Wednesday, June 29, 2011

New Ross man on Freedom Flotilla to Gaza

A New Ross man is among the passengers of MV Saoirse, the Irish ship in the Freedom Flotilla which is en route to Gaza in a bid to smash the Israeli blockade. Mr Barron, a lifelong human rights campaigner, anti racism advocate and Sinn Féin member, will be part of the first international attempt to breech the choking blockade of Palestine since last year’s Freedom Flotilla was attacked by Israeli defence forces.

Speaking on behalf of Mr Barron, Seamie Davitt, a long time friend and colleague, said that Ger was never afraid to stand up for what is right and that once he had earned a place on the MV Saoirse, nothing could prevent him from going.

“Ger joined the flotilla because he knows what is going on in Palestine is wrong,” Mr Davitt said. “Israel’s inhuman blockade of Gaza has now entered its fifth year. Over one and half million Palestinians have been illegally ‘locked in’ by the Israeli siege which prevents basic commodities like medicine and food as well as raw materials necessary for civilian industry and manufacturing entering the strip. Last year a peaceful unarmed flotilla of international vessels attempted to break the blockade and bring vital provisions to the people of Gaza. It was attacked by Israeli Commandos who killed nine passengers and injured many more. Despite being condemned by people around the world, nothing has changed. The Israeli blockade remains in place and the people of Gaza remain prisoners in their desolate homeland. Ger and his colleague aim to end that.”

“Eighty percent of the people of Gaza rely on international aid to survive. This is because they are denied the raw materials necessary to build their economy. The UN, who have condemned the blockade, said last week that conditions are worst now than at any time during the five years. The International Committee of the Red Cross says that the Israeli blockade constitutes collective punishment of a minority. It’s time for people to stand up like Ger and support an end to the Siege of Gaza.”

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