Mon, 6 June 2011
On May 31, the one year anniversary of the Israeli attack on the unarmed passengers in last year's International Peace Flotilla that killed nine people aboard the Mavi Marmara, including an 18-year old U.S. citizen of Turkish descent named Furkan Dogan, organizers for the U.S. Boat to Gaza announced that they are expecting some 50 people to be aboard The Audacity of Hope, a U.S. flagged boat, that will be a part of the International Freedom Flotilla II that will sail from a port in the Mediterranean in late June and travel to Gaza. Aboard the boat will be US citizens from many different backgrounds, ages, and communities across the United States.
Four passengers will be travelling from the Pacific Northwest on The Audacity of Hope, one of those passengers, Erin DeRamus, is my guest on today's program. Erin is currently a resident of Portland, OR, a practitioner and instructor of acupuncture and qigong (a meditative movement practice for internal cultivation), and the last few years she has worked in public health and recovery with the local Native American Rehabilitation Association. Erin travelled to the West Bank in December of 2008 to train mental health practitioners in a basic ear acupuncture protocol for the treatment of PTSD (port-traumatic stress disorder). She was in the West Bank during "operation cast lead", when Israeli forces without warning began a devastating bombing campaign on December 27, 2008. By January 18, 2009 some 1,400 Palestinians had been killed and large areas of Gaza had been razed to the ground. We will be duscussing Erin's background, training, her experiences, and her reasons for making the decision to join the U.S. Boat to Gaza. Additional information: New York Times Article, Lara Lee Video, Unedited Mavi Marmara footage smuggled off of the ship (15 minutes), Lara Lee speaking to the United Nations, Democracy Now Coverage and Interview with Lara Lee, Alice Walker Statement, Petition to support International Fotilla