Between 23-25 June the Freedom Flotilla Coalition was in and around Yorkhill Quay where its boat Handala had been due to berth.
Despite our boat being delayed in the Laggan Lock area due to a broken swing bridge, several Freedom Flotilla support events went ahead in and around Yorkhill Quay in Glasgow.
On 23 June there was a meeting at the YHA ‘Glasgow Welcomes Handala, with -a talk by Dr. Swee Ang who witnessed the Sabra and Shatila massacre & co-founded Medical Aid for Palestine. Dr Swee was a participant in the 2018 ‘Just Future for Palestine’ Flotilla to Gaza. Other who spoke at the meeting included: Prof. Graham Watt, Mick Napier, Zohar Chamberlain Regev and Yvonne Ridley
Saturday 24 June
On Saturday 24 June the Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign, Scottish Friends of Palestine, Friends of Al Aqsa and Palestine Action worked together to host several speak outs throughout the day which focussed on the ongoing challenge to the illegal Israeli blockade of Gaza and what people can do and are doing.
Among the speakers were:
Journalist Yvonne Ridley who was aboard one of the Free Gaza boats that successfully broke the blockade in 2008.
Dr Swee Ang who was resident doctor on the ‘Al Awda’ in the 2018 Freedom Flotilla. She also witnessed Israel’s 1982 massacre in Sabra and Shatilla refugee camp in Beirut while she was working as a surgeon in that city.
Mike Arnott from the Scottish Trades Union Congress on the power of trade union boycotts.
Two Glasgow-based survivors of the Mavi Marmara massacre in 2010 when Israeli military massacred nine people on board a Turkish flagged ship (a tenth later died of his wounds) in international waters. The Mavi Marmara was sailing to Gaza with a humanitarian cargo including medicines and baby incubators.
Mick Napier on fighting and winning against the Jewish National Fund (JNF). Mick is a founding member of Stop the JNF, the racist Jewish National Fund (UK Patron Tony Blair). The JNF is a pillar of Israeli apartheid.
Palestine Action speaker on taking on the arms companies supplying Israel.
Sunday June 25
A delegation from the Iona Community, an ecumenical organisation which campaigns on a number of issues including peace with justice in Palestine, visited Yorkhill Quay. They shared their latest statement, blessed the participants in the Flotilla boat, and sang a song with us:
Awni, a Palestinian from Gaza who participated in the 2018 Flotilla and travelled to Glasgow to join the Handala crew this year, commented:This could not have happened without the support of the local groups, so big thanks for them. Afterwards, some of them came and picked us, gave us a ride to the station and bought us train tickets. It just amazes me how people are there for each other, and they want to help and support our efforts against the blockade of Gaza
Our Flotilla members experienced many deep conversations and spontaneous support from the people of Glasgow. These included chance encounters with taxi drivers, like Danny and Izzet, shown here with Flotilla Steering Committee member James and a Palestinian flag: