Urgent Call to the people of Greece and the World: Freedom Flotilla Must Sail to Gaza!
Several boats that are part of Freedom Flotilla Two - Stay Human have been detained and prohibited to sail by the Greek Coast Guard, including the U.S., Canadian and Spanish Boats to Gaza, and the Greek government has prohibited any boats from sailing to Gaza from Greek ports. The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine calls upon the Greek government to immediately end this active complicity with the Israeli siege on Gaza and release the boats to join the Flotilla to Gaza, and calls on all popular forces and movements in Greece and internationally to demand that the Greek government end its participation in the illegal Israeli blockade and allow the Freedom Flotilla to sail!
The Greek people have demonstrated, time and again, their firm solidarity with the Palestinian people, taking to the streets en masse to stand with the people of Palestine against Israeli massacres, invasions and wars. The people of Greece have also taken to their streets in the millions in the past months, and Greek workers risen in escalating general strikes over the past weeks, to stand against an EU/IMF economic austerity plan for their country which will mean misery, subservience, and suffering for Greece's people.
Throughout the general strikes of the past week, Greek workers, including the port workers' union, have made clear that the loading and sailing of the boats to Gaza is the one exception to their overall stoppage of work at the ports.
In January 2009, the people of Greece won a meaningful victory and stopped a shipment of arms from the U.S. to Israel through a Greek port. The Greek people mobilized and acted in response to calls from the Palestinian people to block this arms shipment and demand an end to Greek complicity in the ongoing Israeli war on Gaza.
Now, we call upon the Greek movement to make it clear that the people of Greece will not accept this further assault on their sovereignty and on international justice and human rights and that the people of Greece will not be held hostage to Netanyahu, the US, the EU and the IMF.
We call upon all international and Greek forces in solidarity with Palestine to protest - and to include in existing protests against the IMF/EU assault on Greece - demanding that the Freedom Flotilla to Gaza be allowed immediately to sail freely to Gaza.
The Greek popular movement has faced police repression, closings of public squares, and attacks of brutality, but has risen again and again, reclaiming public squares from the police and continuing workers' strikes, refusing to concede their sovereignty and their rights to IMF and EU authority, despite the acquiescence of the Greek government.
In this environment of mass popular struggle and government complicity with IMF and EU demands, it is obvious that U.S. and Israeli pressure have been brought to bear upon the Greek government - and that once again, rather than defending Greek sovereignty and acting in the interests of the people of Greece who time and again, have expressed their mass support for the Palestinian people and their fierce opposition to the Israeli siege, have acted in direct complicity and compliance with U.S/Israeli demands to stop the Freedom Flotilla.
The international Freedom Flotilla is a strong international statement of rejection of Israel's illegal blockade and support for Palestinian self-determination and sovereignty over our coasts and our borders. It is a popular action manifesting material solidarity with our struggle for freedom and liberation, in the best tradition of international solidarity against oppression. It comes one year after the brutal Israeli military assault on the previous Freedom Flotilla, in which the Israeli occupation military killed nine international solidarity activists seeking to break Israel's illegal blockade by sea.
It is unacceptable that Greece is now being used as a puppet regime of the U.S. and Israel. In Palestine, we have seen and experienced ourselves the devastating results of IMF and EU authority over our political life, including security cooperation with the occupation state and imprisonment and repression of the Palestinian resistance by complicit Palestinian Authority forces. The devastation of IMF austerity plans can be seen throughout Latin America and Africa. At the same time, the massive rise of the Latin American left and the drive toward unity has been greatly propelled forward by the mass popular rejection of the IMF and its goals to subjugate, divide and impoverish Latin America.
The United States, the largest single member of the IMF, has made clear its intentions to stop the flotilla, as has the Israeli government. The racist occupation prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, has been a prime advocate of the EU/IMF plan for Greece, a position ardently backed by the government of George Papandreou.
And while the people of Greece take to the streets to defend their rights from the IMF, its austerity plans, and its millionaire and billionaire bankers' plans to control the destiny of Greece, the Papandreou government has taken yet another ugly action of complicity by blocking the Freedom Flotilla.
This occasion is one that will help to determine the future of Greece - and one in which the Greek people - and the people of Palestine and the world - can, must, should, and will be victorious.
The Freedom Flotilla Must Sail!
Genuine Democracy for Greece!
Freedom for Palestine!
Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine
July 1, 2011