ei: "Why I want to march in Gaza" by @PamAR

Why I want to march in Gaza
Pam Rasmussen, The Electronic Intifada, 23 December 2009

Peace and justice activists will soon travel to Gaza to show their support for Palestinians under siege. (Hatem Omar/MaanImages)

On 29 December, I will attempt to cross into the Gaza Strip along with 1,300 other peace and justice activists from 43 countries. Some of us have traveled to Gaza previously. It will be my third visit since the Israeli invasion, which destroyed or damaged more than 50,000 homes and 90 percent of private industry.

ei: Humanitarian, rights orgs. decry "international community's betrayal" of Gaza

Humanitarian, rights orgs. decry "international community's betrayal" of Gaza
Report, Amnesty International, 22 December 2009

The international community has betrayed the people of Gaza by failing to back their words with effective action to secure the ending of the Israeli blockade which is preventing reconstruction and recovery, say a group of 16 leading humanitarian and human rights groups in a new report released today (22 December) ahead of the anniversary of the start of Israel's military offensive in Gaza (27 December-18 January).

Chicago Activists to Join the Gaza Freedom March

Chicago Activists to Join the Gaza Freedom March

Joins more than 1,000 delegates from 42 countries, including Holocaust survivor Hedy Epstein

WASHINGTON - December 22 - Joshua Brollier, a Co-Coordinator for Voices for Creative Non-Violence in Chicago, will spend his Christmas vacation in the Gaza Strip, participating in the Gaza Freedom March along with other Chicago area activists, author Alice Walker and many other notables.

Urgent: Gaza Freedom March update - call for support

Gaza Freedom March 

December 21, 2009

We are determined to break the siege
We all will continue to do whatever we can to make it happen

Using the pretext of escalating tensions on the Gaza-Egypt border, the Egyptian Foreign Ministry informed us yesterday that the Rafah border will be closed over the coming weeks, into January. We responded that there is always tension at the border because of the siege, that we do not feel threatened, and that if there are any risks, they are risks we are willing to take. We also said that it was too late for over 1,300 delegates coming from over 42 countries to change their plans now.  We both agreed to continue our exchanges.

Although we consider this as a setback, it is something we've encountered-and overcome--before.  No delegation, large or small, that entered Gaza over the past 12 months has ever received a final OK before arriving at the Rafah border.  Most delegations were discouraged from even heading out of Cairo to Rafah.  Some had their buses stopped on the way. Some have been told outright that they could not go into Gaza. But after public and political pressure, the Egyptian government changed its position and let them pass.

Our efforts and plans will not be altered at this point. We have set out to break the siege of Gaza and march on December 31 against the Israeli blockade. We are continuing in the same direction. 

Egyptian embassies and missions all over the world must hear from us and our supporters (by phone, fax and email)** over the coming crucial days, with a clear message: Let the international delegation enter Gaza and let the Gaza Freedom March proceed.  

Contact your local consulate here: 

Contact the Palestine Division in Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Cairo

Ahmed Azzam, tel +202-25749682 Email: ahmed.azzam@mfa.gov.eg

In the U.S., contact the Egyptian Embassy, 202-895-5400 and ask for Omar Youssef or email omaryoussef@hotmail.com

You signed on to join the the Gaza Freedom March, that was the first step. Now call the Egyptian embassy and ask your elected official to call on your behalf. Contact your local media/press to tell them you are going to Gaza. Then pack your bags and come to Cairo ready to march with our brothers and sisters in Gaza. 

We look forward to seeing you all in the coming week.

The GFM Steering Committee

* * Sample text

I am writing/calling to express my full support for the December 31, 2009 Gaza Freedom March. I urge the Egyptian government to allow the 1,300 international delegates to enter the Gaza Strip through Egypt.

The aim of the march is to call on Israel to lift the siege. The delegates will also take in badly needed medical aid, as well as school supplies and winter jackets for the children of Gaza.

Please, let this historic March proceed.

Thank you.

ei: Gaza Freedom March less than one month away

Gaza Freedom March less than one month away
Press Release, Gaza Freedom March, 4 December 2009

The Gaza Freedom March that will take place in Gaza on 31 December is an historic initiative to break the siege that has imprisoned the 1.5 million people who live there. Conceived in the spirit of Mahatma Gandhi, Nelson Mandela and nonviolent resistance to injustice worldwide, the march will gather people from all over the world to march -- hand in hand -- with the people of Gaza to demand that the Israelis open the borders.