Emergency Protest against Flotilla Murders 5pm Tuesday

On Tuesday, June 1, at 5 p.m., peace and justice activists in Duluth will gather at the Federal Building to denounce the Israeli government’s assault on the Gaza Freedom Convoy and call for an end to U.S. aid for Israel.

Israel’s attack in international waters in the early morning of May 31, which left 19 convoy members dead and dozens wounded, has drawn widespread condemnation from the international community as a brutal act of piracy against a humanitarian effort. Activists in Duluth will demonstrate in solidarity with protesters in the Middle East and around the world. They will demand an end to U.S. aid to Israel and for the State of Minnesota to divest from its Israel bonds, as part of the growing worldwide movement of Boycotts, Divestments and Sanctions against Israeli apartheid.

The six ships of the Gaza Freedom Convoy were loaded with 10,000 tons of supplies, including medicine and building materials, bound for the Gaza Strip, which has been completely blockaded by Israel since its December, 2008 assault on Gaza. The ships were meticulously inspected by Cypriot authorities before departing for Palestine. The convoy was organized by IHH, a Turkish charity organization, along with the Free Gaza Movement. Notwithstanding the claims of the Israeli military that its commandos were attacked by convoy members as they boarded, journalists and eyewitnesses aboard the ships have reported that convoy members were unarmed and flying a white flag when the commandos opened fire. At least 50 of the 700 activists on board the ships have been taken prisoner by Israeli authorities. Two of the boats in the convoy are U.S.-registered vessels.

WHAT: Emergency protest against Israeli attack on Gaza Freedom Convoy
WHEN: Tuesday, June 1, 5 p.m.
WHERE: Duluth Federal Building
SPONSORED BY: Twin Ports Break the Bonds Campaign & Northland Anti-War Coalition

15 Comments

Bret

about 11 years ago

These innocent people died simply for trying to get food and medicine to 1.5 million people essentially captive in the world's largest concentration camp.  I must say the U.S. response has been shameful.  I've been to Palestine, and have seen the suffering.  I'll be at this event and hope our voices are heard.

Claire

about 11 years ago

This may be the straw that breaks the camel's back. I'm in NYC (staying near the UN and the Israeli embassy) and yesterday was "NYC hates Israel" day. Protesters against the Gaza flotilla attack in Times Square -- people from all walks of life, including lots of little old Jewish grandmas holding signs identifying themselves as such, protesting this latest atrocity.  On the other side of town, busloads of conservative (Hasidic) Jews -- all male, all wearing black -- from Brooklyn lined the streets near the Israeli embassy, protesting Israel's desecration of ancient cemeteries. The city is girding for more protests today, including a big one against the Gaza incident outside the Israeli embassy. The streets are already barricaded.

dbb

about 11 years ago

Are people seriously upset about this? 

The Israeli government publicly stated that they would stop the ships in that convoy. They went forward regardless. Israel stopped the ships. The protesters called the bluff and had losing hand. 

I for one admire the restraint shown by Israel in the whole matter. I can think of other countries that would have just sunk the entire convoy.

Danny

about 11 years ago

Israel: "Wow.  We were going to defend ourselves over our actions this past weekend.  However, we just heard about a couple of dozen protesters in a small, Northern MN city.  This has inspired us to admit our wrong-doing and promise never, ever do it again."

edgeways

about 11 years ago

I/P discussions are always fraught with a lot of tension.... but yes dbb some people are upset about it. I guess the underlying question is, is the Israeli response appropriate and justified? There are claims and counter claims about what exactly happened, but one thing to me sticks out... they sent a specific strike force (rather than say a police force, or the equivalent of a cost guard) that usually is responsible for covert and deadly operations out to deal with people who's stated intent was to delver non-military aid.

Rather than say thoroughly inspect the ships we now have this latest idiotic stand-off. And to boot the game isn't finished, that might have been a "loosing hand" but Egypt has opened its boarder and there is yet another flotilla arriving in 2-3 days. It has been a PR nightmare for Israel and there is already significant internal second guessing going on.  

Yes, on one hand it was a "stunt" spearheaded by Turkey, but imo Israel mishandled this significantly. Frankly, given this wankerific move and the less than stellar performance during their 2006 war in Lebanon I wouldn't be shocked if Netanyahu doesn't survive next elections. Which for all concerned probably wouldn't be a bad move. To be honest I wish Hamas would also lose their next elections. Both Netanyahu and Hamas contribute to the ongoing tension and strife.

