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Freedom Flotilla III : 47 Participants on Four Boats Sailing Now

  |   press release   |   2 Comments

Freedom Flotilla III, consisting of four boats, the converted fishing trawler “Marianne of Gothenburg” and the supporting sailing vessels “Rachel”, “Vittorio” and “Juliano II”, carrying 47 people from 17 countries, has been sailing since Saturday morning (Gaza time) to challenge the blockade of 1.8 million Palestinians in the Gaza Strip. Our primary goal is to break the illegal and inhumane blockade of Gaza and to call on opening the port of Gaza, the port of Palestine to the world.

 

Three sailing vessels are accompanying the Marianne, her freedom sailors and cargo on her way to Gaza. Their names (Rachel, Vittorio and Juliano II) were given in memory of peace activists Rachel Corrie, Vittorio Arrigoni and Juliano Mer-Khamis, while Juliano II also recalls the Juliano, another boat that was about to leave port but had to stay, due to technical reasons. It is not yet clear whether this boat has been sabotaged, as happened in 2011, and this suspicious case is still under investigation.

 

While the Flotilla bears much-needed aid, our main cargo is, as always, human solidarity and non-violent direct action for the respect of human rights.

 

Since Saturday, the Marianne has been under surveillance by what crew described as military vessels and reconnaissance airplanes, without changing direction or plans. Currently the Marianne is approximately 170 nautical miles from the port of Gaza and could reach its destination within one to two days.

 

From the beginning of this campaign, the Freedom Flotilla Coalition has been constantly evaluating the prospects for small sailing vessels like Rachel, Vittorio and Juliano II to reach their destination or to return to their ports of origin. In order to increase the international presence in this Flotilla we decided to also have boats that would have a different strategy and final destination. The participants on these sailing boats bear witness to the Flotilla and help focus the world’s attention not only on Israeli state piracy against civil society activism, but also to the more than eight years of suffering and arrested development in blockaded Gaza. See ff3.freedomflotilla.org  for updates on boats’ positions and itineraries.

 

During recent days, political support for our challenge to the blockade has been building in Israel and throughout the world. The Flotilla has for years continuously put pressure on this illegal  and inhuman blockade. We are renewing our strategies while staying true to our history of sailing to restore international law in the eastern Mediterranean. More international figures are standing by, prepared to participate in Freedom Flotilla III. By land and by sea, and with one common goal, we will continue until Israel’s illegal blockade is lifted, Egypt stops the arbitrary closures of the Rafah crossing, and Gaza’s port is fully open for both people and products.

 

The 47 participants on board at this time include:

 

MARIANNE AV GÖTEBORG (Swedish flag, 18 people)

 

Dror Feiler Sweden Musician & Composer
 Bassel Ghattas  Israel  Member of Israeli Knesset, Palestinian politician
 Dr. Moncef Marzuki  Tunisia  Human Rights activist, Ex-President of Tunisia
 Ana Miranda  Spain  Member of the European Parliament (BNG)
 Nadya Kevorkova  Russia  Journalist
 Kajsa Ekis Ekman  Sweden  Journalist, Author
 Robert Lovelace  Canada  University Professor & retired Algonquin Chief
 Joel Opperdoes  Sweden  Crew
 Gustave Bergstrom  Sweden
 Herman Reksten  Norway
 Kevin Neish Canada
 Jonas Karlin  Sweden
 CharlieAndreasson  Sweden
 Ammar Al-Hamdan  Norway  Aljazeera  Arabic
 Mohammed El Bakkali  Morocco  Aljazeera Arabic
 Ohad Hemo  Israel  Channel 2  Israeli TV
 Ruwani Perera  New Zealand  MaoriTV
 Jacob Bryant  New Zealand  MaoriTV

 

RACHEL (Greek flag, 8 people)

 

Ehab Lotayef Canada
 Christian Martel  Canada  Retired Québec trade-unionist
 Anouar Gharbi  Tunisia     Founding member of the ECESG
 Yannis Vaitsis  Grece  Doctor
 K  Greece  Crew
 X  Greece  Crew
 Marietta Simegiakou  Greece
Aissa Boukanoun  France  Euronews Arabic

 

VITTORIO (Greek flag, 9 people)

Ann Wright USA ret. U.S. Army coronel & fmr. State DEpt. Official
Nasser Hamdaduche  Algeria  Member of Parliament
D  Greece  Crew
L  Greece  Doctor
 Gerd von der Lippe  Norway  Professor in Sports, Sociology and Author
 N  Greece  Crew
 Wellu Koivisto  Finland
 Achilleas Karaklis  Greece
 Abdel Lateef Belkaim  Algeria  Shourouk TV

 

JULIANO II (Greek flag) 12 people

Martin Lejeune Germany Freelance Journalist
 Zohar Chamberlain  Israel  Rumbo a GAza
 M  Greece  Crew
 Claudio Tamaglini  Italy  International Solidarity Movement
 Anas Nairoukh  Jordan
 Lennart Berggren  Sweden  Sweden Freelance journalist
 Abouzaid El Mokrie El Idrissi  Morocco   Member of Parliament
 Odysseas Voudouris  Greece  Surgeon, ex president of MSF-Greece, ex MP
 Iasonas Voudouris  Greece
 N  Greece  Crew
 M  Greece  Crew
Tayfun Jalci Turkey Anadolu news agency
SAILORS TO GAZA
2 Comments
  • Allison carmichael | Jun 28, 2015 at 10:04 pm

    You are all amazing, truly wonderful human beings, sending love and spreading the word about your endeavour far and wide. In love Alli xxxxx

  • sheikh anwar ahmed | Jun 29, 2015 at 7:01 am

    Its no matter that we have tounge in our mouth or not,but hope fully voice of justice and truth will be risen up by brave hearts people from the world