shared by on YFrog
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Gaza-bound ‘Tahrir’ crew warned ship may be in danger

Steering committee of Canadian ship stopped by Greek authorities tells Haaretz received warning that safety at risk, says holds Greek authorities responsible for any harm done to ship.

By Amira Hass

The steering committee of the “Tahrir”, a Canadian ship set to take part in the upcoming Gaza-bound flotilla told Haaretz early Tuesday that there is reason to believe that further harm will be done to their vessel.

The Canadian ship attempted to depart from the Greek port of Agios Nikolaos on Monday, however it was intercepted the Greek coast guard shortly after departure. No violence was reported during the takeover of the ship.

The Tahrir’s steering crew said in a statement to Haaretz that Greek supporters holding a vigil on the pier notified the passengers aboard the ship that their safety may be at risk. The statement added that the crew holds Greek authorities responsible should the ship be sabotaged.

The Canadian vessel is currently without electrical power and has not been authorized to restart its generator that is in working order. The lack of power prevents those on board the Tahrir from using sanitary facilities or refrigeration, and they remain without lighting for security.

On Sunday, the organizers of the Gaza flotilla announced that the flotilla ships anchored in Greek ports are planning to set sail to Gaza on Monday. The decision came despite the Greek’s governments ban on any ships to depart from its ports to Gaza.

As a compromise, the Greek government offered on Monday to send the flotilla’s humanitarian aid to Gaza with Greek diplomats, under United Nations supervision. Israel has agreed to the offer.

Source

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Canadian boat forced back to shore after attempt to sail for Gaza – report and pictures

Submitted by Ali Abunimah

The Canadian Boat to Gaza, the “Tahrir,” attempted to set sail for the Israeli-occupied Gaza Strip today from the port of Agios Nikolaos, on the Greek island of Crete, but was quickly intercepted and boarded by the Greek Coast Guard. Despite nonviolent resistance, the Greek Coast Guard took control of the boat and it was towed back to port.

In a 4 July statement (reproduced in full below), Canadian Boat to Gaza declared, “With the support of Greek civil society and people from all around the world the Tahrir is casting off from Greece today.” The statement added:

“The Tahrir is leaving port in Crete, and we are breaking through Israel’s Gaza blockade which now extends to Greek ports,” said David Heap from aboard the Tahrir. ”Israel’s expansion of the Gaza blockade to Greece is just the latest example of how the blockade of Gaza is about attacking freedom, not increasing security.”

It also asserted that Greek authorities were breaching human rights and maritime law by detaining the ship. The Tahrir left port at approximately 6PM local time according to the time stamp on tweets from the boat’s official account and the journalist Jim Rankin who is aboard

Canada Boat to Gaza’s Twitter

@CanadaBoatGaza
Canada Boat to Gaza We have left port. We are full steam ahead. Coast guard boat about 5-10 m behind us. #Canada4Gaza
Jul 04 via webFavoriteRetweetReply

Sources told the Guardian that activists in kayaks attempted to protect the Tahrir from Coast Guard interception:

Jack Shenker’s Twitter

@hackneylad
Jack Shenker Sources tell @guardian Canadian #flotilla boat has broken out of harbour after activists blocked coastguard with kayaks #gaza
Jul 04 via Twitter for iPhoneFavoriteRetweetReply

But a short time later passengers reported that the Tahrir was being approached by speed boats and was boarded.

Dylan Penner’s Twitter

@DylanPenner
Dylan Penner Greek coast guard sendingn zodiac. they may try and board us.
Jul 04 via webFavoriteRetweetReply

Canada Boat to Gaza’s Twitter

@CanadaBoatGaza
Canada Boat to Gaza Our boat has been boarded by the coast guard.
Jul 04 via webFavoriteRetweetReply

Dylan Penner’s Twitter

@DylanPenner
Dylan Penner we’re been boarded. just got stepped over by two coast guards #flotilla2 #canada4gaza
Jul 04 via webFavoriteRetweetReply

