Written by Free Gaza team
Our four boats are purchased or refurbished, flagged and registered. The cargo ship is now named the MV Rachel Corrie with the blessing of the Corrie family. Children in Gaza and the occupied West Bank will name the other two boats, and we will let you know what they chose.
We are hard at work collecting the cargo… cement, books for children and universities, paper for printing books, water filtration equipment, and medical equipment, all being denied the people of Gaza by Israel’s brutal blockade.
So we ask one last time for a $25.00-$100.00 donation from each of you, a donation that will be used for our operating costs. It is not enough to buy, register and insure the boats. We need fuel for all vessles, crew expenses, supplies for all four boats, a crane to add to the cargo ship to offload the cargo, and miscellaneous expenses that always appear at the last minute.
Please go to http://www.freegaza.org/de/donate and help us raise the final 20%. You can donate in the U.S. by writing a tax-deductible check to our fiscal sponsor in DC, donate through our two PayPal accounts, one in Cyprus and one in the U.S. or wire an amount into our Free Gaza account in Cyprus. The website provides all of the detail for you.
With your help, our final $100,000 can be raised in the next month as we get ready to leave Europe on May 3 and begin our voyage to Gaza. More than 5000 of you now follow our voyages; you have signed up for our TWITTER account, you have joined our newsletter, and you are members of many Free Gaza lists. Please donate, send our plea to your own lists, then watch our journey as we make our way across the sea to Gaza.
Thank you from all of us at Free Gaza. Every one of you has made this flotilla a reality.
April 5th, 2010
Istanbul, Turkey – Following months of preparation, a coalition bringing together a number of organizations and movements working to break Israel’s illegal blockade on Gaza was announced yesterday in Istanbul. The coalition, comprised of the Turkey-based IHH (Insani Yardim Vakfi) organization, the European Campaign to End the Siege on Gaza (ECESG), the Greek Ship to Gaza campaign, the Swedish Ship to Gaza campaign and the Free Gaza Movement, will launch a flotilla of ships laden with cargo, media, parliamentarians, celebrities and activists to Gaza next month.
The flotilla includes at least eight vessels, including three cargo ships, and will set sail from European ports beginning May 3, reaching the port of Gaza later in the month. Over 500 passengers from more than 20 countries will take part, and 5,000 tons of cargo, including cement, prefabricated housing, other building materials, medical equipment, and educational supplies will be delivered to Palestinians in Gaza.
The Free Gaza Movement has been launching ships to Gaza since August 2008, partnering with organizations and activists around the world on these missions. In December 2009, IHH led a land convoy to Gaza that brought tons of humanitarian aid and other supplies. In January 2010 the European Campaign brought 50 parliamentarians to Gaza in solidarity with the Palestinian people and to witness the devastation wrought by Israel’s illegal policies. Ship to Gaza/Greece and Ship to Gaza/Sweden meanwhile have had ongoing campaigns in their countries to raise awareness and funds for this effort and for materials to be brought to Gaza.
“Through this coalition, these organizations will be able to maximize resources, experience and commitment to ending the illegal siege on Gaza. Even as Israel continues its daily persecution of Palestinians, we will use this action to wake the world’s consciousness about the crimes committed against Palestinians,” said IHH President Bulent Yildirim.
The coalition invites organizations and individuals from around the world to join the effort by providing supplies for Gaza and contributing financial support for the mission.
Free Gaza Movement – Greta Berlin – +33607374512; www.freegaza.org
ECESG – Arafat Madhi – +44 7908 200 559; www.savegaza.eu
IHH – Ahmet Emin Dag – +90 530 341 1934; www.ihh.org.tr
Ship to Gaza / Greece – Vangelis Pissias – +30 697 200 9339; www.shiptogaza.gr
Ship to Gaza / Sweden – Dror Feiler – +46702855777; www.shiptogaza.se