On May 4, activists are staging a star-studded event at UMass Amherst about their refusal to bow to intimidation tactics and shut up about Palestinian human rights. Titled “Not Backing Down,” the forum will feature Roger Waters, Linda Sarsour, Dave Zirin and Marc Lamont Hill.Sponsors had hoped to bring Hanan Ashrawi from Palestine. But she did not receive a visa over several weeks during which the event was organized. “I think this is something new from the Trump administration,” Professor Sut Jhally said of the delay on Ashrawi’s application. He linked it to the denial of entry to Omar Barghouti last week and said that Trump is “doing the bidding of the Israeli government.”
Larry Commodore, a First Nations activist aboard the al-Awda boat to Gaza, speaks to Kim Jensen about the sing-a-longs on the Freedom Flotilla, his treatment once detained in Israel, and how he fell into activism to support Palestinians.
The medical doctor onboard the al-Awda ship, a vessel headed to Gaza in the Freedom Flotialla, recounts the raid by Israeli commandos and her subsequent dentition. One passenger was tasered until he fell unconscious, and many others say the Israeli authorities stole thousands of dollars, watches and phones from them.
Friday night, the Swedish Freedom Flotilla boat ‘Freedom’ heading towards Gaza lost all communication at 20:06 local time, merely 40 nautical miles away from the Gaza coast, with 12 crew members, activists and journalists from five countries. It has since been confirmed that the boat was seized.
Yonatan Shapira, a passenger on the Al Awda boat to Gaza, echoes the IDF spokesperson: The boat was boarded “without exceptional events”. “Yes, everything was as usual -They slammed Herman the captain’s head against the wall again and again while threatening to take him to the ship’s belly and finish him off when no one is watching.”
A Freedom Flotilla to Gaza boat was stopped by Israeli navy and diverted to Israeli harbor, with all its crew and passengers arrested. “This operation is an act of piracy and the occupation forces do not wish for it to be made public, so one of the first things they do as they come on board is to take away all cameras, phones and all other electronic devices,” passenger Zohar Chamberlain-Regev reports.
“What did you do when Gaza was dying?” An interview with Freedom Flotilla to Gaza crew member Zohar Chamberlain Regev, as the boats stop in Copenhagen for a few days. This is the tenth freedom flotilla to Gaza. None has gotten through the Israeli blockade.
Haidar Eid writes an open letter to South African President Jacob Zuma criticizing South African Ambassador to Israel, Sisa Ngombane, for his response to the Woman’s Boat to Gaza where South African activist Leigh-Anne Naidoo was among a group of women trying to break the siege of Gaza.
Thirteen women including several parliamentarians, an Olympic athlete, Nobel Laureate, Mairead Maguire and former US Diplomat, Ann Wright are days away from breaking the Israeli blockade by reaching Gaza shores. Sources indicate that the Israel navy has been given orders to intercept the boat.
The Israeli military violently intercepted the Swedish boat named Marianne in the early hours of June 29 to prevent it from landing in Gaza, using tasers against unarmed passengers. The Marianne was originally part of a flotilla comprised of four boats with 48 passengers, including human rights activists, journalists, artists, and political figures representing 17 countries. Young people in Gaza from the “We Are Not Numbers” project share their thoughts about the flotilla and the Israeli siege.