Thursday, June 3, 2010

Gaza Flotilla: Rush To Judgement?

Three videos (scroll down) show that a group of people aboard the Mavi Marmara "aid ship" were armed with steel rods, broken bottles, nunchucks, slingshots, knives and incendiary and explosive weapons. The videos also show that this group of people prepared their weapons in advance and were waiting for the IDF commandos when they came to board the ship, and that when the Israelis did arrive the armed group put up a vigorous fight.

In fact, one of those aboard, Kevin Ovenden, a former George Galloway staffer who spoke to the British leftist paper Morning Star, revealed that the ship's Turkish crew abducted two IDF soldiers who had been wounded in the course of the melee and held them captive:
Mr Ovenden praised the Turkish crew of the vessel as "truly heroic in their attempts to prevent further loss of life," saying they had taken two injured Israeli soldiers inside the ship to prevent them being hurt further in the panic and chaos.
From the reports I've seen there was only serious violence on board the Mavi Marmara (there were five other ships boarded and seized by the IDF at the same time), which indicates that there was something different about this particular ship -- probably the people on it.

Here is a video of the fighting onboard the Mavi Marmara:

And here is a video that shows preparations on board the Mavi Marmara just prior to the beginning of the IDF boarding:

Here is a third video showing the greeting given to the IDF by the "peace activists" aboard the Mavi Marmara:

Arundhati Roy: "It ought to be an armed movement ... I do not care ... Pick me up, put me in jail."

This Press Trust of India story is making the rounds:
Thu, Jun 3 02:52 PM

Mumbai, Jun 3 (PTI) Author-activist Arundhati Roy, who has been accused of romanticising Naxalism, has said she will continue to back the Maoists' armed struggle even if she is put behind bars. While claiming that she does not support violence, the 48-year-old Booker prize winner feels that the Naxal movement could be nothing but an armed struggle as the Gandhian way would not have been successful in the present context.

"The Naxal movement could be nothing but an armed struggle. I am not supporting violence.

"But I am also completely against contemptuous atrocities-based political analysis," she said delivering a lecture on 'The War on People' organised by the Committee for Protection of Democratic Rights here late last night. "It ought to be an armed movement.

"Gandhian way of opposition needs an audience, which is absent here. People have debated long before choosing this form of struggle," Roy, who had saluted the "people of Dantewada" after 76 CRPF and police personnel were mowed down by Maoists in the deadliest attack targeting security forces, said.

"I am on this side of line. I do not care. Pick me up put me in jail," she asserted. While terming the naxalite violence as a corollary to the battle between the tribals and corporate houses to gain control over natural resources like minerals, water and forests, she said, "While 99 per cent of Maoists are tribals, 99 per cent of tribals are not Maoists.

"What the government calls Maoists corridor, is in fact MoU-ist corridor. You have an MoU on every mountain, river.

"MoUs signed by biggest corporations in the world who are waiting to gain hold of the resources," Roy said. Explaining the economics behind iron ore mining, Arundhati quoting from Lokayukta''s report said, while the government earns Rs 24 per tonne, the mining company gets Rs 5,000.