CHIROT ZERO ZINE--ANNOUNCING NEW BLOG

Dear Followers, Friends, fellow Workers:

I have just begun a new blog/zine called
Chirot Zero Zine A Heap of Rubble--
Anarkeyology of hand eye ear notations
---
http://chirotzerozine.blogspot.com
the blog is more exusively concerned than this one with presenting essays, reviews (inc. "bad reviews") , Visual Poetry, Sound Poetry, Event Scores, Manifestos, Manifotofestos, rantin' & raving, rock'roll, music all sorts--by myself and others--if you are interested in being a contributor, please feel free to contact me at david.chirot@gmail.com
as with this blog, the arts are investigated as a part of rather than apart from the historical, economic, political actualities of yesterday, today, & tomorrow
as with al my blogs--
contributions in any language are welcome

Free Leonard Peltier

Free Leonard Peltier
The government under pretext of security and progress, liberated us from our land, resources, culture, dignity and future. They violated every treaty they ever made with us. I use the word “liberated” loosely and sarcastically, in the same vein that I view the use of the words “collateral damage” when they kill innocent men, women and children. They describe people defending their homelands as terrorists, savages and hostiles . . . My words reach out to the non-Indian: Look now before it is too late—see what is being done to others in your name and see what destruction you sanction when you say nothing. --Leonard Peltier, Annual Message January 2004 (Leonard Peltier is now serving 31st year as an internationally recognized Political Prisoner of the United States Government)

Injustice Continues: Leonard Peltier Again Denied Parole

# Injustice continues: Leonard Peltier denied parole‎ - By Mahtowin A wave of outrage swept the progressive community worldwide at the news that Native political prisoner Leonard Peltier was denied parole on Aug. ... Workers World - 2 related articles » US denies parole to American Indian activist Leonard Peltier‎ - AFP - 312 related articles » # Free Leonard Peltier 2009 PRISON WRITINGS...My Life Is My Sun Dance Leonard Peltier © 1999. # Prison Writings: My Life Is My Sun Dance - by Leonard Peltier, Harvey Arden - 2000 - Biography & Autobiography - 272 pages Edited by Harvey Arden, with an Introduction by Chief Arvol Looking Horse, and a Preface by former Attorney General Ramsey Clark. In 1977, Leonard Peltier... books.google.com/books?isbn=0312263805... - # Leonard Peltier, American Indian Activist, Denied Parole And Won't ... Aug 21, 2009 ... BISMARCK, ND — American Indian activist Leonard Peltier, imprisoned since 1977 for the deaths of two FBI agents, has been denied parole ... www.huffingtonpost.com/.../leonard-peltier-american_n_265764.html - Cached - Similar - #

Gaza--War Crime: Collective Punishment of 1.5 Million Persons--Recognized as "The World's Largest Concentration Camp"

Number of Iraquis Killed Since USA 2003 Invasion began

Just Foreign Policy Iraqi Death Estimator

US & International Personnel losses in Iraq &Afghanistan; Costs of the 2 Wars to US


Number of U.S. Military Personnel Sacrificed (Officially acknowledged) In America's War On Iraq: 4,667
icasualties.org/oif/

Number Of International Occupation Force Troops Slaughtered In Afghanistan : 1,453
http://icasualties.org/oef/


=

Cost of War in Iraq

$691,188,637,164

Cost of War in Afghanistan
$229,137,844,021

The cost in your community

www.nationalpriorities.org/index.php?option=com_wrapper&Itemid=182

flickr: DEATH FROM THIS WINDOW/DOORS OF GUANTANAMO--Essays, Links, Video-- US use of Torture

VISUAL POETRY/MAIL ART CALL Cracking World’s Walls & Codes Concrete & Virtual

Cracking World’s Walls & Codes Concrete & Virtual


VISUAL POETRY/MAIL ART CALL
No Sieges, Tortures, Starvation & Surveillance
GAZA-GUANTANAMO-ABU GHRAIB—THE GLOBE
Deadline/Fecha Limite: SinsLimite/ongoing
Size: No limit/Sin Limite
No Limit on Number of Works sent
No Limit on Number of Times New Works Are Sent
Documentation: on my blog
http://davidbaptistechirot.blogspot.com
Addresses: david.chirot@gmail.com
David Baptiste Chirot
740 N 29 #108
Milwaukee, WI 53208
USA

Miss Universe Visits Guantanamo: 'A Loooot Of Fun!'



