In the spirit of the Freedom Riders in the South of the United States in the 1960s who boarded buses to protest an injustice, another group, in 2008, boarded boats in the Mediterranean Sea. Their goal: to shine a light on another ongoing injustice.
The filmmakers capture the month long planning and eventually the voyage in 2008 of 44 citizens from 17 nations as they sail across the Mediterranean Sea two old wooden boats. Among the global freedom riders, an 84 yr old nun, an 80 yr old Holocaust survivor, an Israeli professor, a doctor, lawyers, students, and ex UK Prime Minister Tony Blair’s sister in law, a journalist.
Disappointed in their governments’ decades’ long failure to enforce international law to bring peace and justice to the region, they take matters into their own hands. In partnering with the Palestinian civil society and confronting the siege with nonviolent direct action, the ‘freedom sailors’ hope to shine light on the plight of the people of Gaza. Collective punishment of 1. 5 people, the majority of them children, is not something governments should be using to promote peace.
The relationship to the Palestinian liberation struggle and the role non violence within its history is connected to this international direct action.
Although the trip was largely ignored by US media, meeting with Palestinians afforded the visitors from the west a rare glimpse of clear headed people faced with a historic struggle against seemingly insurmountable odds, including a courageous astrophysicist, using science to heal his people.
Rock The Boat
"From the groundbreaking work of Gandhi and King to the ongoing example of the Free Gaza Movement, we can discern the transforming power of nonviolence at a crossroads in our history.”
H.E. Mr. Miguel d’Escoto Brockmann, President of the 63rd Session of the UN General Assembly, in: “Remarks to commemorate the Second International Day of Nonviolence”, Oct. 2, 2008
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