- Delivering Truth Around the World
Custom Search

VIVA PALESTINA -- A LIFELINE FROM BRITAIN TO GAZA (with videos) / Another Good News Story (UPDATED 2/28/09)

Smaller Font Larger Font RSS 2.0

Convoy Update

16.00 (GMT) Saturday 28th February 2009

Libya prepares a warm welcome for convoy heroes

After a smooth crossing of the borders into Libya, the convoy was overwhelmed by the large number of people waiting to greet and welcome them.

Trade union officials, Palestinian representatives, thousands of ordinary Libyans showed up and waited from the early hours to see their heroes.

According to the Libyan press, the Libyan Government has prepared a program full of activities for the convoy throughout its journey across the country lasting 5 days.

I am told by Rabah, that people are out on the streets of every city they pass showing their love, affection and appreciation of this mammoth task.

As I am writing, the convoy was just arriving in the city of Az Zawiyah about 40 km west of Tripoli. I can hear the brass band of the scouts playing a welcoming tune.

A huge tent has been set up which is a traditional Libyan welcome for VIP guests. The convoy will have lunch and then settle down after yet another tiring journey.

Farid Arada and others Update archive here

Please check out the excellent pictures here from the crossing into Algeria and beyond from photographers Younes Oubaiche and Alaeddine Bouimout of the newspaper ECHOROUK daily and Aouni from Bir El Arch.

Pictures from 21st February crossing into Algeria CLICK HERE

Pictures from 23th February journey CLICK HERE

Pictures from the 24th February journey CLICK HERE

Pictures from the arrival in Tangiers NEW POST HERE

Pictures and Video from 2oth February in Oujda, Morocco HERE

Convoy on the move in Algeria

Thanks to Ryad & Zahia for the video

23/02/2009 - Press TV the Convoy rests up in Tipaza, Algeria

Watch other reports here

viva palestina

including a boat, a fire engine and over 25 ambulances all on the way to Gaza. See pictures here


Fire Engine still going strong - Algeria, 25/02/2009

Boat on the move - Algeria, 24/02/2009

Prayers in Algeria - 24/02/2009

Maghnia in Algeria, 21st February

On the road - the Bolton team

On the road to Bordeaux

Overnight stop in Begles

100 miles from Paris - 15/02/2009

Loading at Ramgate - 14/02/2009

Waiting at Ramsgate

The Fire Engine - donated by the Fire Brigades Union

The Viva Palestina ambulances

The Lorry from Leicester (all weather vehicle)

The Ambulance from Stirling

A Boat for Gaza


Posted Feb. 21, 2009

Borders open for Viva Palestina

Farid Arada reports

Updated 20/02/2009

A message from Gaza to George Galloway


I would like to express my pleasure to read your message , and we can say today welcome to visit Gaza and we are waiting you.

My name is majid Saadi Khayal I am from Gaza city, I am writing to offer my assistance and services in your hand or under your request in Gaza.

See also

A message from Gaza




Convoy is real road map to peace


Another good news story


Galloway condemns Lancashire police action


A great day in Morocco


For the fishermen of Gaza


Blackburn brothers are back on the road


Not as easy as it sounds


From Dream to Reality


Our Valentine to Palestine


Vital Customs Information: For all team leaders & drivers


100 vehicles and £1million in aid


Important for drivers


Viva Palestina T-Shirts and Badges


It's eight days and counting!


Ferries, Vehicles, Tents, Insurance, Innoculations


Convoy Update


A message from Gaza


Meeting for those going on convoy


A mesage from George Galloway


A Valentine to Palestine


They know we're coming


BBC bans Gaza aid


Calling All Artists

The BBC has pulled the plug on a television appeal by 13 charities for Gaza.


Tony Benn sets the BBC straight on the BBC website

(Scroll down the article to see the video)

Sign the online petition here

"BBC: Journalism is about compassion too"

Make a complaint to the BBC

Phone: 03700 100 222

Online: Make your complaint here

Write: BBC Complaints, PO Box 1922,Glasgow, G2 3WT


17.00 GMT

Friday 20th February

En route for the border

The bulk of the convoy is now en route for the Moroccan border town of Oujda (see map) and are expected to arrive in the early evening tonight. The Manchester boys (whose vehicles had broken) have now arrived in Oujda having been given a police escort. Having been delayed they are now ahead of the main convoy.

10.00 GMT: Friday 20th February

Scottish Medical Aid Convoy leaving for Gaza

17:00 GMT

Thursday 19th February

Burnley 3 released!

The three men held on Friday 13th on the M65 alongside the brothers from Blackburn have now been released with no charges against them.

Press Release: for immediate use


Blackburn brothers are back on the road

Seven men from Blackburn set off today to join the Viva Palestina aid convoy to Gaza. These men were wrongly arrested on Friday evening on the M65 motorway as they drove to rendezvous with the convoy in London. We wish they all the best in the coming days.

George Galloway MP

"We come in peace. We will not be stopped"

Los subtítulos en español - Les sous-titres en français

Watch more videos of the departure here 

viva palestina

More pictures of the London departure here


The Phil Kaiserman Column departs from Cheetham Hill, Manchester at 5.00pm, Friday. More pictures here from the city centre


Aid Convoy leaving London for Gaza

George Galloway MP, Yvonne Ridley and hundreds of British volunteers are driving an aid convoy of over 100 donated vehicles packed with practical aid to Gaza leaving from outside the Houses of Parliament, London on Saturday the 14th February. This remarkable convoy will be over a mile long and carry a million pounds of aid raised in just four weeks.

Volunteers will drive the donated vehicles from all over Britain to Westminster on Valentine’s Day to form the convoy which will then drive almost 5,000 miles together through France, Spain, Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya and Egypt where they will cross the border at Rafah into Gaza in early March.

