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Interview with Northern California Gaza Freedom Flotilla Passenger Regina Carey: video
Thus far, working against the 2011 Stay Human Freedom Flotilla have been repeated threats and admonishments from the U.S. and Israeli governments, the early pullout of the Turkish contingent, meddling from Zionist law firms, sabotage to the propellers of the Greek and Irish boats by underwater divers, and an order from the Greek government banning the flotilla from embarking on the journey to Gaza from Greece. The "Freedom Flotilla 2 - Stay Human" was scheduled to depart by the end of June, but at this point, it remains uncertain how many boats will be able to leave the port of Athens and set sail for Gaza. Amongst the European, Australian, and North American ships that had intended to non-violently break the Israeli siege on the Gaza Strip was the U.S. boat The Audacity of Hope. This past Friday, The Audacity of Hope left port against the orders of the Greek government and was eventually turned back by the Greek Coast Guard, leading to the arrest of the boat's captain. [A Canadian boat tried to same thing three days later and was likewise turned back by Greek military forces. One smaller French boat was able to get out to sea the day after that.] Now, with the U.S. boat being held indefinitely at a Greek military port behind barbed wire, the Americans will not be able to sail with the Freedom Flotilla. On board The Audacity of Hope when it challenged the Gaza blockade -- which now apparently extends across the the Mediterranean Sea to the shores of Greece -- were thirty-six passengers, nine journalists, and four crew members. Six of those American passengers call Northern California home. Shortly before leaving the U.S. in early June for her rendezvous with other passengers in Athens, Greece, Regina Carey of San Rafael discussed the history of her consciousness about Palestine and her reasons for participating in the flotilla.
In the video below, Regina Carey has always been involved in civil and human rights. Her interest in Palestine was peaked during the Six Day War. She was concerned about the ways the spoils of war are divided up and the ramifications for oppressed and indigenous peoples. This will be her first trip to Palestine, assuming the flotilla is able to reach Gaza.
Regina is participating in the flotilla because she thinks we need to expand the dialogue on peace and how to establish relationships when competition for resources exists. She believes aggression and military power must be ended as method for solving problems.
She believes there should absolutely be a U.S. boat in the flotilla to help counteract the demonization of the Palestinians here. People who have been colonized deserve a place at the table to discuss how resources are shared. When Regina returns from the flotilla, she intends to talk about the experience, to work toward a Department of Peace within the U.S. government, and to work towards a Truth and Reconciliation Commission for Israel/Palestine similar to the one South Africa conducted post-apartheid.
Regina encourages supporters to help flotilla passengers with individual expenses incurred and to donate towards the boat itself. Additionally, everyone should be working with elected officials to reassess how money is allocated to countries such as Israel and how it is spent, considering events such as the death of Rachel Corrie under an American Caterpillar bulldozer as she attempted to prevent a home demolition.
Video of Yonatan Shapira, former Israeli Airforce pilot, and other U.S. Audacity of Hope passengers can be found at http://ustogaza.org/latest/us-boat-to-gaza-passengers-explain-why-theyre-going/
For more information:
Individual flotilla boats:
http://ustogazawest.org/ (Western USA)
Henry Norr: http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2011/07/06/18683947.php
Debra Ellis: http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2011/07/06/18683956.php