Freedom Flotilla III…we are back.

It’s been a busy month. In early March I got an email from my Swedish friend Charlie, who I worked with in Gaza in 2013 on the Gaza Ark. All he said was “Do you want a job?”. Trusting soul that I am, I replied “yes, where do I go.” Four days later I found myself in Greece, working on repairing a ship called the Juliano for the next flotilla to Gaza, Freedom Flotilla III.

The Juliano, ready to sail to Gaza.

The Juliano, ready to sail to Gaza.

After spending a few weeks crawling around her engine room, fixing machinery, and enjoying the Greek hospitality, Charlie asked “Do you want to go to Sweden and see the Swedish Ship to Gaza, the Marianne av Goteborg? Sure I said. And now I’ve spent another few weeks crawling around her engine room, fixing machinery and enjoying Swedish hospitality.

The Marianne av Goteborg, named for a well loved and recently passed local activist.

The Marianne av Goteborg, named for a well loved and recently passed local activist.

Now the Swedes have asked if I would be their engineer on the Marianne av Goteborg, when she sails to Gaza in early May. I said sure, it would be an honour. So in a few weeks we will steam out of Gothenburg Sweden, and head to Gaza to break the Israeli blockade. On the way we will visit Denmark, France, Basque Country, Spain, Italy and other ports to publicize the illegal Israeli blockade of Palestine and pick up donations for Gaza.
The ship is a wooden 1977 Danish side trawler fish boat. But in a matter of days it has been miraculously converted into a passenger and cargo ship, with many new bunks, cargo space, new galley, new heads and showers, all done with volunteer labour and much donated material.
We are tied up at the Klippen vintage ship dock,in the middle of Gothenburg harbour, so masses of tourists and sightseers have been stopping and wishing us good luck and making donations to the cause. When we buy materials there is often a discount offered after we say it is for Ship to Gaza Sweden.
A Swedish communist comrade spotted my Lenin looks, and suggested I visit the Gastis Hotel in Varberg, where the owner has turned it into a memorial to Lenin. I called the hotel and asked if they would mind if a Lenin impersonator visited their hotel (for some strange reason I packed my Lenin costume). It turns out that tomorrow is the annual Lenin literary award night at the Gastis Hotel, so Lenin was more then welcome, and may get a free night of accommodation and a dip in the world famous Gastis Hotel Leninbath.

Who says Communism is dead, I feel just fine.

Who says Communism is dead, I feel just fine.

Lefty troubadour David Rovics, also happens to be touring Sweden, so on the 22nd my alter ego Lenin will again return to life, to attend Davids, Joe Hill 100th anniversary memorial concert here in Gothenburg, at the local Communist Party HQ. I better brush up on the entire Internationale…Arise ye prisoners of starvation, arise ye wretched of the earth…
As I said, it has been a busy month, with more to come.
Goodnight from Gothenburg

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: