Backers of Women’s Boat to Gaza sail in River Thames


London-based activists and supporters sailed on the River Thames on Saturday in solidarity with the Women’s Boat to Gaza (WBG).

Speakers and activists at the event called on the international community to urge their governments to take action and pressure Israel to lift its one-decade long illegal blockade.

They also urged the international community to push for providing the boats with international protection and ensure their safe passage to the shores of Gaza.

Vyara Gylsen, spokeswoman for the International Commission to Break the Siege in Gaza-London said: “Women have gathered from all over the world in solidarity with the people in Gaza who are being prevented from accessing their most basic human rights and to highlight the role women play in their struggle for freedom”.

She added: “We cannot be with the Women’s Boat to Gaza or with the people in Gaza, but today we showed that we are with them in spirit and are wishing them a safe trip to Gaza.”

Shadia Edwards-Dashti, National Officer at the Stop the War Coalition, also said: “It is our duty as activists here in the UK to campaign to end the arms trading with Israel which funds the brutal mass killings in Palestine.”

“I am so honored to be part of this women-only solidarity event, where women dominate the space, lead the space, sail into the space for equality and justice,” she further stated.

The WBG is an initiative launched on International Women’s Day this year, aiming to break the Israeli siege on the Gaza Strip and to raise awareness of Palestinian women’s role in resistance.

The WBG will sail from Messina Italy to Gaza to denounce and break the illegal and inhumane siege on Gaza and is due to arrive in early October. It will be entirely crewed by women who have arrived from all over the world to participate.

Notable participants include Tunisian MP Latifa Habashi, prominent Algerian journalist Khadija Benguenna, Nobel Peace Laureate Mairead Maguire (Northern Ireland), Marama Davidson, Green Party MP (New Zealand), Sameera Thwaifiya MP (Algeria), and Cigdem Topcuoglu, a professional Turkish athlete and coach who sailed on the Mavi Marmara in 2010 and whose husband was among the ten activists killed by Israeli forces on that voyage.


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