By Susan Schwartz, TMO
The Free Gaza Board through one of its members, attorney Audrey Bomse, has announced the launch of Palestine Solidarity Legal Support. This is a support system that Palestinian activists may access to insure they enjoy unimpeded full exercise of their First Amendment rights.
Various groups have encountered impediments to their exercise of free speech in support of the rights of the Palestinian people. To cite but a few instances: the need for legal advise by BDS (boycott, disinvestment, sanctions) activists; pro Palestine groups on campuses that believe they are not accorded treatment equal to other groups on campus, and Palestinian activist groups that feel the relevant authorities are attempting to mitigate or threaten their existence.
Palestine Solidarity Legal Support is prepared to provide legal advice, advocacy support and stands ready to receive reports of repression.
The Center for Constitutional Rights acting with the National Lawyers Guild, and the Student Speech Working Group are the driving forces behind this effort.
With both government agencies and private well funded organizations attempting to interdict the work of Palestinian activists, this organization fills a void and is being welcomed by peace and human rights activists.
For more details, please contact the following web sire: <palestinelegalsupport.org>.
Greta Berlin and Mary Hughes Thompson, co founders of the Free Gaza Movement and passengers on the first boat to break the naval blockade of Gaza in the late summer of 2008, will speak in Carlsbad, Ca. on February 10th. AL-AWDA, the Palestine Right of Return organization, will sponsor them at their headquarters located at 2720 Loker Avenue West, Suite J at 5:00pm.
Ms Berlin and Ms Thompson will discuss an epic book, Freedom Sailors, that details the adventure of the 44 passengers on two ships that sailed from Cyprus to Gaza and into history. Discouraged by even their fellow freedom fighters, plagued by delays, threatened by the Israelis, rough waters, sea sickness and the inevitable quarrels that will take place when people are in close quarters, the brave freedom sailors finally saw the shores of Gaza and thee thousands who had waited endless hours to cheer their arrival.
Ms Berlin and Dr. Bill Dienst, also a freedom sailor, are co authors of the book which is a compilation written by the participants.
The short time they spent in Gaza before their return is also chronicled. The problems they had been told about appeared even more critical with first hand observations.
For those who support the fight of the Palestinian people for freedom, the book is an essential first hand history.