The Canadian Boat to Gaza blog

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The Canadian Boat to Gaza blog will keep you up to date on fundraising and organizing efforts in support of the 'Tahrir', a Canadian boat which is currently part of the 'Freedom Waves to Gaza'. Bloggers will report from on board the Tahrir and on support activities in Halifax, Montreal, Toronto, Hamilton, London, Vancouver, Victoria and many points in between. Canadian civil society has a responsibility to fight the illegal Israeli blockade of Gaza and to expose the Canadian government's unjustified support for Israel. The time has come to send a Canadian boat to challenge the blockade of Gaza, in coordination with similar international efforts. Check out the Boat to Gaza's website at http://tahrir.ca or follow us at twitter.com/CanadaBoatGaza.

I write from cell 9 in the Apartheid State of Israel

| November 5, 2011
David Heap and Ehab Latoyef about the Tahrir

Six of those arrested from both the Tahrir and the Saoirse have so far been released, including two journalists and both boat captains. David Heap, Ehab Lotayef and 19 other activists remain in Israeli prison.

From David Heap:

Dear sisters and brothers, friends and loved ones,  

I write to you from cell 9, block 59, Givon Prison near Ramla in Occupied Palestine. Although I was tasered during the assault on the Tahrir, and bruised during forcible removal dockside (I am limping slightly as a result), I am basically ok. We -- Ehab, Michael, Karen from Tahrir, as well as Karen, Kit (U.S.) and Jihan -- who we saw briefly this morning. We are most concerned about our Tahrir shipmate, Palestinian Majd Kayyal from Haifa, last seen by us at Ashdod being photographed and put in a police car.** 

Although Michael and I (among others) were transported in handcuffs and leg shackles, let me stress that we are neither criminals nor illegal immigrants but rather political prisoners of the apartheid state of Israel.

Four from the Tahrir are imprisoned with 12 Irish comrades from the Saoirse, who have more experience with such issues. The four of us, Ehab and I (Cdn.), Michael (Aus.) and Hassan (U.K.) have joined with the Irish in their political prisoners' committee in order to press our collective demands:

- Association in the block - i.e. open cells;

- Adequate writing and reading material;

- Free communication with outside world -- i.e. regular phone calls;

- Information about shipmate women held at same prison.

We add one Tahrir-specific demand: that Israeli state recognize the professional status of Democracy Now journalist Jihan Hafiz in accordance with her credentials from the U.S. government. All political incarceration is unjust but let me stress that in duration and conditions, our situation pales in comparison to the plight of thousands of Palestinian political prisoners and to the open air prison of Gaza.

If you have energy to devote to solidarity actions in the coming days, please concentrate on them. We must get Tahrir back and hope Freedom Waves continue.

Free Majd Kayyal! Free all political prisoners! Free Gaza! Free Palestine! 

Anishnabe-debuewin, restons humaine, stay human, in love and struggle,

David 

** Majd Kayyal was released, but it appears David Heap the other political prisoners weren't told where he was taken.

Below is a video of David Heap recorded on Nov 2, as the Tahrir reached international waters.

 

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