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Breaking: Greek Coast Guard Has Stopped 2011 Flotilla/US Boat to Gaza (Ongoing)

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The U.S. Boat to Gaza which set sail today from Greece in order to challenge the blockade of Gaza imposed by Israel and to offer support to the Palestinian people has been stopped by the Greek Coast Guard according to live reports by activists and journalists on the scene.

(updates below image)
 
Another photo of #Greek commandos earlier 2day trying 2 stop ... on Twitpic
 
Greek commandos approaching "Audacity of Hope," photo from The IMEU
 
Twitter @usboattogaza @ibnezra

This is a fluid situation and OEN invites readers to help keep track of what's going on by posting in the comments.

Read Joseph Dana's recent article at the The Nation, The Battle Over The Gaza Flotilla

See Updates Below

Video of interaction between Greek Coast Guard and Audacity US Boat to Gaza. Includes footage of Armed Commandos. Women speaking are Ann Wright, then Medea Benjamin


* Update 10:

This afternoon, after The Audacity of Hope was blocked and turned back by the Greek Coast Guard, the Institute for Middle East Understanding (IMEU) checked in with passenger Medea Benjamin for a "live update from the ground." Listen to it here.

* Update 9:


From Alice Walker, at Sea on the Audacity of Hope

* Update 8:

US Boat to Gaza, reports that Greek authorities "most likely going to bring some type of charges against the captain of our boat." 

* Update 7:

Freedom Flotilla spokeswoman Greta Berlin said the international movement to challenge Israel's naval blockade of the Gaza Strip will not be stopped. After more than a week of threats, sabotage, dirty tricks and intense propaganda, and despite the fact that "The Greeks are cooperating with Israel as much as they can," Berlin said their plan has not changed to "move the boats by July 5 to get to our rendezvous point no later than July 6 or 7." She said the Greek authorities had not yet allowed the U.S. boat, The Audacity of Hope, to leave the port of Piraeus, and added that nine boats were now hoping to take part in the mission, compared with original plans for up to 15 ships.

"We will go with what we have," Berlin said.

* Update 6:

According to the Jerusalem Post, late Friday evening, the US boat, The Audacity of Hope, was turned back to a Greek port after it was intercepted by Greek commandos Friday evening, organizers said through their Twitter feed. The boat was brought under Coast Guard escort to a closed Coast Guard base in Greece. The Post reported...

"Minutes before initially being intercepted, organizers said that the ship's passengers were preparing to 'non-violently resist any efforts to stop the boat,' saying moments later that the boat 'is about to set sail,' followed by a message saying that the ship had departed. Through the boat's twitter feed, organizers said that a Greek Coast Guard vessel approached The Audacity of Hope as it was pulling away from the dock but then sped away.

Since The Audacity of Hope is now under Greek Coast Guard control, the Post said it is "not immediately clear how the boat's departure would affect the overall flotilla plans."


* Update 5:

It's "show time" for Israel, and possibly the United States, in their continued inhumane blockade of Gaza.
The Greek government is saying that "the departure of ships with Greek and foreign flags from Greek ports to the maritime area of Gaza has been prohibited." Although Greece says it is only trying to prevent a "breach of Israel's naval blockade," surely they realize they have been set up to be the "fall guy" if violence erupts and there are casualties.

Check back often at Audio Feed From The Boat. 

* Update 4: 

Israeli-American journalist, Joseph Dana, reports that the US Boat to Gaza is currently in an Athens Coast Guard port and surrounded by barbwire. Dana has been reporting live from the vessel since they left a Greek port bound for Gaza Friday afternoon. Passengers on the boat determined to remain on the boat for the night.
 
The US Boat to Gaza twitter feed reads that the boat is currently being held by Greek police.

* Update 3: (http://ustogaza.org/)

U.S. Boat to Gaza has reported that a second Greek Coast Guard boat with "more heavily armed forces" has arrived and that after discussions the decision was made to return to shore. They are calling for supporters to contact the Greek Embassy in Washington, DC.

