The ship Estelle is now at its final stage of the effort to end the siege of Gaza. At noon on October 16, five members of Parliament from Greece, Norway, Sweden and Spain embarked on Estelle, in an action south of the Greek archipelago, in international waters:

- MP Ricardo Sixto Iglesias, Spain

- MP and physician Sven Britton, Sweden

- MP Aksel Hagen, Norway

- MP Vangelis Diamandopoulos, Greece

- MP Dimitris Kodelas, Greece

They are now together with activists and crew from Canada, Finland, Greece, Italy, Norway, Spain and Sweden. Jim Manly, former MP from Canada, is also on board. Three Israeli nationals are also on board and taking part in the action to break and lift the siege on Gaza. Estelle is expected to reach Gaza tomorrow, Saturday 20 October. The Israeli regime threatens to assault Estelle, in sheer violence of international and maritime laws. Your solidarity is necessary!

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Statement of Dimitris Kodelas, Member of the Greek Parliament for SYRIZA, from the boat Estelle attempting to break the blockade of Gaza

The acceptance of the honoring invitation to participate in the mission of the sailing boat Estelle, attempting to break the blockade of Gaza, is a way to express once again the solidarity of SYRIZA and of the vast popular majority in Greece, towards the martyred people of Palestine and their legitimate struggle.

Together with other parliamentarians I embarked Estelle feeling that, via the organizers of this new solidarity mission, the invitation actually comes from one and a half million isolated people in Gaza, and from all the Palestinians who struggle during decades for their self evident right to Freedom and Dignity.

Our goal is to condemn the occupation of Palestine, to express our solidarity in practice with the Palestinian People in struggle, and to demand the immediate lifting of the Gaza blockade. However, there are also some special aspects linking the Palestinian cause with the situation in our country:

- The demand for Bread-Freedom-Independence-Democracy is advanced not only by the peoples that are subject to military occupation or to the expansionist policy of neighboring states. Now it moves from the South to the North of the Mediterranean Sea, reaching all the European South and especially our country. Despite the big differences, a thread is now liking Greece with other countries and peoples in struggle.

- Recently we realized the importance of solidarity of other peoples with the struggle of the Greek people, the latter being targeted by the international “markets” and the powerful European financial and banking cartels. We know now how it feels to be treated as an outcast. Under these circumstances, we feel encouraged when we hear in other countries the slogan “We are all Greeks”, or when we see the Greek flag waving from Spain to, as it happened recently, Venezuela. Under these circumstances, we are even more obliged to prove that solidarity is mutual.

- In our region, the Southeastern Europe and the Middle East, the issue of war is on the daily agenda and wider geopolitical rearrangements are being planned at the expense of our peoples. Estelle’s message is a message of peace; a message in favor of international law and human rights, that are overridden in an increasingly violent way in our country and in the broader region. It is a message of resistance to those that attempt to be the gendarmes of the region. Even more, for us Greeks, it is a demonstration of a different “diplomacy” and stance. Estelle’s mission demands that the sovereignty rights and the peoples’ and states’ independence will not be overridden.

In short, Estelle’s mission is directly linked to the big mobilizations that are unfolding in our country as well. We will not allow the law of those militarily, politically or financially powerful to prevail. We will impose Justice and Democracy. The Mediterranean Sea can be transformed: from an area of external invasions, of looting of natural resources of its countries, of civil strife and hatred, of austerity programs and social extinction, into a sea of Peace, Dignity and Prosperity. In this sense, despite the gray background, the Arab Peoples uprisings, the squares movements in Southern Europe, the Palestinian Resistance and the struggles of the peoples of our “neighborhood”, pave for us all paths of hope and victory.

Dimitris Kodelas, SYRIZA MP