Getting serious

Attack on the Mavi Marmara, May 2010

Flotilla 1: The Israelis' initial violent attack began at the stern of the ship. Photo: Kate Geraghty

As we get closer to departure day, the delegates are getting more serious.

I’m hearing less laughter and joking and more hardball questions as we prepare to board the flotilla. Questions like:

Spent tear gas or smoke grenade canisters, shotgun shells

Spent tear gas or smoke grenade canisters, shotgun shells. Photo: IHH

“What does a beanbag from a shotgun do to you?”
If it hits your chest, it knocks you down hard. In the head, it’ll maim or kill you.

“Did the Israelis shoot at your faces and chests?”


“Will we be able to negotiate with them before they board?”
Not bloody likely.

“I know Hebrew, maybe I’ll be able to talk to them.”

Last time they didn’t talk much, they just screamed orders.

Vandalised cameras

Israeli soldiers seized and destroyed every camera on the Mavi and stole every memory chip they could find, doing strip and body cavity searches. I was very fortunate to get my chip out. Photo IHH

“What does tasering feel like?”

“Will our medical team be permitted to treat our injured?”
They’ll probably be handcuffed with everyone else.

“What did it feel like to have your hands cuffed behind your back for hours?”

Painful at first, but eventually your arms and shoulders go numb.

“What if they don’t let us use the bathroom?”

Be prepared to piss and shit in your pants and still keep your dignity. Don’t let them humiliate you, don’t give them that power.

“We must keep each others’ spirits up after the arrest.”
But they won’t let you talk, and you may have a bag on your head.

“Will non-whites be treated worse then whites?”


“Where should I hide my camera chip?”

You can’t, they will look everywhere for it, inside and out.

Damaged camera equipment

Israel returned only destroyed camera equipment. Some lost over $70,000 of equipment. I personally lost $4500 of cash and $2500 of belongings. Photo IHH

“We should erase everything from our computers and cell phones immediately, before we’re arrested.”
There will be no time, so the best option is to quickly throw them all overboard.

“My computer is protected by a crypto password.”

No it’s not, not from them.

“They wouldn’t steal my money and belongings, would they?”
They did, and they will.

“If I sign their ‘voluntary deportation letter,’ will I avoid jail?”

“If I don’t sign it, will I be deported immediately?”


Murdered aid worker

Murdered aid worker, one of 9 murdered aid workers and one of 5 shot in the head at close range, execution-style, on the Mavi Marmara.

“When will we be allowed to see our embassy officials and lawyers?”
You won’t.

“But international law says they must allow that!


“We must write our contact phone numbers on our arms.”

But they probably won’t let you use a phone.

“When will we see a judge?”

You won’t.

“But you have to see a judge to be deported!”

I didn’t.

“What part of Canada will I be deported to”

What makes you think you’ll go to Canada? I was sent to Turkey.
Executed journalist

Executed journalist onboard the Mavi Marmara

“But my bags will be here [in a different country] waiting for my return.”
You’d better ship them home instead.

“What will my government do for me?”


“How long will they hold us?”

As long as they want.

“Someone might get killed!”


More to come …


2 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Patty on June 26, 2011 at 11:26 am

    I admire the bravery and conviction of all those on the Freedom Flotilla 2. We are standing with you in solidarity! You have a lot of support here in Victoria and throughout Canada. You know, and we know, you are doing the right thing!


  2. […] Source & Updates about events at the Flotilla2 at Kevin Neish’s Weblog […]


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