Who are they?
- The international Freedom Flotilla Coalition (FFC) is a grassroots people-to-people solidarity movement composed of campaigns from around the world working together to end the illegal blockade of Gaza.
How is the United States involved?
- US Boats to Gaza is the US national campaign representative to the FFC. US Boats to Gaza is dedicated to continuing to send boats to bring international attention to the Israeli blockade on Gaza until the world stands for human rights for Palestinians.
How did they start?
- The Freedom Flotilla Coalition was formed after the 2010 Freedom Flotilla mission when Israeli forces killed nine civilians and pirated flotilla ships in international water. The FFC was formed to coordinate between numerous local campaigns that joined the efforts against the Israeli siege of the Gaza Strip.
Why focus on the blockade of Gaza?
- Gaza has two million residents, over half of them children. Over 70 percent of its residents are refugees from communities in Israel. Israel has blocked their return to their homes and since 2007 has restricted imports, exports, and freedom of movement. Despite numerous bombing campaigns on Gaza, Israel restricts construction supplies along with school supplies, medicines and even certain foods. The blockade restricts fishers in Gaza waters and prevents boats from coming into Gaza. These restrictions have crippled the economy resulting on Palestinians in Gaza being dependent on aid. The United Nations has declared that Gaza is imminently unlivable.
What is their approach to ending the blockade?
- FFC stands in solidarity with the Palestinian people, but support no particular political party or organization, without exception. They respect the human rights of everyone, regardless of race, gender, tribe, religion, ethnicity, nationality, sexual orientation, citizenship or language. Their actions against the blockade are always governed by the principles of nonviolence and nonviolent resistance. The FFC hopes that their global travels will educate people around the world about what is happening in Gaza and inspire them to help. Gaining support will help the FFC embark on missions until Palestinians are free.
How many past missions have they organized and embarked on?
- The first Free Gaza mission set sail in 2008. Two boats, the "Liberty" and the "Free Gaza," made it to Gaza with medical supplies for those living under the blockage. They also sent a second mission out to Gaza in Fall 2008 on the "Dignity." The "Dignity" set out on four more voyages in 2008. In 2009 both the "Humanity" made a voyage, and the "Spirit of Humanity" made voyages to Gaza. In 2010 a flotilla led by the Mavi Marmara sailed toward Gaza, but was violently seized by the Israeli Navy in international waters resulting in nine immediate deaths plus one later death from injuries incurred during the military raid. FFC voyages sailed toward Gaza in 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015. The Women's Boat to Gaza sailed in September 2016 and four boats were part of the 2018 flotilla. To read more about their work, please visit USBoatstoGaza.org and FreedomFlotilla.org.
What is the status of their next mission?
- The FCC is sending another flotilla to Gaza when the pandemic allows. They are currently fundraising for the mission. To learn about this mission please visit their website.
- To donate to US Boats to Gaza, please click here