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Friday, July 01, 2011

Flotilla follies!

Lots of fun happening in Greece today!

HuffPo is reasonably up to date:

Greece on Friday banned ships heading to the Gaza Strip from leaving Greek ports, and a vessel carrying several dozen American protesters which left port without permission was ordered to return.

A flotilla of nine Greek and foreign-flagged vessels and several hundred activists have said they want to break Israel's sea blockade and deliver aid to the Palestinian territory.

Greece's Civil Protection Ministry said coast guard authorities had been ordered to take "all appropriate measures" to implement the ban. It also said the "broader maritime area of the eastern Mediterranean will be continuously monitored by electronic means for tracking, where applicable, the movements of the ships allegedly participating" in the flotilla.

Protest organizers said one of the boats, dubbed the Audacity of Hope and carrying several dozen Americans, had left the port of Perama near Athens Friday afternoon, but had been intercepted by coast guards on inflatable speedboats about 2 miles (3.2 kilometers) out at sea.

"We're not moving because they put one of the (boats) in front of us, so we are stationary," vessel spokesperson Jane Hirschmann told reporters in Athens.

The Merchant Marine Ministry refused to give any details of the incident, saying only that the protest boat had not left the "general port area."

Head protest organizer Vangelis Pissias angrily condemned the ban and argued Greece had no legal grounds to block a privately leased ship from leaving one of its ports.

"We condemn the policy of the Greek government and its last actions ... The efforts to sail will continue," Pissias said.

A Greek government official said the boat had set sail without the permission required of all boats to leave port, and that the Coast Guard had asked it to return. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because the situation was still evolving.
The tweets from the flotidiots are priceless, as they pretend to be heroic by singing "We Shall Overcome" towards the Greek authorities (who, they never fail to point out, are armed!)

Their righteous indignation at being stopped from breaking maritime law is amusing, to say the least. For people who love to talk about "international law" they sure seem to be enamored of breaking laws themselves.

But, of course, they are pure and good and moral, so they are allowed to.

I tweeted to them a suggestion - perhaps they should sail from Syria next time, so as not to worry about pesky Westerners stopping their party. It would be considered an act of war, but that's a minor point - they want to destroy Israel anyway.