Greek Coast Guard forces US Boat to returns to port; hope remains

Posted by CODEPINK Staff

By Medea Benjamin

After being detained at sea and forced to return, the US Boat to Gaza was guided by the Greek Coast Guard into a military compound just outside Athens. The press left the ship, but the passengers remained on board and spent the night in the boat. The Greek government has fully cooperated with the Israelis in impeding our movement. The only help we've received from the Greek government are two port-o-potties they put outside our boat, knowing that our toilets are not working when we're not at sea.

The Greek authorities are coming today to investigate the captain for having broken a police order to stay at dock. They also say they will finally give us the list of infractions from the inspections of our boat a week ago, something they have been refusing to do.

The other boats in Greece have been denied permission to sail due to a variety of bureaucratic obstacles the Greek authorities have thrown in their way. But like us, they will make an attempt to leave.

This shameful chapter in Greek history is symbolized by Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu thanking his Greek counterpart Papandreou for his cooperation in helping thwart the flotilla, and by the fully-armed and masked Greek commandos at sea, pointing their guns at unarmed American civilians singing "We are a gentle, loving people."

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