Miss Universe Visits Guantanamo: 'A Loooot Of Fun!'


The current 'Miss Universe' Dayana Mendoza (formerly Miss Venezuela) and 'Miss America' Crystal Stewart visited US troops stationed in Guantanamo Bay on March 20th, the New York Times reports. Here's Mendoza's account of the visit from her pageant blog last Friday. She says the trip "was a loooot of fun!"

This week, Guantánamo!!! It was an incredible experience...All the guys from the Army were amazing with us. We visited the Detainees camps and we saw the jails, where they shower, how the recreate themselves with movies, classes of art, books. It was very interesting. We took a ride with the Marines around the land to see the division of Gitmo and Cuba while they were informed us with a little bit of history.


The water in Guantánamo Bay is soooo beautiful! It was unbelievable, we were able to enjoy it for at least an hour. We went to the glass beach, and realized the name of it comes from the little pieces of broken glass from hundred of years ago. It is pretty to see all the colors shining with the sun. That day we met a beautiful lady named Rebeca who does wonders with the glasses from the beach. She creates jewelry with it and of course I bought a necklace from her that will remind me of Guantánamo Bay :)

I didn't want to leave, it was such a relaxing place, so calm and beautiful.

Friday, September 19, 2008

We Are All Prostitutes: New Solo Expo

Dear F(r)iend, if you can't see/read this email properly click here


Jamez Dean and 50/25 present 'Not Enough Middle Fingers 05: We Are All Prostitutes'.

GenuineWYRIWYG(Whatyoureadiswhatyou get): Pretty Girls,ThrobbingDudes,Mirrors For Self-Reflection,Autocensorship,Sighing Televisionscreens,…



This exhibtion is NOT accessible for underaged innocent youngsters! (18+)!


Cypres Galerij
Vaartstraat 131
3000 Leuven
Belgium


Be there! Yes you, prostitute!
12 september - 21 september

FREE ENTRANCE

(send this to all your f(r)iends)

http://www.jamezdean.com

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

28 Million Anti-Islam DVDS Being Inserted in American Sunday newspapers during September

Sunday papers come with controversial DVD

This DVD was bundled in with newspapers across the country.

TAMPA—Readers of the St. Petersburg Times and The Tampa Tribune had a controversial insert bundled into their Sunday morning papers.

The insert contains a DVD called "Obsession: Radical Islam's War against the West," a one-hour documentary released in 2006 that is described as a look at the "threat of Radical Islam to Western Civilization."

The insert the DVD came with says the film shows the "parallels between the Nazi movement of World War II, the radicals of today, and the Western world's response to both threats."

The group that produced the DVD is The Clarion Fund. Its website describes the group as a "non-profit, non-partisan organization whose mission is to educate Americans about issues of national security."

The DVD packaging lists dozens of newspapers across the nation that distributed the DVD Sunday.

According to an article on the Editor and Publisher website, the New York Times distributed 145,000 DVDs in papers delivered in markets all over the country, including Denver, Miami/Palm Beach, Tampa, Orlando, Detroit, Kansas City, St Louis, Cincinnati, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Milwaukee/Madison.

Editor and Publisher is a magazine that covers the newspaper industry.

A spokesman for the Clarion Fund told the Harrisburg Patriot-News that a total of 28 million DVDs will be distributed through the month of September.

The packaging of the DVD refers to the upcoming presidential election by saying the threat of radical Islam is "a topic that neither the presidential candidates nor the media are discussing openly."


Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Stand in Solidarity with Human Rights Activists






Care2 subscriber since Dec 7, 2007 Unsubscribe  |  Forward to a Friend  |  Take Action
care2 petitionsite actionAlert

Hi David,

Everyday, grassroots activists around the world document pressing human rights abuses. These human rights defenders carry on in the face of terrible oppression and censorship. Join them in the fight for human rights. >>

WITNESS is building a community of support for these activists called the Hub, a place where their voices can be heard. And you can become a part of this growing movement of activists, citizen journalists, lobbyists and video advocacy. >>

Standing together with the brave activists who capture on film human rights violations in their communities, we can share in their act of witnessing. And by doing so, we are compelled to take action to right the wrongs documented.

Help build a global community focused on alleviating human rights violations and strengthening the dignity of all people. Stand in solidarity with the Hub's human rights activists. >>

Thanks for taking action!

Samer
Care2 Campaign Team

P.S. Care2 has been receiving scattered reports of problems with our email alerts, and we are trying to track down any errors. If you have any problems with this email, or signing petitions on our site, please let us know.




Stand in Solidarity With Human Rights Activists
human rights activists
Take Action!
Help build a global community focused on alleviating human rights violations and strengthening the dignity of all. people.



To stop receiving this newsletter, visit:
http://www.care2.com/newsletters/unsub/3/0/19139479/67abea15

or send a blank email message to:
ng-u-3-19139479-7058117-11631651-8281fb45@australia.care2.com

Care2.com, Inc.
275 Shoreline Drive, Suite 300
Redwood City, CA 94065
http://www.care2.com


Monday, September 15, 2008

Jewish Voice for Peace: Support the International Campaign to End the Siege of Gaza

-


Dear David,

There are few people with the courage, wisdom, and moral credibility of Dr. Eyad el-Serraj.

Imprisoned by both Israelis and Palestinians for speaking out against human rights violations, he is a psychiatrist, a leader of the nonviolent anti-occupation movement, a resident of Gaza, and a hero to people of all religions and nationalities.

Donate Now!

Support the International Campaign to End the Siege of Gaza.

Jewish Voice for Peace is proud to announce a new campaign that we are coordinating with Grassroots International, together with Global Exchange and Code Pink to raise $50,000 for the International Campaign to End the Siege of Gaza. The Campaign, which Dr. el-Serraj leads, is Palestinian-run and led, but requires partnerships with people like you to succeed.

There is no one better to tell you about how you can support Gazans to liberate themselves, than Dr. el-Serraj himself. That's why we asked him to write you this letter asking for your support. Please give generously.

In gratitude,

Jean Entine
Jewish Voice for Peace

When you click on the donate link here, you will be taken to Grassroots International's webpage. Grassroots will be receiving the donations and  making the grant to the Gaza Community Mental Health Program (the lead organization in the International Campaign to End the Siege of Gaza).

If you would like to make a donation via check please make it out to Grassroots International and note End the Siege in the memo line.

P.S. You can watch this short video that we recorded in Gaza in 2005 of Dr. el-Serraj talking about nonviolent resistance.

An Open Letter to Americans of Conscience
 
From Eyad el-Sarraj
Founder and President of the Gaza Community Mental Health Program; Leader of the International Campaign to End the Siege of Gaza

In late August, hope came to Gaza in the form of two small wooden boats and their 40 passengers who had sailed from Cyprus to break the 14-month-old Israeli siege. They had answered our call and after months of preparation, it was a triumphant moment when they entered our waters.

The passengers on the "Free Gaza" and "Liberty" wanted Gazans to know that the entire world would not stand passively by while they remain locked in a huge prison. They would not be quiet while more than a million people the majority of them children  are being deliberately deprived of urgent medical care and medicines, of electricity and fuel to run hospitals and sewage systems, of potable water and supplies of food, clothing and raw materials.

I hope that you will not stand silently by while the people of Gaza are deprived of their dignity and all the basic requirements for a decent life. I hope that you will understand that the kind of collective punishment that Gazans have endured since June 2007 is morally wrong and a serious violation of international humanitarian law.

