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International Community of Activists-Heros? No! Just Humans Ken O’keefe

November 15, 2011 1 comment

Outstanding Human Beings

Gaza Flotilla Survivor, witness and Peace Activist-Kenneth O’keefe-Palestinian Hero

by Marivel Guzman on Friday, June 25, 2010 at 11:54pm

Some times we rush to criticized some people’s actions, their motives, or goals, and we judge them wrong without even doing little research on their work.

We have in our disposal unimaginable wealth of information in the Net, but the same way with find good resources on a subject, issue or individual we encounter the mighty grasp of the big Paid Media, there is so much debunking information and distrust in the media outlets these days that we tend to disbelief even the most clear ” Truths” but the propaganda machine is so well structured and dress up that most of the time we take the Lie and throw the truth away.

For centuries the power of the word has been the most important assets that humanity has in his favor to give to the new generations the events that shook our world, but also we have a hidden hand that has been manipulating that printed word for centuries, we said that the winners get to right history, well that is absolutely true but also, they have been courageous individuals throughout our history that have risked their lives for us to know the truth.

Activism is an activity that is born from the heart, you can wake up one day and find yourself feeling sad for our world, that moment you find your truth self the compassionate being that we all are if we just wake up to our humanity.

We see our brother Kenneth O’keefe defending peace, human lives, marine life and lately defending Palestine rights and the right of the peace activists trapped in the Mavi Marmara trying to lend a hand to his brothers from  the calculated and planned assault of a well trained commands with much passion that we immediately wonder if this person is an actor paid by the Propaganda machine, many have gone to the extremes to dedicate whole blogs to discredit Ken O’keefe, sad but truth.

Well facebook lovers, Peace lovers and Peace haters, this is not the case of our brother Kenneth O’keefe, he is one of those selflessly loving beings that sometimes born in our time, he is a truly a hero and compassionate being of light.

I usually do not use Wikipedia because is come to be a hasbara site, but some information is worth it to read, I know that lot of the wording is misleading, but I appeal to your wise mind to discern the truth, to strip the lies out and leave the facts intact.

I copied and pasted the entire article of Wikipedia of his latest activities as activist, justice seeker and peace lover, and I took the time to research the information found in Wikipedia and checked out if the article was recently created, Nope! pace haters and Israel blind lovers, he is being activist for more than 10 years,and a nature protector as well, the articles are being updated as he is accumulating points to his crusade for pace and protection of the environment. I think his volunteer work as a marine life protector is what he assigned himself to do as a marine soldier, fighter for marine life, but his soul evolved from animal protector to humanity soldier.

Kenneth O’Keefe born July 21, 1969, he is an USA/American born citizen who lawfully renounced to his US citizenship on March 1, 2001. He has since acquired Irish, Hawaiian and Palestinian citizenship.

He is a former U.S. Marine who served in the 1991 Gulf War who subsequently spoke out about the use of Depleted Uranium as a “Crime against Humanity” and the US Military using soldiers as “human guinea pigs” with experimental drugs that were directly linked to Gulf War syndrome.

He is also a social entrepreneur utilizing direct action marine conservation, but he is more widely known as a human rights activist who led the human shield action to Iraq and as a survivor of the Israeli attack on the MV Mavi Marmara who helped disarm two Israeli Commandos.

On January 7, 2004, Mr O’Keefe burned his U.S. passport in protest of “American Imperialism” and called for US troops to immediately withdrawal from Iraq.

He replaced his US passport with a World Passport in accordance with the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which protects the right to travel and self-determination. Subsequently he proclaimed himself a “Citizen of the World” with “ultimate allegiance to my entire human family and to planet Earth.”

In 1995 O’Keefe earned a scuba diving instructor certification and in 1996 he created a social enterprise ‘to protect and defend the marine environment we operate within”. To date his scuba diving operation has conducted 13 Ghost net recoveries and over 55 endangered Green Sea Turtle rescues of turtles wrapped in monofilament fishing line. O’Keefe pioneered these rescues with over 40 such rescues personally, but he also taught others his methods and ultimately led a campaign to create a Marine Sanctuary (Pupukea MLCD) on the North Shore of Oahu.

