Boat of US activists sets sail for Gaza, but turned back by Greek Coast Guard listen07/01/11 Seán Kinane
WMNF Drive-Time News Friday | Listen to this entire show:
The U.S. boat in an aid flotilla bound for Gaza was turned back by Greek commandos today. The boat, the Audacity of Hope, set sail without permission today, but according to Tweets from journalists on board, was stopped in open waters by the Greek Coast Guard. The boat’s captain attempted to negotiate with the Coast Guard, who wanted the ship to return to port. But the captain was reluctant because at least two boats in the flotilla have been sabotaged in Greek port, presumably by Israeli agents. After more than an hour, Greek commandos arrived and pointed weapons at passengers in the US boat, which include author Alice Walker. The US boat turned back. Here’s audio from another passenger, retired U.S. colonel Ann Wright who appealed with the Greek Coast Guard to let them sail to Gaza. It was from a live web stream provided by the flotilla organizers.
"We would never hurt anyone. We are peaceful non-violent people that just want to go to Gaza. We are a seaworthy vessell. It's a wonderful Greek ship with '...' so we could go all the way to Gaza. It's a Greek ship from Xenos. Are any of you from Xenos?"
The boat was forced to return to a military port in Athens; a participant described it as “a Greek port surrounded with bars and barbwire.”