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6.16.2011

canadian boat to gaza: we will not be intimidated by threats or lawsuits

A message from the Canadian Boat to Gaza, to anyone who thinks they can bully the boat into submission:
We will not be intimidated by threats or lawsuits

It has been brought to our attention that a lawsuit has been filed against the Canadian Boat to Gaza seeking over $1 million in damages as well as an injunction seeking to block our fundraising and other activities. The alleged damages mentioned in the claim occurred years before the inception of our project.

It is our view that this lawsuit has no substance and that the Canadian Boat to Gaza, the Tahrir, has both the legal and the moral right to sail with the Freedom Flotilla 2. To date, we have not been officially served with legal notice of this suit and first heard about these claims, and the baseless allegations they contain, through media outlets.

We remain absolutely clear that the Canadian Boat to Gaza has not been, is not, and has no intention of breaking any laws. It is the blockade of Gaza that is illegal under international law. We have a legal and moral obligation to challenge the blockade, given the failure of the international community to act. That is why we plan to sail to Gaza: to challenge the illegal and immoral siege and the Canadian federal government's support for it.

As was clearly stated in the Federal Court of Canada ruling in the George Galloway case last year, sending aid to Gaza does not constitute supporting terrorism nor does it incriminate the donors: "To characterize the delivery of a convoy of humanitarian aid as 'providing a support function' or 'financial backing' amounting to an agreement to participate in the affairs of a terrorist organization is overreaching on the interpretation of the law."

We plan to transport humanitarian supplies and export goods from Gaza aboard the Tahrir. We continue to extend the invitation for neutral third parties to inspect the boat and its contents and to verify our cargo.

We will not be intimidated by threats or deterred by frivolous lawsuits. We will sail to Gaza, more determined than ever.

Canadian Boat to Gaza
The first Freedom Flotilla that sailed to Gaza included seven ships, carrying nearly 700 passengers from 36 different countries. The Flotilla was attacked by Israeli commandos: they killed nine passengers, injured more than 50 and imprisoned everyone on the boats.

But a call to freedom will not be stopped. Freedom Flotilla II - Stay Human - groups from 14 different countries and international coalitions, carrying approximately 1,000 people - sets sail in a few days. Several of my friends will be onboard the Canadian Boat to Gaza. Their courage and willingness to take this action inspire me daily.

You can read more about the Canadian Boat to Gaza - including its mission and an excellent FAQ - at Tahrir.ca.

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