In 1998 and 2000 he crewed with the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society (SSCS) in anti-whaling and sealing campaigns in which he was mentored by Captain Paul Watson, another great marine life soldier.

In 2000 he became the Regional Director for SSCS in Hawaii, earned a US Coast Guard Captains license and was branded the ‘ecopreneur’ by Skin Diver Magazine, the worlds largest selling scuba diving magazine.

During this time O’Keefe found himself mixing marine conservation more and more with human rights, eventually his involvement in the Hawaiian Independence Movement led to his renunciation of US citizenship and full time investment in the cause of human rights.

Involvement in Hawaiian independence

In 1999 O’Keefe became an active supporter of the Hawaiian Independence Movement and began the process of formally renouncing his US citizenship.

In November 2000 he naturalized as a Hawaiian citizen, served as the Election Commissioner for the Hawaiian Kingdom elections and professed his allegiance to the Kingdom of Hawaii/Reinstated Hawaiian Government.

On November 30, 2000, then Kenneth Nichols was issued with a bench warrant for his arrest in the amount of $11,000, court transcripts proved that this was unlawfully issued and O’Keefe posted the warrant as proof of being targeted by the US Government.

In January 2001 he produced ‘The United States of Hypocrisy’, a scathing indictment of American imperialism that charges current administrations of the United States with continuing fraud in the ongoing theft of Hawaiian national lands.

He also charged the US Government with carrying out an unstated policy of genocide in Hawaii by the measuring of “blood quantum”. In his film former President of the American Indian Movement, Russell Means, claims that only two other nations have used blood quantum to measure blood, “Nazi Germany to measure Jews and Gypsies” and the “Apartheid regime to identify black’s in South Africa”. O’Keefe’s charge in the film is that the US measuring of blood is intended to eliminate Hawaiian nationals by making citizenship status contingent upon a 50% blood quantum. Predictably he says, over time, the Hawaiian people (kanaka maoli) will have diminished blood quantum below 50% and the policy of genocide will be complete, allowing the US to take adverse possession of Hawaiian national lands.

In 2000 O’Keefe authored a resolution that was approved by the Hawaiian Legislature which bound the Hawaiian Government to non-violence (except in absolute self-defense). In 2006 he returned to Hawaii and served as a democratically elected Representative of District 6 in Oahu, serving one year in the Hawaiian Legislature. During that time he authored resolutions calling for the ratification of international human rights treaties in Hawaii, including the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. He also authored and lobbied for a resolution that would outlaw weapons of mass destruction (WMD) in Hawaii; that resolution was subsequently approved in June 2007.

[edit] Seeking Political Asylum in The Netherlands

In the aftermath of 9-11, in November of 2001, O’Keefe left his family and business in Hawaii to seek political asylum in the Netherlands, claiming increasing persecution from US agents over his political activities. While the asylum process in The Netherlands provides a process to expel fraudulent asylum seekers within 96 hours of filing their claim, O’Keefe’s claim was determined to require the longer procedure that typically takes several years for a final decision. While in the asylum procedure he lived in a refugee camp in the north of The Netherlands, in Stadskanaal. Initially he represented himself, but eventually he secured the pro bono services of one of the top Dutch asylum attorneys, Pieter Bogaers. Understanding that the process would take years and seeing the upcoming invasion of Iraq he removed himself from the asylum process and initiated the human shield action to Iraq in December 2002.

[edit] Human Shield Action to Iraq

The human shield action to Iraq intended to exploit the greater value put on western life and render the 2003 invasion of Iraq politically untenable by placing the western shields at locations that are legally protected by the Fourth Geneva Convention.

