GAZA FREEDOM MARCH Only 100 people allowed into Gaza; sounds like a lot of marchers are angry

30 December, 2009 — Combined Reports

Latest update from the GFM Coordinators:

Gaza Freedom Marchers,

There seems to be a lot of misinformation and confusion going around about the recent events. In integrity to process we are trying to communicate as best we can with extremely limited timing. We had to submit a list of 100 delegates to go to Gaza tomorrow by 10:30 pm this evening, so the list is now closed. The officials say names not on the list will not be allowed but perhaps something will change. You can come tomorrow morning to support those going, to give in your humanitarian aid, or to try to get on the bus. Here is the address of where to go: 33 Ramsis, by the 6 Oct Bridge, at the Al Gona Bridge.

Haidar Eid, the coordinator of the Gaza Freedom March Steering Committee in Gaza talked with one of the GFM coordinators Tighe Barry and said that he understood that it would not be 1300 delegates, but was elated to hear that there will be 100 people coming tomorrow to represent the over 40 countries. Their group will meet the delegation at the border and will march as planned, in solidarity with the march in Cairo, in Israel at the West Bank, in the West Bank, and around the world. The world community will come together around Gaza. We wish that all would be there by tomorrow night but will not give up trying to get more and more groups in in the days to follow.

Actions will continue in the days to come – update on actions coming later.

We must recognize this concession on the part of the government as a window of opportunity and a tribute to our protests and pressure over the past days. The decision to allow in 100 delegates also belies the government’s pretext for not allowing our group in based on security – if 100 can go, why not 1000?  Let’s recognize this government concession as part of a larger process to lift the siege of Gaza.

Gaza Freedom March Coordinators

Comment by Enrique:

OK, the government here was very clever: they give free passage to the leadership, and the rest 1300 may enjoy the Egyptian antiquities…

It is obvious that they were fed up with our actions, and now they can get rid of us.

The Palestinians cannot risk a huge march as it was foreseen, so maybe 6,000 instead of 50,000 because only 100 internationals aren’t enough to take the head and protect too many people.

I read Rae’s message, and I’m not sure whether it is the right decision.

But Israel will be extremely happy avoiding to face the crowds.

Unfortunately I’m afraid many won’t take the trouble to join actions like this one in the future. Perhaps a creative non-violent tactic has been burnt out. I see people here very angry. What remains to be seen is if the benefit of providing this small delegation compensates the debacle of the march as foreseen.

First Report from Cairo: Freedom Marching in Circles While Winding Our Way to Gaza

What has gone on here with CODE PINK is a historic betrayal of huge magnitude.

The CodePink group are some of the main organizers behind the Gaza Freedom March – the GFM being around fourteen hundred internationals.

Whilst the internationals were lobbying and picketing and endless other activities, Code Pink as a group negotiated their way into Gaza – a group of 100. They offered a couple of places to each international delegation. Most told them a clear no.

They rejected everyone’s position and went ahead making a bilateral decision to accept an offer from Mubarak’s wife (I think) and just rode steam roller over the views of fourteen hundred who have gone through hell ….

There has been a build up of publicity and yet they have quietly accepted the first offer that divided everyone. There have almost been street fights here the divisiive impact of these people has been brutal.

So that is at the stage we are at… I plowed up to their rooms at the hotel where they are based and they are locked up. They left at dawn. The French, the Scottish, the Greeks, the Spanish etc etc have all rejected the idea of two delegates – WHICH THEY OF COURSE PICK ON THE QUIET ….

Endless despondency. Endless sadness. Endless feeling of betrayal … Can you please convey this message to BRICUP – I am in a rage at the moment and going over to talk with the French…They are still held in confinement at their Embassy.

No end to the betrayal and despondency that they have created.


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