Though Viva Palestina cancelled our convoy to Gaza planned for the end of last year, we are pleased to report that Viva Palestina Arabia - our sister organisation in the Middle East - is organising a convoy to bring urgently needed humanitarian aid to Gaza, to break the siege and to add to the growing pressure to lift the embargo entirely. It will be travelling through Europe and the Middle East. If you are interested in taking place go to http://www.vivapalestinaarabia.org
Mavi Marmara survivors speak out against Israeli "whitewash"
"The claim by Israel's Turkel Commission that Israeli forces acted legally when they killed nine people aboard the Mavi Marmara, and left another brain dead, will be laughed out of court by all but the Israeli government and its most fanatical supporters", says Kevin Ovenden, who was on board the Mavi Marmara when it was attacked by Israeli forces in May last year.
"This whitewash commission was set up by the Netanyahu government, the same people who commissioned the assault on the aid ship. It is simply unfeasible to claim that, for example, the two men shot immediately to the left and right of me, were gunned down in some act of self-defence. They were shot from above. No Israeli commando was in sight of us when the bullets rang out.
"Israel has refused an independent international inquiry and instead was brazen enough to establish this farce. No Turkish official, lawyer or representative was allowed to take part. One of the only two international observers who was a fig-leaf for the commission's "impartiality" was Lord (David) Trimble. He was invited on to it a few months after founding a friends of Israel initiative. And as a leading establishment figure in the north of Ireland he refused for decades an independent inquiry into the killing of 14 unarmed civilians on the streets of Derry in 1972, the truth about the massacre only being officially acknowledged 38 years later with the report of the Saville inquiry.
"The United Nations Human Rights Council already found last year prima facie evidence of grave human rights abuses and war crimes aboard the Mavi Marmara.
"Rather than entertaining this charade from Tel Aviv, the British government should demand that Israel and those responsible for the atrocity of Bloody Monday on the Mediterranean on 31 May last year are held to account and to the same universal standards of justice that are required of other states.
"Whatever risible PR Israel and its supporters attempt to spin, that is going to happen. And on the one year anniversary of the attack on the Mavi Marmara a second, bigger international aid effort will set sail for the point at where it was so brutally attacked and will ask, civil society organisations, religious groups, politicians, governments, and people of conscience around the world to demand that all relevant governments and international bodies all it safe passage to Gaza.
"Wikileaks has confirmed what independent Israeli researchers told us last year. The siege on Gaza is carefully calibrated by the Israeli government to keep the Palestinian people in a state of dependency, with their economy society hovering just above complete collapse.
"The French foreign minister Michele Alliot-Marie is the latest high profile visitor to Gaza and Palestine to call for an end to the blockade.
"The pressure to end this barbarous policy is increasing. I think I can speak for all those who were aboard the Mavi Marmara in saying that we are redoubling our efforts in 2011 to bring it to an end this year. We will be part of the next aid missions, by land, by sea and by air.
"This sick joke from an Israeli government that has already lost all international credibility will serve only to increase our determination to bring justice to the Palestinian people."
Sarah Colbourne, Director of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign and who was also onboard the Marvi Marmara when the Israeli Defence Force attacked the boat said:
“However hard the Israeli Government attempts to rewrite history, they can’t rewrite the truth. The facts are simple, the Marvi Marmara was carrying essential humanitarian aid like baby milk to the besieged people of Gaza. There were no guns or weapons on board the boat, we were in international waters, when over 300 bullets – or one for every two people on board - rained down on us, killing 9 people and injuring over 50.
The actions of the Israeli Defence Force and the Israeli Government where by all international standards of law illegal as is their continued occupation of Gaza and the oppression of the Palestinian people.”
