The Women’s Boat to Gaza peace flotilla is ready to sail

13 Sep

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The two flotilla boats, Amal-Hope and Zaytouna-Oliva are ready to sail for Gaza

Barcelona, Spain, 12 September 2016

The Freedom Flotilla Coalition is delighted to announce that the two Women’s Boats to Gaza are ready to travel! They are in Barcelona preparing to set sail on 14 September with the goal of breaking the illegal blockade of Gaza.

The two sail boats, Amal-Hope and Zaytouna-Oliva, have a capacity of up to 15 passengers each. Though small in number, the boats will carry the strength and experience of its renowned female participants from around the world, sailing in solidarity with the Palestinian struggle for full freedom of movement.

From September 12-14, the sailing vessels Amal-Hope and Zaytouna-Oliva will moor in the port of Barcelona where various events (concerts, talks, nonviolent workshops, a street parade and visits to the boats) will take place as farewell for the women leaving to break the blockade on Gaza.

According to Laura Arau, with Rumba a Gaza, Spain’s WBG partner, the launch point from Barcelona has special meaning for the community there.  “We have been a sister city with Gaza since 1998, yet we have been unable to visit with one another,” she says.  “We want our sisters in Gaza to know they are not forgotten and that with these boats and women, we are sending to them our message of hope, love and solidarity.”

The boats will depart on September 14th to Ajaccio, France and then travel through another Western Mediterranean port before reaching the shores of Gaza in early October.  For the Barcelona-Ajaccio leg, the passenger lists include Malin Björk, a Member of European Parliament from Sweden; Zohar Chamberlain Regev, an Israeli who currently lives in Spain and Ann Wright, a retired U.S. Army Colonel and former U.S. diplomat who resigned in 2003 in opposition to the invasion of Iraq. NZ Green Party MP Marama Davidson will join the flotilla on it’s final leg to Gaza.

The women participants, who differ for each leg of the journey, represent over 15 countries across six continents. However, as Chamberlain Regev, who chairs WBG’s steering committee, explains “While we come from very different cultural and professional backgrounds, we all share a common bond. We find the blockade of Gaza and the occupation of Palestine absolutely unacceptable. And as long as governments continue to ignore this political-humanitarian crisis, we, as global citizens of goodwill, have no choice but to continue our efforts to break this inhumane blockade.”

The Women’s Boat to Gaza is an initiative of the Freedom Flotilla Coalition composed of civil society organizations and campaigns from more than a dozen countries. For more information, visit http://www.womensboattogaza.org  and http://www.kiaoragaza.net

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