Creating people's geographies
Palestinian-American human rights activist, co-founder of the International Solidarity Movement and currently chair of the Free Gaza Movement, Huwaida Arraf was on board Challenger 1, one of six Freedom Flotilla siege-breaking ships ferrying desperately needed humanitarian supplies to Gaza.
See also the International Red Cross (ICRC)’s News Release (14 June): Gaza closure: not another year! and B’TSelem’s press release (14 June) announcing their annual report (.pdf). The report details sobering statistics resulting from the military siege imposed by the Israeli regime: 95% of Gaza’s factories are closed and 93% of Gaza’s water is polluted. This of course is apart from other reprehensible results such as malnutrition among Gaza’s demographically young population, widespread trauma and enforced prevention of re-building. Also catch a new poem from one of my favourite poets, Heathcote Williams — he who wrote Autogeddon — entitled Palestine.
Huwaida witnessed the terrorist attack on the Marmara that involved at least nine activists being murdered by Israeli commandos (many shot in the head and at close range) before her own ship was boarded and its passengers and crew subjected to IOF savagery. In August 2008, Huwaida was on the Free Gaza boats that sailed from Cyprus to Gaza, the first boats to challenge Israel’s closure of the Strip and dock in Gaza Port in over 40 years. She has since lead 4 other successful solidarity missions to Gaza with the Free Gaza Movement. In February 2009 Huwaida was part of a National Lawyers Guild delegation that traveled to Gaza to document possible Israeli violations of international law and war crimes that may have been committed during Operation Cast Lead.
(h/t Australians for Palestine)