Friday, August 6, 2010

DN! Activists Launch US Boat to Gaza Campaign

DN! Activists Launch US Boat to Gaza Campaign:

"StartLoving3 | August 06, 2010

Activists Launch 'US Boat to Gaza' Campaign

Hundreds of people boarded a New York boat on Thursday night to support a planned aid mission to the Gaza Strip. Organizers with the US Boat to Gaza campaign are hoping to raise at least $370,000 to join the new international aid flotilla planned for later this year. The boat is named The Audacity of Hope after President Obama's bestselling book. Michael Ratner of the Center for Constitutional Rights praised the new effort. Michael Ratner: 'Not enough aid is getting in for people to survive. The situation is desperate. And for years, all the countries in the world have done is talk about it, and no one has done anything about it. So with the flotillas that have gone so far, we're beginning to see some change. And my view is that change, social change, progressive change, change in the blockade, comes when we have people actually engaging in action to break a blockade that is, in my view, utterly illegal.'

Also supporting the campaign was Emily Henochowicz, the twenty-one-year-old US art student who lost her left eye in May after being shot in the face by an Israeli tear gas canister at a protest against Israel's deadly attack on the first Free Gaza flotilla. Emily Henochowicz: 'The main thing is that when you're not there, it can seem so much more shocking to talk about freeing Palestine and freeing—you know, when you talk about the blockade on Gaza and trying to see Palestinians just as regular people, when you're there, it just makes so much sense.'

(Related Coverage: Emily Henochowicz Speaks Out: Art Student Who Lost Her Eye After Being Shot by Israeli Tear Gas Canister in West Bank Protest Discusses Her Life, Her Art, and Why She Plans to Return)

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