portland independent media center  
images audio video
newswire article reporting united states

actions & protests | imperialism & war

Mavi Marmara and Piracy

We must do more, "If Not Now, When?
Mavi Marmara
Mavi Marmara
Ken O'Keefe And The Night of Terror
PSU, Portland, Oregon

I went to a lecture by Ken O'Keefe, at PSU on Friday night, October 8th and was stunned to find a person struggling with many of the same concepts of non-violent action as I have for over forty years. I was tired and going to things is getting harder, but I wanted to make sure he was greeted with the respect and support for the work he does for all of us. He is one of my heroes!

There were over a hundred people in attendance and there was standing room only as I arrived a few minutes late, (taking Public Transportation is getting less and less reliable.) I was happy to see many people I knew and Joe-Anybody was there with his video equipment so you will be able to see the lecture in its entirety; it was great!

The presentation gave us some feeling for what it was like during the assault on the flotilla that tried to bring aide to people who are dying from minor illnesses because of our blockade of Gaza. Yes, I know that I said "Our" because I mean that we, the United States, allow this madness to continue; day after day.

Ken O'Keefe, from my perspective, was telling us we have the responsibility; not our politicians or leaders, it is us!

We send back, and will do it again this election cycle, the same democrats who have betrayed us over and over again. Sen. **wyden will get progressives to vote for him because the other guy is worse, the lesser of two evils; this in my opinion makes us cowards. There are others who are running outside of the two corrupt parties, they stand for justice and peace, but many will vote for wyden who voted for **chief justice roberts and now we suffer under his court, but wyden is a democrat so you must vote for him; that makes you a coward. You can do all the head trips you want, but the question remains, "If not now, When?" (Hillel) **blumenauer will get a large percentage of the vote, he also should be defeated on his vote for DOMA, The Peru Trade Deal, and funding for both occupations. There are other people to vote for but you are afraid that if you vote outside the democratic party a republican may get in. Well, that may happen but only for two years in the case of the House. If you cast your vote for the lesser of two evils, may your mirror tell you who the biggest coward is, "Mirror, mirror on the wall... ... "

Ken O'Keefe understands that when he does direct action he is putting his life on the line. Most of us will not even confront injustice when we see it in front of us, you pass a person asking for some change and say under your breath, "Get a job." You stand silent when a judge berates a person standing next to you, you remain silent when a bus driver goes off on a passenger for a minor issue, a teacher goes after a student in a vicious way. A child is physically hit in front of you and you say nothing, a cop is harassing some people who have no place to go and you turn away. A doctor tells you what medications to take and you don't ask why. You ask a clerk to double bag because you are riding the bus and the clerk says no, and you say or do nothing. You just want to get along, want people to like you, want to be a team player; Mirror, mirror on the wall, who is the biggest coward of them all... ... ?"

We are all busy, we are all afraid, we are all worried about our future and our children's future, we are all stressed out and at times immobile. We are human and should never say, I am sorry. I know you think you are doing the best you can, but are we? Can we do more, is it possible that we are losing our republic in our time, but are so afraid that we will busy ourselves with other things. We can say that **bush was a terrible president and did untold damage to our republic but will defend the same actions by **obama because he is a democrat. Poison Kool-Aid is poison no matter who is giving it to you. All our politicians on the national level are corrupt. They should all be fired and replaced. That should be the goal, not some statement that sounds good but no serious activist will say it. Yes, there are exceptions but they are part of the cancer and should be replaced. I will miss someone like Bernie Sanders, but he must also be removed; maybe the last to go---but go he must!~

Ken O'Keefe stood on the deck of the Mavi Marmara and defended the ship from a pirate attack by the IDF until he could fight no more. He must have thought this is the last of my living time, I love and will miss my wife and child, I don't want to die but will if that is what it takes to stop the blockade of Gaza by the government of the United States via Israel. I maintain that Israel could not and would not continue this madness without the support and green light from the Americans. Our aid package to the Israelis is too important to them to defy us if we said end the blockade and come to the negotiating table now! Mr. O'Keefe also talked about the two state solution vs. one state; he sides with the one state solution and so do I. When we hear from our politicians that the only way to solve this problem is a two state solution, you should know that is a lie. The Palestinians have lived in prison, a place called Gaza for over 60 years and still remain warm and gentle people. The image of Palestinians causing death and destruction in the area is a lie. If you came into my home and stole all my goods, killed my family and then called me a terrorist when I fought back, I would also react in a violent way.

For those who did not get there to listen, I am sure Joe-Anybody will have his video up soon.

These are my opinions and should be taken as such!

**Refuse to capitalize due to disrespect and/or disgust!

PS Roberto, Malcolm and I will be riding around in a pickup truck announcing the Progressive Party and supporting our local measure 26-108 the voter-owned elections. We have set the 16th of October for our first test run and want to be riding around the city on the 18th with our messages. If you want to support us in some way e-mail me and let me know. This is an old fashioned way of saying democracy is alive and well. We will continue with our 9th Circuit Court vigil/Protest on Thursdays and the Brown Bag Lunch outside of the earlman's office on the 3rd Wednesday as long as these invasions, occupations and blockades continue. Each day do something, don't overload yourself and laugh at least three times during the day to keep the doctor away!

Joe Walsh-Lone Vet
Individuals For Justice
USN 1962-71
Activist-Portland, Oregon

homepage: homepage: http://www.progparty.org

report of the abuse by the IDF on the flotila that morning 17.Oct.2010 12:00

Mrs. Share

Read this account of what happend and the coverup by Israel


Editor's Note: Early on Monday, Israeli commandos descended on a convoy of humanitarian aid vessels in international waters, dubbed the Freedom Flotilla. Filled with over 700 activists and 10,000 tons of aid destined for Gaza, the boats were captured and their passengers either killed or seized and taken to Israel's port in Ashdod.

Huwaida Arraf was one of those kidnapped activists, on board a US-flagged vessel called Challenger 1. In the following interview on Wednesday, Arraf recounted her experience during the commando attack, in Israeli detention, and her brutal release:

Dennis Bernstein: First of all, how are you doing? How are you feeling?

Huwaida Arraf: A little bruised, but no complaints. I'm okay, I'm just worried about the rest of my colleagues, especially those that are in hospitals who we don't have complete information about. I'm definitely devastated about the loss of lives that was completely unnecessary.
in Israeli detention, and her brutal release:

Dennis Bernstein: Do you have any information now about who died ... and how many are wounded?

Huwaida Arraf: Unfortunately not yet, and I just spoke to the lawyer that we have coordinating visitations to everybody that is still held, whether in a hospital or in jail here, and he said that they're desperately trying to ascertain this information from the Israelis, and the Israelis are not being forthcoming denying information when actually the lawyers go to the hospitals to try to check up on people to find out where they are, who they are, how they are doing. They [the lawyers] are not being allowed access.

(more)  http://www.consortiumnews.com/2010/060310a.html