Sunday, December 27, 2009

Report from the Team in Gaza- December 27, 2009

Late this afternoon, the MPT peace team joined over 200 internationals at the "Garden City" boat launch on the Nile in the hope of boarding flotillas and placing lanterns on the Nile, one for each of the more than 1,400 Gazans killed in Operation Cast Lead, which was launched by Israel one year ago today. When the team arrived we were immediately surrounded by Egyptian security forces and police officers who barred us from boarding the flotillas. One of our team members was warned by plainclothes security agents not to photograph and another was told that she could not take notes and an officer tried to obtain her
notebook. Despite this, we were able to take several pictures that we will post to this site.

At various points, the authorities tried to disperse the Gaza Freedom Marchers, but as the group got larger and the media presence increased, the crowd coalesced. Speaking on behalf of the marchers, Media Benjamin, one of the GFM planners stood aloft a concrete planter and proclaimed, with the crowd repeating: "We are part of the Gaza Freedom March. We would like to take a boat on the Nile and place candles on the water in memory of the dead in Gaza. Unfortunately, the government of Egypt finds this action a threat. We are people of peace. We are not here to cause trouble for Egypt. We don't event want to be in Egypt, " she continued. "We would be happy to leave now for Gaza. We ask the government of Egypt to change its position."

Candles were then distributed and a candlelight ceremony accompanied by chants of "Free, free Gaza" and "Gaza, Gaza, we are coming" as afternoon turned to evening and paddy wagons continued to circle around the block in front of the march. One of our team members, Yusif, was interviewed by several media outlets in both Arabic and English.

MPT has placed teams in Gaza since 2003 and is committed to continue its presence there. One team member, who has served on several teams in Gaza says, "We've got to keep the issue of Gaza in the forefront."

This is a very short update; tomorrow we will post a longer report as well as links to some of our personal blogs. Please continue to check this site as well as the GFM site for updates:


  1. Aunt Drothy we are so proud of you....
    God Bless you and GFM

  2. Keep up the effort!!! We are all praying for your work to "Free Gaza". Your family and friends are supporting you and GFM!
    Love to all! Joe Ritter