Critics of the human shields argued that their mission would only protect Saddam Hussein; O’Keefe however argued that the “people of Iraq” would suffer the most and publicly acknowledged Husein as a “violent dictator” and “mass-murderer”, unsurprisingly he was not greeted with open arms by the dictator when he later arrived in Iraq. At its height about 500 human shields were in Baghdad, but due to challenges internally, with the Iraqi government and O’Keefe’s deportation by order of Saddam, the numbers dwindled to approximately 100 at the beginning of ‘Operation Shock and Awe’.

Despite failing to achieve the primary objective of preventing the invasion, volunteers successfully protected all the sites to which they were deployed (Al Daura Electrical Plant, Baghdad South Electrical Plant, 7 April Water Treatment Plant, Al Daura Water Treatment Plant, Tejio Food Silo, Al Daura Oil Refinery and Al Mamun Telecommunications Facility).

[edit] P10K & International Observers in Palestine

In 2004 O’Keefe founded P10K and attempted to organise a group known as the “P10K Force”, a group of 10,000 Westerners intended to act as international observers in the Occupied Palestinian territories and help bring peace with Israel. In furtherance of that plan P10K secured endorsements from Noam Chomsky, the late President Yasser Arafat, Dr. Hanan Ashrawi, the late Tanya Reinhart along with Israeli Refusniks and the overwhelming majority of the people of Palestine.

O’Keefe also sought meetings with leaders within the main resisting factions of Hamas, Islamic Jihad and Al Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades in order to obtain an ‘Agreement in Principle’ that would effect a ceasefire in return for the arrival of the 10,000 international observers within the ‘P10K Force’. Having successfully met with leaders within Al Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades, O’Keefe then managed to clandestinely pass through Eretz and Nisanit Settlement checkpoints on his way to meet with leaders of Hamas and Islamic Jihad in Gaza. He was however halted by the Israel Defense Forces IDF at gunpoint in the security zone between Israeli settler and Palestinian Gaza.

Seemingly embarrassed by O’Keefe’s ability to breach Israeli security and enter Israeli settler Gaza, the IDF offered to release him if he signed an agreement stating that he would not attempt to re-enter Gaza; O’Keefe refused and spent 20 days in jail before being deported as a ‘security threat’ based on secret testimony by Israeli intelligence. While in Israeli custody he initiated a hunger strike due to being beaten and denied access to an attorney and use of a phone to call his family.

Free Gaza Movement

In 2007 O’Keefe joined the Free Gaza Movement and in July 2008 he arrived in Greece to serve as a captain and first mate in the transport of two boats to Gaza via Cyprus. The Free Gaza mission was an open challenge to the Israeli blockade of Gaza. Ultimately he was one of the 46 passengers who succeeded in reaching Gaza by sea despite Israeli threats all the way up to departure from Cyprus. The boats arrived in Gaza on August 23, 2008, this was the first time in 41 years that boats had sailed into Gaza, tens of thousands of Palestinians greeted them as they arrived. O’Keefe piloted one of the two boats, the ‘Free Gaza’, into the Port of Gaza.

Aloha Palestine

In the aftermath of the success of the Free Gaza Movement, O’Keefe and Lauren Booth co-founded Aloha Palestine, a social enterprise intending to conduct ‘SafeTrade’ with Palestinians in Gaza. Aloha and Palestine were joined according to O’Keefe’s history of work in both Hawaii and Palestine. The Aloha Palestine mission commits the enterprise to ‘SafeTrade’; defined as ‘The commercial exchange of non-hazardous items that pose no danger to society. Trade conducted transparently and fairly that develops prosperity while fostering stability and building security in the region where it is conducted. Among the supporters of Aloha Palestine are Noam Chomsky, Tony Benn, UK Member of Parliament Jeremy Corbyn, the 14th Dalai Lama of Tibet and John Pilger.

