Friend and fellow Activist, Sabine, visited Italy this week and went to give her support and Solidarity to the ” Estelle” The ship to Gaza….. …………..
Thank you, Shukran, Sabine………….
Pure and overwhelming emotions, while I was walking along Molo Italia
(Italy Mole) in La Spezia
port, at the very end of which the Estelle is anchored!
And what a great lady she is! The flag with the Freedom Flotilla III
logo fluttering high up on the
rear mast, she could be be spotted from far away, so everybody
started shouting and pointing in
her direction excitedly.
We had set out by bus from Milan early morning yesterday together
with some 30 Italian activists
we were all wondering what it would be like to meet the Estelle
and their crew. So in order to keep
our excitement at bay a little bit we prepared a solidarity “banner”,
attaching to it stickers, Vik’s
photo, some handmade items just for this purpose, and in my
case a small German flag . As I would
supposedly be the only German participating I had brought the flag
with me to show our solidarity!
While approaching the Estelle I fell silent inward and out,
and I started in an almost awestruck
way to admire this beautiful sailing ship. Her three masts seemed to be scratching the low-hanging
dark clouds, as if to say “Heaven, have a heart and bring out the sun!”
, however the dark sky made
for a perfect canvas for the colourful flags and banners
she is adorned with. Vik’s picture is there,
as well as banners for the occasion and of course,
the Palestinian flag in various sizes!
A band was playing on the pier, but soon they were invited onboard
and they continued playing
from the deck which made a fine stage for all of us to get a good look!
Cameras and mobiles keep
clicking, and the wonderful fun crew of the Estelle
”posing” for us and joking along!
Then the ship tours start, for security and space reasons only
small groups are taken in at a time.
When it was finally my turn to board,
I almost felt like touching holy (shaking) ground! Alberto
Mari, Italian temp crew member, told us about Estelle’s history and
showed us around the tiny
kitchen (galley??), social and cargo areas and the stern,
and explained to us a few things about
sailing. Moving about the ship we received shouts like
”whatch your heads” and ”watch the stairs”,
while we were concentrating exactly on ducking low at the right
moment and trying not to stumble
over ropes and up or down the steep,
narrow and sometimes slippery stairs!
Dror later on in the evening explained that, when they started planning
this trip, at first it was
”Ship 2 Gaza Sweden” with all the Swedish people supporting
and getting involved, also financially.
As the Estelle then was progressing through many European countries
it became ”Ship 2 Gaza” due
to all the rising International solidarity in all the various ports
”We are aware of the tremendous risks of this journey,
but if we get stopped this time, we will
send more ships, again and again and again,
until the siege on Gaza will be lifted definitely and
And then we will send even more ships in order to establish
a trade route to Gaza!”
Dror finally quotes Che Guevara as the motto of
this year’s Freedom Flotilla: ”Let’s be realistic,
let’s try the impossible!”
Gaza, here we come!!!
Dedicated to Vittorio, Dror, Jenny and Derek,
and all other past, present and future Freedom
Sailors, which ever means of travel
they (we) will be chosing!
Our hopes, dreams, love and solidarity
go with you:
BON VOYAGE ESTELLE!
Sabine Utopia – Sept 30, 2012
Pictures by sabine……….