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McKinney & Free Gaza Activists Won’t Sign Statement Of Guilt; Will Remain In Prison Longer

Latest news on the McKinney front:

About an hour ago an associate of Cynthia McKinney spoke with an official at the American Embassy in Tel Aviv who stated that Cynthia McKinney and the other 20 human rights activists can be released from prison if they sign a statement of guilt in violating Israel’s territorial waters, which of course they are refusing to sign.

Apparently Israeli law states that if the 21 do not sign the admission of guilt they must be held for 3 days before the Israeli Government can either choose to release them or continue to detain them.

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Cynthia McKinney Reportedly Taken Captive By Israeli Navy

The latest from www.freegaza.org reports that the humanitarian vessel Spirit of Humanity has been attacked and boarded by the Israelis 23 miles off the coast of Gaza. Former US Congresswoman and Presidential candidate Cynthia McKinney is among the 21 human rights workers taken prisoner off the ship.

[23 miles off the coast of Gaza, 15:30pm] – Today 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 (see below for a complete list of passengers). The passengers and crew are being forcibly dragged toward Israel.

“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, a former U.S. Congresswoman and presidential candidate. “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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Israeli Navy Surrounds Free Gaza Ship With Cynthia McKinney On Board

Breaking news is coming in regularly from www.freegaza.org, and at this time it appears that the ship Spirit of Humanity, carrying Cynthia McKinney and tons of humanitarian supplies destined for Gaza has been intercepted by the Israeli Navy. The Israeli’s are jamming the Spirit’s radar, GPS and navigation systems, forcing it to navigate by old fashioned compass. Apparently the Israelis are threatening the Spirit if they don’t turn back from Gaza, and reports are vague about where the ships currently are.

The Spirit of Humanity left Cyprus earlier today (Monday) with fewer passengers and were reportedly engaged and threatened by the Israeli naval vessels at 1:40 a.m. local time.

Cynthia McKinney reportedly said to supporters: “”I am extremely angry. We demand that the Israeli government call off their attack dogs. We are unarmed civilians aboard an unarmed boat delivering medical and reconstruction aid to other human beings in Gaza. Why in God’s name would Israel want to attack us and threaten our safety and welfare. I call on President Obama and the international community to intervene now to prevent this situation from escalating with potentially drastic results to the civilians on board.”

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McKinney & Free Gaza Leave Cyprus For Gaza

From Free Gaza, the ship Spirit of Humanity has left Cyprus and is heading for Gaza. Green Party Presidential candidate Cynthia McKinney is on board with 20 other humanitarian workers, along with supplies. The last relief ship that McKinney was on for Gaza was rammed by the Israeli Navy and escorted to port. Will the Spirit of Humanity arrive at Gaza?

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Free Gaza Boat “Spirit of Humanity” Departs Cyprus

For more information, please contact:
Greta Berlin (English/French) or Caoimhe Butterly (Arabic/English/Spanish)
tel: +357 99 081 767 / email: friends@freegaza.org

(LARNACA, 29 June 2009) – The Free Gaza boat the “Spirit of Humanity” departed Cyprus at 7:30am on Monday, 29 July. Twenty-one human rights and solidarity workers representing eleven different countries were aboard.

The passengers include Nobel laureate Mairead Maguire and former U.S. congresswoman Cynthia McKinney. The ship also carries three tons of medical aid, children’s toys, and rehabilitation and reconstruction kits for twenty family homes.
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Breaking: Cynthia McKinney Aboard Detained Free Gaza Movement Relief Boat

Breaking news: Cynthia McKinney aboard detained Free Gaza Movement relief boat

• Boat with 33 international human rights activists is acting on Obama’s call for medical supplies and cement to be delivered to Gaza

WASHINGTON, DC — 2008 Green presidential nominee Cynthia McKinney is participating in a second campaign to deliver goods to Gaza in defiance of an Israeli blockade.

According to recent news reports, port authority officials in Cyprus have detained a multi-national Free Gaza Movement boat in Lanarca under pressure from Israel. The boat is carrying 33 human rights activists, including Ms. McKinney, and shipments of medical supplies and cement.

See Ms. McKinney’s June 25 blog post for an update (http://dignity.ning.com/profiles/blogs/they-denied-us-so-they-wouldnt).

Ms. McKinney notes that President Obama himself has called for medical supplies and cement to be sent to Gaza. Despite the Obama statement and a request from Ms. McKinney to the White House for an assurance of safety, the US State Department has warned the boat against sailing to Gaza.

Cynthia McKinney, a former six-term Democratic member of the US House from Georgia, was aboard a Free Gaza Movement boat delivering medical supplies to Gaza that was rammed by Israeli naval forces in January, 2009. Ms. McKinney and running mate Rosa Clemente were nominated for President and Vice President at the Green Party’s 2008 national convention in Chicago, Illinois.

