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Green Party tells Obama and Clinton: demand release of Cynthia McKinney and 20 other human rights activists

In a statement published at the Green Party website, party leaders call on President Obama and the State Department, led by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, to demand the release of Cynthia McKinney and the rest of the Free Gaza 21 by the Israeli government. Pointing out that President Obama himself has called for an end to the blockade of Gaza, the Green Party called for action on behalf of those bringing just the sort of humanitarian aid to Gaza that the blockade is designed to keep out.

H/T to The Detroit Greens for the story.

The full statement can be read by clicking this article’s headline.

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Petition for the release of Cynthia McKinney, others, posted online

A petition calling for the release of Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney and the other 20 people aboard the Spirit of Humanity when it was seized by the Israeli Defense Force has been posted to a webpage maintained by the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation.

Passengers and crew abducted from international waters by the Israeli navy include:

US Campaign Advisory Board member, Huwaida Arraf; Former U.S. Congresswoman, Cynthia McKinney, Irish Nobel Peace Laurate, Mairead Maguire; al-Jazeera journalists Othman Abufalah and Mansour Al-Abi; Khalad Abdelkader; Khaled Al-Shenoo; Fatima Al-Attawi; Juhaina Alqaed; Ishmahil Blagrove; Kaltham Ghloom; Derek Graham; Alex Harrison; Denis Healey; Fathi Jaouadi; Lubna Masarwa; Theresa McDermott; Adnan Mormesh; Adam Qvist; Adam Shapiro; Kathy Sheetz

H/T to On The Wilder Side for the link.

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McKinney reaches Don DeBar, John Judge by phone

In a posting to a webpage at her official MySpace page, reports of conversations between Cynthia McKinney and WBAIX reporter Don DeBar and her Press Secretary from her 2008 presidential bid, John Judge are posted.

Cynthia McKinney was able to get a call out to a colleague, Don Debar, she sends a message that she is fine, keep calling, faxing and emailing. Keep protesting, too! She is being held at the Ramle Prison in Israel…she has seen an attorney today provided by Free Gaza. She had no information on any of the 21 being released. Mairead Maguire is possibly being held or detained somewhere else. FREE the FREE GAZA 21! Demand that Israel return the ship along with the DANGEROUS CARGO–CRAYONS!

From John Judge:

John Judge (Press Secretary during the 2008 campaign) sent this tonight: I just got a call from former Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney from inside an Israeli prison at Ramale where she and 20 other humanitarian aid workers from 9 different countries are still being held by Israeli authorities. US Embassy officials have spoken to Ms. McKinney and are aware of the situation. Four of the group are US citizens. Among them is Mairead Maguire, from Ireland, a Nobel laureate and renowned peace activist. They have named themselves the “Free Gaza 21.” They are demanding their release. They were in international waters on a boat delivering humanitarian aid to people in Gaza when Israeli Navy ships surrounded them and illegally threatened them, dismantled their navigation equipment, boarded and confiscated the ship. All those aboard were then taken off the ship and into custody, and brought into Israel and imprisoned. Immigration officials in Israel said they did not want to keep them, but they remain imprisoned. State Department and White House officials have not effected their release or taken a strong public stance to condemn the illegal actions of the Israeli Navy, enforcing a blockade of humanitarian assistance that has been condemned by President Obama.

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Irish Times reports on McKinney, Maguire

In an article at The Irish Times, Nobel Peace Prize laureate Mairéad Maguire and another Irish citizen aboard the Spirit of Humanity were reportedly separated from the rest of the crew by Israeli authorities and detained in an undisclosed location. When Maguire protested her separation from the rest of her compatriots she was hand cuffed. They were later returned to join the rest of the group as they awaited deportation at Ben Gurion International Airport.

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Mary Ann Akers, Washington Post attack McKinney

The piece, part of Akers’ series “The Sleuth”, ridicules McKinney for her efforts on behalf of the people of Gaza. Titled Where Are They Now: Cynthia McKinney Strikes Again, the piece gives scant information about the current detention of McKinney, but reaches back to 2002 to defame her.