Canada Boat to Gaza’s Twitter

@CanadaBoatGaza
Canada Boat to Gaza Some Greek coast guard members told delegates on Tahrir, ‘We don’t want to do this, but under orders’. #Flotilla2
Jul 04 via webFavoriteRetweetReply

yfrog Photo : http://yfrog.com/gyv36hkj Shared by

Dylan Penner’s Twitter

@DylanPenner
Dylan Penner We still have control of the Tahrir, but Greek coast guard is trying to take control. We’re resisting nonviolently. This is our boat!
Jul 04 via webFavoriteRetweetReply

Jim Rankin’s Twitter

@Jleerankin
Jim Rankin Nobody injured in Greek takeover of Cdn boat to Gaza. Delegates non violent in blocking wheel house.
Jul 04 via TweetDeckFavoriteRetweetReply

Canada Boat to Gaza’s Twitter

@CanadaBoatGaza
Canada Boat to Gaza We got about 5km away from shore. Greek authorities have taken over the boat and appear to be heading back to port.
Jul 04 via webFavoriteRetweetReply

The French language Twitter account for the Canadian boat tweeted:

Bateau Canadien Gaza’s Twitter

@Gaza_Bateau
Bateau Canadien Gaza Le bateau va être ramené à un autre endroit que le port qu’il vient de quitter, mais nous ne savons pas encore lequel. #flottille
Jul 04 via Tweetie for MacFavoriteRetweetReply

Translation: “The boat will be taken to a different port from the one which it departed from, but we do not yet know which.”

Jim Rankin’s Twitter

@Jleerankin
Jim Rankin Boat being tied at port now. Crowd greets boat. Will there be arrests now?
Jul 04 via TweetDeckFavoriteRetweetReply

jesse rosenfeld’s Twitter

@kissmykishkas
jesse rosenfeld#Tahrir has just been pulled into St.Nicholas port by armed coastguard who comandeered th e boat 4 miles before reaching international water
Jul 04 via webFavoriteRetweetReply

jesse rosenfeld’s Twitter

@kissmykishkas
jesse rosenfeld Coast guard used water cannons then borded the #tahrir with m16’s and took the wheel room from the driver at gun point
Jul 04 via webFavoriteRetweetReply

jesse rosenfeld’s Twitter

@kissmykishkas
jesse rosenfeld people in the port are chanting support for the #tahrir, “let them go, free palestine”
Jul 04 via webFavoriteRetweetReply

jesse rosenfeld’s Twitter

@kissmykishkas
jesse rosenfeld As the coast guard borded and took the wheel room, activist chanted ” you are working for Israel, the Greek people don’t support this”
Jul 04 via webFavoriteRetweetReply

Canada Boat to Gaza’s Twitter

@CanadaBoatGaza
Canada Boat to Gaza Our boat is surrounded by Greek police, tied up at port. Supporters from town are chanting, “Free Gaza, Free Greece”. #canada4gaza
Jul 04 via webFavoriteRetweetReply

yfrog Photo : http://yfrog.com/gzowhpbj Shared by

Canada Boat to Gaza’s Twitter

@CanadaBoatGaza
Canada Boat to Gaza Very serious situation developing. Gas leaking. Greek coast guard slammed boat into concrete pier. Details to follow.
Jul 04 via webFavoriteRetweetReply

Canada Boat to Gaza’s Twitter

@CanadaBoatGaza
Canada Boat to Gaza Extreme damage suffered by Tahrir when slammed into concrete wall when commandeered by Greek coast guard and forcibly returned to port.
Jul 04 via webFavoriteRetweetReply

Canada Boat to Gaza’s Twitter

@CanadaBoatGaza
Canada Boat to Gaza Update:damage to diesel tank caused by Geek Authorities when they slammed the Tahrir into a concrete wall BUT the boat is not sinking.
Jul 04 via webFavoriteRetweetReply

Canada Boat to Gaza’s Twitter

@CanadaBoatGaza
Canada Boat to Gaza update: All travellers are moved up on deck are in good spirits and are not leaving the boat. #flotilla2 #canada4gaza
Jul 04 via webFavoriteRetweetReply

Full statement from Canadian Boat to Gaza

The Canadian Boat to Gaza (CBG), the Tahrir, to set sail today as part of Freedom Flotilla II

Agios Nikolaos, Greece – With the support of Greek civil society and people from all around the world the Tahrir is casting off from Greece today.   “The Tahrir is leaving port in Crete, and we are breaking through Israel’s Gaza blockade which now extends to Greek ports,” said David Heap from aboard the Tahrir. ”Israel’s expansion of the Gaza blockade to Greece is just the latest example of how the blockade of Gaza is about attacking freedom, not increasing security.”

