Friday 1 July 2011
Olympia Fellowship of Reconciliation weekly Percival Landing peace vigil.
This week with special support for the Gaza Freedom Flotilla. More information at ustogaza.org.
Pericval Landing peace vigil, Friday 17 June 2011, Olympia!
More information about Richard's travel to Gaza: lopeztogaza.wordpress.com/
Wednesday 15 June 2011
Funk Night with Brown Edition at the Royal, yesterday was a special benefit performance for Richard Lopez's travel with the US Boat to Gaza.
Richard's site: lopeztogaza.wordpress.com/
US Boat to Gaza: ustogaza.org/
Brown Edition: www.thebrownedition.com/fr_home.cfm
Local Olympia Musician Richard Lopez is headed to the Gaza Strip with the Gaza Freedom Flotilla II with the US Boat to Gaza. Richard is also a Trauma Chaplain so his services are greatly appreciated. He is leaving in mid-June and is already blogging about his trip. Check it out here!
More news to come....
Please help me raise funds to participate in the delegation aboard The Audacity of Hope, US Boat to Gaza freedom flotilla II. I am officially on the passenger list and I leave home on or around June 16. Your financial help will cover the costs of reaching the port of departure and will help me return home to Olympia. Your help will also provide much needed income for my family while I am gone for 3-to 4-weeks.
You can send donations through PAYPAL.
Enter e-mail address ---> firstname.lastname@example.org
You can also send donations to:
Richard Lopez/Help Lopez to Gaza
Tumwater, WA 98501
...or you can go to any Timberland Bank in the Olympia/South Puget Sound area. Say to bank teller: Donate to Richard Lopez/Help Lopez to Gaza.
You help is greatly and sincerely appreciated. THANK YOU OLYMPIA!
We are a coalition of organizations and a grassroots campaign of individuals who together are joining to launch a U.S. BOAT TO GAZA. When the U.S. boat, THE AUDACITY OF HOPE, sails it will take its place in the next Freedom Flotilla to participate in the great international effort to break the blockade of Gaza and to end the occupation of Palestine. From the deck of The Audacity of Hope, we will be in a powerful and unique position to challenge U.S. foreign policy and affirm the universal obligation to uphold international law and human rights.
We agree to adhere to the principles of nonviolence and nonviolent resistance in word and deed at all times.
Update 9 Sep '10: In order to illuminate the local relevance of the following story from B'Tselem, about water in the Gaza Strip, I am adding the following preface:
One aspect of the conversation that has come up about the Oly Food Co-op boycott of products from Israel is the idea that it would have been better to pursue dialogue and seek consensus before enacting an agreement and engaging in the removal of products from shelves. I have heard that it would have been better to do this even if it would have taken "years" to reach a mutually agreeable consensus amongst all stake-holders.
The following article makes it clear to me why there is reason—urgent reason—to NOT delay, and to instead pursue BDS vigorously and assertively. There is good reason to proceed with urgency.
Because BDS seeks to address Aggression committed by the government of Israel against Palestinians, it makes sense to pursue BDS as a tactic in a way that mirrors the urgency of the crisis wrought by those same crimes against peace and crimes against humanity.
I also want to add something that I think should seem obvious, but goes without being stated nearly as often as I believe is justified by its importance in the ongoing conflict. (And please cut me some slack and forgive me if I am not stating this in the most sensitive manner.) What I am thinking about is that the cause of "Palestinian violence toward Israel/Israelis" is the very same apartheid to which they have been subjected. The Nakba. The creation of the Jewish State, unwelcome to so many—the great many whose concerns were invalidated and whose resistance stomped down with military force and precision.
One thought that I have been having recently in regard to the situation in Israel/Palestine is about how people have been drawn into activism on this issue. For example, one way that I look at the situation is that given the tremendous suffering and injustice that Jews experienced in Nazi Europe, it is sad that the State of Israel, and some Jews, are treating Palestinians so poorly, in many cases exactly the same as Jews were treated by Nazis in Europe. That sense of injustice is very gripping, and helps to provoke my involvement.
It is further frustrating to me, as I am sure it is to many others, because the crimes against humanity, and crimes against peace, that are committed by the State of Israel are wholly enabled by the USA. In light of this and other pertinent information (like the political economy of nuclear weapons,) I think it makes sense to understand that Israel is an exploited partner in US imperialism, and hegemonic policies of global dominance may very well be down at the deep bottom of this.
And that does nothing to change the fact of reality that what the State of Israel, and some Jews, are doing to Palestinians is unacceptable and must change.
Back to the topic of being drawn into this issue: I was new to Olympia in March 2003, at the time when Rachel Corrie died. I had only been here for about six months. The story of Rachel's death was captivating. Being killed while defending a home against destruction by bulldozer: defending the home of a family that had committed no offense. That's a gripping tale for sure. And so I thank Rachel Corrie for spurring my awareness, and certainly that of many others, on this important issue. I think that will be a big part of the legacy of Rachel's life: helping people to come to awareness of, and to better understand the situation.
Here's another look at the present situation, thanks to the talented photographers at ActiveStills. This is a scene from Rafah, from a couple of days ago:
I think that recent actions by the government of Israel have increased the urgency of the need to respond to the Palestinian people's need for human rights and dignity.
Here's a slideshow of photos from a January 2009 demonstration in Seattle.
The offensive by the state of Israel against Gaza, which started late December of 2008, continued for 10 more days after this demonstration, until the 13th of January, a week prior to the handover of the White House from the Bush Administration to the Obama Administration.
Here's more description from the event:
Protestors who oppose Israel's treatment of Palestinians and/or consider Israel's attacks against the Palestinian Terrority of Gaza to be Aggression, advocates of a Free Gaza, gathered at Westlake Plaza in downtown Seattle for an afternoon of rallying and marching. I estimate (roughly) that about 800 to 1,000 people participated. I have heard estimates ranging up toward 2,000 people.
More information from Olympia BDS: Rabbi Lynn & The Olympia Food Co-op boycott. Olympia, Washington
Rabbi Lynn Gottlieb is planning to visit Olympia, and is scheduled to appear at First Christian Church on Sunday the 8th of August, 7pm. Stay tuned for more information.