The siege is not just killing the spirit and in some cases the lives of Gazans. It is also sowing seeds of violence, hatred and extremism and destroying all hopes for a peaceful future in the region.

Studies carried out by the Gaza Community Mental Health Program show a frightening rise in trauma, as children fall victim to night terrors, loss of appetite, insomnia, and symptoms of panic and aggression. Adults are also suffering from panic disorders, depression and psychosomatic disorders as they struggle to cope with the deeply inhuman situation. Former US president Jimmy Carter was right to call the siege "an atrocity, a crime, an abomination."

In the summer of 2007, the Gaza Community Mental Health Program took the initiative to create a humanitarian, non-political campaign aimed at raising international awareness of Gaza's deteriorating life conditions in order to pressure the Israeli government into lifting the devastating siege.

We thought that within a year we would have achieved our aim. We were wrong.The siege continues, and so must the campaign. We are working to bring another boat to Gaza by the end of September. In October, mental health workers and other medical professionals will travel to Palestine for a conference called "Siege and Mental Health  Walls versus Bridges."

Through other "break the siege" solidarity meetings, cultural activities and demonstrations, we hope to nurture non-violent approaches that can peacefully transform the brutal reality of caged lives. The message to end the siege is a message of peace and an appeal for justice.

If you believe in freedom, human dignity and peace, we ask you to support our efforts by making a donation to end the siege. We particularly call for the support of Jewish people, whose history of trauma, discrimination and suffering should guide them to stand up today to help bring an end to the suffering of others.

Gaza City, September 9, 2008

* As always, we'd like to hear what you think about this campaign. Click here to share your thoughts.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Machado de Assis, The Great Brazilian Writer, Honored in New York City


| September 13, 200>
After a Century, a Literary Reputation Finally Blooms
By LARRY ROHTER
Joaquim Maria Machado de Assis died 100 years ago this month and has since gone from being a fringe figure in the English-speaking world to a literary favorite hailed as an unjustly-neglected Brazilian genius.

FW: SE NOS FUE UN AMIGO MAIL ARTISTA//Mail Art Call: "Exotic Animals in Art"--To Save the Species


http://boek861.com
1

Convocatoria de mail art: " Los Animales Exóticos en el Arte" Por el rescate de las especies

Cesar, habia visto semanas atras en tu BOEK una convocatoria de mail art que lanzo el zoologico Sahuatoba de Durango, que dirigia mi querido amigo Francisco Hernandez, el cual ha fallecido hace dos dias en Durango. Sentimos, los artistas que lo conocimos, una gran tristeza, te lo hago saber pues a lo mejor lo conociste o contactasete con el... Era joven, creo que ni a 40 llegaba, pintor y un gran amigo de los animales y de la vida en general, amaba vivir, amaba la alegria y amaba el arte!

saludos...

Nuria Meztli

No lo conocía Nuria, pero me gustaría que transmitieras a sus familiares el profundo sentimiento del Taller del Sol y del Boek861. Estamos convencidos de que ahora nos contempla desde el más bello de los espacios pleno de animales libres del peligro de extinción.

Abrazos

Cesar Reglero


ESTRACTO DE LA IDEA DE LA CONVOCATORIA

EXPO MAIL – ART
" Los Animales Exóticos en el Arte" Por el rescate de las especies
Desde el comienzo de la existencia humana el hombre se encuentra estrechamente vinculado con su medio ambiente circundante, sin embargo, su relación con los animales se ha matizado de una forma especial, dinámica e interactiva.
Si nos remontamos a las historia de diferente culturas éstas nos exponen cómo el lazo de estos dos seres vivos va desde los místico, lo totémico, mágico, religioso, hasta lo guerrero y simbólico; es la muestra de la profunda y amplia identificación entre la fauna silvestre y el hombre.
Esta estrecha y compleja relación exige la expresión, que es el medio de comunicación más amplio y eficaz con el que contamos los seres humanos; pero una comunicación profunda, sutil, llena de ideas y amplias emociones, que despierte a quienes estén en contacto con ella la experiencia más inolvidable.
"Los Animales Exóticos en el Arte". Por el rescate de las especies, es un proyecto del Zoológico Sahuatoba invitando a artistas visuales, personas interesadas y público adulto en general que busquen manifestar sus ideas, sentimientos, pensamientos a través del arte (técnica libre ya sea fotografía, grabado, dibujo, pintura, escrito, mixta, etc.). Se pretende hacer partícipe a personas afines al tema en el mundo; es compartir con el resto de nuestros hermanos la inquietud "por el rescate de las especies".
La meta es incontable… "hasta donde la expresión luche por ser rebelada, hasta donde la libertad de decidir se manifieste…"