Israel faces tougher line from EU after former heads call for Palestinian state - Twenty-six European grandees have urged the EU to adopt a tougher stance towards Israel including taking "concrete measures" and exacting "consequences" over continued settlement building on occupied land, which they say is illegal under international law. Click here for full story
BRAZIL RECOGNISES PALESTINE - The Brazilian Foreign Ministry has announced that it recognizes the state of Palestine based on the borders before Israel occupied the West Bank in 1967. Click here for full story
Viva Palestina 5 convoy in 3 minutes
22nd October 2010 Gaza convoy "breakthrough", smashing open the siege of gaza
Viva Palestina convoy leaders declared their entry into Gaza a "breakthrough", smashing open the illegal siege that the Palestinian people of Gaza had imposed on them.
Convoy leaders confirmed that not only medical but other forms of aid have been taken into Gaza on the convoy in almost 150 vehicles which can be used for medical and other peaceful purposes. Total aid is valued at $5 million.
The convoy has been met with jubilant scenes on the way to and in Gaza City itself.
Convoy leaders were also keen to correct inaccurate reports that had appeared in the New York Times and elsewhere. These claimed that the convoy had entered Gaza through Israel. These claims are entirely untrue. Viva Palestina has had a firm principle from its inception and that is it will not go through Israel to reach Gaza or hand over to Israeli authorities convoy aid. Entry into Gaza was through Egypt.
The convoy sailed from Latakia in Syria to the Egyptian port of Al Arish and then drove the 40 kilometres to the Egyptian/Gaza border at Rafah where they entered the Gaza Strip.
The Egyptian authorities proved very co-operative after lengthy negotiations conducted in Syria. Convoy leaders however regret the decision by the Egyptian authorities to exclude 17 members of the convoy including George Galloway.
VIVA PALESTINA CONVOY BREAKS SIEGE AND ENTERS GAZA TO JUBILANT CROWDS
Thursday 21st October 2010
The Viva Palestina convoy of almost 150 vehicles, 370 people from 30 different countries and $5 million of aid has entered Gaza.
Amidst scenes of jubilation from thousands of Palestinians there to greet the convoy, Kevin Ovenden, the convoy director, expressed his joy at being in Gaza once again. "We have driven more than 3,000 miles to bring this essential aid and to break this illegal siege of Gaza. We have been joined by supporters from Morocco and Algeria and from the Gulf States and Jordan, to make this the biggest convoy ever to break the siege of Gaza. We are absolutely overjoyed to be here and to bring with us the soil from the graves of those who were massacred on the Mavi Marmara which will be used to plant trees as a memorial to their sacrifice."
The convoy set out four weeks and five days ago from London. It travelled through France, Italy, Greece, Turkey and Syria. Everywhere the reception was fantastic and the generosity of well-wishers unsurpassed. Towards the end there was a frustrating delay in Syria whilst negotiations at the highest levels were conducted with the Egyptian authorities. In the end it was all worth it as the Egyptian authorities decided to allow passage of the whole convoy, sadly excluding just 17 members of the convoy including George Galloway.
The convoy will be handed over in its entirety to the relevant bodies tomorrow and the members of the convoy then expect to leave Gaza and return home in the next 48 hours after celebrations and formal thanks are given.
Tuesday 19th October
CONVOY FINALLY SETS SAIL FOR GAZA
After a wait in Syria lasting sixteen days, the convoy of 150 vehicles and 370 people is just setting sail from Latakia, Syria, on the final leg of the epic journey to deliver aid to Gaza. The last formalities have been completed and the vehicles are on board.
Convoy members are jubilant that their objective of bringing medical aid to the besieged people of Gaza is finally in sight. Some 30 of the human rights activists, including survivors of the Mavi Marmara, will make the voyage to Al Arish in Egypt, passing the place at which the Mavi Marmara was attacked.
A memorial ceremony will be held at the exact spot where the massacre was carried out. The convoy will reach Al Arish tomorrow evening.
The bulk of the activists from Britain, Northern Ireland, France, Italy, New Zealand, Australia, Canada, the United States, Morocco, Algeria, Jordan, Qatar, Malaysia and more than a dozen other countries will be reunited with their vehicles there, having flown the final leg of the journey into Egypt. Convoy leaders are now hopeful that the convoy will enter Gaza on Friday.
