July 19, 2011- 4:30AM EDT
Dignité attacked: one Canadian on board Gaza-bound French boat
Organizers of the Canadian Boat to Gaza (CBG), the Tahrir, lost contact with the French flagged boat Dignité from the Freedom Flotilla II, at 10:10AM local time when the boat was in international waters north of Arish, Egypt, and are deeply concerned for those aboard, given the likelihood the vessel has been boarded by the Israeli Navy. The Dignity had managed to get out of Greek territorial waters and was sailing towards Gaza. The Israeli navy recently threatened to intercept any ships heading to Gaza.
"We are calling on supporters across Canada to mobilize against what looks like an Israeli attack on or interception of the Dignité," says David Heap, who was on board the Canadian Boat to Gaza, the Tahrir, when it was prevented from sailing to Gaza by the Greek coast guard. "We condemn Israel's actions to impede ships in international waters and its illegal blockade of Gaza."
The Canadian Boat to Gaza is calling for people in Canada and worldwide to demonstrate at Israeli missions and to urge their MPs to condemn Israel's actions and release the boat and the delegates aboard (see tahrir.ca for event and contact details). Stéphan Corriveau, a delegate from the Canadian Boat to Gaza, is on board the Dignité and he reported that they were aiming to reach the shores of Gaza on Tuesday.
"Israel must immediately free the delegates and the boat. Canadian MPs must stand up for human rights and international law," says Dylan Penner, a steering committee member of Independent Jewish Voices who was also aboard the Tahrir in Greece. "The Freedom Flotillas will keep sailing until the illegal blockade of Gaza is ended."
Activists in BC will gather early Tuesday morning, 7AM to 8AM PDT, at Deltaport , near Vancouver, for an information picket targeting a major Israeli shipping company, ZIM. Returning delegates from the Canadian Boat to Gaza, the Tahrir, will be among the participants in the picket Tuesday morning. Solidarity actions are planned in other cities as well.