The article does, however, provide a link to a fairly comprehensive report from 11 Alive. The article is down the page so you will have to scroll down to read it. Written by Chris Sweigart, the article includes the statement issued by the Consulate General of Israel in Atlanta.

Earlier today an Israeli Navy team boarded and took control of the cargo boat ‘Arion’ as the vessel illegally attempted to enter the Gaza Strip. In accordance with internationally recognized agreements between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, the waters along the Gaza Strip are under Israeli security control and foreign vessels are not permitted to sail into the territory. The Israeli Navy attempted to make contact with the ‘Arion,’ but its repeated warnings were ignored. No shots were fired during the boarding of the boat and the vessel was rerouted to the Israeli port of Ashdod. Humanitarian goods found aboard to boat will be transferred to the Gaza Strip, subject to authorization. We expect the vessel’s passengers to be flown home shortly.

Israel continues to make the humanitarian relief efforts in Gaza one of its top priorities. Humanitarian aid is shipped into Gaza regularly through multiple ground crossings and those who wish to transfer humanitarian aid into the Gaza Strip can do so through these existing channels. In 2009 alone, the Gaza Strip has received over 300,000 tons of humanitarian supplies. Hundreds of aid trucks enter Gaza daily. In some cases, this has led to a surplus of humanitarian aid, with reports of Gaza civilians selling extra aid they possess.

Once again former Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney and her fellow travelers have taken it upon themselves to disregard their own safety, as well as the safety of the vessel’s crew, by leading a boat into restricted waters. Ms. McKinney ignored the available and legal means for the delivery of aid to the Gaza Strip and instead chose to make a reckless political stunt.

16

Israel to deport Cynthia McKinney, others

Fox News is reporting that the authorities in Israel plan to deport Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney after taking the ship she and 20 others were using in an attempt to deliver humanitarian air to the people of Gaza. The article implies that Israel intends to keep the ship, registered in Greece.

The article quotes Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor.

“Nobody wants to the keep them here. They will be released as soon as they are checked.”

The article says that McKinney and the others, including 1977 Nobel Peace Prize winner Mairead Maguire, are being held at Ben Gurion International Airport and will be deported from there. McKinney and the others were on board the Spirit of Humanity, operated by the Free Gaza Movement Referring to their captivity, Free Gaza Movement founding member Greta Berlin told Ynet news, an online publication based in Israel:

They simply kidnapped the passengers. I call on the Israeli occupation forces to release our people immediately. It’s funny. What are they going to do? Deport us? The last place we wanted to reach was Israel.

In an earlier report Fox News reported that Congresswoman McKinney was demanding the immediate release of the the crew of the seized ship.

“This is an outrageous violation of international law against us,” said McKinney. “Our boat was not in Israeli waters and we were on a human rights mission to the Gaza Strip. President Obama just told Israel to let in humanitarian and reconstruction supplies, and that’s exactly what we tried to do. We’re asking the international community to demand our release so we can resume our journey.”

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More on McKinney

First, I got a return call from the Israeli consulate in Atlanta and the consulate employee told me that the Israeli Defense Force and Israeli Foreign Affairs office has released information he read which says that Cynthia McKinney is not being detained by the Israeli government. He said that she “had done this sort of thing before” and that she does so “to get in the papers”.

He said that the humanitarian aid onboard the ship will be delivered to Gaza via a land route. He explained that delivery via water was forbidden but land routes have been authorized. He said the ships were boarded without any shots fired and taken to an Israeli port.

