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Archive for May, 2009

tidy up…..

jenny endedup with more paint on herself than the benches....

jenny ended up with more paint on herself than the benches..

wheel house gets a coat of paint...derek gets a tan

wheel house gets a coat of paint...derek gets a tan

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one big tidy up...

one big tidy up...

tired feet...

tired feet...

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PRESS RELEASE – Caoimhe Butterly Irish tour to promote Free Gaza Movement’s  The Hope Fleet’ sailing to Gaza in June.
Irish woman Caoimhe Butterly, who spent this year in Gaza working with the Ambulance service is touring Ireland to give a first hand account of events there and to gather support for the ‘HOPE FLEET’ a flotilla of cargo boats returning to Gaza in June.
Caoimhe is the Free Gaza coordinator in Gaza and has close links with a number of developing grassroots projects in Gaza and who have ideas about links, partnerships that people/groups here can support and be involved with.
“I believe the Israeli government policies are against international law, against human rights, against the dignity of the Palestinian people,” said Mairead Maguire who was awarded Nobel Peace Prize in 1976 and will be returning to Gaza on the boats.

It is almost four months since the end of ‘Operation Cast Lead’ that saw approximately 1,400 Palestinians killed, 313 of them children,
the community of Gaza now has over 5,000 orphans to care for.  Irishman John Ging from the United Nations explained
“there is no prospect of recovery or reconstruction until we can get access for construction materials.  Until we can get the humanitarian assistance in, in an unfettered way, we can’t begin the process of recovery and  Gazan mothers and fathers call, not for retaliation, but for protection and accountability because they’re concerned, not just for what has happened, but for what is coming.”
The people of Gaza need to rebuild their shattered lives and infrastructure, and Israel refuses to allow anything into the small enclave except for food and some medicine.  The last delivery of cement was in November 08 which has left families living on the rubble of their homes with no hope of rebuilding their lives, their homes, schools, work places as long as Israel controls their borders. 
Containers left Ireland with essentials and much needed medical supplies, they arrived in Egypt in February where they joined the stockpile of other donations from around the world, all held up by Egyptian authorities who invent new pretexts to keep the aid getting to families in Gaza.  Treasa NiCheannabhain went to Egypt to prevent the authorities returning the aid to Ireland, they are reported to have dumped 250,000 tons of aid in the desert this week.
This is why it is so important to support and maintain the route from Cyprus to the port of Gaza that the Free Gaza Movement opened in August last year.

“The Palestinians don’t want hand-outs from the international community. They want their lives back. They want their human and civil rights. They have a great labor force wanting to rebuild their communities. They are perfectly capable of that if their borders, including the sea border, were open,” states Lubna Masarwa, delegation leader of this flotilla.
As our governments have failed to act, we – the citizens of the world – must stand up and make our voices heard.
 

Tour dates, will forward updates
Fri 22 –       Galway –           2pm Meeting with muslim community
                                         Dinner

                                         7.30pm  Rowing Club – public meeting
                                         10pm     fundraiser Club Deburgos
Sat 23 –      Galway –           tba health/group meeting
                                         7.30 pm  Kila/media at ocean race
Sun 24       Limerick –          pm  Absolute Hotel – public meeting
Mon 25       Limerick           group meeting travel to Cork
 
Mon            Cork                 pm public meeting
Tue 26        Cork                 group meeting travel to Dublin
Tue             Dublin               public meeting
Wed 27       Dublin               group meeting  – press/media interviews
Sat 30         Derry

 

Sun 31        Derry/Belfast
Mon 1         Belfast
Tue 2          
then she’s off to Cyprus to join boat convoy.
If anyone is interested in helping out with tour please contact Niamh Moloughney

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Please watch the following video’s from my recent trip to Gaza. february 2009

The people of Gaza live in the worlds biggest open air prison, and with help from yourselves, we can help them break the siege, and try and live a normal life.

There’ an old saying, “The camera never lies”, so have a look at my footage, and make up your own minds.

 On October 4th, another convoy of aid led by George Galloway, intends to lead a team from Ireland and beyond to break the siege on Gaza once more.