LA CONVOCATORIA COMPLETA LA ENCONTRARÁS EN EL APARTADO DE CONVOCATORIAS:
http://boek861.com


Collages by Poet John Ashbery Reviewed





ARTS / ART & DESIGN   | September 14, 2008
Art:  The Poetry of Scissors and Glue
By HOLLAND COTTER
The pre-eminent American poet John Ashbery makes his solo debut as professional artist at 81, with a modest but polished exhibition of two dozen small collages.


Bolivian Crisis: Images & Links






Death toll in Bolivia unrest reaches 18: -

President Evo Morales on Saturday accused an opposition governor of using foreign thugs against government supporters in violence that has claimed at least 18 lives and prompted him to declare martial law in a breakaway province.
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080914/ap_on_re_la_am_ca/bolivia_protests

====

Bolivian president decries 'massacre' of peasants:

The "massacre" of peasants in the rebellious province of Pando justified the imposition of martial law, Bolivian President Evo Morales said Saturday.
http://www.cbc.ca/world/story/2008/09/13/bolivia-meeting.html

====

Bolivia says will arrest governor after killings;

Bolivia's government said on Saturday that it would arrest the governor of a restive northern province in the wake of deadly clashes they accuse him of instigating, amid a deep political crisis.
http://africa.reuters.com/energyandoil/news/usnN13400579.html?rpc=401&

===

Socialist reforms or 'death', Bolivian president says:

Speaking amid a crisis which has seen five rebel provinces reject his authority, Morales told indigenous union leaders his "democratic revolution" redefining land holdings and redistributing national wealth had to be seen through, or they should "die for the country" in the attempt.
http://tinyurl.com/6xgana

====

S American leaders to hold emergency meeting on Bolivia:

The Argentine government said Saturday that leaders of the Union of South American Nations will hold an emergency meeting on Monday to help solve the political crisis in Bolivia.
http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2008-09/14/content_9982944.htm

====










Official American Sadism--New & Recent Books & Links


Official American Sadism
By Anthony Lewis
Guantanamo: Beyond the Law
a series of five articles by Tom Lasseter
in the McClatchy Newspapers, June 15–19, 2008, available at www.mcclatchydc.com/detainees

This Site is a superb one regarding many aspects of Life at Guantanamo and after, with Interviews, photos and Video

The Challenge: Hamdan v. Rumsfeld and the Fight over Presidential Power
by Jonathan Mahler

Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 334 pp., $26.00
Broken Laws, Broken Lives: Medical Evidence of Torture by US Personnel and Its Impact
a report by Physicians for Human Rights, with a preface by Major General Antonio M. Taguba

Physicians for Human Rights, 130 pp., available at brokenlives.info

Fascist violence in Bolivia – an eyewitness report



(Note: fotos accompanying this report are from Santa Cruz)

Fascist violence in Bolivia – an eyewitness report
By our correspondent in Bolivia
Friday, 12 September 2008

this report is from the In Defense of Marxism web site:
http://www.marxist.com/orgy-fascist-violence-bolivia.htm

The sound of explosions is constant; one can read the fear in people's faces. The TV reports two dead in fights in northern Bolivia, Pando (Cobija). Chaos in Santa Cruz and other Eastern regional capitals is almost total. What started on September 9th as vandalism against public institutions has developed into a fascist orgy of violence which threatens civil war.