Below is the most recent news from the national office:

(Forward widely)

Breaking news: Associated Press story “Israeli navy commandeers Gaza aid boat” says that Cynthia McKinney and the other human rights activists on the Free Gaza relief boat will be released as soon as they’re “checked”

http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5jx1nZQxJbxcsg8CKOJLVLVWTnybAD99557M80

Read Cynthia McKinney’s latest statement here: http://www.freegaza.org/en/home/hope-fleet-news/970-call-off-your-attack-dogs-cynthia-mckinney

See also: “Tell Israel to Free Humanitarian Workers Aboard Free Gaza Boat!”
US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation

http://salsa.democracyinaction.org/o/641/t/2439/campaign.jsp?campaign_KEY=27540

* * * * *

From John Judge (who will be interviewed live on blogradio tonight: see below)….

Friends,
Please see the story below. Israeli Defense Forces surrounded, attacked boarded and confiscated a boat carrying humanitarian aid to Gaza, in international waters, with a large group of human rights workers including former Rep. Cynthia McKinney. Please do what you can to spread this to your networks and to contact the numbers below and demand White House and State Department intervention and condemnation of this illegal act and release of all people confined. For updates and more details see http://www.freegaza.org or contact:

Greta Berlin
F.G. Human Rights Projects, Ltd (Free Gaza Movement)
c/o Centaur Trust
122 Athalassis Avenue, POB 28779
2082 Nicosia, Cyprus
Tel. +357 99 081 767
friends@freegaza.org

PLEASE CALL ALL OR SOME OF THESE NUMBERS TODAY:

State Department: 202-647-4000 or 1-800-877-8339
White House: Comments: 202-456-1111, Switchboard: 202-456-1414
Congress 202-225-3121 (ask for your representative)

US Embassy in Tel Aviv, Israel
011-972-3-519-7575
011-972-3-517-3227 fax

http://www.telaviv.usembassy.gov

Mr. Richard Jones, Ambassador

US Consulate General in Jerusalem, Israel
011-972-2-622-7230
011-972-2-671-5742

http://www.jerusalem.usconsulate.gov

Mr. Jacob Walles, Consul General

CALL or FAX Major Liebovitz from the Israeli Navy at:
Tel + 972 5 781 86248 or +972 3737 7777 or +972 3737 6242
Fax +972 3737 6123 or +972 3737 7175

CALL Mark Regev in the Prime Minister’s office at:
Tel +972 2670 5354 or +972 5 0620 3264
mark.regev@it.pmo.gov.il This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

CALL Shlomo Dror in the Ministry of Defence at:
Tel +972 3697 5339 or +972 50629 8148
mediasar@mod.gov.il This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

http://www.freegaza.org/en/home/hope-fleet-news/976-israel-attacks-justice-boat-kidnaps-human-rights-workers-confiscates-medicine-toys-and-olive-trees

* * * * *

Forwarded by Rosa Clemente….

From: Nancy Leigh
Date: June 30, 2009
Subject: Emergency Demo @ Israeli Mission -Protest Israeli Piracy and Kidnapping of Cynthia McKinney – Wed.

EMERGENCY DEMONSTRATION
Against Israeli Piracy & Kidnapping
Free Cynthia McKinney and all kidnapped human rights workers!

WEDNESDAY 4-6 PM

at the

ISRAELI MISSION
800 Second Avenue
(Second Avenue @ 43rd St.)
[New York City]

Last night, Israeli Occupation Forces attacked and boarded the Free Gaza Movement boat, the SPIRIT OF HUMANITY, abducting 21 human rights workers from 11 countries, including Noble laureate Mairead Maguire and former U.S. Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney. The passengers and crew are being forcibly dragged toward Israel.

The seizure of humanitarian supplies and abduction of human rights workers is an act of piracy, a crime under international law. When the boat was attacked, it was not in Israeli waters and was on a human rights mission to Gaza. Israel’s deliberate and premeditated attack on an unarmed boat in international waters is a clear violation of international law. Join us tomorrow from 4 to 6 pm at the Israeli Mission to demand an immediate and unconditional release of the SPIRIT OF HUMANITY, all 21 human rights workers, and the humanitarian supplies.

