1,362 people from the Gaza Freedom March are just returning home,
full of stories about a wild week in Cairo, in the Egyptian border
towns of Al Arish and Rafah, in Gaza for those who got inside, and
in the West Bank and Erez crossing for those who went to Israel.
And people like you, all around the world, people, did solidarity
actions that focused world attention on the plight of
the Palestinians in Gaza.
It was a rough week for many--battling Egyptian police on the streets,
getting rebuffed by our own embassies, joining the hunger strike,
debating the Egyptian offer of allowing only 100 people into Gaza.
Through it all, however, we can be proud of
our many accomplishments:
focusing worldwide attention on the siege, we lifted the spirits
of the isolated people of Gaza.
“For us, a population of 1.6 million being imprisoned and starved,
the gratitude we express to you, the Gaza freedom marchers, is immense.
Thank you all from the depth of our hearts!” – Mohammed
We put the spotlight on the negative role
Egypt is playing in maintaining the siege and we put pressure
on the highest levels of the Egyptian government. “Your presence
in Egypt was like an earthquake,” said Suzanne, an Egyptian
student. “You did more good politically by protesting in Egypt
than you could have ever done in Gaza.”
We forced the Egyptian government to make
a concession by letting 100 delegates into Gaza. That delegation
took in tens of thousands of dollars in humanitarian aid, allowed
Palestinians to see long-lost family members, recorded stories they
will disseminate broadly, and put up a stunning
mosaic memorial, created by muralist Kathleen Crocetti,
in a central location in Gaza City in the name of the international
We signed on to a lawsuit against the Egyptian
government for building a wall to block off the tunnels that
have become the commercial lifeline for the people in Gaza.
We reinvigorated our own determination to
keep struggling to lift the siege!
A new international network formed that can coordinate future work
and, initiated by the South African delegation, the Gaza Freedom
March committee and various members drafted the Cairo Declaration
that outlines a program for moving forward. View
and sign on to the Declaration here.
Dana, Emily, Farida, Gael, Gayle, Janet, Jodie,
Kitty, Marina, Nancy, Paris, Rae, Suzanne, and Whitney