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Freedom Flotilla

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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.”

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.

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.