Gaza Freedom Flotilla involvement

In June 2010, O’Keefe was on board the MV Mavi Marmara as the Managing Director of Aloha Palestine CIC, a social enterprise intending to conduct SafeTrade with Palestinians in Gaza. In the ensuing Gaza flotilla raid, O’Keefe was among the defenders of the ship and the mission to deliver aid to Gaza. In the course of defending the ship O’Keefe was involved in providing initial first aid to a seriously wounded passenger and disarming two Israeli Commandos. He helped to disarm one commando of his assault rifle and himself took possession of a 9mm pistol from another commando. He removed the “real bullets” from the pistol, giving the bullets to others while hiding the weapon. It was his hope that the weapon could be used as evidence in any subsequent trial. O’Keefe said of the experience that it was like “combat but without combat weapons” and that “We had in our full possession, three completely disarmed and helpless commandos” who were “surrounded by at least 100 men”; “we could have done anything with them.” He said that “woman provided basic first aid, and ultimately they were released, battered and bruised for sure, but alive. Able to live another day.

According to fellow activist Fintan Lane, O’Keefe was severely beaten by security officials at Tel Aviv airport before boarding a plane on 3 June for deportation, and that his injuries were so bad that he had to be hospitalized in Tel Aviv. He later released a video apparently showing the extent of his injuries, which he claimed were sustained from beatings by Israeli officials.

On 6 June, the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) claimed that O’Keefe was linked to terrorist organizations, that he was an “anti-Israel extremist” whose “goal was to reach Gaza in order to train and establish Hamas commando units. Mr O’Keefe publicly rejected the IDF’s allegations, pointing out “If they had a supposed terrorist in their possession, why the hell did they let me go?” He confirmed that he had held meetings with senior Hamas officials, but added that he had never carried arms for any group: “The only weapons I ever carried were while I was a US Marine serving in the Gulf War.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kenneth_O%27Keefe

Kenneth O’keefe Palestinian Hero

 

 

 

Outstanding Human Beings – Huwaida Arraf

Oustanding Human Being – Patrick Macmanus

 

International Community of Activists-Heros? No! Just Humans; Huwaida Arraf

November 15, 2011 1 comment

Outstanding Human Beings

Huwaida Arraf

Every Person once in his/her life get touched by compassion, this feeling that it’s impossible to describe only can be felt. Love make miraculous manifestations in the life of individuals. Everyone that got involved some how in the peace process of our earth have felt it, the strike of light that it is leading us to a new road of understanding, of unity, where we all are awakening to our humanity.

We do not need to be heroes to act in our own behalf, because every deed we make in the name of Truth, Justice and Peace is for us all humans that share this beautiful blue dot of the Universe.

If you get the urge to help in any way, don’t waste that urge as time is running fast, and more you wait more damage is made against your brothers. We are an army of compassionate being, and we can achieve wonders if we unite for a common goal. There are special souls in this earth that are dedicating their entire existence to peace. Huwaida Arraf is one of those cases, she along with Ken O’keefe, Vittorrio Arrigoni RIP, Adam Shapiro, Rachel Corrie RIP, Patrick Macmanus  RIP and thousands of others that crossed the world to go to Palestine to help in their struggles, they are not the only ones, but their deeds, their work make them outstanding individuals. The great nation of Palestine is a great example for us to follow, they all lived inside the storm of the occupation.

Life is short inside the occupied territories, as life is risky but if you follow your heart the risk is worth it. Stay Human is what we need to be an activists for Truth, Justice and Peace and to help Liberate Palestine. Remember the most powerful weapon is our humanity

Huwaida Arraf is a first-generation Palestinian- American. She was born and raised in Detroit, MI. She received her undergraduate degree from the University of Michigan in 1998 with majors in Political Science, Arabic and Hebrew & Judaic Studies. Huwaida spent her junior year abroad, studying at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. After graduation, she worked for the Arab American Institute to promote the rights of Arab-Americans. In 2000, Huwaida became a Program Coordinator in Jerusalem with Seeds of Peace – an American-based non-profit organization focused on working with youth from regions of conflict, including the Middle East, Cyprus and the Balkans.

