Marianne was assaulted, but we will win in the end.

Hello Friends,
I’m happy that I am back home safe and sound after a few days in Israeli prisons, but I would much rather be in Gaza right now, handing the Marianne av Goteborg to the Palestinian fishers.
On the 29th at 2 am, the Israelis attacked us, when we were over 100 nautical miles (185 km) from Israel, while we were still off Egypt, near the entrance to the Suez Canal. They used 4 warships full of hundreds of IOF (Israeli Occupation Forces) soldiers and sailors. They initially approached us in white Coast Guard zodiac boats, just for media spin purposes, and then attacked with military zodiacs full of heavily armed soldiers. We saw the Coast Guard zodiacs being lifted onto a warship after the attack, like movie props being stored away.
Three activists, including Canadian professor Bob Lovelace, were sitting or standing in front of the bridge door, and were all immediately and repeatedly tasered. Bob lost count after 6 taser hits. I was inside the bridge during the attack, assisting the captain and dealing with the engines. I believe it took the Israelis about 45 minutes to finally break through the locked and barred doors and hatches and into the bridge. While I was being marched out on to the deck I believe a soldier poked me in the ribs with a stun wand (cattle prod) just for fun, but it was nothing compared to the taser hits Bob got. The Norwegian 3rd mate was also tasered and beaten because he refused to remove his Palestinian scarf.
Just before the Israelis had taken over the bridge, on the captain’s order, I had disabled the engine, but only in a very simple manner. For the safety of the ship he required that the engine could be restarted within a minute, in case the ship were in any danger. The Israelis spent 3 hours trying in vain to restart the engine and then tried to order me to assist them, which I refused to do. We told them that as they had illegally hijacked the ship, it was their problem, not ours. So then they beat the captain and threatened to do the same to me unless we restarted the engine for them. At this point the captain wisely decided that it was not worth everyone being beaten, as the Israelis were getting very aggressive, and so he asked me to restart the engine. I went to the engine room, and simply reached down and turned on the battery master switch. As my Mom would say – these guys were not the sharpest tacks in the drawer, but they made up for that in brutality.
From this point on it was just a series of luggage and strip searches, interrogations and continuous attempts to humiliate us. It was obvious they were all very angry, which is a good sign. At the Ashdod port they took many things from me, and kindly gave me a receipt. And then at the prison they took more things away, including my earlier receipt, and gave me no receipt. In particular the Israelis wanted all the cameras, cell phones and computers, to prevent anyone from having video evidence of their brutal assault. But some camera chips were smuggled out, including mine, which will be used in an upcoming Swedish trial.
After 2 days in a filthy prison cell, with just a hole in the floor for a toilet and a pipe coming out of the wall for a shower, we were sent to the airport detention prison, which had a proper bathroom and shower. But as I finished my shower, I reached for one of the “clean” towels, only to find that an Israeli guard had soiled it with his excrement and then carefully refolded it. All I could think about at that moment, was that I had only gone through 4 days of abuse, whereas Palestinians have had over 68 years of continuous abuse. The Palestinians’ strength and “sumud” or steadfastness in the face of such brutality, is amazing and inspiring.
I’m sorry we were not able to get the Marianne to Gaza. But the 7 week, 5000 mile voyage, was a great success from the moment we sailed into our first port, with huge support everywhere we went. See for more info.  Others in the future will build on our effort, and will end the siege and tear down the wall.
Venceremos, we will win.

11 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Ramona D. on July 5, 2015 at 8:47 pm

    Thank you for your efforts on the behalf of Gazans and Palestinians everywhere. I’m glad you have been freed from Israel’s prisons. I always worry they brainwash their prisoners. The Freedom Flotilla 2010 had a huge affect on my awakening to what is occurring in the middle east, I had been successfully deluded up to that point, and once your eyes are open it’s not possible for them to be closed again. The live feed, including the attack by the IOF, caused me to be glued to my internet for days. I’m not sophisticated or knowledgeable about these things, but I am wondering why it is not possible to have a live feed from the ship. Maybe the time of the previous Freedom Flotilla was televised. It is frustrating to have everyone’s cameras, computers, phones taken, but I wish there were a way to have live feed. (Maybe there was and I missed it?) Thank you. It’s incredible what Israel has been getting away with, the ripple effect which is radicalizing people far and wide. Ramona Dawe Date: Mon, 6 Jul 2015 03:14:11 +0000 To:


  2. Posted by Ingmar Lee on July 5, 2015 at 9:00 pm

    Thank you soo much for your courageous and conscientious efforts, Kevin! What a disgusting, filthy bunch of cowards the IDF is to behave in such a puerile, dreadful manner before the world. Clearly, without the unlimited supply of free weaponry they get from the USA, they would be an utterly pathetic, useless, hopeless military force. What sort of subhuman cretin shits in a prisoner’s towel? Beyond belief! Three cheers for your efforts, -carefully watched by millions all around the world! Ingmar


  3. Posted by Khamees on July 6, 2015 at 6:23 am

    My friend, happy to hear that you are home safe, and wished from the buttom of my heart that you will reach your second home Gaza, but maybe the next time. Looking forward seeing you again in Gothenburg .

    Yours Khamees


  4. Your humanity is nothing short of awe inspiring. Your actions, compassion and determination means so much to so many. We will never stop until Palestine is free. #Freepalestine. Deepest respect from Aotearoa New Zealand.


  5. Posted by Kevin Hester on July 6, 2015 at 11:26 am

    What we see being done to the people of Gaza will soon be done to us all as both our economic system and our biosphere unravel. This is the fascist, psychopathic,dystopian future that awaits us all.


  6. Posted by Dr. yousef Abdulhaq on July 7, 2015 at 1:18 am

    How great humanized man kevin as you are with your humanized friends on Marianne Gaza, How atrocity is Apartheid Israel system, may be many humans didn’t know what is happening in occupied Palestine in all aspects, it is really hell land not holy land,but let me add i was arrested before in Israeli jails, it is in fact “mass concentration camps”, in first period about 2 months in aberage you have to live in cells under earth no sun shine, no refresh air, without shower except through permission and with the same towe hole as you have described. All humanized humans are really proud pf you , Dr. Yousef Abdulhaq


  7. Posted by Deborah on July 7, 2015 at 3:53 am

    Thankyou for caring so much about the plight of the Palestinians, and even to the point of risking your own lives! Israel must not be allowed to continue its illegal crimes. Thankyou all for your humanity ❤


  8. Glad to know you are out of their prison/detention which sounds hellish. I hope you are able to bring them to court successfully and get the boat to its intended place. Are all crew out now? I hope so. Admiring you all. – JoAnn from Texas.


  9. Like the other people commenting here..the flotilla was on my mind every day and I was full of hope for Gaza to welcome you into their Port… I didn’t think Netanyahu would dare attack you!! Thank you all of you for your bravery..reading your account has given me some closure as information in Media was non existent! I do hope Israel can be charged in Court with attacking you in International waters and assaulting and kidnapping peaceful activists…I so wish I could join next flotilla instead of 24 hour watching!!


  10. Posted by Rita on July 10, 2015 at 6:39 am

    Thank you from a fellow Victorian for your bravery and courage on your peaceful mission. I am assuming the supplies did not reach the Palestinian people as your ship was intercepted? If there is any way I can help please keep me informed as I would like to be a part of your peaceful mission.


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