Article 13.2 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights states that “Everyone has the right to leave any country”. Preventing flotilla ships from leaving Greek ports is a clear violation of this human right.

“Greece has no right to detain foreign-flagged ships in its ports other than for purposes of assuring seaworthiness via timely inspection. And they cannot interfere with ‘innocent passage’ through their territorial waters, and this passage is definitely innocent,” said Richard Falk, American professor of international law and an appointee to two United Nations positions on the Palestinian territories. 

“Greece’s position is disturbing but this should not divert our attention from Israel and its illegal and inhumane blockade of Gaza. Israel is the source of the problem and it will be held accountable by the international community – sooner or later,” said Sandra Ruch, from the Tahrir steering committee. 

Support actions have been and continue to be held at Greek consulates all over Canada (as well as in cities all over the world) calling on the Greek government to end its support of the Israeli blockade of Gaza and immediately lift the blockade it is imposing on the Flotilla boats from Greece’s ports. 

The Canadian Boat to Gaza has sent letter to all Greek MPs asking them to let the flotilla boats go: http://www.tahrir.ca/content/letter-members-greek-parliament 

 

From

AN APPEAL TO RESTORE DEMOCRACY IN GREECE AND GAZA

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An Open Letter To The People of Greece…
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It wasn’t that long ago, April,1967 to be exact, when your democratically elected government was overthrown by a gang of fascist generals. Do you remember the outcry and support your people received from almost the entire world demanding the Restoration of Democracy in your country? Many of us worked endlessly for that to happen and rejoiced with you when it did.
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In recent weeks your government has engaged itself in criminal activities contrary to every International Law in the Books and to Democracy itself. It has sold its very soul to the zionist government of Israel and has aided and abetted them in refusing the good people of this world ways and means to end the siege of Gaza, the same way we ended fascism in your country. 
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Next 2 images ‘Copyleft’ by Carlos Latuff
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Greece is in economic turmoil at the moment, one would think that your government would concern itself with helping the situation of its own citizens, but no, for whatever reason$ they chose to sellout every principle of Greek Democracy and support the most undemocratic state in the Middle East.
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I urge you to watch the following videos, you might not understand the dialogue, but you will understand the images. After you watch them, can you honestly say THIS IS WHAT THE PEOPLE OF GREECE SUPPORT? I didn’t think so…..
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The first short video called “the Truth” is narrated in English by a Palestinian child, VERY GRAPHIC…
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The second one, ALSO GRAPHIC shows what Israel does to  Palestinian families and children enjoying family picnics at the Gaza beach on a summer day.
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Now, LOOK INTO MY EYES AND TELL ME WHAT YOU SEE ….
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DEMAND THAT YOUR GOVERNMENT STOP SUPPORTING THESE INHUMANE POLICIES.
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THE SIEGE OF GAZA MUST BE ENDED NOW!
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Lyrics to Look Into My Eyes

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Look into my eyes
Tell me what ya see
U don’t see a damn thing
Cuz u can’t relate to me
U blinded by our differences
My life makes no sense to u
I’m the persecuted one
U the red, white and blue
Each day u wake in tranquility
No fears to cross your eyes
Each day I wake in gratitude
Thankin’ God He let me rise
Ya worry ’bout your education
And the bills u have to pay
I worry ’bout my vulnerable life
And if I’ll survive another day
Ya biggest fear is getting a ticket
As ya cruise your Cadillac
My fear is that the tank that’s just left
Will turn around and come back
Yet do u know the truth of where ya money goes
Do u let the media deceive your mind
Is this a truth that nobody nobody nobody knows
Some one tell me
Oh let’s not cry tonight
I promise you one day it’s through
Ohohoh my brothers
Ohohoh my sisters
Oh shine a light for every soul
That ain’t with us no more
Ohohoh my brothers
Ohohoh my sisters
See I’ve known terror for quite some times
57 years so cruel
Terror breathes the air I breathe
It’s the check point on my way to school
Terror is the robbery of my land
And the torture of my mother
The imprisonment of my innocent father
The bullet in my baby brother
The bulldozers and the tanks
The gasses and the guns
The bombs that fall outside my door
All due to your funds