Huwaida left Seeds of Peace after becoming involved in active resistance to the Israeli occupation forces and policies. With other Palestinian and international activists, she co-founded the International Solidarity Movement in April, 2001. In April 2002, as Israeli forces continued their siege on the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem, Huwaida led a group of international activists to the Church to deliver bread and food to people trapped in the Church. She was arrested by the Israeli Army and forced to leave the country. She returned a month later and resumed her organizational role with the ISM. Huwaida has been arrested over a dozen times over the past four years by the Israeli military for nonviolent protest in the Occupied Palestinian Territories. In addition, Huwaida co-edited Peace under Fire (2004), a collection of personal accounts of ISM volunteers published by Verso Books.

Huwaida recently graduated from American University’s Washington College of Law. She is married to fellow human rights activist, Adam Shapiro.

International Solidarity Movement – The International Solidarity Movement (ISM) is a Palestinian-led movement committed to resisting the Israeli apartheid in Palestine by using nonviolent, direct-action methods and principles. Founded by a small group of primarily Palestinian and Israeli activists in August, 2001, ISM aims to support and strengthen the Palestinian popular resistance by providing the Palestinian people with two resources, international solidarity and an international voice with which to nonviolently resist an overwhelming military occupation force.

Amnesty International -International Body dedicated Humans Rights

Salem News – Independent Outlet that has partnered with Truth Justice and Peace to bring you the real News, as they happened without dressing or sugar coating, they have been working tirelessly to raise awareness, telling you as it is

Free Gaza Movement – Since August 2008, the Free Gaza Movement has sailed from Cyprus to the Gaza Strip on several successful voyages, bringing in international witnesses to see first hand the devastating effects of Israeli violence against the Palestinian people. Ours are the first international boats to journey to Gaza since 1967.
We are Italian, Irish, Canadian, Greek, Tunisian, German, Australian, American, English, Scottish, Danish, Israeli, and Palestinian. We are of all ages and backgrounds. We have years of experience volunteering in Gaza and the West Bank at the invitation of Palestinians. But now, because of the increasing stranglehold of Israel’s illegal occupation of Palestine, many of us find it almost impossible to enter Gaza, and an increasing number have been refused entry to Israel and the West Bank as well.
We want to break the siege of Gaza. We want to raise international awareness about the prison-like closure of the Gaza Strip and pressure the international community to review its sanctions policy and end its support for continued Israeli occupation. We want to uphold Palestine’s right to welcome internationals as visitors, human rights observers, humanitarian aid workers, journalists, or otherwise.

The Electronic Intifada– The Electronic Intifada is an independent online news publication and educational resource focusing on Palestine, its people, politics, culture and place in the world.

Founded in 2001, The Electronic Intifada has won awards and earned widespread recognition for publishing original, high-quality news and analysis, and first-person accounts and reviews. The Electronic Intifada’s writers and reporters include Palestinians and others living inside Palestine and everywhere else that news about Palestine and Palestinians is made.

Palestinian Center for Human Rights  – The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) is a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) based in Gaza City.  The Centre is a non-profit company, dedicated to protecting human rights, promoting the rule of law and upholding democratic principles in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT).  It holds Special Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) of the United Nations.  It is an affiliate of the International Commission of Jurists-Geneva, the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) – Paris, the Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Network – Copenhagen, the International Legal Assistance Consortium (ILAC) – Stockholm, the World Coalition against the Death Penalty, and the Arab Organization for Human Rights – Cairo.  PCHR is a recipient of the 1996 French Republic Award on Human Rights, the 2002 Bruno Kreisky Award for Outstanding Achievements in the Area of Human Rights, the 2003 International Services Human Rights Award (UNAIS) and the 2009 Human Rights Prize of Andalucia.  The Centre was established in 1995 by a group of Palestinian lawyers and human rights activists in order to:

  • Protect human rights and promote the rule of law in accordance with international standards.
  • Create and develop democratic institutions and an active civil society, while promoting democratic culture within the Palestinian society.
  • Support all the efforts aimed at enabling the Palestinian people to exercise its inalienable rights in regard to self-determination and independence in accordance with international Law and UN resolutions.
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