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French boat Dignite Al Karama first of Gaza Freedom Flotilla 2 to leave port as Greeks try to dash US Audacity of Hope

Gaza Freedom Flotilla II - Stay Human - Aid Convoy
French humanitarian activists aboard LE DIGNIT-EL KARAMEH left Corisca today, bound for Greece, where they will join compatriots in sloop LOUISE MICHEL and the Freedom Flotilla II codenamed “Stay Human” which includes two cargo ships carrying aid to besieged Gaza. The departures of the US AUDACITY OF HOPE and the Canadian TAHRIR are threatened by private complaints of unknown origin, flagging the vessels as unseaworthy, causing Nation reporter Joseph Dana to declare Israeli assault on the Flotilla is well underway.

Aboard the DIGNITY headed for Gaza: Olivier Besancenot, Julien Rivoire, Omeyyaa Sedic, Nicole Kiil-Nielsen, Annick Coupe, Nabil Ennasr, and AFP reporter Quentin Girard.

Gaza Freedom Flotilla II - Stay Human - Aid Convoy
The second French vessel, the LOUISE MICHEL, named for the famed leader of the Paris Commune.

Tweeting from the already sailing DIGNITY is Thomas Sommer.

Gaza Freedom Flotilla II - Stay Human - Aid Convoy
Irish activists pose before embarking on “Staying Human” Flotilla 2.

Gaza Freedom Flotilla II - Stay Human - Aid Convoy
Team Ireland’s MV SAOIRSE whose departure point is being kept secret to circumvent pressure being brought to bear on local port officials, as is happening with the US and Canadian vessels.

Gaza Freedom Flotilla II - Stay Human - Aid Convoy
USBoatToGaza participants rehearse nonviolent training in anticipation of IDF commando intervention.

Both the Canadian and US organizers are insisting on a media moratorium on images of the TAHRIR and AUDACITY OF HOPE respectively, in hopes of limiting opportunities for sabotage efforts. There is of course the conflicting motive of circulating images as early as possible to have visuals with which to better promote and nurture media interest in the international aid effort.

The Canadian boat TAHRIR will be covered by Toronto journalist Jesse Rosenfeld and Haaretz reporter Amira Haas.

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