You blame me for defending myself
Against the ways of my enemies
I’m terrorized in my own land
And I’m the terrorist

Yet do u know the truth of where ya money goes
Do u let the media deceive your mind
Is this a truth that nobody nobody nobody knows
Some one tell me

Oh let’s not cry tonight
I promise you one day it’s through
Ohohoh my brothers
Ohohoh my sisters

Oh shine a light for every soul
That ain’t with us no more
Ohohoh my brothers
Ohohoh my sisters

American do ya realize
That the taxes that u pay
Feed the forces that traumatize
My every living day

So if I won’t be here tomorrow
It’s written in my fate
May the future bring a brighter day
The end of our wait

Oh let’s not cry tonight
I promise you one day it’s through
Ohohoh my brothers
Ohohoh my sisters

Oh shine a light for every soul
That ain’t with us no more
Ohohoh my brothers
Ohohoh my sisters

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Meanwhile…. Palestinians in Gaza await the Flotilla’s arrival …. Photos from HaAretz
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A Palestinian boy waves a Greek flag during a rally in Gaza City in support of the international Freedom Flotilla on July 3, 2011.
A Palestinian boy waves a Greek flag during a rally in Gaza City in support of the international Freedom Flotilla on July 3, 2011. AFP
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Palestinian children wave Palestinian flags along with the national flags of activists taking part in the Gaza-bound international Freedom Flotilla on July 2, 2011.
Palestinian children wave Palestinian flags along with the national flags of activists taking part in the Gaza-bound international Freedom Flotilla on July 2, 2011.AFP
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Palestinians hold flags during a rally in support of a Gaza-bound flotilla, at the Gaza seaport July 3, 2011.
Palestinians hold flags during a rally in support of a Gaza-bound flotilla, at the Gaza seaport July 3, 2011. Reuters
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Palestinians ride on boats at the port of Gaza City during a rally in support of the Gaza-bound international Freedom Flotilla on July 2, 2011.  
Palestinians ride on boats at the port of Gaza City during a rally in support of the Gaza-bound international Freedom Flotilla on July 2, 2011. AFP
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Palestinian children wave Palestinian flags along with the national flags of activists taking part in the Gaza-bound international Freedom Flotilla on July 2, 2011.
Palestinian children wave Palestinian flags along with the national flags of activists taking part in the Gaza-bound international Freedom Flotilla on July 2, 2011. AFP
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Palestinian children wave Palestinian and Greek flags during a rally in the Gaza Strip in support of the international Freedom Flotilla on July 3, 2011.
Palestinian children wave Palestinian and Greek flags during a rally in the Gaza Strip in support of the international Freedom Flotilla on July 3, 2011.AFP

FLOTILLAMANIA ~~ FROM A BAD SITUATION TO A RIDICULOUS ONE

Organizers of the 2011 Gaza flotilla have a provocation-seeking agenda: Deliberately provoke and humiliate Israeli soldiers. For example, organizers trained boat passengers on how to defiantly rebuff Israel Navy attempts to peacefully board the boats.
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Israel army releases photographic proof of Flotilla “Threat to Israel”

 by Ali Abunimah

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In a move intended to convince skeptics to finally accept Israel’s claims that the Gaza Freedom Flotilla 2 poses a real danger, the Israeli military spokesperson’s office has issued photographic evidence in a blog post titled “Flotilla II Seeks Provocation, Poses Threat to Israel.”

Well, it turns out that the “threat” is none other than Pulitzer Prize-winning American author and poet Alice Walker whose fearsome and terrifying smile can be seen in the Israeli-issued image. But the danger to Israel does not end there. As the “IDF” Spokesperson explains:

Organizers of the 2011 Gaza flotilla have a provocation-seeking agenda: Deliberately provoke and humiliate Israeli soldiers. For example, organizers trained boat passengers on how to defiantly rebuff Israel Navy attempts to peacefully board the boats.

