Chicago Solidarity Activists Headed to Gaza



Contact: Buddy Bell 773.878.3815 (office) 773.348.0339 (cell)
Gerald Paoli 773.559.9784 (cell)

Chicago Solidarity Activists Headed to Gaza

CHICAGO, IL.- In response to the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Gaza and to answer calls for a solidarity presence from Gaza-based organizations, international activists and grassroots journalists are forming delegations headed to the Gaza Strip.

Travelers include Kathy Kelly, Johnny Barber and Joshua Brollier of Voices for Creative Nonviolence who will be leaving for Gaza via Egypt on Thursday, November 22nd.

“We oppose the United States government’s callous silence about continued Israeli war crimes happening in Gaza. The United States supplied Israel with approximately 3.1 billion dollars in military aid in 2012 alone. We have a moral obligation to speak out when this money is used to kill Palestinians in Gaza,” says Joshua Brollier. At least 160 Palestinians, including 37 children, and five Israelis have been killed since Operation Pillar of Defense began 9 days ago.

“When President Obama says: ‘There’s no country on Earth that would tolerate missiles raining down on its citizens from outside its borders,’ he fails to consider the precision guided bombs financed by the United States decimating entire families in the Gaza Strip,” Johnny Barber observes. “Surely they deserve the same protection as Israeli citizens.”

The activists aim to enter Gaza regardless of whether a ceasefire is implemented. They intend to document and amplify the stories of ordinary Gazans affected by this war and ongoing siege, providing a more balanced narrative on the conflict.

“We cannot stand by and watch as another Operation Cast Lead unfolds, unchallenged. It is unconscionable for the fourth largest military in the world to maintain a crippling blockade against an entrapped population and then send US-made F16s to rain down missiles on civilians,” says Kathy Kelly.

Delegates will post on twitter (infofromvcnv), facebook and the Voices website, vcnv.org Please contact Voices co-coordinators in Chicago, Buddy Bell and Gerald Paoli, for updated information and cell phone numbers for the activists in Cairo and Gaza.

PDF of press release is available here

Voices for Creative Nonviolence (www.vcnv.org) has deep, long-standing roots in active nonviolent resistance to U.S. war-making. Begun in the summer of 2005, Voices draws upon the experiences of those who challenged the brutal economic sanctions imposed by the U.S. and U.N. against the Iraqi people between 1990 and 2003.