Photo taken on Monday July 25, 2016. MORRIS LAMONT / THE LONDON FREE PRESS / POSTMEDIA NETWORK
Three Canadian women are joining the Freedom Flotilla’s current campaign to break the illegal blockade of Gaza
Eva Manly, Canadian Boat to Gaza’s delegated participant, is a retired documentary maker and photographer, whose work has been shown nationally and internationally and is distributed by VTape (Toronto) and VIVO (Vancouver). She has worked with First Nations people in Canada, peace and justice issues in Central America, including accompaniment of Mayan refugees and human rights workers, as well as in women’s rights. Eva devotes time to work for Truth and Reconciliation and to refugee sponsorships on Vancouver Island and is also active in Mid-Islanders for Justice and Peace in the Middle East, (MIJPME), the United Network for Justice and Peace in Palestine & Israel (UNJPPI), and the Canadian Boat to Gaza working for justice in Palestine and Israel.
Crew member Marilyn Porter is a retired university faculty member who worked for many years as an activist/academic, focusing on women’s rights, especially in the developing world. She has served on many Boards, both locally and nationally, including Oxfam and the Canadian Institute for the Advancement of Women. She is currently co-chair of the Social Justice Co-op, which works in the areas of environmental and tax justice. She is also working with a refugee group in St. John’s, Newfoundland. Marilyn is an experienced sailor, having cruised and raced mostly off the UK and eastern Canadian coasts, as well as in the Mediterranean.
Wendy Goldsmith, an organizer with the Freedom Flotilla Coalition, is a mother of three, a social worker and an advocate for justice who lives with her family in London, Ontario. As a social worker, she has supported many survivors of childhood trauma and abuse, including within First Nations communities. As a mom, she identifies with the suffering that Palestinian women feel as they endure the injustice of supporting their families under an illegal blockade and within an open-air prison, constantly under threat of attacks by the occupier.
The three will be joined by noteworthy international participants such as Nobel Peace Laureate Mairead MacGuire (Northern Ireland), Marama Davidson, Green Party MP (New Zealand/Aortearoa), Naomi Wallace, screenwriter and playwright (USA), Gerd von der Lippe, professional athlete and academic (Norway), and Çiğdem Topçuoğlu, professional athlete and coach (Turkey), who sailed on the Mavi Marmara in 2010 and whose husband was among the 10 people from that voyage killed by Israeli Occupation Forces.
Names of more participants will be released over the coming weeks.