The “IDF” must be referring to the nonviolence training all passengers received, as well as the nonviolence pledge they all signed. Indeed, Israel does show every day that it finds nonviolence very humiliating.

Still, the military spokesperson’s blog made me finally see the light: those poor Israeli soldiers at risk of “humiliation” from Alice Walker and 87 year-old Holocaust survivor Hedy Epstein among others. Of course no one can forget how Israel “peacefully” boarded the Mavi Marmara, part of last year’s flotilla, in international waters with a force that involved large warships, a swarm of armed speed boats carrying dozens of heavily-armed commandos, and airborne troops dropped from helicopters.

Israel insists that it was the passengers who were “violent” because they failed to receive the Israeli hijackers with tea and traditional Turkish börek pastries. Now in case you doubt Israel’s version of what happened, you can just watch all the footage taken by the hundreds of passengers and journalists on board. Oh wait, no, you can’t do that because Israel, the “only democracy in the Middle East,” confiscated all the evidence and is still refusing to return it.

Other than selectively edited and doctored images released by Israel, the only independent footage which escaped Israeli censorship and manipulation was Iara Lee’s, and analysis of that showed anything but a “peaceful” boarding. It was a full-scale military assault that took nine innocent lives. And yet it is Israel’s military that has the chutzpah to whine about “provocations” to its soldiers.

Written FOR

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One of our regular contributors, Skulz Fontaine, sees the situation as a ‘Three Ring Circus’… it could be funny if it wasn’t such a serious matter.

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The US Boat To Gaza issued the following Press Release last night….

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Update… (check the above link for future updates)

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Update – 8:00 pm NYC,
The 8 people listed below were detained. They were released  a few minutes ago. They were not arrested.

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Just got word from Athens: the 8 people who were fasting in front of the U.S. Embassy have been arrested. They are Ken Mayers, Carol Murry, Medea Benjamin, Paki Wieland, Ray McGovern, Brad Taylor, Kit Kitteridge and Kathy Kelly. We will not have any more news until the morning. 
In the meantime, let’s keep the pressure on Washington. They need to pressure the Greek government to release our captain, our boat and now these 8 people as well! Let them sail to Gaza!!!

Throughout this country people have responded to our call to contact the U.S. State Department to demand that they take the steps necessary to ensure that the Greek authorities immediately release the captain and let our boat sail to Gaza. In fact, there has been such a strong response that we are hearing their voice mailboxes are full! That’s great, but of course frustrating for those of you trying to make those calls.

Here are some other phone numbers and email addresses to try:

  • State Department general number: 202-647-4000 – ask for the Overseas U.S. Citizen Services Duty Officer and you’ll get a live State Dept. official who has to hear you out.
  • The voicemail for Kim Richter – also at the State Dept. – says she’s out of the office for several days, and that callers with urgent issues should contact a colleague at 202-647-4578.
  • If you can place an international phone call, the number for the U.S. Embassy in Athens is 011-30-210-721-2951.

Please also try to call, fax or email your members of Congress as well.

Help us keep the pressure up!!

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Here’s what you can do NOW….

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BOYCOTT GREECE! NO PRODUCTS, NO TOURISM. SELL ALL INVESTMENTS IN GREECE.

GREECE HOVERS AT THE EDGE OF ECONOMIC COLLAPSE. A BOYCOTT WILL PUSH IT OVER THE EDGE AND BRING DOWN THE GOVERNMENT THAT CHOSE TO ACT AS ISRAEL’S PRIVATEERS AGAINST A US-FLAGGED SHIP! PAPANDREOU RISKS DESTROYING NOT ONLY HIS OWN ECONOMY BUT THAT OF ALL EUROPE MERELY TO PLEASE TEL AVIV.