Gaza awaits Viva Palestina Convoy
Monday 18th October Further delays to convoy sailing
To everyone's intense frustration there has been a further delay in the departure of the convoy to Gaza. Due to depart this morning the convoy remains for the moment in Latakia, Syria. Convoy negotiators are in intensive discussions to try to resolve formalities which are still holding things up.
Meanwhile the Israeli Defence Force has been making threatening noises concerning the "flotilla",which we assume means the boats ferrying the convoy to the Egyptian port of Al Arish. Convoy leaders reiterated they would not be deterred by any Israeli threats and intend to ensure the safe transportation of the medical aid to Gaza via Egypt and the Rafah Crossing at the earliest opportunity.
Sunday 17th October CONVOY DEPARTURE DELAYED
The Gaza aid convoy, with 40 survivors from the Mavi Marmara massacre, has been delayed departing Latakia, Syria for Gaza. Last minute complications over entry requirements by the Egyptian authorities are responsible for the postponement. Convoy organisers are confident these problems will be quickly resolved and the convoy will be on its way tomorrow morning (Monday).
Thursday 14th October AID CONVOY SET TO SAIL FOR GAZA
After a tense ten day stand off in Syria, the Viva Palestina aid convoy to Gaza has now been cleared to sail. The convoy started out from London on Saturday 18th September and drove down through France, Italy, Greece and Turkey before arriving in the port of Latakia, Syria, on Saturday 2nd October. In Latakia, the convoy has been joined by two other convoys. One came from Morocco and Algeria, the other originated in Doha and came through the Gulf states and Jordan.
There are now 147 vehicles about to board two ships together with 380 people from some 30 countries stretching from New Zealand and Australia to Canada and the United States carrying aid worth some 5 million dollars. This includes 40 people who were on the Mavi Marmara flotilla which was attacked by Israeli commandos murdering ten human rights activists from Turkey.
Over the last ten days in Syria, the convoy has taken on medical supplies urgently needed in the besieged Gaza Strip. Simultaneously negotiations have been conducted with the Egyptian authorities to allow passage into the port of Al Arish and then on to the Rafah Crossing.
The support of the Syrian authorities and others has been vital in the successful negotiations. Last night word finally came through that the Egyptian authorities would allow the ships to dock, unload and passage through to the Rafah Crossing and Gaza would be guaranteed. The ships will now sail past the place where the Mavi Marmara was attacked and flowers will be laid in memory of the victims.
When the convoy reaches Gaza the soil from the graves of some of those who were murdered will be used to plant trees as a memorial to the Mavi Marmara victims. The convoy hopes to reach Gaza this Saturday or Sunday.
Activists ask Egypt for access to Gaza
Monday 4th October - International Solidarity
"It's been a great day for the camp, with the arrival in the afternoon of the North African convoy. From Tunisia, Algeria and Morocco they came, swelling our numbers and boosting our spirits immensely. Then, at around 9.30pm, the Jordanian contingent arrived, with vehicle after vehicle sweeping into the camp as we stood and cheered. This is true international solidarity. This is how ordinary citizens from around the globe stand up to the attempted destruction of freedoms by our governments. Our camp today has bristled with an energy and a strength that is almost tangible - and the feeling that, together, we can break Israel's siege." from PSC to Gaza blog
Monday 27 September - Convoy rolls into Istanbul
The fifth Viva Palestina convoy crossed out of Europe and into Turkey on Monday - but not without delays.
It was just 30km from the campsite in Alexandroupolis to the Turkish border, but what should have been a simple crossing took more than two hours. As dozens of Turkish supporters stood waving flags and cheering clearly visible across the border, it took a considerable time for the 43 vehicles to get through the bureaucracy. Border officials were sympathetic but the lack of a common language made the process lengthy.
But then, in the broiling sun, the vans and ambulances passed into Turkey to be engulfed by the supporters and the dozens of media waiting to interview the convoyers. Then, in a ear-shattering barrage of horns and sirens, the convoy moved off under police escort fpr Istanbul.
