Tuesday, 17 February 2009

Latest news...

John reversed over the laptop which of course wasn't meant to happen so no blog update possible yet. We roared laughing at George Galloway's description of events so far; "Civic reception in Bordeau" was actually some sandwiches in a community hall in a rough part of Begles, the official welcome in San Sebastian never happened because no one got there because of organisational chaos yesterday morning. And anyway it consisted of one man offering to align people's wheels and a "Rock Concert" which was a band who sang a couple of songs. The only reception we got was from para military police with machine guns. My point is not that heroics, solidarity, self sacrifice and immense effort aren't the reality but they are happening on the road not in the crap propaganda from the organisers who abandoned us and switched off their phones. We drove till 3am last night, got an hotel but many slept in their vehicles. We're heading for the ferry to Morocco today about 600 miles away.

The Spanish Police have stopped part of the convoy, confiscated the aid and searched everyone. Exhaustion is reaching critical point. Young Muslim radicals want the convoy run by Sharia Law. No democracy. No women group leaders, no non believers calling the shots. Their pride in their identity is admirable, but its capable of be chauvinistic. Their schooling in the Koran is remarkable but they have little education. Passing through the Somme some thought 1st World War was in 13th Century, others confused it with the American Civil War, another asked me if they had canons. Mark Twain once said that he wouldn't send a child of his to be schooled because he wanted them to have an education. I think he'd have little to say to these boys. as I am writing the Police are arriving and pulling vehicles over. More later...!

Ok, someone's been pulled over but we can't turn around to help them. My mission remains the same as the majority here, Muslim or non Muslim, to take humanitarian aid to Gaza. We do so out of compassion and a political determination to free all people to realise their potential.

One more remarkable thing I forgot to add. A woman at a service station met some of our crew and gave them a solid gold ring and all the clothes she had just been out buying for her own children.


  1. Good Work Greg

    As you say this is about humanity and not about sectarian religious beliefs, Muslim or not, we have equal right to take up the cause of the Palestinian people and to come to their defence. We are trying to create a movement which draws in the oppressed people from all walks of life and beliefs to take a stand. We are driven by humane principles and must argue that freedom, including the freedom of the Gazans, includes the right to enjoy freedom of religion, but also the right to enjoy freedom from religion. These debates are necessary to clear many misunderstandings out of the way, but that is the nature of the struggle, it is a massive learning process.
    Stay strong, we are supporting you from afar.

  2. Hi Greg,
    We just hope that its not the laptop Enda spent all day Friday fixing in preparation for your trip!!!

    And what a trip so far?! All we can say is that we can only imagine how uncomfortable it is and really hope that you are getting some type of sleep. We also hope you've had the opportunity to discover each others idiosyncrasies....and are still together.

    Viva Palestina!

    Lots of love and keep us posted..
    Anne and Enda