Gaza Freedom March

Gaza Freedom March

With only about 40 days until the march, our plans are for ramping up and you will be hearing from us regularly from now until you all arrive in Cairo!

Dear Gaza Freedom March Participants:

With only about 40 days until the march, our plans are for ramping up and you will be hearing from us regularly from now until you all arrive in Cairo!

In this update:

  • New endorsers and marchers
  • Updated itinerary for Gaza
  • Extra source of help for Cairo logistics
  • Supporting the people of Gaza beyond the march
  • Add a raincoat to your packing list!
  • How to keep current on the news about Gaza
  • Even Gaza has souvenirs to offer…
  • Solidarity Actions 

** Reminder:  Have you paid your Gaza Freedom March fee yet? You must do so by Nov. 30 in order to be confirmed as a marcher!   Click Here to make your payment or email if you are having problems making your payment through the website.** Judge us by the company we keep. Take a look at our new endorsers The righteousness of our cause and the hard work of our volunteers are paying off. Among the new endorsers are:

  • Hedy Epstein, 85-year-old Holocaust survivor (and better yet, she’ll be marching with us!).
  • Bella Freud, great-grand-daughter of Sigmund Freud and a British fashion designer whose clients include Madonna, Jerry Hall and Courtney Love.  She bravely condemned Israel ‘s assault on Lebanon in 2006 on a national BBC program. You can watch the video here:
  • Mike Leigh, an English writer and director of film and theatre. His most critically acclaimed works areNaked, for which he won the Best Director Award at Cannes; the BAFTA-winning (and Oscar-nominated) Palme d’Or winner Secrets & Lies; and Vera Drake.
  • MAP (Ministere des Affaires Populaires), a popular French band. They will be marching with us and performing in the rally the day of the march!
  • Charles Pachter, Canadian painter, printmaker, sculptor and designer. Some of his works are currently on exhibit at the Royal Ontario Museum in a digital medium. His nationalistic work has earned him entry into the Order of Canada.
  • Roger Waters, the English rock musician best known as the bass player and one of the lead songwriters/singers in the band Pink Floyd from 1964 to 1985. Following his split with the band, Waters began a solo career, releasing three albums and staging one of the largest concerts ever, The Wall Concert in Berlin.

Plans are shaping up for our time in Gaza and they are exciting!The organizing committee recently had a conference call with our partners in Gaza, and they shared these plans for our visit*: (Monday, Dec 27: Meet in Cairo, 7pm)(Tues, Dec. 28: Leave Cairo and travel to Al Arish)(Wed., Dec. 29: Cross through Rafah, Egypt, into Gaza)  Wed., Dec. 30:

  • 9:30 am.: Meet with the deputy head of the United Nations Relief & Works Agency (UNRWA)
  • 10:30: Tours of the most devastated areas of Gaza
  • 3 p.m.: Visits with representatives of Gaza NGOs and other civic organizations
  • Women’s project: “community mosaic”
    7 p.m: Group orientation for the march (location to be determined) 

Thurs., Dec. 31: The Gaza Freedom March!

  • 10 a.m.: An estimated 50,000 Palestinians in Gaza will join with the international delegation to participate in a rally and 5-km (3-mile) march from Iazbat Abu Drabo — a community in which nearly every building was destroyed, including several houses with civilians still inside — to the Erez border crossing into Israel (or as close to it as we are allowed without tempting violence in response). Upon reaching Erez crossing, balloons, kites and/or flags will be flown to express solidarity with Palestinians and Israeli peace activists on the other side.
    • 7 p.m.: Concert with artists from Gaza and the GFM

    Fri., Jan. 1:

    • Morning program: Choose presentations by women’s, youth, human rights,
      educational, fishermen, farmers, medical, religious, sports, etc. groups
      • Afternoon program: Repeat so all delegates will meet with two different groups