It's almost 300km from the border to the capital and half-way there the convoy made a pre-arranged stop for food and drink. It was at the side of Sea of Marmara and several of the travellers took the opportunity to dive into the water - yes, that's you Quinny!
When the convoy pulled off the motorway in Istanbul it was swamped by hundreds of local supporters waving flags and cheering. Speeches were made from the top of a van and then it was into the mayhem of the Istanbul evening traffic. Little wonder that the convoy was divided into several disparate elements but our hosts, the Turkish NGO the IHH, rescued the lost boys and girls and shepherded them to the night's stop at a local stadium. Then to a marvellous restaurant on the edge of the Bosphorus, where George Galloway was waiting to greet them.
It will be a day of press conferences and events in Istanbul on Tuesday before the convoy moves on.
Sunday 26 September - onwards to Alexandroupolis
In the morning we cleared up and moved out for the Turkey border, aiming to camp in the municipal facility of Alexandroupolis, leaving an easy stretch for the crossover. The weather turned as we headed for the town - the first rains spattered on the convoy as we pulled into the seaside site with 45 vehicles and 91 people on board. There was a gathering of local people and young Palestinians studying at the university to greet us as we swung into the site. It's highly recommended for visitors, tree and bush-lined plots to camp, a bar on the beach and washing facilities plumbed in. The sea was immense, massive breakers crashing on the beach but that didn't prevent some of the braver, or more foolhardy, guys charging into it.
Camping on the beach in Greece
Saturday 25 September – Another day in Greece
There was work to do on the vehicles so we decided to spend another night in Greece, and again this was unexpected. The basketball stadium was in use so we could not use the facilities. But Evdokia arranged for portable toilets to be brought in and we washed from cold taps on the skin of the building.
Friday 24 September - across Greece to Thessaloniki.
The sun was scorching as we pulled out of the port and headed on into Greece. The destination was the town of Thermi, on the outskirts of Thessaloniki. We were picked up by a police escort on the outskirts of town to negotiate the ring road. But there was an immediate problem as we pulled into a massive and overgrown car park without lights, or running water and the hard standing made it impossible to set up our tents. We weren't expected to camp, we were told by the local head of the council. And while some of the men played football and others communed, the leadership negotiated vigorously. The upshot was we were allowed to set up tents on the grass areas around the local basketball court and use the toilets and showers inside the building. They even threw in barrow loads of food for us. We're extremely grateful to the deputy president of the council, Evdokia Papachristidou, who engineered the transformation. She was outstanding.
Convoy reaches Thessoloniki, Greece pictures thanks to Asif and Azra
Thursday 23 September – all aboard for Greece
The convoy is growing all the time. We picked up five French and seven Italian vehicles packed with aid on the drive south.
The crossing from Ancona to Igoumenitsa in Greece was a welcome luxury break of 15 hours after the sometimes harsh conditions of camping. The convoyers were able to relax in their cabins, enjoy excellently-cooked food on the ocean liner or stock up in the onboard shops.
THE VIEWS EXPRESSED IN EXTERNAL LINKS DO NOT NECESSARILY REFELCT THE VIEWS OF VIVA PALESTINA ITSELF.
Viva Palestina in Turin - picture thanks to
Mireille, ISM France
Viva Palestina 5 Convoy Log Tuesday 21st September -
Lyon to Milan
Picture: Turin Welcome by Asif B
It should have been an easy ride from Lyon down through the Italian border and to Turin and then Milan. It didn't turn out that way.
As the first vehicles arrived at the border they were greeted by an arc of French border police. It was clearly pre-arranged. As lorries and cars sped across unaccosted VP5 vans were flagged down, each person had to hand over a passport and then that was phoned in to, presumably, police computer operators. Many of them were also searched - 'What, no weapons?' the senior police officer joked. Possibly!
The process meant that the convoy was split and each van left on its own into the Frejus tunnel which leads to Italy. Two hours later the last van was allowed to leave.
This meant that the day's programme had to be substantially curtailed as the delay wiped out several of them. However the Italian police were much more accommodating, dozens of motorcycle cops were on hand to escort the convoy into Turin, passing dozens of supporters, several of whom sent off smoke flares of welcome.
