Swedish MEP Malin Bjork to set sail on the Women’s Boat to Gaza tonight
Swedish MEP, Malin Björk, will sail on the boat as one of 20 notable female politicians, activists, artists and media representatives from around the globe.
The Women's Boat to Gaza is part of the Freedom Flotilla, a peaceful civil society protest against the passivity and complicity of the international community, especially western governments, in the face of the inhumane situation in Gaza caused by the illegal blockade.
Björk comments: “I am very proud to sail with the Women's Boat to Gaza. This ship sails with the hope and a message that we urgently need a brighter future for the women and children of Palestine. And for that, we need to break the blockade of Gaza.”
“I was in Gaza four years ago, when I worked as an advisor in the European Parliament. I met with women's organisations and we visited schools and training centres. I saw with my own eyes how widespread the destruction is, and how difficult life is under the blockade and the Israeli attacks.
“Women are central to the resilience of communities during conflict and hardship such as in Gaza. Women are also key in any peace and reconciliation process. The Israeli occupation and oppression must come to an end. Women will be central actors in achieving that, and in the not too distant future I am convinced that Palestinian women will show the way forward in building a democratic and free Palestinian state.
“This Freedom Flotilla especially highlights the courage and strength of Palestinian women, particularly in Gaza. I am sailing to show my wholehearted solidarity with all of them,” Björk concludes.
In support of the action, 54 MEPs from GUE/NGL, The Greens/EFA, S&D and ALDE have signed an open letter (attached) to Federica Mogherini, High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy / Vice-President of the Commission, calling on the European Union to help restore hope in Palestine by:
- Acting to ensure the safe passage of the flotilla to Gaza;
- Pressuring Israel to lift its illegal blockade of Gaza; and
- Insisting that Israel comply with international law as a step towards restarting the Middle East Peace Process.
The Women's Boat to Gaza leaves from Barcelona this evening, aiming to arrive in Gaza by October 1.
In addition, GUE/NGL MEPs will participate in an action to show their support for the flotilla today at 11.45am outside the hemicycle in the European Parliament in Strasbourg.
GUE/NGL Press Contact:
Nikki Sullings +32 228 32760 / +32 483 03 55 75
Gay Kavanagh +32 473 84 23 20