Eye Witness Update on Gaza and the Plans for Gaza’s Ark

October 12

7 pm

UVic, Cornett A125

SPEAKERS – Kathy Copps and Jase Tanner, Vancouver Delegation to Gaza

Sponsored by Coalition Against Israeli Apartheid Victoria, Victoria Peace Coalition, UVic Social Justice Studies Program, Victoria Friends of Cuba

BACKGROUND

  1.  Ship to Gaza Sweden
  2. “Freedom Flotilla Coalition” petition
  3. Gaza’s Ark Mission Statement
  4. Former Canadian MP joins Ship to Gaza
  5. Challenging Gaza Blockade by David Heap

1. The Ship to Gaza Sweden is on its way to Gaza (the third time). You can follow the progress of the sailing vessel Estelle, expected to be in Gaza waters around the 18th of October. More info here

2.   FFC’s petition calling for an end to the Israeli Blockade of Gaza has been signed by over a hundred European Parliamentarians.

IMPORTANT Please sign the English version of petition and distribute widely!

3.  Gaza’s Ark Mission Statement

Gaza’s Ark, will build a boat in Gaza, using existing resources. A crew of internationals and Palestinians will sail it out of Gaza carrying Palestinian products to fulfill trade deals with international buyers.

Gaza’s Ark will be constructed in Gaza by Palestinian hands and expertise, with international assistance where requested.

Gaza’s Ark will help revitalize the dwindling ship building industry in Gaza and help ensure the transmission of this disappearing expertise (another effect of the blockade) to the younger generations.

Through Gaza’s Ark and trade deals secured between Palestinian producers in Gaza and international businesses and NGOs, a channel will be established to export Palestinian products from Gaza that are available despite the blockade.

Gaza’s Ark will provide training to Gaza’s sailors in the use of up-to-date electronic sailing equipment and techniques, which they have been denied for years as a result of the blockade.

Gaza’s Ark stands in solidarity with the Palestinian fishers in Gaza whose ability to operate in territorial waters and to derive a livelihood is threatened by the same illegal Israeli blockade which our campaign is challenging.

Gaza’s Ark challenges the blockade by building hope on the ground in Gaza. It affirms our confidence that the Palestinians of Gaza can rebuild their economy through outbound trade that threatens no-one’s security.

4.  Jim Manly (MP 1980-88) sails against Gaza Blockade

Former Canadian MP (Member of Parliament 1980 to 88) and retired United Church Minister Jim Manly is among a group of prominent internationals on the Freedom Flotilla’s “Estelle” sailing from Naples to Gaza in October. Manly served as a New Democratic Party Member of Parliament representing Cowichan-Malahat-the Islands, a BC Coastal riding.  He lives near Nanaimo, B.C. with his wife, Eva, and together they continue to be active in a number of areas including  Mid-Islanders for Justice and Peace in the Middle East.  This past spring he and Eva took part in a Pilgrimage of Solidarity to the Occupied Territory of the Palestinian West Bank.

The “Canadian Boat to Gaza” campaign is coordinating Jim’s trip and also playing a key role in the next  international “Freedom Flotilla Coalition” (FFC) action: Gaza’s Ark www.gazaark.org, which is geared towards boat building in Gaza and encouraging Palestinian industry and exports to challenge the blockade from within.

5.  Challenging the blockade of Gaza:

Message from a Canadian on board the Estelle

By David Heap

It is a great honour to be able to accompany the Swedish sailing ship Estelle for a few days, from Barcelona to Ajaccio (Corsica), on its way towards Gaza to challenge the illegal and inhuman blockade which has lasted now for more than five years.

The Estelle in a 90 year-old three-masted schooner purchased from a Finnish fair-trade organization by <http://shiptogaza.se/en>Ship to Gaza Sweden in April and renovated for this sea voyage. She began a Swedish coastal tour in June, with solidarity and information events in communities to raise awareness about the blockade in Gaza. read more on Rabble.ca

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