Only hours after Swarthmore College awarded an honorary degree to John Braxton (class of 70), in part for his voyage on the Phoenix sailing ship which broke the US blockade of Vietnam in 1967, Israeli commandos attacked a flotilla of peace activists seeking to deliver humanitarian aid to Gaza. Information is still slowly leaking out, but nine passengers are reported killed.
Some of you will remember that Nobel Peace Prize laureate Mairead Corrigan Maguire came to Swarthmore and spoke to a large audience in the Lang Performing Arts Center during the spring semester 2004. Mairead is now aboard the MV Rachel Corrie, which was forced to abandon the original flotilla due to repairs. She and other activists have decided to try to enter Gaza, probably by the weekend, despite the Israeli military’s actions on Sunday.
Mairead has already been detained in Israel during a previous sailing of the Free Gaza movement nearly a year ago. She spoke to Democracy Now! from her jail cell.