Over the weekend, the Finnish-flagged M/S Estelle attempted to ferry aid into the besieged Gaza Strip, and like previous attempts was intercepted by the Israeli navy in international waters, its crew and passengers taken into port at Ashdod and imprisoned.
As of Sunday October 21st, there is little word of the conditions of captivity for former Canadian MP Jim Manley, though a release from organizers of the Freedom Flotilla Coalition confirms: Some of the Estelle’s crew has been deported to Greece and Italy.
Reports from Israeli activists on the ship claim passengers were “tasered” by the Israeli boarding party. For its part, Israeli authorities lied about the cargo on board the Estelle, maintaining the ship contained “no humanitarian aid.”
The Estelle’s attempt to break the years-old blockade of Gaza comes on the heels of last week’s publication of Israeli documents confirming that state’s practice of a calorie counting regimen restricting the amount of food allowed into the Gaza enclave based on an estimated minimal caloric intake per person necessary to avoid wide-spread starvation. Also known as the “Gaza Diet,” the revelation is not news to Palestinians, or most Israelis, but does present an international embarrassment to the government, which has always denied such a policy existed.
Jon Elmer is a Canadian photo-journalist who has reported from the Occupied Territories for more than a decade. Jon’s work has taken him to some of the region’s, and the world’s, most troubled areas, filing reports for the Inter Press Service, Al Jazeera English, The Progressive, and Le Monde Diplomatique among others. His work can also be found at his website, JonElmer.ca. Jon Elmer in the first half.
And; the long-awaited October 22 manifestation is happening even now in downtown Victoria. The event, in part organized by the newly formed, Defend Our Coast coalition, and supported by a variety of international Environmental Non-Government Organizations hoped to rally British Columbians and others concerned about the Enbridge Gateway project, a massive pipeline proposal to sluice Tar Sands condensate-soaked bitumen to the port of Kitimat on its way to a trans-pacific voyage to the Asian market.
The format and nature of this demonstration is unique in my experience, and it has sparked some heated debate within the environmental community. I went down there this morning to record my impressions and those of the participants. Defending Our Coast in the second segment.
And; Victoria Street Newz publisher and CFUV broadcaster, Janine Bandcroft will join us at the bottom of the hour to bring us her take on Defend Our Coast and other manifestations in and around our city. But first, Jon Elmer on blockades and other doings in and around Occupied Palestine.
Chris Cook hosts Gorilla Radio, airing live every Monday, 5-6pm Pacific Time. In Victoria at 101.9FM, and on the internet at: http://cfuv.uvic.ca. He also serves as a contributing editor to the web news site, http://www.pacificfreepress.com. Check out the GR blog at: http://gorillaradioblog.blogspot.ca/
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