Nov. 3: Vancouver Press Conference – Support the Freedom Waves Flotilla

Vancouver Press Conference

Thursday November 3, 12 Noon
outside of Vancouver Convention Centre (foot of Howe St, near Waterfront Station)

All welcome. Bring signs, banners and flags in support of Palestine.

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CALL TO ACTION

November 3, 2011

We Will Not Let Israel Control Gaza

We Need Waves of Support for Gaza

In July, after Freedom Flotillas I and II we promised that we would “keep coming by sea, by air, by land and in the media until the blockade collapses and Palestine is free. At this moment, two boats are in international waters in the Mediterranean heading to Gaza. One boat, the Canadian Tahrir, carries representatives from Canada, the U.S., Australia, and Palestine – and journalists from Democracy Now and Al Jazeera. The Soaires, an Irish boat, carries members of civil society including members of parliament. We have begun the Freedom Waves to Gaza campaign.

Civil society organizations in Gaza await their arrival, and look forward to the delivery of letters collected from thousands of supporters in the “To Gaza With Love” campaign. The Palestinians living in Gaza want solidarity not charity, and have made it clear to the world that their primary demand is for freedom. It is in this spirit that we sail to Gaza.

It is imperative that we mobilize in order to ensure that delegates on are not harmed and that the Tahrir and the Saoirse reach Gaza.

There have been three attempts in the last year and a half alone to break the siege of Gaza. The world knows about the terrible outcome in May, 2010. Earlier this summer, we watched and were as dismayed as everyone else when the Freedom Flotilla boats were turned back by Greece at Israel’s and the United States’ behest. But we knew the movement would continue, and today it has! Please stay tuned as we await the outcome of this important human rights mission. We remain committed to non-violently supporting the Palestinians in the movement to end the blockade.

Here are some of the things that you can do to help:

We need your help to make this mission a success. The Harper government will certainly be working with Israel to undermine this mission. We can minimise the possibility that violence will be used against the nonviolent activists and the boats by letting our governments know we are watching. We here, on land, can play a key role to breaking the blockade.

Please take these actions immediately.

– Public rallies, vigils, poster campaigns, banner drops: As soon as you can. But please, do whatever and wherever you are able. We need this to be big. We need to be visible. (Please let us know about your events. Email us at info@tahrir.ca)

– Check for updates: www.tahrir.ca, you can also go to our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/CanadaBoatGaza where we will update as frequently as information is available. Help by reposting information.

– Follow us on Twitter: @CanadaBoatGaza, #FreedomWaves, #Canada4Gaza and re-tweet

– Post our press releases and other stories to your blogs, web sites, etc. Please share this call to action with your lists (and post!)

– Contact your Member of Parliament. http://www.parl.gc.ca/Parlinfo/Compilations/HouseOfCommons/MemberByPostalCode.aspx?Menu=HOC
Contact Prime Minister Harper. http://www.pm.gc.ca/eng/contact.asp?featureId=10

Talking points for calls/emails to government:

Gaza has been under siege since mid-2006, depriving 1.6 million people of their liberty and basic human rights. Although the siege has been condemned by the United Nations, the Red Cross, and many national governments, little has been done to ease the plight of these civilians. Civil society has had to act where governments would not. Two ships with 27 passengers from 5 countries are sailing to Gaza to confront the Israeli naval blockade, and to bring medical supplies and letters of support.

The Freedom Waves to Gaza initiative has supporters around the world with the goal of challenging the illegal blockade of Gaza, and bringing humanitarian aid to the civilian population of Gaza in the spirit of the U.N. Security Council Resolution 1860 (2009). It also seeks to challenge The Canadian Boat to Gaza seeks to carry much needed medical supplies. All delegates on the Tahrir are committed to peaceful and non-violent action. The Tahrir and the Saoires are not breaking the law but are actively upholding international law.

As Canadians, we demand that our government support human rights and international law by insisting Israel permit the ships’ safe passage and end its illegal blockade of Gaza. There are many alternatives for Israel to ensure its security without subjecting 1.6 million people to collective punishment. Gazans are still prisoners with no freedom of movement; Israel’s illegal blockade prevents not only imports into Gaza, but exports as well. And the blockade prevents Palestinians from moving freely between Gaza and the West Bank, in violation of fundamental human rights.

The Freedom Waves to Gaza initiative is a non-violent, civil society movement to challenge the Israeli blockade of Gaza.

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