Former Member of Parliament and United Church minister Jim Manly, who was detained last year for challenging the Israeli blockade of Gaza, and his wife, Eva Manly, will present “Gaza Ark and the Estelle” on September 9 at 7 p.m. at the Nelson United Church, (602 Silica Street).
Jim Manly was the Canadian representative for an international crew of 30 on the Estelle, a ship flying the flag of Finland and part of an ongoing international Freedom Flotilla. In October, 2012 the Estelle was seized by Israel, its crew arrested and detained for its attempt to bring humanitarian aid to the Palestinian people. Manly was then deported back to Canada.
The Gaza Strip is a blockaded Palestinian coastal region at the southeastern corner of the Mediterranean bordering Israel and Egypt, governed by Hamas. The Red Cross has stated that the blockade has harmed Gaza’s economy and caused a shortage of basic medicines and supplies.
“It’s time that the people of the world realized that this is morally wrong,” Manly says. “The blockade is slowly strangling the economy and the people of Gaza. Since the bombing, schools haven’t been rebuilt, classes are overcrowded and many students attend classes in shifts.”
He maintains that Gaza’s food security is threatened and its clean drinking water at risk.
Gaza’s Ark is a join initiative by Palestinians in Gaza and international solidarity activists challenging the Israeli blockade of Gaza. It is part of an ongoing international Freedom Flotilla Coalition representing individual activists and organizations around the world. Gaza’s Ark brings Gazan products to market in order to rebuild the Gazan economy, and helps revitalize the dwindling ship building industry while preserving the transmission of disappearing expertise to future generations, another result of the blockade.
Manly’s wife, Eva, is a retired filmmaker and an active advocate for social justice. The two of them live on Vancouver Island.
This presentation is sponsored by Nelson chapter of KAIROS (Canadian Ecumenical Justice Initiatives). Admission to the event is by donation. For further information call 350-352-9871.