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Interview with Northern California Gaza Freedom Flotilla Passenger Debra Ellis: video
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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, Debra Ellis of Santa Cruz discussed the history of her consciousness about Palestine and her reasons for participating in the flotilla.

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