Posted May 28, 2009
On the heels of the recent success of the Viva Palestina: Lifeline from Britain to Gaza medical aid convoy of over 100 vehicles headed by British Minister of Parliament George Galloway from the Respect Party, a similar effort will be launched from the United States. Leaving on July 4th and led by Galloway and Vietnam veteran and antiwar activist Ron Kovic, Viva Palestina: A Lifeline from the United States to Gaza promises to be an even larger mobilization of solidarity resources to help the people of Gaza and draw attention to their heroic struggle.
Organizers are accepting applications to go on the Convoy which leaves from New York and will gather in Cairo, Egypt from where they will travel to cross the Rafah border into Gaza—hopefully without any obstacles from the craven Egyptian government. Organizers are aiming for at least 500 vehicles and $10,000,000 in material aid.
Even if you are not able to go on this historic voyage, you can still donate money, medical supplies or other humanitarian aid to help out.
The Chicago-based Convoy organizers are partnering with the Interreligious Foundation for Community Organizations/Pastors for Peace (IFCO), a long-established humanitarian 501(c)(3) organization to accept donations. The Viva Palestina website will soon have a paypal link, but in the meantime, you can send tax-deductible donations (check or well-concealed cash) directly to IFCO at:
Viva Palestina USA – IFCO
47 West Polk Street
Suite 100 – 403
Chicago, IL 60605-2085
Caravan organizers are also encouraging other ways to help out. Below is from their donation info page:
There are dozens of creative ways to assist Viva Palestina USA in its goal to provide humanitarian relief to the people of Gaza!
For instance, you can:
• Contact hospitals, clinics, pharmacies and physician’s offices to gather non-expired, legal medicines and medical supplies, first aid kits, hygiene materials, prosthetics, and other medical assisting devices (e.g. wheelchairs, crutches, slings, casts).
• Donate the cost of an airline ticket or donate your transferable frequent flier miles or airline vouchers for another to meet us in New York or Cairo or, better still, donate the cost of the convoy if you are unable to come with us!
• Donate the cost of a vehicle for purchase in Cairo.
• Attend the convoy as a media representative or photographer/videographer and document the convoy’s journey and experiences and donate the final product to Viva Palestina for use or distribution.
To volunteer or for more ideas on how you can help, write to: email@example.com
On a personal note, I’ve applied to go on the convoy myself, hopefully being able to leave from Caracas (I live in Venezuela) and hook up with folks in Cairo. All of us prospective attendees are expected to fundraise to defray our costs and buy medical supplies to bring in our suitcases. Right now, I’m in the process of raising funds for airfare and whatever supplies I can pack. As an anti-Zionist Jew, I especially want to make a personal statement that the siege of Gaza and the massacring of Palestinians will not be done in MY name.
If you would like to help me out, please contact me directly at my personal email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Even if it turns out that I cannot go, any funds that I’m able to raise will go directly to benefit the work of the Viva Palestina USA Convoy.