Next flotilla to Gaza renamed in honour of Vik


April 21, 2011
Sarah Benton

gaza_gazawitnessWritten by Free Gaza Team | 15 April 2011

Freedom Flotilla 2 Steering Committee

The murder of human rights activist, Vittorio Arrigoni, is a tragedy for his family, for those of us who knew him, and for the Palestinians who loved and admired him. The Steering Committee of Freedom Flotilla 2 condemns this senseless murder and the people who are behind it. They took the life of one of the most passionate supporters of justice for Palestine. This murder is damaging to the Palestinian struggle for freedom and justice as well as our work in support of that struggle.

In his honor, we are naming our next voyage, FREEDOM FLOTILLA – STAY HUMAN.

Nothing that we write can capture the man who was so full of the joy of life, a man with the pipe in his mouth and the captain’s hat always tilted at an angle on his head. The man with the big smile and gentle nature, someone who used his physical strength to hold small children in his arms, sometimes several at a time. His laughter and his last comments every time we saw him will ring in all of our ears as we board the boats to return to Gaza at the end of May.

“Stay Human,” he would say, then grin and clench his pipe in his teeth.

Vittorio had sailed with us from Greece on the first small fishing boat to enter Gaza in the summer of 2008, one of 44 activists sailing to protest the illegal blockade imposed by Israel against the 1.5 million Palestinians living in Gaza. We will do our best, Vik, to carry on the work you have done. The flotilla will return to Gaza in your honor.

Contact: Huwaida Arraf, Ramallah +972-598-336-215.
Espen Goffeng, Norway +47 90 13 14 94
Ramy Ramy, London +447728021097

Mother of Slain Italian Activist to Sail to Gaza, Flotilla Change Name in Honor of Vittorio
Gaza-PNN – Agidea Prata, the mother of Vittorio Arrigoni, the Italian activist and journalist killed in Gaza on Friday, said that she will be sailing to Gaza on May with the Free Gaza flotilla. Prata on Saturday told Italian news sources that “I want to see Gaza that my son loved and sacrificed for, I want to meet the good people living there that my son Vik always talked about”. She added that Vittorio work will go on though his friends.
Vittorio’s mother added that her son received death threats from a right wing American group on their website two years ago because of his photos published online and the pro Palestinian tattoo he has on his shoulder.
Vittorio first came to Gaza with the Free Gaza flotilla in 2008 and used to live in a single bedroom house near Gaza City coastline until he was kidnapped and murdered by a radical Salafists group calling itself Mohamed Bin-Mosliemah brigades.

Also on Saturday organizers of the Free Gaza flotilla announced that next voyage to Gaza will be named “ Freedom Flotilla – Stay Human” in Honor of Vittorio Arrigoni.

“The murder of human rights activist, Vittorio Arrigoni, is a tragedy for his family, for those of us who knew him, and for the Palestinians who loved and admired him. The Steering Committee of Freedom Flotilla 2 condemns this senseless murder and the people who are behind it. They took the life of one of the most passionate supporters of justice for Palestine. This murder is damaging to the Palestinian struggle for freedom and justice as well as our work in support of that struggle.” The group said on their website.

Adding that ““Stay Human he would say, then grin and clench his pipe in his teeth. We will do our best, Vik, to carry on the work you have done. The flotilla will return to Gaza in your honor.”

According to the Free Gaza Movement the group will send a new flotilla to Gaza in May. Last year on May 30th Israeli navy attacked the freedom flotilla boats while sailing in international water to Gaza killing 9 aid workers and injuring 54.

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