      (Sat., Jan. 2: Depart by bus for Cairo) *These plans are tentative and may be altered, as always we must remember to be flexible! Need more help with Cairo logistics?As you know, you are responsible for booking your own hotel in Cairo, both the night (or more if you are arriving early) before we leave for Al Arish/Rafah on Dec. 28 and when we return from Gaza (the night of Jan. 2 for most of you). Mohamed Ali Clay is still the “go to” person.  If you are having trouble contacting him via email (, try his cell phone number: +20128083170/+202357248885. Calls are relatively cheap via Skype. However, those who can afford to pay more, and/or who want more of a full-service travel agency, may contact Madame Ferial ( She will arrange airport pick-ups, provide information about Cairo, etc. as well as book hotel rooms.  Meanwhile, by the time of our next update, we will have finalized our location for the 7 p.m. orientation meeting on Dec. 27 (it’s not that easy to find affordable venues for 500+ people!). Want to do more than march to support the people of Gaza?There has been a lot of publicity about the shortage of school supplies in Gaza, and many of you have expressed the desire to help through contributions. However, because our dollars will go a lot farther if pooled together to allow bulk purchases in Cairo, and because supplies must be responsive to the specific (and cultural) needs in Gaza, we strongly suggest that you donate money to the Gaza Freedom March rather than buy supplies yourself. We have committed to bring in a substantial amount of school and other supplies, so your money will be put to good use! Our own Tighe Barry has consulted extensively with local officials in Gaza and knows just what is needed. Or, if you can make a significant contribution, email Tighe ( He will be happy to work with you to plan the purchase and delivery so that it is matched to actual needs and appropriately targeted.  Note: If you do bring items in yourself to give to residents, please be sure you can carry them yourself. (In addition to school supplies, other items in demand are electronic items such as laptops, unlocked cell phones and digital cameras. For the average resident of Gaza, the only way to get such electronic items is through the tunnels, making them too expensive. The Department of Education has particularly identified an urgent need for laptops. More things to add to your packing listThe winters in Gaza are cool (around 10 degrees C/50 F) and rainy. So be sure to pack a raincoat or poncho (with hood), as well as weatherproof shoes or boots. If you have decided to choose the camping option for the march, please make sure to bring a sleeping bag. Please also bring plenty of power bars and snacks, as we will spend many hours in buses and areas where food is unavailable. Keep current on the news from and about Gaza!Be sure to keep up on the latest news related to Gaza! Regularly check the “In the News” section of the Gaza Freedom March Web site. We update it regularly with media coverage of situation in the Gaza Strip.Another great way to stay updated on the latest news about Gaza is to subscribe to our Gaza Digest email service.  To subscribe, sign up here: or email  See a sample email here. In addition, we just added a great fact sheet on Gaza prepared by the American Friends Service Committee to our Spread the Word section. Even Gaza has souvenirs to offer…On a lighter note, one might think that since Gaza is locked down tighter than a drum, there would be no market for souvenirs. However, there are enough international relief workers to keep a small business running. Read this article from the Electronic Intifada for a preview of Gaza City’s souvenir shop and the unique items you’ll find there – including a commemorative Goldstone scarf and a coffee mug that welcomes you to the “largest prison in the world.” There are also several groups that have a variety of beautiful textile bags and wallets made by local residents for sale.  Bring plenty of cash, since the few ATMs will be very busy with so many international guests in Gaza. For the merchants in Gaza, cash is much more preferable than credit cards, even in the few places where they are accepted.  Let’s support the local economy in the most beneficial way for the people of Gaza–bring CASH!  Global Solidarity Actions are Moving Forward:Already, cities across Canada and the US have begun to plan actions in solidarity with the Gaza Freedom March, including local marches, candlelight vigils, and creative visuals.  December 27 will mark one year since the 22-day Israeli assault on Gaza began.  We’re calling on people around the world to organize an action anytime between December 27th and 31st incorporating the words “Free Gaza” at an iconic place in their community, and then upload a photo of their event to  Photos will then be publicized and used to increase awareness about the Gaza Freedom March, and to pressure elected officials.  Will you invite people in your community to organize a solidarity action while you are in Egypt en route to Gaza?  Email Nancy at for more info and to register an action online, click here.  Onwards for justice,Ann, Emily, Medea, Pam and the Gaza Freedom March Coordinating Committee