March 31, 2011
If Israeli authorities thought that their attack on Freedom Flotilla 1 last year would break our momentum and scare us away from sailing to Gaza again, they were wrong. The brutality of the assault on our flotilla has led to an increase of support for our kind of nonviolent, direct action. We are now organising Freedom Flotilla 2, scheduled to set sail in late May 2011, with twice as many vessels as we had last year. We are bigger and stronger now as dozens of new organisations and thousands more people have joined our efforts. We sail not just for Gaza, as what’s happening in Gaza is not separate from the human rights abuses, racist laws, and oppressive policies perpetrated by Israel in the West Bank, Jerusalem, and even inside the 1948 borders. We sail to confront and challenge an entire apartheid regime that must be dismantled through citizen action.
We have proven that civil society's non-violent actions against Israel can be as powerful as the governments who refuse to hold the state accountable for its crimes against the Palestinians. This article traces the history of the Free Gaza movement and our efforts to open Israel's illegal blockade on 1.5 million Palestinians in Gaza.