Alert: 10/02/2007 #2
More than 100 vehicles, a mile long and £1 million of aid
What a phenomenal
achievement so far. Made possible by you. Thank you. You are an
Here is an
update and some further information.
We are being
given an official welcome and use of the Town Hall by the mayor
and cabinet of Begles – a town near Bordeaux. It means we
won’t get bogged down in the inner city traffic, but will
still make a media impact.
in Paz Ahora – a large pro-Palestine campaign organisation
– are working with others to ensure a huge welcome in the
cities of San Sebastian in the Basque country and in the capital
of Spain, Madrid. We are already in the news there and people are
expecting us. We will again receive official receptions and will
then head down to the south to get the crossing on the morning of
Wednesday 18 February.
Point – Saturday 14th February – 9am
We have now
agreed an excellent assembly point: it is on North Carriage Drive,
which is on the northern side of Hyde Park running parallel to Bayswater.
time is 9am on Saturday morning. It is imperative that people arrive
with their vehicles at this time as we have a lot of last minute
organising to do, drivers and team leaders packs to distribute and
Among the materials
we will be distributing are Palestinian flags for every vehicle,
stickers with the convoy logo (and also your team number) and T-shirts
donated with great generosity by the Philosophy Football T-shirt
company. It’s going to look great with everyone in the Viva
We need plenty
of time to ensure everyone has all the paperwork and packs before
we head off to Ramsgate. It takes time to clear customs there and
the ferry will not wait for us.
A lot of people
are asking about organising to pick up aid in Egypt. Here are a
number of points that should help:
1) Money from
Viva Palestina will be transferred to Egypt and turned into aid
which can cross into Gaza.
2) If you want
to bring cash into Egypt, you can. We would advise you not to bring
very large quantities of cash. It can be safely transferred to Egypt
by banking it through via Viva Palestina account. Arrangements are
in hand for the safe handling of money. We are working with all
the necessary people.
A lot of people
are planning to fly into Egypt to join the convoy. We are suggesting
that they fly in on 6 or 7 March. We anticipate that the convoy
will definitely be in Egypt before then. We are making allowances
for two distinct eventualities: a) there are bound to be some problems
on the road – we are crossing borders, vehicles breakdown,
some people may get ill. We need flexibility to cope with that and
we do not want to leave people behind if we can possibly help it
b) the factors surrounding opening the Rafah crossing are very complex
and involve high level diplomatic negotiation.
We will be
in ongoing discussion to achieve our aim. We must allow the necessary
time for this while in Egypt. You will be briefed on the journey
about where things stand. It is for these reasons that we believe
we must be prepared for crossing into Rafah as late at 9 March.
If people need to leave before that, then there are drivers who
can take the vehicles in. For those planning to fly in to Egypt
to join us there will be constant updates on the website of where
the convoy is.