The departure of the U.S. Boat to Gaza – The Audacity of Hope – was first delayed by a complaint filed by theLaw Center and shown to be frivolous. Greek authorities then inspected the boat but, until the boat set sail five days later the, the results of that inspection has not been shared with the captain and his crew. Those results were not shared until the Hellenic Coast Guard stopped The Audacity of Hope some 20 minutes after it had left the dock on Friday, July 1. The Hellenic Coast Guard intercepted the ship and ordered that the ship stop. This order was obeyed. Commandos with drawn rifles ordered the ship to return. It is now impounded at a military dock in and the captain has ben arrested.
The U.S. Boat to Gaza campaign urges you to immediately take the following actions. Even though it is a holiday weekend we urge you to make these calls now, and if necessary to place calls again on Monday and Tuesday.
- Contact your members of Congress and urge him or her to pressure the Greek authorities to drop the charges against Captain Klusmire.
- Contact the U.S. State Department and the U.S. Embassy in Greece. Insist that they fulfill their duty to advocate on behalf of Captain Klusmire and that they demand the release of the U.S. boat by Greece so it can freely sail to Gaza.
- Sect. of State Hillary Clinton:
- Kim Richter, Consular Affairs, Overseas American Citizens Services, U.S. State Dept:
- Greek Desk, U.S. State Dept:
- U.S. Embassy in Athens: 011-30-210-721-2951, fax 011-30-210-645-6282, website: athens.usembassy.gov
- Activate your emergency response network to publicly demonstrate support for Captain Klusmire and our call for Greece to let the flotilla sail! Pass along this action alert as widely as possible.
Members of the U.S. Boat to Gaza have begun an open-ended fast calling on the U.S. government to defend our right to sail out of Greece. The fast has begun in front of the U.S. Embassy at 91 Vasilisis Sophias Avenue in Athens. Fasters delivered an urgent letter to the Embassy and plan to sleep overnight outside the Embassy gates.
Passengers and U.S. boat organizers participating in the fast are: Benjamin, Ken Mayers, Paki , Kathy Kelly, Ray McGovern, Helaine Meisler, Nic Abramson, and Carol Murry.
The departure of the U.S. Boat to Gaza – The Audacity of Hope – was first delayed by a complaint filed by the Israel Law Center and shown to be frivolous. Greek authorities then inspected the boat but, until the boat set sail five days later, the results of that inspection has not been shared with the captain and his crew.
Greek consular officials in the United States, when besieged with calls by angry Americans, told callers that they should direct their protest to U.S. officials because they were ultimately responsible. "We know that the U.S. government has been supporting Israel's underhanded efforts to thwart the flotilla, and has been pressuring the Greek government to stop us. This is a disgrace," said passenger/faster Medea Benjamin. "On July 4, it's time for our government to declare independence from Israel and start supporting its own citizens."
We note that on June 24, passengers on the U.S. Boat to Gaza visited the Consul General in Athens, Deputy Consul General Kate Brandeis agreed that the U.S. Boat “had a right to sail to Gaza.”