So, if you are interested, please get in touch with me.

 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oLqNo_04pwA

This video is of the truck handover in Gaza. Afer 24 days on the road from Tyrone and Wales, covering 6,500 miles over 12 countries, we hand the truck over to the people of Gaza.

 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w0khgOW0KHs

 The Egyptians deny homeless people in Gaza blankets and clothes. I protest……..

 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oKOellc4DVE

The Destruction I witnessed in Gaza. Just horrible. The video says it all.

 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oKOellc4DVE

 A photo slideshow of photos I took in Gaz 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZG-uuLX1Aso

UTV Television interview from the Atlas Mountains in Algeria

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Dear all,

 We have secured a donation of 10 sailing dinghy`s for the sailing school we plan to set up in Gaza,

( see previous update).

 We are still in need  ( and running out of time) of life jackets and buoyancy aides, both adult and children’s sizes. If anyone can help with this, please get in touch via the blog or jennygraham7@gmail.com

Thank you,

Jenny

 

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So, after last weeks tragedy the determination  to get to gaza was dented but certainly not destroyed. The Irish will go to Gaza, and we will go in June. After the dignity`s tragic and sudden demise, and once broken hearts and in derek`s case, many bruises, began to heal, we are now already in the process of implementing plan B!!)not that we really had one, but it is amazing how quickly you find one when needed!!)

The FreeGaza Movement, and its wonderful supporters and donors, and of course, you, the ever trustworthy irishingaza supporters, are making it a little easier , thanks to your donations, to continue to set a pace for the         hope fleet to make it to gaza in june.

One of the main objectives for Derek  and I,once we get to gaza, is to help in the setting up and running of a sailing school for the younger generation in Gaza. We want to give them a chance to spend their days like many children around the world, doing something with their lives that does not involve politics, guns, violence or even fear. In our school they will be students, friends, colleagues and fellow palestinians regardless of religion or political views.

If there is any way in which you feel you may be able to help us in this goal, please contact us @ jennygraham7@gmail.com

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We, Derek and I, were woken at 7.15 a.m. this morning by a phone call informing us the DIGNITY was damaged in the marina in larnaca after heavy winds and seas in a storm in Cyprus last night. Derek immediately got in to the car and reached larnaca in record time, ( for legal reasons, he is claiming to have stayed within speeding limits!). When he reached the marina, he seen the DIGNITY was damaged on the starboard aft quarter. Already, there was a lot of activity around her and a tow boat was tied on ready to lead her to safety of larnaca port for further examination. He jumped aboard and started the generators and the bilge pumps as she was taking in water. Derek and h, (a fellow concerned boat owner at the marina,) pulled in the anchors and headed towards port.

 

Approximately, half way to the port, as they turned, the boat was getting hit on the starboard side by heavy seas which caused her to take on more water at a faster rate than the bilge pumps could handle.

The DIGNITY  started to go down and Derek shouted at h to get ready to abandon ship. Derek launched the life raft , both men clambered in and headed towards the tow boat. Once, aboard the tow boat, all they could do was watch the DEMISE OF THE DIGNITY.

A clearly upset and wet derek rang me and said, ” all i could do was watch,. She was a strong boat, and fought hard. She did what was asked of her. As i watched she groaned and cried and struggled to stay afloat. With one last loud cry , the wheel house collapsed and the fly bridge broke from the main structure, then it went quiet”

 

Some debris and contents began to wash back to shore and marina by the strong waves. When derek got back to the marina he went to where she had been docked .

 

Amazingly, and truthfully, one of the first things to make it back to this spot was the Irish flag!!, apart from the Palestinians themselves, the Irish have had the most passengers on board the free gaza boats to Gaza, and i guess this was a thank you!!

 

So, with very very sad hearts we now need help. following is the FREE GAZA ANNOUNCEMENT regarding the sinking of the boat and a genuine plea for help. We are still determined to go to gaza in 4 weeks time, hopefully with your help we will purchase and overhaul another boat in time. Details of how to DONATE VIA FREE GAZA WEBSITE is in the following press release,

your support is badly needed right now, thank you,

 

Jenny

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