For news on the unfolding situation, see:

• Communications and updates from Cynthia McKinney:
http://www.gp.org/cynthia/index.php
http://dignity.ning.com

• Special report on Gaza featuring Ms. McKinney and Greta Berlin of the Free Gaza Movement (audio and text):
http://www.ireport.com/docs/DOC-281664
http://www.sendspace.com/file/7veibj

• Free Gaza Movement: http://www.freegaza.org

• “Cyprus halts aid boats bound for Gaza Strip: US-based Free Gaza Movement planned to take 33 activists to Gaza with medical supplies and cement; Cypriot shipping officials cited inspection requirements for stopping the two vessels from leaving port”
Reuters/Israel News, June 25, 2009
http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3737002,00.html

• “Activists plan to send Gaza cement, in violation of Israel blockade”
Reuters and Haaretz Service, June 18, 2009
http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1093988.html

From the Green Party:

• “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

• International Committee of the Green Party: http://www.gp.org/committees/intl

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Cynthia McKinney Report From London

From On the Wilderside:

Hello! I’m currently in London, invited by the Kuala Lumpur Foundation to Criminalise War, to participate in a Forum for Palestine sponsored by the Malaysian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The event is taking place at the Marriott Grosvenor Hotel on March 31, 2009. This one-day Forum will feature the Malaysian Foreign Minister Dato Serri Rais Yatim giving the opening address and former Malaysian Prime Minister Tun Mahathir presenting the keynote address. I will speak for about 20 minutes on the Genocide in Palestine and, of course, what happened to me in international waters while on a boat carrying medical supplies, attempting to reach the besieged people of Gaza.
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Cynthia McKinney to Obama: Give Us A Clean Break From War

Cynthia McKinney has a piece published on OpEdNews.com, a short excerpt here:

Statement on Obama Actions Thus Far re: Gaza

“It is time that the United States negotiate in good faith with Hamas, the legitimate representative of the Palestinian people. It is also time that the U.S. government tell Israel to release the Hamas Parliamentarians it illegally arrested. President Obama, please say something about Gaza. You have been roundly condemned for your continued silence in the face of war crimes and crimes against humanity committed by Israel in Gaza. Silence is complicity. Not one more bomb for Israel.”

Israeli action in Gaza has outraged the world. Starting with Israel’s inhumane blockade of Gaza when it didn’t like the 2006 election results that put Hamas officially into power. In September 2007, Israel declared Gaza an “enemy entity.” Of course, Israeli efforts to isolate the Gaza Strip can be traced back to Ariel Sharon as early as 2005. In carrying out its military Operation Cast Lead, Israel not only committed war crimes and crimes against humanity, it also carried out a long-standing goal of Gaza isolation. The President’s continued silence on Gaza and the Palestinian right of self-determination is unacceptable.

I would like to commend President Obama for recognizing that peace is the imperative and that the United States can play a constructive role in its attainment. However, placing a phone call to an irrelevant “leader” in an attempt to revive his political standing is not a route to peace: it is a journey down the same road that we’re already on, that is massacres, genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity, torture–all with U.S. weapons, paid for by U.S. taxpayers.

Read the rest here.

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Green Party: End the Occupation

Green Party: Israel-Palestine truce must include end of Israeli occupation and observance of international law or violence is likely to resume

• Mounting Israeli atrocities require immediate US pressure on Israel, say Greens in a challenge to President-elect Obama

• The key to peace: ensuring democracy, equality, and human rights for all in Israel-Palestine

WASHINGTON, DC — Green Party leaders said today that President Obama must press Israel to end the occupation as part of any lasting truce in the siege of Gaza.

“For a truce to hold, Israel must not only end the siege of Gaza but also take steps to end the occupation of Palestinian lands, obey international law, and ensure the safety of every Palestinian and Israeli civilians. But Israel is unlikely to take these steps without pressure from the US. President Obama, after his inauguration, has the power to persuade Israel to abandon its military goals and guarantee human rights and equality,” said Hajja Romi Elnagar, a member of the Green Party of Louisiana.
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Green Party Condemns Israel’s Attack on Gaza

Green Party condemns Israel’s massive air attack on Gaza, calls on US to rein in Israel and seek a ceasefire

WASHINGTON, DC — The Green Party of the United States calls for an immediate end to Israel’s bombing attacks on Gaza, which in the past four days has already caused at least 364 deaths, including Palestinian women and children, with hundreds more wounded.

“It’s clear that President Bush gave a green light for Israel’s massive and disproportionate display of force. The Green Party demands that the US seek a bilateral ceasefire, with immediate pressure on Israel to stop the bombardment and end the occupation,” said Rosa Clemente, the Green Party’s 2008 candidate for Vice President of the United States

Cynthia McKinney, the Green Party’s 2008 presidential candidate, had joined the Free Gaza Groupon the SS Dignity, which sailed from Cyprus to deliver three tons of medicine and humanitarian aid to Gaza in defiance of an Israeli blockade. Ms. McKinney was safe after Israeli gunboats attempted to intercept the Dignity last night and one gunboat illegally rammed the vessel in international waters, 90 miles off the Gaza coast. Despite damage sustained in the encounter, the Dignity has docked safely in Lebanon and Ms. McKinney is on her way to Beirut.

In an interview on CNN, Cynthia McKinney said, “What we have gone through pales in comparison to what the people of the Gaza Strip are suffering.” Ms. McKinney is challenging President-elect Barack Obama to condemn Israel’s attacks on Gaza.
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