After a rally in beautiful Castle Square in the dying sunlight the vans set off for Milan and the first night under canvas.
Viva Palestina leader appeals to Egypt not to exile him from Palestine.
Viva Palestina's international leader George Galloway today responded to the statement by the spokesman of the Egyptian Foreign Ministry that he would not be permitted to enter Egypt. The British parliamentarian is currently leading an international convoy to Gaza which intends entering the besieged Palestinian territory through the Egyptian port of Al Arish. Responding from Paris he said:
" I am currently leading a huge international effort to break the siege on the Gaza Strip, imposed by Israel and its allies to punish the people for how they voted in a free, democratic election. The convoy will travel through France, Italy, Greece, Turkey and Syria and thence by ship to Al Arish. It will be joined by convoys which set out on the same day from the Gulf and from North Africa. I intend to continue to lead this convoy and I appeal to the Egyptian Government to reconsider the decision announced last night in Cairo. I was not deported from Egypt and I am not "persona non grata" there. No official notification of either has ever been conveyed to me. I have no wish to have a fight with the Egyptian government; my fight is with Israel.
"We have already shown our willingness to co-operate with the Egyptian authorities by re-routing to Latakia in Syria where we will complete all formalities required by Egypt. I am already forbidden to enter Palestine by Israel. If I am now unable to enter through Egypt this amounts to an exile from Palestine, a country I have struggled for these last thirty five years and which is deep in my heart. I ask my friends in Egypt to do all they can to persuade the government to change this decision. Meanwhile I will continue with my responsibilities to get the convoy of desperately needed aid through, and try to break the siege on Gaza. Long live Palestine, free, Arab, dignified."
Viva Palestina 5 Convoy Log Monday 20th September
The convoy was welcomed in the city of Valux-en-Velin, adjacent to Lyon, by the mayor, M Bernard Genin. The city has the distinction of being the only one in France to fly the Palestinian flag.
But not if the French government gets its way. The regional prefect, responsible for the central government administration of the area, has told the city that the flag has to come down.
'I've written back to him to say that he's welcome to try,' responded the mayor, 'if he can fight his way through the mass crowds who will defend it.'
The convoy left Paris early - the muster was 6am - after another night on the floor of the gymnasium. Most of the 85 had less than four hours sleep, but the road south was mainly motorway and the group, split into three elements, arrived at a service station outside Lyon shortly after 1pm. After a quick lunch provided by local supporters the convoy moved off first to the Hotel de Ville (town hall) in an ear-splitting cacophony of noise, horns honking and the sirens of the two Swedish ambulances screaming.
After the meeting with the mayor the convoy moved off again to the main square in Lyon, the Place Bellecour, parking the 36 vehicles in the middle of it and setting up a stage and amplification for a rally. Hundreds of people crowded around, dozens of postcards and posters were handed out and the organisers had to rebuff the appeals of dozens of people to come on the convoy to Gaza.
After another meal provided by VP local volunteers the convoyers were put up in a hotel, the first time they has slept on a mattress, between clean sheets since they set out.
Viva Palestina 5 Convoy Log Sunday 19 September, a wonderful day in Paris
After breakfast all of the vans and drivers headed out for a marvellous demonstration, first around the Place de la Bastille and then the Place de la Republic. The vans circled both squares repeatedly before parking up, in a cacophony of noise - horns, music and singing - as all of the convoyers handed out leaflets and postcards about Viva Palestina 5. The weather was dry, bright and really hot.
Gaving seen the convoy off on the Embankment George Galloway arrived to a welcoming committee of our supporters and local politicians including the mayor and deputy mayor of Bagnolet. The town is twinned with the Beirut refugee camps of Sabra and Shatilla, so what could be more appropriate than to be there only a day after the 28th anniversary of the massacre of hundreds of Palestinians by Phalangist militias, helped by Ariel Sharon whose soldiers let in the killers and even put on floodlights so they could better slaughter.