Orgy of fascist violence in Bolivia On the 9th of September, right-wing fascist gangs attacked one public institution after another. The list of occupied institutions is long. Everything from tax offices, administration of land, immigration authorities to the department of forestry was brutally destroyed. The national administration of land had its entire inventory destroyed and burned, and the same happened to the nationalized telecom company ENTEL. ENTEL had its entire main building smashed and the fascist hordes stole everything of value.
Attacks on the Media and Trade Unions

Late at night, the state-owned TV station in Santa Cruz was invaded and almost burned to the ground. The motive? The station is one of the only channels in Santa Cruz which critiques the right wing.

Orgy of fascist violence in Bolivia10th September: the situation in Santa Cruz and other Eastern provinces further escalates. Now it is not about attacks on public institutions, but a consistent attack on all social organizations and government supporters.

In Santa Cruz, the human rights organization Cejis, is ravaged and their entire inventory is burned and destroyed. The same happens to CIDOB, the indigenous people's main organization in Eastern Bolivia. All left wing leaders are hunted and many have had to go underground.

In the Southern Bolivia, Tarija, the fascist gangs attack the peasants' marketplace. Molotov cocktails are thrown at all the stalls and violent clashes erupt with several wounded. One right wing leader declares Tarija to be independent and declares civil war in the region.

On the night of September 10, I leave my home; one can sense the gas in the air and in the eyes. The railway and bus station of Santa Cruz is nearby. During several hours there has been violent fighting over the control of the station, which is defended by military and government supporters. After a fierce struggle, the fascists succeed in entering. They smash everything. It is half past one at night; I am a few hundred meters from the centre of violent street fighting. The location is Plan 3000, known as a stronghold for MAS in Santa Cruz, a gigantic and poor working class neighbourhood with 300,000 inhabitants. The big market in the neighbourhood is 800 meters away, the market which the right wing's groups of fascists try to attack and set on fire.

The workers have rallied to a massive defence against the 400 young fascists who attack the marketplace with clubs, Molotov cocktails and hand weapons. Rapidly, thousands rally for the defence which develops into extreme violence with many wounded. About 3 o'clock at night, the fascists have been driven out, but the inhabitants keep the entrenchment defended.

The situation is the same at all marketplaces in Santa Cruz where small traders constantly are on alert against the threat of robbery and destruction of their stalls and goods.



The government thinks, incorrectly, that this situation will calm down. They have not taken any serious measures. But the oligarchy is about to smash the country entirely in chaos and destruction. The situation for the local population in Santa Cruz is threatening; cooking gas has almost run out, and on the roads, fewer and fewer busses and cars are circulating as a result of shortages of gasoline and diesel.

Imperialism has serious interests at stake, and on the 10th of September the foreign minister of Brazil announces that they are ready to negotiate directly with the oligarchy in Santa Cruz and Tarija if their supplies of oil and gas are secured. This will amount to a de facto recognition of an independent country.

The US ambassador has been one of the main villains in the acceleration of regional splits in Bolivia. The ambassador was also the special envoy of the US in connection with the carving-up of Yugoslavia. Yesterday, the answer came from Evo, who immediately expelled the US ambassador.



The sound of explosions and cracks from bangers is constant in the city. The private-owned right-wing media, which are now the only ones to send TV-transmissions in Santa Cruz, report of more and more institutions that are "conquered by the people" (read: the fascist gangs). Some of the targets for attacks are the main offices of the MAS.

For a short while, current events are pushed away and thoughts are turned back 35 years to 11th September 1973, when Pinochet staged a military coup against the Socialist president Allende. Can something similar happen here? Many factors are similar to Chile 1973, and although the hot-shot commentators argue that "the time has run away from coup d'etats", in this moment we can see that the rich bourgeoisie does not hesitate when their economic power is threatened. And the chaotic situation has already created divisions in the army.

Against this threat the social organisations, and in the first place the COB, must take all steps to organize the workers and peasants. A general strike must be called and the oligarchy must be expropriated entirely. At the same time, the social organisations in Santa Cruz and other zones of battle must organize the people for a massive defence. As one could see last night in Plan 3000, hundreds or thousands of fascists cannot defeat a fighting and organized people.

