Ive got the following message from Gabriel Carlyle in the religionwiki facebook page
Gabriel Carlyle heeft een bericht naar de leden van March on Gaza - Dec. 31st, 2009 - UK Supporters gestuurd.
Onderwerp: Help needed to cover unanticipated costs incurred by UK Freedom Marchers
(See bottom of this message for details of how to make a donation)
People have now returned from the Gaza Freedom March and lots of progress was made but perhaps not in the way that was expected.
Most of the marchers were trapped in Cairo as the Egyptian Government banned any local services (buses/taxis etc) from moving them any nearer to Gaza, and large marches and demonstrations then ensued in the capital, highlighting Egypt's complicity in the seige of Gaza. This was a feat in itself as the government banned GFMers from meeting in any groups larger than six!
A small group of mainly Spanish activists, also British (Alison Playford, Charlotte Dunne, Ian Chamberlain, Susan and Tom, James the Aussie Black Block guy from Camden, Les Gibbons and Martin Ruddock, sorry if I've forgotten anyone), also Lana from Malta, some French, Luxembourg, Americans, Hessidic Rabbis, Australians, Japanese, about fifty international activists in total, made it past police checkpoints down to El Arish near the Rafah border and continued to march in El Arish and do small demonstrations at Rafah despite being under house arrest. For more information about this incredible time in Arish see http://www.facebook.com/l/f8f9c;gazafreedom.wordpress.com/2009/12/28/under-house-arrest-in-arish/ and http://www.facebook.com/l/f8f9c;solidariosengaza..wordpress.com/. Eventually the Codepink steering committee made an agreement via Madame Mubarak that 100 GFMers would be allowed into Gaza on a bus. Some GFMers chose to join this bus as they were taking in aid or had family in Gaza, but the massive majority refused to go in on the bus as the point of GFM was to break the seige and for the Government to allow a small number of marchers in did not achieve this aim and was perceived as capitulation. We remained in Arish and continued to resist the Egyptian government.
Huge additional costs were incurred by our group on this trip, including a £470 phone bill and extra expenses paying bills for the time we had hoped to be in Gaza and travelling covertly to avoid police checkpoints. The expense of the calls was due to ringing the embassy when being illegally held by police, arranging food and water to be taken to groups on enforced hunger strike, arranging covert transport to demonstrations and supporting delegates who had gone in to Gaza. Also around half of the bill is due to receiving calls from other delegates trying to get to Arish/in emergency situations. We managed to use some local phone cards which were paid for at the time but it was often necessary to use an English phone as this was the number that delegates knew from London and was still for use available when the phone cards ran out.
PLEASE HELP US WITH THESE EXPENSES AS WE CANNOT COVER ALL OF THEM OUTSELVES DUE TO LOW INCOMES. We have many plans to continue with our part in the fight to end the seige of Gaza but desperately need help with the debt left by this trip to do so. Please donate what you can using the details below.
Alison Playford, Ian Chamberlain and Charlotte Dunne of the British delegation in Arish. FREE GAZA
HOW TO MAKE A DONATION
> By cheque (payable to 'Alison Playford') to: Alison Playford, Flat 4, Central West, 320 Ruislip RD East, Greenford, Mddx, UB6 9FE.
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