The Freedom Flotilla Coalition is sailing in a peaceful effort to break the illegal Israeli blockade of Gaza and for the ideals of freedom of movement and the right to a decent future. This is second of several articles I will post reporting on my time in Spain volunteering to help on the Freedom Flotilla Coalition to Palestine’s Gaza. Thank you again for all who supported my trip through donations!
We arrived in Cascais, Portugal from Gijon, Spain after leaving Norway in mid-May. The flotilla is expecting to arrive in Gaza July 29. Traveling with me were other participants and crew of the boat named Al-Awda. They were Mikkel Gruner, Charlie Andreasson, Daniel Ross (UK/Spain), Zohar Chamberlain Regev (Israel/Spain), Bullit Bourbon (USA), Ron Badger Rousseu (Canada), Awni Farhat, Dr. Carlos Ponte-Mtitelbrun (Spain), Angela Vallina (Spain), Lasse Vestergren Asthøy (Norway), and Muaz Rusian (Malaysia).
Zohar Chamberlain Regev is an impressive Israeli citizen who was born and raised in Kibbutz Kfar Hahoresh, near Nazareth. Zohar is the owner of the famous ‘Women’s Boat to Gaza’ known as the Zaytouna-Oliva that was seized in 2016 and still the object of court proceedings in Israel. Currently, she represents the Rumbo a Gaza organization on the “Right to a Just Future for Palestine” Steering Committee and is the Freedom Flotilla’s boat leader on board Al Awda (The Return).
“Chris”, a Frenchman living in Spain, explained to me why he supports the people in Palestine and has come to see the Flotilla and participate in events, “All over the world we’re in the same war, rich against the poor, the government against the population. Money is in power and making war against the people, the human being. So, I am poor human being.”
Chris went on to say that when people are fighting over money they don’t make time to have peace, freedom and brotherhood. I asked Chris about the spin in the US that portrays the Palestinians as the “terrorists”, he said a lot of money is spent to make the Palestinians look to be terrorists. “It works, some people believe that. Most of the population knows what’s going on.”
For more of video of my interview with Chris see the April Watters YouTube Channel.
There was not as much support in Cascais as there was in the Flotilla’s previous stops in Gijon and in Cadiz. The security at the marina told the Flotilla and activists to not have cameras in the marina area. There was supposed to be a rally and march in the marina area that was not allowed to happen. The reason was that the people who had expensive yachts in the marina did not want their privacy compromised. Supporters of Palestine were not allowed to bring or hold banners inside the marina so the small crowd of about 50-60 went just outside the marina where a lot of people would be passing by.
Portuguese politician Ivan Goncalves spoke at the talk with other members of the Flotilla to Gaza. He is currently the director of the powerful Socialist Youth movement in Portugal. The Socialist Youth movement is part of the Portuguese Socialist Party whose leader, António Costa, is the current Prime Minister of Portugal.
Bruno Dias, the President of the Portugal-Palestine Parliamentary Friendship Group, joined the press conference too. Dias was also recently interviewed by The Real News Network’s Dimitri Lascaris: