Monday, September 20, 2010

Hey Cool Cats, Dig This: A Flotilla Hop

The groovy hipsters who are organizing the US to Gaza Audacity of Hope Flotilla are hoping to raise some of the $370k they need by putting on a shindig in, where else, downtown Brooklyn.

The event is entitled, "Siege Busters Ball" and will feature, among others, a really cool dude, Ryan Green, a world music singer and theatre performer turned activist. He performs regularly with Cabaret Cataplexy, a queer black theatre troupeI don’t know, maybe he didn't get the memo about Hamas and homosexuality. Maybe he’ll even get to perform when the ship sails into Gaza. And wouldn’t it be, like, really awesome to see the Jihad crowd grooving to his bassa nova? 

Infamous Peace Activists of the Mavi Marmara

Also, I guess the Audacity of Hope organizers haven't picked up on the difficulties other, recent, flotilla entrepreneurs have had. Especially, Gorgeous George Galloway (whom some American Israel haters think is still a British Member of Parliament -- he got kicked out at the last election, after being kicked out of the Labour Party.)

Read this from Contentions: "Perhaps the biggest recent news in Gaza-blockade busting is the lack of enthusiasm for it shown by some regional governments. Beirut delayed the departure of the Lebanese “women’s flotilla” flagship, M/V Maryam, for much of July. After Maryam was finally allowed to leave Lebanon, the authorities in Greek Cyprus, the staging point for Maryam to pick up additional passengers, denied the ship permission to depart for Gaza.

The flotilla organizers have so far been unable to mount the effort by any other means. A separate aid ship departing from Syria this past weekend simply headed for the Egyptian port of El-Arish, near the Rafah border crossing from Egypt into Gaza, rather than attempting to break the naval blockade.

Three vehicle convoys are now preparing to converge on Gaza, but they, like the Syrian ship, will assemble near Rafah in Egypt. One convoy, arranged by the Hamas-linked Viva Palestina activist group, left from London this weekend. Departures are planned from Morocco and Qatar as well. Reporting suggests that the convoys from Europe and Africa will be composed largely of passenger vehicles, reinforcing their character as publicity stunts rather than humanitarian aid missions.

The convoy from Casablanca has already hit a snag, however, and some elements of it are currently delayed in Morocco. Algeria has granted permission to cross its territory only provisionally and unofficially, a posture that Moroccan factions consider unsatisfactory. The Egyptians, meanwhile, refused to allow a Viva Palestina convoy to use the Rafah border crossing in January 2010, deporting British activist George Galloway and banning him from further activities in Egypt. Cairo’s foreign ministry has reiterated the ban this week, emphasizing that aid-convoy vehicles will not be allowed to use the border crossing. Any cargo they bring will have to be reloaded on an Egyptian-managed official convoy.

The refusal of Greece and Egypt to collude in blockade-running attempts is encouraging. By making order a priority, they eliminate the convenience third-party territory represents for activists originating from Turkey, Syria, or Lebanon. Other European authorities could take a lesson from them."
This event is being advertised on many 'progressive' blogs and websites so it may get a large attendance of folks who are hopelessly infatuated with a cause they don't understand and don't really want to.

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