Tag Archives: Joel Opperdoes

Freedom Flotilla vows: ‘This time we will reach Gaza’

12 Jun

335893CJoel Opperdoes, second on the left, among other activists in Brest, France. (Claude Lostic)

By Anna Kokko, Ma’an News Agency, 11 June 2015

Freedom Flotilla vows to break siege: ‘This time we will reach Gaza’

BETHLEHEM  — This (northern) summer, Swedish seaman Joel Opperdoes, 32, is not piloting cargo ships in the Baltic Sea.

Instead, he is the sailing across Europe with five permanent crew members on a fishing trawler named Marianne.

Their final destination is the main seaport of the Gaza Strip, which has been under a jointly enforced Israeli and Egyptian blockade for the last eight years.

“I strongly believe in international solidarity,” Opperdoes told Ma’an from Lisbon, Portugal, where the boat stopped last week. “I am happy to use my professional skills for something good.”

Marianne, which left from Sweden on May 10, is one of the boats taking part in the third Freedom Flotilla Coalition.

While the fishing trawler was brought together by Palestinian solidarity groups Ship to Gaza Sweden and Ship to Gaza Norway, several other international NGOs support the campaign [including a delegation from New Zealand]. All are united in their goal to end the siege of Gaza.

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