Wednesday, December 30, 2009

More updates from the Gaza Freedom March

Lots of updates from the Gaza Freedom March, although it's a bit hard to piece together what is happening since things are changing so quickly: Read the latest update at the Gaza Freedom March blog here. New York Times covers the Freedom March, this time more fully:
"More than 1,000 people from around the world were gathered here on Tuesday for a solidarity march into Gaza despite Egypt’s insistence that the Gaza border crossing that it controls would remain closed to the vast majority of them."
Jewish Telegraph Agency and many others reporting that 100 marchers were allowed to go to Gaza:
"Egypt allowed 100 protesters from around the world to enter the Gaza Strip for a solidarity march with Palestinian residents. Another 1,200 activists from more than 40 countries who wanted to participate in the Gaza Freedom March remained in Cairo on Wednesday. "Two buses with 100 delegates on board left this morning for Gaza," Ann Wright, an organizer of the Gaza Freedom March, told the news agency AFP on Wednesday. The buses were set to enter Gaza through the Rafah border crossing, the only entry point into Gaza that does not require going through Israeli territory."
But Mondoweiss is carrying an update entitled "Gaza Freedom March rejects Egyptian offer to allow only 100 protesters into Gaza, which includes a statement from the Gaza Freedom March steering committee:
"We support any decisions taken by the Gaza Freedom March Coordination Committee about the entry of just 100 of 1400 delegates into Gaza instead of all the delegates presently in Cairo....The decision to send 100 delegates, however, seemed too divisive for the growing solidarity campaign with the Palestinian people. The unity of the global solidarity campaign is of utmost importance for us, the besieged Palestinians of Gaza. We have repeatedly argued that the march itself is not supposed to be only a symbolic gesture, but rather a part of a series of events which will lead to the end of the siege, once and for all."
And here's Ziyaad Lunat, a member of the march Coordinating Committee:
"We flatly reject Egypt’s offer of a token gesture. We refuse to whitewash the siege of Gaza. Our group will continue working to get all 1362 marchers into Gaza as one step towards the ultimate goal for the complete end of the siege and the liberation of Palestine” said Ziyaad Lunat a member of the march Coordinating Committee."
Here's video of activists from the Gaza Freedom March reject Egypt's offer to allow only 100 of the delegates through the border to Gaza. Their decision is cheered by the other delegates who were not allowed to go to Gaza, and they chant "All or none!" (thanks to Palestine Video for posting this). Amy Goodman devoted much of her Democracy Now! show today to the Gaza Freedom March. Here, she interviews Ali Abunimah, who is in Cairo and describes his own decision not to be part of the 100 Marchers who would supposedly be let into Gaza: Finally, Pam Rasmussen writes in Electronic Intifada: "Gaza's border must be opened NOW!" See a good (or bad) piece of media coverage of Gaza and/or the Gaza Freedom March? Not seeing enough coverage? Write letters to the editor and op eds using our resources for media action! UPDATE: Sami Abdel-Shafi writes in The Guardian: "This is not humane. We need dignity." Antony Loewenstein has posted Haidar Eid and Omar Barghouti's reponse to "Mubarak's Generous Offer" of just 100 protesters going to Gaza on his blog. The Real News Network carrying this report including an interview with Sam Husseini in Cairo: