As part of our Summer of Hope campaign, the Free Gaza Movement was planning to make 3 boat voyages to Gaza this summer, one in June, one in July and one in August. On our July and August voyages we had planned to take into Gaza all of the books that you have sent us as part of our Right to Read campaign (see below for update).
Due to Israel's hijacking of our boat, the Spirit of Humanity last month, we have had to change our plans. No, we are not backing down. Now, more than ever, we believe it's critical to continue these missions, and demonstrate the power of the international civilian community to stand up to cruelty, human rights abuses, and oppression. If we let Israel's attack on our last mission stop us, we will be giving in to the violence that is perpetrated 100-fold against the occupied Palestinian people. The risks that we take by getting on these boats are nothing compared to the existential threats that Palestinians face every day of their lives. But to make this next voyage happen, we need your help urgently! We need to raise a substantial sum of money and engage in considerable outreach over the next few weeks in order to be able to send the next mission before the weather changes and the Mediterranean Sea starts becoming unpredictable.
Please share this page with friends and family and decide on one or more ways you can get involved. We will not be able to do this without you!
Suggestions for things you can do to help:
- Donate. You have donated to us so generously to us in the past, we need you to do it again. Please consider making a donation of $100 ( €100 or £100) and asking 9 friends to do the same. Please do it now.
- Fundraise. Plan a fundraiser for the Free Gaza Movement in your home or community. A dinner, movie screening, house party or other could be a great way to get your friends and family more aware of and involved in our efforts, while contributing to our goal of purchasing a cargo ship and accompanying passenger boats to go to Gaza.
- Educate. We have volunteers in various countries that might be available to come speak at your school, university or other venue about their experiences in Gaza, the horrifying effects of Israel's illegal blockade, and what the Free Gaza Movement is doing to break the siege. Consider hosting an event or a speaking tour for the Free Gaza Movement. For help in doing this, please contact us.
- Outreach. We would like to get celebrities, dignitaries, and community leaders to join our next mission in order to draw more attention to the dire situation in Gaza and the need for immediate action. If you have contact to an actor, singer, athlete, artist, producer, politician or other public personality, including prominent human and civil rights leaders, ask them to lend their voice and presence to this nonviolent action in defense of human rights. Reach out to your member of congress or parliament and ask him/her to join us. If someone is not able to physically be on our boat, ask them for a statement or letter or endorsement.
- Contribute. We would like to get as many local, national, and international groups and organizations involved in the success of this mission as possible. Approach a local group or organization about donating cargo to send to Gaza on the next Free Gaza boats. One of the two areas our next mission will focus on is education, taking in books (see information about Right to Read campaign below), paper, ink and school supplies. Ask your local school, church, mosque, synagogue, social justice group, or other NGO to commit to this effort. Even primary schools can contribute to breaking the siege on Gaza by writing letters to schoolchildren in Gaza. Please contact us about the items that we are accepting for cargo.
The second area our mission will focus on is building supplies. It is now more than six months since the end of Israel's brutal 22-day assault on the Gaza Strip, which led to the killing of over 1400 Palestinians, and the people of Gaza are still living in rubble. Consider approaching a local business about sponsoring reconstruction cargo for Gaza. Please contact us for details.
- Right to Read campaign. The response to the Right to Read campaign has been heartening. In addition to the books that the universities in Gaza requested, some of you sent us school supplies for children, as you know that paper, pencils and crayons are among the thousands of items that the Israeli authorities do not allow into Gaza. Others approached their local universities about offering free e-library and other database access to Palestinian universities; this is invaluable! Also a few authors have donated copies of their books to the campaign; thank you! As great as the response has been, we still have not acquired all of the books we need. Please, let's keep going! We will start taking these books in on the next voyage.
How soon we can make this next voyage happens will depend on our collective effort. We are aiming for September/October. Let's make it happen!
In solidarity & struggle,
FREE GAZA MOVEMENT