After this reception on the sun-splashed grass outside the gymnasium hundreds of people, many of them Palestinians, turned up to hear George speak. What was billed as a half-hour turned into two hours. It was rousing.
Viva Palestina 5 Convoy Log Saturday 18 September - London to Paris
The vans had been loaded up on Friday evening and early on Saturday they set out for both the Embankment in London and the Maidstone service station on the M20. It seemed easier to split the convoy into two groups so that the foreign drivers in particular would not get lost. It didn't quite work out that way.
The press had been called to the Embankment for 8.30am and arrived in numbers - up to a dozen film crews but, no suprise, the mainstream BBC was not there, although the Arabic service was. Eighteen vans full of aid arrived only a couple of minutes behind schedule, although the other part of the convoy had to battle through traffic massing for the Pope's visit.
Coverage of the start of the convoy was substantial and after numerous interviews the 18 vehicles from the Embankment started in a wave of noise and cheering and made for the Channel Tunnel. The Luton branch of the convoy did the same and a couple of hours later 36 vehicles were lined up on a concourse for departure (with just the one van missing the entrance to the train station but recovering quickly).
Then the waiting began, just the first of the security delays the convoy would experience on the first four days. One-third of the vans were searched, including swabbing for chemical deposits, presumably explosives. As a result the convoy was further split, into three or four elements, as the shuttles left on time for Calais.
It was a long and dark drive to Paris but the welcome in the adjoining town of Bagnolet made up for it. It was well past midnight when the vans arrived but there was a mountain of food, drink - even some wine for those who indulged - and then all the participants bedded down in the local gymnasium for a short night's sleep.
THE VIEWS EXPRESSED IN EXTERNAL LINKS DO NOT NECESSARILY REFELCT THE VIEWS OF VIVA PALESTINA ITSELF.
17th September 2010 Mavi Marmara survivors set to lead new convoy
Two survivors from the massacre on the Mavi Marmara are set to lead the viva Palestina convoy to break the siege of Gaza. Nicci Enchmarch and Kevin Ovenden were both aboard the Mavi Marmara when it was attacked by Israeli commandos in the early hours of 31st May. Friends and colleagues from Turkey died around them and they were then imprisoned in the Negev desert.
They will be leading the Viva Palestina Lifeline 5 convoy of urgent medical aid to Gaza which is due to depart from Central London tomorrow at 9.30am.
The convoy has representatives from organisations in Australia, New Zealand, Canada and Malaysia as well as volunteers from the United States, Britain and Northern Ireland. En route it will be joined by representatives of organisations in France, Italy, Greece and Turkey.
Two other convoys are being organised from Casablanca and Doha,, involving representatives of organisations in Morocco and Algeria and the Gulf States and Jordan respectively.
The three convoys with between 150 and 200 vehicles will then meet in Latakia in Syria before being shipped past the point at which the Mavi Marmara was attacked down to the Egyptian port of El Arish before crossing into Gaza via the Rafah Crossing.
This is the biggest and most international convoy set to break the siege of Gaza so far. The British convoy will form up at the Embankment east of Westminster Bridge from 8.30am tomorrow (Saturday) morning to leave at 9.30am. George Galloway and the human rights lawyer Jim Nichol will be joining the convoy at the Embankment.
The terrible massacre aboard the Mavi Marmara on 31 May has brought a sea change in international opinion against the inhumane siege on the people of Gaza.
Far from deterring people from seeking to bring the siege to an end, the Israeli assault on the Freedom Flotilla is spurring on even more people to bring humanitarian aid to the besieged 1.5 million Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, and to end the blockade.
Recently, Israel announced that they would " Ease " the siege on Gaza, however, many essential items are still banned. Among the goods still banned is all construction materials, farming supplies, certain medical supplies, and motor vehicles and spare parts.
