Update: Here is an update that Audacity of Hope passenger Medea Benjamin recorded for the Institute for Middle East Understanding at 3:10pm ET:
Update: Here is the Greek order against boats leaving its ports for Gaza, “the area of maritime blockade by Israel.” (thanks to Ali Abunimah):
Pursuant to a decision by the Minister of Citizen Protection Mr. C. Papoutsis, the departure of ships with Greek and foreign flags from Greek ports to the maritime area of Gazahas been prohibited today.
By orders of the Hellenic Coast Guard Head Quarters to all local Hellenic Coast Guard Authorities, all appropriate measures are taken for the implementation of the said decision.
Here’s video of the American boat leaving port before it was stopped by Greek Coast Guard:
(The Audacity of Hope leaving the port in Athens. Photo: US Boat to Gaza)
From the US Boat to Gaza website:
At 4:45 pm Athens time The Audacity of Hope left the dock to set sail for Gaza. We are awaiting news to see if they are stopped by Greek authorities or allowed to sail.
Passengers waving goodbye moments before the US Boat to Gaza set sail. (Photo: US Boat to Gaza)
Update: After sailing for 15 minutes the US Boat to Gaza was stopped by the Greek Coast Guard. Joseph Dana is tweeting from on board:
@ibnezra Joseph Dana
The coast guard is demanding that we return to port. “we are forbidden to leave” passengers are chanting and screaming at them
Update: US Boat to Gaza is urging you to call the Embassy of Greece in Washington.
Tel. 202.939.1300 202.939.1300
From the US Boat: “We are getting reports that people are having a hard time getting through to the Greek Embassy in Washington, DC….that just means lots of folks are making calls!! It also would be good to have people sending email messages. We understand they are all being forwarded to Athens. Here’s that email address: [email protected]”
Here is the latest from Twitter: