Cliff Hanley a 61-year-old artist from Southville who was one of the participants of the Freedom Flotilla, on board the Mavi Marmara ship last May, was physically and severely attacked on Thursday 21st April on the daily Peace Vigil on the Centre in Bristol.
Cliff Hanley who is also a member of Bristol Palestine Solidarity Campaign was holding a placard calling to lift the siege of Gaza, and his attacker shouted anti-Palestinian slogans, threw him into the hedge and hit him around the head several times.
Over the next few days the Cliff’s situation got gradually worse and was checked in a hospital on Sunday the 29th April with a brain hemorrhage and since then he is in Intensive Care Unit due to his critical situation.
Şakir Yıldırım on of his close friends who was also on board Mavi Marmara said that Cliff’ situation is very critical and he still in the intensive care : ‘ the doctors said that he has brain hemorrhage, he can’t move his left arm and leg, he is suffering of memory loss, and can’t remember what he said or done after moments…the doctors are not giving us or his family clear information about his situation…and his sister is afraid to lose him.’
Şakir also added that the police were informed of the attack and examined CCTV footage of the attack, but they said that the camera was not working and the film was of such poor quality that it was not possible to identify anyone. Without further investigation the police then closed the case. On the 26th of April the police were made aware of his serious condition and the case has been re-opened.
Şakir added: ‘While we still don’t know who is responsible for the attack on the Centre, the Bristol police seem unaware that other Palestine Solidarity campaigners have been targeted by the English Defense League which is known as England Nazi.
The EDL is a far-rightstreet protest movement which claims to oppose the spread of Islamic extremism in England.
However, an emerging picture show that the real agenda of the EDL is that they are supporting and defending the Israeli occupation of Palestine and are protecting Israeli interests in the UK, since the Israeli flags and the “ We support Israel” banners say it all.
Spain: Death Messages to supporters of Rumbo a Gaza (Heading for Gaza )
The presence of a Spanish ship in the Second Freedom Flotilla has been made possible by the Campaign ‘Rumbo a Gaza’ (Heading for Gaza), an initiative that has gained a deep support of society as evidenced by the 2,000 citizens and 200 organizations have joined it.
But the people who support or work for the campaign “Rumba a Gaza” are experiencing police harassment and receiving anonymous death messages, as they described it as: Unjustified police pursuit, spying, threats, etc.
Even elected officials who work in defending human rights for Palestinians, as the mayor of Madrid’s Leganés, Rafael Gómez Montoya, have received death threats, for supporting the campaign and also to allow a monument in a park in his region in the honor of the nine volunteers who were killed in the Israeli attack on the Mavi Marmara ship in the International waters by the IDF soldiers in last May 31.
The killing of Vittorio Arrigoni is a message for the the conscientious Europeans:
Vittorio Arrigoni was target #1 on an Israeli hit list website called stoptheism. The website called for his assassination, with other Gaza activists.
His death was just before the sailing of the new Freedom Flotilla to break the siege of Gaza, and was conidered as a clear message from Israel to other European activists.
Members of the International Solidarity Movement (ISM) in the Gaza Strip said Wednesday that in spite of the murder of fellow member Vittorio Arrigoni, they are still committed to staying in Gaza, as mentined in their statment : “We will continue to work with and live among the Palestinian population as we continue the work to which Vik was so committed.”
(www.ihh.org.tr / 07.05.2011)