Last weekend, Chris Patten and Catherine Ashton visited Gaza as part of a EU delegation to the region. Both Chris and Catherine slammed the partial easing of the siege, and called for the siege to be lifted immediatley, and for all the borders to open up as a matter of urgency. Chris stated that many of the health problems suffered by residents of the sector were caused by the embargo, which prohibits the entry of medical supplies and prevents patients with certain conditions from travelling to receive medical treatment
Viva Palestina, a registered charity founded by George Galloway, has organised three massive land convoys to Gaza in the last 18 months, bringing over 1,000 people and 500 vehicles loaded with vital humanitarian aid.
Following extensive planning, another land convoy will depart London on September 18th and set off for Gaza once again. The convoy will travel through France, Italy, Greece, Turkey, Syria, and Jordan. It will attempt to reach Gaza through the Rafah border in early October.
Viva Palestina will lead the "Global Lifeline To Gaza" from London, working in partnership with the International Committee to Break the Siege on Gaza, and organisations from Europe, North and South America, Turkey, The Middle East, Australasia, India, and South Africa.
Aid that will be travelling to Gaza on the convoy will include medical equipment, educational supplies, and the wherewithal to rebuild a destroyed mosque, a school for orphans and to construct a maternity facility in Beit Hanoun in northern Gaza.
People can support the convoy in many ways, by fundraising, promoting it, or taking part. Spaces for participants on the convoy will be limited, and we urge anyone who is interested to sign up quickly, and begin fundraising to ensure they can take part in this historic journey.
For any press who are interested in joining the convoy, or if you require any further information, please e mail: firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone 0044 7751 006 256
Dear Friends of Palestine
Viva Palestina founder George Galloway, speaking to a crowd of around 20,000 protesting outside the Israeli Embassy in London (on Saturday 5th June) revealed the latest plan to bring about the end of the siege on Gaza.
Two simultaneous convoys - one by land the other by sea - will set forth on SUNDAY SEPTEMBER 12th bound for Gaza. Viva Palestina, the International Committee to break the Siege on Gaza and any allies who will join us will organise the two convoys.
The land convoy will leave from London and travel across Europe to Turkey Syria and ultimately through the Rafah Gate into Gaza. Co-operation will be offered and sought with all relevant governments and agencies.
It is expected the convoy will pick up vehicles and volunteers in each country through which it passes. The target is to enter Gaza with 500 vehicles.
The sea convoy will travel around the Mediterranean gathering ships, cargo, volunteers from each country. The target is to enter Gaza with sixty ships.
The aim will be to arrive on Gaza's frontiers at the same time. And to enter with the world's largest ever aid convoys. And to thereby render the siege null and void.
For further information on how to join the 'Viva Palestina' September Gaza aid convoy by land and by sea, sign up to receive emails through the Viva Palestina website CLICK HERE and through our sister website Viva Palestina Arabia
Manchester march to remember the fallen heroes of ther Mavi Marmara
London meeting hears testimony from Mavi Marmara survivors.
Al-Jazeera journalist Jamal Elshayya describes events on the morning of 31st May 2010.
The heroes of the Flotilla are set to attend the Summer University of Palestine in Lebanon this July 25th - Bülent Yildirim leader of NGO I. H. H ( Insan Hak ve Hürriyetleri ve Insani Yardim Vakfi) and other leaders of the Flotilla will be hosting a special session on the massacre on the 'Mavi Marmara' and lessons for the future.
Our other key speakers include: George Galloway, Ghada Karmi, Norman Finkelstein, Abdul Rahim Mourad, Dr Ali Fayad, Ziad Hafez, Reem Nimer, Vangelis Pissias, Dr Daud Abdullah, Ma'an Bashour, Yvonne Ridley, Ramzy Baroud, Gabi Baramki, and Dr Azzam Tamimi who will all provide lectures on Past, Present and the Future of Palestine.
Galloway announces new land and sea convoys to break the siege of Gaza
Philosophy Football's VIVA PALESTINA 5 T-shirt will be worn by all convoy drivers and crew. Sales of the shirt help fund the convoy and its vehicles.We can't all be on this incredible journey to bring vital material aid and international solidarity to Gaza but by wearing this shirt we are all convoy members. Available from philosophyfootball.com