Monday, June 20, 2011

U.S. Boat to Gaza Highlights Emergency Response Plans

U.S. to Gaza is a US Campaign member group and a US Campaign-endorsed initiative.

By U.S. to Gaza
June 19, 2011

In late June, a U.S.-flagged ship called The Audacity of Hope will join the Freedom Flotilla II, "Stay Human," as people from 22 nations set sail to Gaza challenging the Israeli naval blockade. Though the flotilla has the right under international law to do exactly what it is doing and has made abundantly clear its commitment to nonviolence, the government of Israel has publicly stated that it is prepared to act illegally and violently and take severe, even potentially life-threatening, action against the boats and their passengers.

The U.S. Boat to Gaza organizing committee urges people throughout this country to plan now for Emergency Response actions. The power of such actions will be the number of cities they are held in and the numbers of people who participate. Now is the time to start planning.

Once you have your local plans in place be sure to contact the U.S. Boat to Gaza organizing committee. We will add your information to our website, and provide a link to your site. Send your information to us at ustogaza@gmail.com.

First step: Now is the time to encourage people to sign onto the U.S. Boat to Gaza email alert list, as well as our Twitter and Facebook accounts, so they can receive the most up-to-date information directly.

Elements of your emergency response plans

1) Public protest activities

The goal is to be as visible as possible - both to the public generally and to the media.
As a local organizer you will know the best place to ask people to gather. Possible places include:
- Israeli consulate or other agencyU.S. federal building
- well-trafficked, major intersection
- major transportation hub
Think about what time of day will be easiest for large numbers of people to come out, to get media coverage and for the largest number of people to see your activity.

2) Media work

Be sure to have a list of media outlets and reporters in your area ready ahead of time.
Inform the media of any public activities and protests you are planning.
Monitor your local media to see if they are covering the story, and if so how. If they are not covering it, or not covering it well, call them!
Ask people to write letters to the editor and to call into radio talk shows.
The aim is to make sure the story is being covered, and being covered accurately.

3) Pressure on the Israeli and U.S. governments

It will be important that both the Israeli government and the U.S. government hear from as many people as possible, as quickly as possible.
Calls, email messages and faxes should go to the U.S. government: the State Department, the White and to your own Senators and House Representatives.

Calls, email messages and faxes should also go directly to the Israeli government.

Check often for more detailed contact information posted on our website.

Letter to President Obama

On June 14, the passengers on The Audacity of Hope sent this letter to Pres. Obama. Copies went to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and 12 members of the Administration and Congressional leadership. Call the White House - 202-456-1111 - and tell them you agree with the letter and expect the U.S. to take action to uphold the rights of peaceful citizens to safe passage on the seas.

READ LETTER TO PRESIDENT OBAMA...