The Freedom Flotilla boat Al Awda (The Return) left the Norwegian port of Bergen on Monday April 30, with hundreds of well-wishers on the dock to bid her farewell. This marks the beginning of her 75 day voyage to Gaza, to challenge and break the illegal Israeli blockade.
Since then she has been part of May Day celebrations with Norway’s largest trade union (Fagforbundet) and visited the port of Kristiansand in southern Norway. On Thursday she was in Oslo for a big celebration with our friends from Ship to Gaza Norway and other civil society supporters. She will join other boats sailing to Gaza from Sweden in the coming days. Canadians and other international supporters will join Al Awda along her route, but we need your support to help make that happen. We will be introducing some of our Canadian participants in a livestream videocast on Tuesday May 15 (7 pm EDST) along with special guests retired US Colonel Ann Wright and former NDP Member of Parliament (and now Member of the Order of Canada) Libby Davies. Please spread the word and tune in Tuesday to : https://www.youtube.com/user/rabbletv/live and watch this space for more details!
Al Awda still needs some renovation work for this voyage, and we are committed to paying part of those costs, as well as part of the costs of acquiring of this hard-working former fishing boat. Our Canadian Boat to Gaza share of the international Freedom Flotilla budget this year is $30 000. Donors like you have helped us raise amounts much larger than that in the past. Will you help us fund our contribution now?
You can donate by e-transfer (Interac, from Canada accounts only), mailing cheques or money orders, or online, see : http://canadaboatgaza.org/dona
Israel has maintained an illegal, inhumane and destructive blockade on Gaza for over a decade. The United Nations now says that Gaza will become uninhabitable by the year 2020 because of the Israeli blockade. In response to the brutal Israeli blockade, for seven years the Freedom Flotilla Coalition has carried out non-violent direct actions aimed at raising international awareness and putting pressure on the international community to end the blockade.
We sail this year for the right to a just future for Palestine. Children and minors, who make up more than half of the Gaza population of over 2 million, are victims of the ongoing blockade, which has robbed them of their childhood; their rights to safety, education, and health; and their prospects for a decent future. We will continue to put pressure on our governments and protest their complicity with Israel's crimes against humanity. We sail again to stand with the Palestinians of Gaza, as they demand their freedom of movement and their right to a just future in their land. But we can only do it with your generous support. Our campaign needs your support in our to pay our share of the boat that the Freedom Flotilla is sailing against the blockade of Gaza and for a the Right to a Just Future for Palestine. Make out cheques or money orders to Turtle Island Humanitarian Aid and send them to:
Canadian Boat to Gaza
PO Box 1950, London Stn. B
London, Ontario N6A 5J4
(Note: like many of our sister organizations, we would prefer to move away from dependence on PayPal for online donations. At this point, we are pleased to accept e-Interac transfers from Canadian bank accounts, and we hope to announce other electronic payment methods soon. Please e-mail us if you have questions about this).Some (especially those who can benefit from a charitable tax receipt in the US) may wish to donate through the US Boat to Gaza page:
Whether you can donate financially or not, please help us spread the word about our campaign:
- share our messages with your family, friends and/or work colleagues and encourage them to join our mailing list;
- send an endorsement message from your association, union, congregation or political party;
- organize and attend events to raise funds and awareness for our campaign;
- join a Freedom Flotilla campaign near you and encourage others to do so;
- follow us on the web, Facebook, Twitter (see below), and (new!) Instagram, and share our posts widely.
Twitter: @CanadaBoatGaza @GazaFFlotilla
Together, we can help end the blockade!