Audio Feed From The Boat.

Video of the boat leaving.

 
****************************************
  US BOAT TO GAZA  

  US BOAT TO GAZA  

  Joseph Dana  

  Joseph Dana  

  Joseph Dana  

Update 1: 

Activists aboard boat report that the captain is refusing to turn back and that the passengers are preparing for a raid. Argue that Greek authorities have no right to enforce an illegal blockade.

Reports coming in that Greek commandos are pointing weapons at the boat. 

Activists calling for emergency protest. Directing supporters to http://ustogaza.org/emergency-support-actions/

  US BOAT TO GAZA  

Writer and journalist, Joseph Dana, reports via Twitter:  This standoff is going to last awhile and I think that the commandos will have to board the US boat

  US BOAT TO GAZA  


  US BOAT TO GAZA  


  US BOAT TO GAZA  


Plz RT: In or near DC?? Join the demonstration at the #Greek embassy (2217 Mass Ave) and tell them: LET THE #FLOTILLA2 SAIL! @USBOATTOGAZA

19 minutes ago Favorite Retweet Reply

Greek foreign ministry spokesman, Dimitris Delavekouras, tells #CNN Greece has banned all boats from sailing to #Gaza @USBOATTOGAZA @ibnezra

Palaestina Voice from Palestine

USBOATTOGAZA US BOAT TO GAZA

Our Captain is currently explaining to the Coast Guard that we have all papers and inspections necessary to sail  



  Medea Benjamin  

 
  Voice from Palestine  

 
  Trendsmap DC  


  Mondoweiss  


  US BOAT TO GAZA  


  Voice from Palestine  


  Ali Abunimah  

  US BOAT TO GAZA  

  هدهد  

  أبو كار  
 
  The IMEU  
 
  US BOAT TO GAZA  

  Ali Abunimah  

  Nancy Kricorian  
@  

 
from twitpics:  @USBOATTOGAZA
 
 
  +972 magazine  

 

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Greek government no longer has any pretext of repr... by B. Ross Ashley on Friday, Jul 1, 2011 at 12:15:11 PM
Greece and the US support endless Wars for Israel,... by Lorring II on Friday, Jul 1, 2011 at 12:18:23 PM
I have trouble feeling bad for these boats to Gaza... by Alex Howard on Friday, Jul 1, 2011 at 12:54:43 PM
...who wish to end a blockade; that the Israeli go... by Taylor on Friday, Jul 1, 2011 at 2:45:27 PM
It is noted here that there seems to be a rather l... by mikel paul on Friday, Jul 1, 2011 at 4:00:31 PM
   Alex I strongly suggest you educate y... by GUY P. FRASER on Friday, Jul 1, 2011 at 4:30:42 PM
"..... support the people who want to push the Isr... by Michael Rose on Friday, Jul 1, 2011 at 5:24:33 PM
And here I thought that people understood.  W... by Alex Howard on Friday, Jul 1, 2011 at 4:16:54 PM
"I really don't want to get into a spitting contes... by Michael Rose on Friday, Jul 1, 2011 at 10:12:34 PM
Israel's problems become a worry for all of US.&nb... by Michael Rose on Saturday, Jul 2, 2011 at 12:53:45 AM
During the Nazi era, the Germans made Jews into pa... by Judy Palmer on Saturday, Jul 2, 2011 at 7:27:27 AM
  You are already in a spitting contest with ... by GUY P. FRASER on Monday, Jul 4, 2011 at 5:39:29 AM
bearing guns.  As Gabriel Kolko showed in his... by GLloyd Rowsey on Friday, Jul 1, 2011 at 6:33:54 PM
This afternoon, after The Audacity of Hope was ... by Michael Dewey on Friday, Jul 1, 2011 at 10:40:26 PM
is in itself a testament to the callous and barbar... by Michael Shaw on Sunday, Jul 3, 2011 at 12:34:29 AM