Resol

about 11 years ago

There you go with that helpless cynicism again Danny.

Just because one doesn't have the power to resolve a situation, doesn't mean they shouldn't use their voice.  Everything is additive. This includes a handful of Northern Minnesotans standing with the oppressed, wherever they may be.

TimK

about 11 years ago

This act of aggression occurred in international waters. Israel had no justification for the use of deadly force. There is also no justification for Danny's continued access to the internet.

conrad

about 11 years ago

Inflamatory pictures are not going to help any cause and is a good way to have people discredit the cause before they have even listened.  Civility is a step towards peace.

dbb

about 11 years ago

@TimK: Israel certainly had justification. Do you think they'd have had wounded if they'd decided from the get-go to just mow down a bunch of innocent unarmed civilians? 

The number of dead vs. wounded on each side just illustrates the stupidity of using knives and sticks when the other side has firearms and the willingness to use them.

@ndy

about 11 years ago

dbb: Just because Israel said they were going to stop the ships doesn't make that action legal. Nor is the blockade itself legal. Nor is killing civilians who are defending themselves and their property legal. Nor are any of these crimes remotely ethical. Can you provide any reason as to why you feel that Israel's actions are justified, either legally or ethically?

edgeways

about 11 years ago

If I ever organize an event I want Danny to oppose it. It would add a certain cachet of legitimacy to whatever the event would be, from art opening to political protest.

rediguana

about 11 years ago

Wow. What double standards we have. Let's see--Israel launches a military attack on a humanitarian convoy in international waters. Technically, under international law, that constitutes an act of piracy. Yes, as in "Arrrrgh." If you are attacked by pirates, you have the right to defend yourself with whatever tools happen to be at hand--be they deck chairs or kitchen knives.

"Never doubt that a small committed group of individuals can change the world. Indeed, it's the only thing that ever has." -Margaret Mead

Danny

about 11 years ago

For the record, I'm not "opposed" to these little protests. (Saw this one on the NNC tonight, by the way. It was very cute). As usual, I just enjoy making fun of them.

the PartsGuy

about 11 years ago

Oddly, the Israelis are more than willing to allow humanitarian aid through. They just want to make sure no weapons are being carried in.

BTW, the Egyptians are blockading too. Make sure you protest Egyptian involvement as well. 

You might want to ask the reason why Gaza's being blockaded. From what I've been able to find out, it seems these guys that go by the name of Hamas basically control Gaza. 

Seems to me the flotilla went out to provoke anti-Israeli sentiment. Judging by your responses, mission accomplished.

edgeways

about 11 years ago

For what it's worth, Partsguy, the rebuttal to the "but Israel allows aid..." line is: The procedure for allowing aid is to land in Israel and to turn all the supplies over to the Israeli government for inspection then distribution. There are many third parties who have little confidence that doing this actually results in the aid arriving at its intended destination. 

Yes, you are absolutely right that Hamas bears some of the blame in this dance. Witness the difference in treatment of the West Bank under the Palestinian Authority and the Gaza under Hamas. The primary difference between the Palestinian Authority and Hamas is, of course, Hamas' continuing goal to (pathetically) destroy Israel. It is a stated goal they have no hope in ever achieving, but continue to agitate for to keep their people in fear and agitated. The problem arises, of course, in that the population in Gaza is suffering because of the policies of both Hamas and Israel, and when both sides are equally screwing with you there is no motivation to choose sides with "the other."

Against this backdrop Israel committed a pretty big blunder and has done nothing but legitimize Hamas and the "struggle" those wankers engage in. This is a blockade simply to show that they have the "balls" to do so. Not a blockade to keep weapons out of Gaza. Hell, the Israeli representative flat out said today there have been no weapons found on the ships they commandeered, and that it didn't matter. 

Frankly there could have been half-dozen ways in which the aid could have arrived legitimately at it's destination, from UN involvement, to Israel inspecting the cargo directly upon its arrival at Gaza, to other trusted third-party involvement. But, as much as the Israeli government depends upon other nations it also likes to tell everyone else to fuck off and mind their own business.

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