The convoy includes a fire engine, 25 ambulances, a boat and trucks filled with medicines, cash, tools, clothes, blankets, and shoe-boxes filled with gifts for children. All this and more has been by donated by communities across the country.

George Galloway said, “No-one will send a vehicle that is not filled with items including pyjamas, clothes and blankets. Millions of people in this country care deeply, and we are going to show that.”

Each person travelling on the convoy is a self-financed British volunteer. The vehicles will be left with the people of Gaza; volunteers will fly home to the UK. Thousands of pounds cash has been fundraised and collections for donated goods and fundraising events are still taking place all over Britain.

The effort is being co-ordinated by the campaign group Viva Palestina and is supported by the Stop the War Coalition, the Respect Party, the Anglo-Arab Organisation, several British trade unions and a large number of Muslim organisations. George Galloway MP and journalist Yvonne Ridley will lead the convoy from London across France and Spain then North Africa to enter Gaza via the Rafah crossing.

Please help us by making a financial contribution to help purchase further aid in Egypt.

In their darkest hour the people of Gaza must not be forgotten. Viva Palestina!

George Galloway MP speaks on Viva Palestina


Launch statement

Lifeline for Gaza aid convoy

Leaving London on Saturday 14th February 2009 and arriving on about 9th March in Gaza

Send a Valentine to Palestine

A message from George Galloway

More than 1,300 dead – more than 400 of them children – and still they are dragging bodies from the ruins.

The death toll in Gaza is rising, while the world’s leaders and media look away in search of a new story.

We will not look away. The Palestinians in Gaza need our help now, just as they did when Israel’s bombs and illegal weapons were dropping.

Thousands of people have contacted me to say that they have marched, cried at the television pictures and feel helpless in the face of the suffering.

That’s why I have launched a major initiative in response to the humanitarian crisis in Gaza. I will be leading an aid convoy from London to Gaza leaving on 14 February and travelling through France, Spain, Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, Egypt and through Rafah and into Gaza. It will bring material aid and raise the banner of Palestine in all the countries that we visit. The convoy should take about 16 days to reach Gaza.

The convoy will be led by a British fire engine, ambulances, and many trucks full of practical aid given by the various communities in Britain.

Ambulances from Stirling will join a fire engine from Manchester

It is quite an undertaking, which I anticipate will have a high public profile throughout its journey and on its arrival in Gaza, god willing, some 30 days later.

The convoy is already supported by the Stop the War Coalition – which organised the largest demonstrations in British history – as well as the Anglo-Arab Organisation, several British trade unions and a large number of Muslim organisations. Fundraising for the convoy is taking place all over Britain.

We urgently need your help.

Publicity: Please tell your family, friends and workmates about Viva Palestina. Join our Facebook Group and then ask your friends to join.

Money: please organise fundraisers, collections, donations which the convoy will get directly to the people of Gaza.

Cheques should be made payable to 'Lifeline for Gaza' and sent to Lifeline for Gaza c/o Flat 6, 1-2 Bowling Green Place, London SE1 1YL. or you can donate online here







By Yvonne Ridley

Another good news story
As a journalist I love being first with the news so when I was handed a red hot exclusive story a few hours ago I could barely contain myself.
I already had a captive audience having just finished a live broadcast for Press TV in front of scores of members of the Viva Palestina convoy which is currently making its way through Morocco.
"Listen up everyone," I shouted as they walked towards their hotel from the car park where Press TV's outside broadcast vehicle was parked.
They turned and gathered around and then the words came tumbling out: "Ten minutes ago police released the Burnley Three without charge and they are heading our way to hook up with the convoy."
Most times I never get to see peoples' reactions to my exclusive news breaks, but this time I did and the "wow" factor was amazing.
Viva Palestina convoy members jumped up and down for joy and shouted "Allahu Akbar".
I was referring to the three men who had been arrested as part of an anti-terrorist operation which just happened to be performed on the eve of departure for the history-making convoy led by George Galloway.
Of course the so-called anti terror raid made huge headlines in the British media which had, until that moment, shown little or no interest in Viva Palestina.
I wonder if the convoy gets the same amount of newsprint and airtime devoted to this good news story to redress the balance. I doubt it.
I didn't get a chance to see George Galloway's reaction, but as the leader of the 110 vehicle British aid convoy bound for Gaza, he has now spoken of his anger at the high profile Lancashire Constabulary police action which led to the arrest of nine innocent men who set off to join the Viva Palestina convoy last Friday.
Six of the nine were released without charge some days ago and are now heading for Tunisia in three vehicles laden with humanitarian supplies for the people of Gaza.
But three more were detained in custody for almost a week before being released without charge this afternoon.
The negative publicity which the arrests attracted had a knock on effect and Viva Palestina organisers said that there was a drop of 80% in donations.
Sadly the media continues to give Viva Palestina a wide berth, with a few notable exceptions including Press TV.
This is a real shame because they've really missed out on some excellent stories including:
*Heroic convoy members saving the lives of20 Moroccan policemen after a near-fatal road crash near Fes.
*Heroic London mother-of-six battling cancer continues her mercy mission for the sake of the children of Gaza.
*History in the making as Morocco and Algeria open their land borders for the first time in nearly two decades to let the mercy convoy pass.
Of course most of those making the headlines are Muslims and as we know, the Islamophobic media in Britain prefers to write about Muslims in a negative way.
But this flawed news judgment reflects badly on them and not the Viva Palestina crew who come from all parts of Britain - they might not have been born in the UK but they are doing their adopted country proud.
* Yvonne Ridley is on board the Viva Palestina convoy with award-winning film-maker Hassan al Banna Ghani.