TORONTO, June 3 /CNW/ - Victoria, B.C. peace activist Kevin Neish spoke to rabble.ca today in an exclusive first interview about the Israeli commandos' storming of the Mavi Marmara on May 31. The audio for this interview can be found here: http://rabble.ca/podcasts/shows/rabble-radio/2010/06/108-attack-mavi-marvara-exclusive-interview-free-gaza-flotilla-a
Speaking from Istanbul, Turkey, the Free Gaza Flotilla activist describes seeing people die in front of him, and calls the Israeli account of activists armed with guns "a boldfaced lie." He details what happened when the Israeli military took control of the humanitarian aid ship and arrested those on board in international waters on Monday morning.
Neish recounts the aftermath of the attack, of hearing automatic gunfire from helicopters as the raid began, and of a makeshift medical area filled with bodies of the killed and wounded activists of the Mavi Marmara. He says one man died in front of him. He describes how activists defended themselves from heavily armed soldiers with nuts, bolts, and small pieces of chain.
Neish also describes the conditions of his detention, as he and more than 600 activists were held for more than two days by Israel. He says he was brutalized by officers, who left him and other activists in plastic handcuffs for 25 hours.
Neish arrived in Istanbul yesterday. He is recovering and expects to return to Canada within a week. He is left without most of his belongings, including his cellphone, credit cards, and identification documents, all of which remain in Israeli custody. "Mr. Neish sounds exhausted and emotional in this interview," said rabble.ca news editor Cathryn Atkinson. "For four days, the voices of Canadian witnesses to the assault on the Gaza aid flotilla have been suppressed, and we are grateful that he was willing to talk to us from Turkey."
"Kevin Neish's account of what happened on the Mavi Marmara is a vibrant depiction of the dedication to justice that is driving human rights activists around the world," said Meagan Perry, executive producer of the rabble.ca podcast network, who interviewed Neish on Thursday morning, June 3rd.
rabble.ca is Canada's most popular source of independent news and views, and features original news, opinion, book reviews, podcasts and live and pre-recorded video exploring issues facing Canadians. rabble.ca marked its 9th year of providing 100 percent free news content to Canadians on April 18, 2010. rabble is a community supported non-profit media site.
rabble.ca conducted an earlier interview David Neish on May 28th, as he was preparing to board his boat to join the multinational flotilla of ships carrying humanitarian aid to Gaza. The podcast interview can be found here: http://www.rabble.ca/podcasts/shows/rabble-radio/2010/05/106-interview-gaza-peace-activist-kevin-neish
For further information: For further information: Kim Elliott, rabble.ca, Publisher (613) 282-0410; Cathryn Atkinson, rabble.ca, Features Editor, (604) 848-1145; Meagan Perry, rabble.ca podcast network Executive producer, (867) 393-4540