SEPT 28, 2009 - BREAKING THE SIEGE OF GAZA
Mairead Maguire - Nobel Peace Prize Winner 1976
When: Monday, September 28 at 7:30pm
Where: UBC Downtown C300, Robson Square Theatre
Cost: Suggested donation $10-20, no one turned away for lack of funds
Please join us to hear Mairead Maguire speaking about her experiences on the Free Gaza movement ships that broke the siege of Gaza. She first sailed on the DIGNITY, a ship that successfully delivered medical and humanitarian supplies to Gaza in November 2008.
In June 2009, Maguire was aboard the SPIRIT OF HUMANITY -- a ship carrying 3 tons of medical aid, toys and reconstructions supplies to Gaza -- when it was boarded and hijacked In Gaza territorial waters by Israeli Naval commandos. All of the passengers, including Maguire, were arrested, jailed for up to a week and then deported - meanwhile the boat and aid supplies were siezed and are still being held by the government of Israel.
Mairead Maguire and Betty Williams won the 1976 Nobel Peace Prize for their work promoting peace in Northern Ireland as co-founders of the Community of the Peace People. Mairead was the aunt of the three Maguire children who were killed by a getaway car after its driver was shot by a British soldier in 1976. The Community of the Peace People went on to organize the largest nonviolent demonstrations in the history of Northern Ireland.
Maguire is a long-time campaigner for nonviolent resistance to injustice and a defender of Palestinian human rights. In 2004 she went to Israel to welcome Mordechai Vanunu, the Israeli nuclear weapons whistle-blower, upon his release from serving 18-years in prison. Maguire was shot and injured in 2007 by an Israeli soldier with a rubber-coated steel bullet during a peaceful protest in Bil'in against Israel's separation wall and the theft of Palestinian land.
More than half of the net proceeds from this event will be donated to the Gaza Community Mental Health Programme (GCMHP). GCMHP's mission is to build the capacity of the Palestinian community in Gaza to deal with mental health issues, focusing on three target groups: children, women, and victims of torture. A recent GCMHP survey in Gaza found that 90% of children are suffering moderate to very severe Post Traumatic Stress Disorder since Israel's assault.
Organised by the Boycott Israeli Apartheid Campaign, sponsored by ISM-Vancouver, SPHR-UBC, Canpalnet and Stopwar.
Before, during and since its massive military assault last January, Israel has maintained a strict siege on Gaza -- allowing in only enough food to prevent mass starvation. No reconstruction supplies, gasoline, seeds, agricultural or industrial materials are permitted to enter Gaza. The 1.5 million residents of Gaza (half are children under the age of 16) cannot replace or repair the thousands of buildings, water and sewage systems damaged by Israel's military. Most farms and factories cannot operate for lack of supplies.
The UN Trade and Development Agency says 90% of Gaza's residents are currently beneath the poverty line and estimates the damages caused by Israel's assault at $4 billion, a sum triple Gaza's annual GDP. In May 2008, former US president Jimmy Carter called Israel's blockade of humanitarian goods for Gaza "one of the greatest human rights crimes on Earth."
For more information email: firstname.lastname@example.org or visit boycottisraeliapartheid.org.
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