The number of dead during the day is now four. There are reports of right-wing gangs who attacked and shot at the peasants' march, approximately 35 kilometers from Cobija, the regional capital of the Pando region, which provoked harsh fighting. Meanwhile, Plan 3000 is still on high alert as the fascists have tried several times to destroy the radio station of the neighbourhood. Several female workers from Plan 3000 call on the people to mobilise in the entire country and aid Santa Cruz in defence of the country and people's lives.
Long live the Bolivian revolution!
Death to fascism!
Long live the heroic resistance of the workers and peasants!

Santa Cruz, 11 September 2008.

Read the original in Danish.

Scottish activist films Israeli navy shooting at Gaza fishermen

Scottish activist films Israeli navy shooting at Gaza fishermen
Claims of 14 deaths in previous incidents
By Billy Briggs
http://www.sundayherald.com/

A SCOTTISH human rights activist has filmed the Israeli navy firing machine guns at unarmed Palestinian fishing boats in the Mediterranean Sea off the coast of the Gaza Strip.

The footage, taken on September 6 by Andrew Muncie, who is from the Highlands, shows an Israeli gunboat engaging fishing boats while international observers hold their arms in the air and scream for them to stop firing.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yTUYivihoTE

No-one was injured in the incident, but Palestinian fishermen claim 14 colleagues have been murdered at sea by the Israeli navy since the onset of an economic blockade imposed after Hamas took control of the Gaza Strip in June 2007. Israel says patrolling these waters is a vital security measure to stop weapons being smuggled into Gaza.
advertisement

Muncie, 34, of Dalbreagha, Spean Bridge, is working with the Free Gaza movement and arrived in Gaza last month as part of a group of 40 activists who sailed on two boats from Cyprus in an attempt to breach Israel's blockade. He was accompanied by an 81-year-old nun, an 84-year-old holocaust survivor and Cherie Blair's sister, Lauren Booth.

Most of the activists have since returned to Cyprus, but Muncie and eight others opted to stay on and assist local people, including fishermen.

He said the incident with the Israeli navy took place four miles out to sea at 9.30am. "We had barely left Gaza's coastline behind when the gunboat's heavy machine gun opened up, spraying the wake around our hull with bullets. I've been out with the fishermen on several occasions and seen them the Israeli navy also use explosive shells fired from a cannon, and explosive charges flung into the water near a boat," he said.

Muncie claimed that in a separate incident on September 3, two fishermen were hospitalised and another fishing boat had been rammed and badly damaged in a separate incident last week.

Muncie's mother, Margaret, said: "You feel horror first of all seeing the video because you are seeing images of unarmed people being viciously attacked by military might; anger because there is no justification ever for this kind of action, and because it is illegal as well as immoral. Then terror for your own son's safety, and his friends, and for the brave fishermen who have to face this situation every day.

"And in that mixture of emotions, there is great pride that our Andrew is risking his own safety to defend the rights of others. And I know that John, my husband, feels the same as me, as do our other sons, David and Christopher."

Last month, the Sunday Herald reported claims by Gaza fishermen that they had been attacked at sea.

The Gaza Strip's waters have been patrolled by the Israeli navy since a blockade was imposed after Hamas took control of the Strip. Israel allows in limited supplies of food, fuel and aid but last year tightened economic sanctions in response to rocket attacks by militants on Israeli towns near Gaza.

According to the United Nations, the crisis has left the number of households in Gaza below the poverty line at an unprecedented 52%.

Gaza's fishing industry has been hit particularly hard. Under the 1993 Oslo accords, Gazan fishermen were to be allowed 20 nautical miles out to sea. According to Oxfam, fishermen are now only allowed six miles out to sea - not far enough out to reach the schools of large fish - and risk being shot or arrested if they breach this limit.

The Israeli Embassy in London declined to comment on Muncie's film.

Related Links
Click here to see the video on You Tube