The Israeli massacre aboard the Mavi Marmara rather than deterring people has galvanised more to support actions to break the siege of Gaza.
Just as the economic stranglehold Israel has maintained on the people of Gaza for the last 4 years in an attempt to undermine support for Hamas has failed, so too has its assault on the humanitarian boats delivering aid into Gaza in May this year. No sooner had the boats of the Freedom Flotilla been captured in international water by Israel and the aid on them denied to the people of Gaza than plans were afoot for another convoy and flotilla to break the siege.
On Saturday 18 September Viva Palestina is launching another land convoy. Viva Palestina 5 – a global lifeline to Gaza is a gigantic land convoy that will leave London in conjunction with convoys leaving from Casablanca and Doha. An international flotilla is also planned by the organisations that organised the Freedom Flotilla in May, the IHH, Free Gaza Movement and Viva Palestina, which will be coordinated to arrive at the same time in October as the land convoy.
The land convoy will take 500 vehicles with aid to Gaza carrying medical equipment, educational supplies and equipment to rebuild a destroyed mosque, a school for orphans and to construct a maternity facility in Beit Hanoun in northern Gaza.
In breaking the siege on Gaza not only will the convoy be bringing much needed aid to the 1.5m population but it also shows Israel that the world will not stand by and allow the siege to succeed.
On returning from the Freedom Flotilla Caoimhe Butterly, an activist with the Free Gaza movement, stated in a video call for action: “Through supporting this flotilla, you are supporting the daily resistance, endurance and steadfastness of the Palestinian people and their refusal to be broken. We’ve got to up the ante. We’ve got to understand that the urgency of the situation in Gaza demands our action, demands mobilisations, and we have to be willing to take some of the risks and sacrifices that our Palestinian brothers, sisters and comrades are forced to endure on a daily basis.
“It is an honour to be part of this struggle. It is an honour to join a people who continue to resist in conditions that would break most people. So please mobilise … and show your solidarity with the Palestinian people in struggle. It’s time to act.” Quoted in Proletarian (‘Long live the martyrs of the Gaza Freedom Flotilla!’, June 2010).