Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Guest speaker Alex Harrison, Gaza Freedom flotilla

Local members gave a warm welcome to guest speaker Alex Harrison at Monday's Croydon Green Party meeting. Alex, whose hometown is Croydon, a former pupil at Monks Hill ( now Selsdon High), gave a riveting account of her experience aboard the Challenger yacht, part of the Gaza Freedom flotilla, and wider Free Gaza movement. Members expressed their admiration for her commitment and courage. It should be said that a lively discussion followed her account.

The you tube video only has a small part of her presentation. I noted some other key points:

  • The vessel she was on was shot at with rubber bullets whist in international waters
  • The Challenger yacht had a total of 17 on board, including 10 women. Four were over 60, one was over 80.
  • Her vessel offered no physical resistance
  • Two war correspondents from the Sydney Morning Herald were also aboard
  • Her luggage was looted for valuables. Her wrist watch was taken, as well as her Blackberry - which was used 3 weeks after the incident.
  • The Israeli soldiers confiscated nearly all of the flotilla's footage
  • She was denied her legal rights whilst imprisoned, both international and Israeli law, before being illegally deported to Turkey
  • The Free Gaza movement has Jewish activists.
  • The reporting of Free Gaza demo was discussed at the meeting. Five Croydon Green Party members attended the demo. We all agreed the numbers at the demo on 5th June were around between 15,000 - 20,000. The BBC reported only 2000 were present.

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