According to an International Committee of the Red Cross report released yesterday, the Palestinians living in Gaza are “trapped in despair.” Thousands of Gazans whose homes were destroyed earlier during Israel’s December/January massacre are still without shelter despite pledges of almost $4.5 billion in aid, because Israel refuses to allow cement and other building material into the Gaza Strip. The report also notes that hospitals are struggling to meet the needs of their patients due to Israel’s disruption of medical supplies.

Let the Humanitarian Aid through!
Free Cynthia McKinney and all kidnapped human rights workers!
Stop the blockade of Gaza!

* * * * *

Forwarded by Nancy Allen….

John Judge on blogtalkradio tonight on the McKinney kidnapping

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/your-world-news

Please Join us tonight LIVE for a special report concerning breaking news from the Middle East Region of the World. Within the last 48 hours the Israeli Defense Forces surrounded, attacked boarded and confiscated a boat carrying humanitarian aid to Gaza , in international waters, with a large group of human rights workers including former Rep. Cynthia McKinney. We will be joined tonight by Cynthia McKinney’s Press Secretary, Mr. John Judge, to explain to us all of the details concerning this most recent injustice. www.blogtalkradio.com/your-world-news.

Tonight’s show will air at 11:00PM EST. If you cannot catch the show LIVE tonight please listen to it on archive simply by visiting: www.blogtalkradio.com/your-world-news. Please send this show out to all of your networks, friends and family. This is extremely important that we get the word out to raise awareness and support for these human rights workers! We cannot rely on the mainstream corporate media to carry this story in its proper context. Please do what you can to spread this to your networks and to contact the website below and demand White House and State Department intervention and condemnation of this illegal act and release of all people confined. For updates and more details see www.freegaza.org

You may catch the show on archive simply by visiting: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/your-world-news.

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Green Party of the United States calls on Obama, State Department to demand release of McKinney, others

GREEN PARTY OF THE UNITED STATES

http://www.gp.org

For Immediate Release:
Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Contacts:
Scott McLarty, Media Coordinator, 202-518-5624, cell 202-904-7614, mclarty@greens.org
Starlene Rankin, Media Coordinator, 916-995-3805, starlene@gp.org

Green Party: President Obama and the US State Dept. must demand release of Cynthia McKinney and 20 other human rights activists on Free Gaza relief boat seized by Israeli gunboats

• The Free Gaza’s ‘Spirit of Humanity’ was delivering medical and other supplies following Obama’s call for relief to wartorn Gaza; the boat was in international waters

WASHINGTON, DC — Green Party leaders are calling on the White House and US State Department to intervene and demand the immediate release of 21 human rights activists, including former US Rep. Cynthia McKinney and Nobel laureate Mairead Maguire, who were taken prisoner by the Israeli navy after gunboats surrounded and seized the Free Gaza Movement relief boat ‘Spirit of Humanity’ on Monday.

“This is an outrageous violation of international law against us. Our boat was not in Israeli waters, and we were on a human rights mission to the Gaza Strip,” said Cynthia McKinney, the Green Party’s 2008 candidate for President of the United States. “President Obama just told Israel to let in humanitarian and reconstruction supplies, and that’s exactly what we tried to do. We’re asking the international community to demand our release so we can resume our journey.”

Read Cynthia McKinney’s latest statement here.

Ms. McKinney had earlier sent appeals to President Obama and the State Department for assurances of protection for the relief mission. The Spirit of Humanity was sailing in international waters when it was seized. Greens stressed that the relief boat represents no threat to Israel and must be allowed to continue its voyage to Gaza.

For more information and updates, see the Free Gaza Movement web site, including the latest release on the seizure of the relief boat

For communications and updates from Cynthia McKinney, visit her Green Party page and blog.

The Spirit of Humanity was carrying medical supplies, cement, olive trees, and childrens toys to Gaza after the Israeli invasion in December and January damaged or destroyed 50,000 homes, 800 industrial properties and 200 schools damaged or destroyed, 39 mosques, and two churches. The supplies were confiscated by the Israeli navy.

