FREE GAZA MOVEMENT "Dignity" crewmen tour- saturday- galway

08/02/2009 - 19:00
10/02/2009 - 00:12



Mayo men, Derek Graham and Alan Lonergan who crewed Free Gaza Movement boat "The Dignity"  from Cyprus to Gaza will be in Galway as part of national tour to get Irish support for the next voyage in March.


Our very own Treasa Ní Cheannabháin who has just returned from a devastated Gaza will join them on the platform.  Treasa will be returning to Egypt to ensure that the aid so kindly donated last weekend by the people of Galway gets through the Israeli controlled border in Rafah to the families in Gaza.


Free Gaza Movement, a human rights group that in August 2008 sent the first international boats to land in the port of Gaza in 41 years in August and have continued to break the siege to bring doctors and medical aid directly into Gaza Port.  Derek Graham, first mate on many of the trips stated,  

'We need to bring in practical supplies now, that can be used to rebuild the Gaza infrastructure that Israel has destroyed.  We hope to bring in a cargo ship loaded with building supplies and medical equipment along with a passenger boat.  Over the next month, the organizers will be busy raising the funds to purchase cargo boat and are also going to put out a plea for building materials, especially cement, wood and PVC piping.'

Free Gaza is neither a "protest group" nor an aid agency.  It is a Palestinian and international effort dedicated to the principle of non-violent direct action, which includes a holocaust survivor and Israeli peace activists.

'We do bring medicine, supplies, and doctors to besieged Gaza, but this is utterly insufficient. Although humanitarian aid is very much needed, especially now in Gaza, focusing on humanitarian efforts alone is a form of complicity in Israel's malevolent quest to destroy the Palestinian people.

The Palestinian people do not need charity. They need freedom and justice.

One of the obscene ironies of Israel's recent devastation of Gaza is that the Israeli's economy will profit from any reconstruction, as all supplies into Gaza have to come from Israel, unless this direct route from Cyprus to Gaza is continued and supported.  On December 30th 'The Dignity' was rammed three times by the Israeli navy and badly damaged while it was clearly in international waters.

When states and the international bodies responsible for taking action to stop such atrocities chose to be impotent, then we--the citizens of the world--must act.' 

Currently in Gaza there are four Free Gaza member's, including Irish peace activist Caoimha Butterly who has been working with the ambulance service throughout the war.  

To quote another Irishman, John Ging, head of UNRWA operations in Gaza 

'There must be a better future. The ordinary people here during this war and siege have paid the price of this conflict.  For them, their singular priority is access to restore DIGNITY to their existence.   The closures have driven thousands into aid dependency against their will – that has to end. A solution that prioritizes the needs of the ordinary people must be found.'


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GALWAY SAT 8TH @ Nun's Island Theatre @7pm

LIMERICK SUN 9TH @ The Absolute Hotel @ 7.30pm.