Rachel Corrie: Gaza bound Cambodian-flag

Rachel Corrie
IMO 6715281 LINDA XUJW8 General Cargo Ship 1205 1967 Cambodia

The mv Linda, which was detained by an order of the High Court last year, will be auctioned at the Crown Plaza Hotel in Dundalk at 12 noon tomorrow (Tuesday 30th March).

The structurally sound 1,800 tonne Linda was built in Germany in 1968.

It was the first vessel acquired by Guinness for bulk exports to the British market before being converted for use as a freighter.

The last owner of the Cambodian registered vessel was Forestry Shipping in Riga, Latvia, which has gone out of business.

In July last year, the vessel and its largely Ukranian crew were abandoned by the owners at Dundalk port.

The crew had only one days food and were left with arrears in their pay totalling €42,000. With the assistance of the International Transport Federation (ITF), an affiliate of SIPTU, they were repatriated to their home countries in November.

ITF inspector, Ken Fleming, successfully applied to the High Court for the seizure of the vessel. The proceeds of tomorrow’s auction will go towards the payment of arrears owed to the crew.

In recent weeks, equipment valued at €15,000 to €20,000 was stolen from the empty vessel at Dundalk and has yet to be recovered.

“I am hopeful that we can raise enough money at the auction to pay the crew the arrears that they are owed,” Ken Fleming said.
The rechristened MV Rachel Corrie sails today from Dundalk, Ireland, to join the Freedom Flotilla intent on running the blockade of Gaza. Israel is already warning Cyprus against allowing the humanitarian convoy to shelter in its ports, rehearsing plans to intercept, and Turkish supporters are rebuffing Israeli threats to bomb relief ships which attempt to reach Palestine. In other news, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development has accepted Israel’s membership, cementing First World culpability for Israeli growth from conquest. Critics had urged Israel’s disqualification because its capitalization has been owed to the occupation and illegal appropriation of Palestinian resources, but could the OECD ultimately disown the US-European joint colonial venture?

What a coincidence that today’s date in 1949 marked the end of the siege of Berlin, when an international effort was mounted by world governments to fly relief convoys of supplies to the besieged population of Berlin. Today western governments won’t abide the expressed will of their citizens and so the people themselves are having to save the Palestinians abandoned in Gaza.

The MV Rachel Corrie has been repainted with a giant Irish flag on its side, and the words “FREE GAZA” along its top. The cargo ship retains its original IMO 6715281 for communications and tracking. Bloggers and journalists will be charting the flotilla’s progress online.

Among the participants on the Free Gaza project are Ken Fleming, Nobel Peace Prize winner; Mairead Maguire, Nobel Peace Prize winner; Denis Halliday, UN Humanitarian Coordinator in Iraq; Matthias Chang, Perdana Global Peace Organizer; Aengus.O’Snodaigh, Sinn Fein; Chris Andrews; Free Gaza Movement co-founder Greta Berlin, Caoimhe Butterly, Ewa Jasiewicz, Fintan Lane, and Niamh Moloughney.

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