POST THE CALL FOR A GLOBAL BOYCOTT EVERYWHERE THAT THE GOVERNMENT OF GREECE CAN SEE IT. LET THEM KNOW THAT THE THIRTY PIECES OF SILVER THEY GOT TO SELL OUT A US-FLAGGED SHIP TO ISRAEL WILL NOT COVER THEIR LOSSES WHEN THE REST OF THE WORLD STOPS BUYING THEIR PRODUCTS & STOCKS, OR TRAVELING TO SEE THEIR NATION.

BOYCOTT GREECE!

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Add 520 To Your Boycott List!!*

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UPDATES ON US BOAT TO GAZA

U.S. Boat to Gaza Seized by Greek Authorities 

and Captain Jailed

Passengers Determined to Free Captain 

and Set Sail Again

Athens–After a two hour stand off at sea, the U.S. Boat to Gaza – The Audacity of Hope – was seized by the Greek Coast Guard and forced to return to the port of Piraeus under military escort. The boat’s captain has been put in jail, charged with disturbing sea traffic–which includes endangering the lives of those on the ships– and disobeying a police order to remain at dock. The crew is being detained on the boat, which is being held at a military dock just outside Athens. Most of the 36 passengers remain on the ship in solidarity with the captain and crew.

Ann Wright, retired U.S. Army Colonel, responded strongly to the arrest of the American captain of the U.S. Boat to Gaza. “I think it’s outrageous what the Greek government is doing to our captain who was taking a group of Americans to challenge the illegal Israeli blockade. We call on the Greek government to release our Captain and dismiss all charges.”

Yonatan Shapira, a crew member on The Audacity of Hope and former Israeli Air Force captain, said the captain of the U.S. Boat should be praised, not condemned for his actions. “The captain acted out of concern for the safety of the passengers and boat by taking us away from the Greek port where other flotilla boats are being sabotaged,” Shapira said.

After five days of stalling, the Greek authorities produced the results of the inspection of the boat, which took place on Monday, June 27. The Greek government inspected the boat on the basis of an anonymous complaint alleging that the boat is not seaworthy. The anonymous complaint later turned out to have been filed by the Israel Law Center. The list of infractions cited on the inspection report included such things as technical details regarding the construction material of the hull and the fact that the private inspection report emailed to the authorities was unsigned. “None of these alleged infractions are actually regulations that boats are required to meet,” said group’s Greek lawyer Emmanuel Stephanakis. “It’s obvious that these are politically motivated, baseless charges calculated to stop the U.S. Boat to Gaza from sailing.”

“This shameful chapter in Greek history is symbolized by Prime Minister Netanyahu thanking his Greek counterpart Prime MInister Papandreou for his cooperation in helping thwart the flotilla, and by the fully-armed and masked Greek commandos at sea, pointing their guns at unarmed American civilians singing “We are a gentle, loving people,” says passenger Medea Benjamin.

The other boats in the flotilla that are docked in Greece have been denied permission to sail due to a variety of bureaucratic obstacles the Greek authorities have thrown in their way. Greece’s Civil Protection Authority confirmed Saturday the ban on departures of ships “with Greek and foreign flags from Greek ports to the maritime area of Gaza” was in place until further notice. Two of the boats have had physical damage done to them as well. All vow to pressure the Greek government to grant them permission to sail, and have activated their international networks. In the United States, the phones at the Greek Embassy and Consulates were so busy that callers could not get through.

While deeply disappointed that they have not yet been able to sail to Gaza, the passengers feel they have been successful at exposing the ongoing plight of the people of Gaza and the inhumanity of the Israeli government. “The success of the flotilla is shown by the huge expenditure of financial and personnel resources by the Israeli government to counter 10 civilian, unarmed ships with 300 citizen activists who simply want to sail to Gaza out of concern for the people of Gaza,” says jazz musician and passenger Richard Lopez.

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More Updates to be posted HERE

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AN EXERCISE IN DEMOCRACY IN ITS VERY BIRTHPLACE

Greece, the birthplace of Democracy, is in upheaval today as workers begin a 48 hour General Strike throughout the nation.
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Amidst the crisis sit our Gazabound activists who show their support to the Greek people as they themselves prepare to leave on a mission that will hopefully bring change and Democracy to their destination.
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Democracy Now was there as well to cover the events….
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