Published on Friday, July 8, 2011 by CommonDreams.org
Gaza Flotilla is Stifled, But Not Spirit of Resistance
by Kathy Kelly
It looked like a scene from an opera. Massed in the doorway and second floor balconies of a quaint building in Athens, facing a magnificent view of the Parthenon, Spanish activists hung banners and flashed peace signs and proclaimed that they wouldn't leave the building, the Embassy of Spain, until their government assured them that their boat, "The Guernica," could at last leave for the suffering and besieged territory of Gaza.
Like other boats in the “Freedom Flotilla 2,” an international flotilla aiming to end the naval blockade of
I’m here as an activist passenger on the
He's right. And yet, crucial and telling differences exist between the Embassy of Spain in
Several of us who were quietly fasting, across the street from our Embassy, earlier this week, called upon the U.S. to help free Gaza, free our ship from a Greek port, and free, or at least visit, our captain who was, at the time, detained in a Greek jail. When we politely declined to end our fasting presence, we were loaded into Greek police squad cars and held for several hours. The next day, the Greek police again detained six
And, of course, the plight we want to make visible is not ours but rather that of the Palestinians in
And so it goes. Our formation as peace and antiwar activists, should be guided by focusing on the most impoverished people who bear the brunt of our economic and military warfare. We U.S. activists must continue to learn from the durable actions and plans of the Spaniards and numerous other internationals gathered here in Athens, many of whom are facing draconian new economic policies in their home countries as financial institutions hold sway over governments and demand new austerity measures..
Greek activists who assemble every night in
I and another US Boat to Gaza campaign member, Missy Lane, will head to Tel Aviv, where we plan to be part of a "flytilla," a new campaign which will bring hundreds of activists together in Israel's Ben Gurion airport, all of us intent on reaching Palestinian refugee camps and/or visiting Gazan families.
Earlier this evening, a group of
Several Greek people passing us read our signs seeking freedom for
The Greek government has been told to bend down and kiss the dirt, and if it doesn't do so it will be told to bend down and eat the dirt.
So far, the government has complied, and one instance of galling obeisance is their cooperation with Israeli and
The flotilla may not leave Grecian ports this month, but the idea and practice of dissent surely will. The Arab Spring has planted seeds throughout the eastern Mediterranean, from its birthplace in
Donations can be sent to the
"The master class has always declared the wars; the subject class has always fought the battles. The master class has had all to gain and nothing to lose, while the subject class has had nothing to gain and everything to lose--especially their lives." Eugene Victor Debs