Athens, July 12, 2011, At 10 am Greek time today, the shore electricity was cut off to the Audacity of Hope, the U.S. Boat to Gaza, leaving us with no power. The boat has been imprisoned at the US Embassy/Greek Coast Guard dock, near Piraeus, Greece, just outside of Athens, since we tried to sail to Gaza on July 1. The Greek Coast Guard intercepted our small boat and hauled us into this compound.
It is over 100 degrees inside the boat, and a Russian ship is spewing grain and dust over the entire area as it unloads grain. In addition, the off-loading noise the ship is making is above environmentally acceptable limits, sounding like a bad rock concert playing at the back of our boat! Six women are staying on board to protect the Audacity of Hope, since two boats heading to Gaza were already sabotaged in an attempt to prevent us from sailing to Gaza. Four of us are over 60. The Greek naval facility is co-located with a U.S. Embassy compound, which has one warehouse exclusively for the U.S. government, as well as a ramp for loading vehicles onto a ship. It also has a parking area for the wrecked cars of Americans who have been involved in traffic accidents plus a secure warehouse compound behind the ubiquitous high fence topped with razor wire and signs printed in both English and Greek in the U.S. government block style lettering.
The Greek Coast Guard is probably caught in the middle and may be ready to release us, but government politics seems to want to keep us in port to appease the Israeli government, since the occupation of Palestine has been outsourced to the Greeks.
Call the Greek Embassy in Washington and .the Greek consulates around the Country and demand that they release the Audacity of Hope.
Embassy of Greece
2217 Massachusetts Ave. N.W.
Washington, DC 20008
You can also call Kim Richter at the State Department or write a text message to her at 202-647-8308, insisting that the U.S. release this boat and informing them that six women are currently on board making sure she remains safe. Our conversation with Kate Brandeis this morning, acting Consul General for the United States, bore no fruit after we told her what was happening on board this boat.