The first overland African convoy has set out for the impoverished Gaza Strip, carrying humanitarian relief aid to the besieged coastal sliver.
The convoy, comprising 21 activists and a dozen vehicles, carries much needed aid that include medical supplies, basic essentials, milk powder, generators and materials to build 10 houses, a Press TV correspondent reports.
Starting the road trip from the South African city of Durban, the aid convoy is expected to reach Gaza by the end of July.
“Today we stand here in total, unconditional, universal support of this initiative. God bless you as you travel to the land and reach the dear people of Palestine,” said Michael Abrahams of Durban mayor's office.
All of the vehicles will be donated to the Gaza municipality.
However, Egyptian authorities have stated that they will not allow the convoy onto Egyptian thoroughfares.
The organizers of the convoy said the aim was not only to take aid to Gaza, but also to raise awareness across Africa about the plight of those living in the blockaded enclave. more
In an op-ed published by Al Jazeera English today, I write about the US government’s attempts to criminalize the Palestine solidarity activists — including the State Department’s threats to prosecute activists involved with the Gaza Freedom Flotilla. I also appeared on Al Jazeera English’s The Stream today to discuss FBI raids and subpoenas targeting activists.
As I write in the op-ed, “I am a Palestine solidarity activist in the US, and one of 23 US citizens who have been issued with a subpoena to appear before a federal grand jury as part of what the government has said is an investigation into violations of the laws banning material support to foreign ‘terrorist organisations.’”
This investigation takes place in the context of a new Supreme Court decision that greatly expanded what constitutes material support and has been widely criticized. It also takes place in a situation of even more relaxed restrictions on the FBI’s investigative powers — the FBI is planning to issue a revised edition of its operations manual that will give agents “significant new powers” to go through people’s trash and infiltrate groups even if they are not suspected of any wrongdoing.