The Green Party of the United States condemned the invasion and massacre of Palestinians and has endorsed the call for boycott, divestment, and sanctions against Israel until the Israeli government
guarantees full human rights, including political rights and democracy, for all Palestinians and non-Jewish Israelis.

MORE INFORMATION

Green Party of the United States http://www.gp.org
202-319-7191, 866-41GREEN
Fax 202-319-7193
• Green candidate database for 2008 and other campaign information:

http://www.gp.org/elections.shtml

• Green Party News Center http://www.gp.org/newscenter.shtml
• Green Party Speakers Bureau http://www.gp.org/speakers
• Green Party ballot access page http://www.gp.org/2008-elections
• International Committee of the Green Party: http://www.gp.org/committees/intl

Green Party releases:
• “Breaking news: Cynthia McKinney aboard detained Free Gaza Movement
relief boat,” June 25, 2009

http://www.gp.org/press/pr-national.php?ID=228

• “Greens join Global Day of Action for Boycott, Divestment and
Sanctions on March 30 to end the Israeli occupation,” March 26, 2009

http://www.gp.org/press/pr-national.php?ID=192

• “Green Party: Israel-Palestine truce must include end of Israeli
occupation and observance of international law or violence is likely
to resume,” January 19, 2009

http://www.gp.org/press/pr-national.php?ID=169

2009 Annual National Meeting of the Green Party, Durham, NC, July
23-26 http://www.gp.org/2009-ANM
• North Carolina page http://ncgreenparty.org/2009-ANM.html
• Media credentialing page http://www.gp.org/forms/media

Green Pages, Vol. 13, No. 1
The official publication of record of the Green Party of the United States

http://gp.org/greenpages-blog

~ END ~

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Democracy Now: The Voices Not Heard in the Debate

Audio and Video link

Democracy Now! played some of the questions and answers from the last Presidential debate with McCain and Obama, followed by a two minute reply by Green Party nominee Cynthia McKinney and Ralph Nader The host, Amy Goodman stopped the candidates when they were headed down the way-over-two-minutes path. The Rush Transcript is behind the “Read more–>”

Breaking the Sound Barrier: Third-Party Candidates Ralph Nader & Cynthia McKinney Respond to Final McCain-Obama Debate

Senators Barack Obama and John McCain met last night for the final debate before the November 4th presidential election, sparring over the economy, tax policy, negative campaigning, trade agreements, abortion and the educational system. As with the other debates, third-party candidates were not invited to participate. We break the sound barrier and hear from Green Party presidential nominee Cynthia McKinney and independent presidential candidate Ralph Nader.

Guests:

Cynthia McKinney, Green Party presidential nominee. Former Democratic congresswoman from Georgia.

Ralph Nader, Independent presidential candidate. He is a longtime consumer advocate and corporate critic.

JUAN GONZALEZ: Senators Barack Obama and John McCain met last night for the final debate before the November 4th presidential election. It was held at Hofstra University on Long Island in New York.

Prior to the ninety-minute face-off, police arrested fifteen protesters in a peaceful demonstration outside the university led by Iraq Veterans Against the War. One veteran, Nick Morgan, was hospitalized after being trampled by a police horse. Video shot at the scene showed Morgan lying on the ground by a pool of blood. The arrests took place less than an hour before Barack Obama and John McCain took the stage.

During the debate, the Iraq war was barely mentioned. The war in Afghanistan never came up. Instead, the two candidates sparred over the government’s plans to rescue the financial system, tax policy, negative campaigning, trade agreements, abortion and the educational system.

AMY GOODMAN: As with the other debates, third-party candidates were not invited to participate. But today on Democracy Now!, we will break the sound barrier by giving some of those candidates a chance to respond to last night’s questions.

Green Party presidential nominee Cynthia McKinney joins us in Atlanta, and independent presidential candidate Ralph Nader joins us on the phone. We invited Libertarian Party presidential nominee Bob Barr and Constitution Party nominee Chuck Baldwin, but they couldn’t join us. So, they will answer the same questions put to the major party candidates. Continue Reading