Update: There is a press conference with Jim Manly, Wednesday October 3, 1:30pm at Vancouver International Airport, International Departures. 

Former Canadian MP (Member of Parliament  from 1980 to 1988) and retired United Church Minister Jim Manly will join a group of prominent internationals on the Freedom Flotilla’s “Estelle” sailing from Naples to Gaza in early October.

The mission of the Estelle, which started in Scandinavia and visited many European ports before reaching Italy yesterday, is the latest initiative of the international “Freedom Flotilla Coalition” (FFC) to challenge the Blockade of Gaza.  

The “Canadian Boat to Gaza” campaign is coordinating Jim’s trip and also playing a key role in the next FFC action: Gaza’s Ark, which is geared towards boat building in Gaza and encouraging Palestinian industry and exports to challenge the blockade from within.

FFC’s petition calling for an end to the Israeli Blockade of Gaza has been signed by over a hundred European Parliamentarians: http://upprop.shiptogaza.se/en

Jim Manly will be holding a press conference in Vancouver airport on the afternoon Wed., Oct 3rd as he leaves for Italy.

Jim Manly, a brief biography

Jim Manly is a retired United Church minister who served as a New Democratic Party Member of Parliament from 1980-88, representing Cowichan-Malahat-the Islands, a BC Coastal riding.  As MP, he was NDP critic for Indian Affairs and later critic for Fisheries and also International Development.  As a United Church minister, Jim served mostly British Columbia congregations and has been active in the Church’s social justice work in Canada and the Americas.  Ordained in 1957, he retired in 1997.  He lives near Nanaimo, B.C. with his wife, Eva, and together they continue to be active in a number of areas including  Mid-Islanders for Justice and Peace in the Middle East.  This past spring he and Eva took part in a Pilgrimage of Solidarity to the Occupied Territory of the Palestinian West Bank.