Activist Speaks about Ongoing Gaza Efforts

Social justice activist David Heap spoke Wednesday about his experience on Tahrir, the Canadian Boat to Gaza.

by Evan McIntyre

On Wednesday, social justice activist, David Heap, came to Just Us Café on Spring Garden to speak about his experience on Tahrir, the Canadian Boat to Gaza.

The Tahrir, along with another Irish boat, attempted to reach the Gaza strip but was stopped by an Israeli blockade.


David Heap speaks at Spring Garden Café (Evan McIntyre photo).

Heap was in the boat’s wheelhouse with a friend when the ship was boarded by Israelis and he “was ordered to get back five meters”, which would have put him off the boat and into the sea. “I’m not going to leave my friend alone with armed men,” Heap said, “at which point they tasered me in the arm.”

The 13 activists and journalists on the vessel had their communications equipment confiscated.  They were taken to a low security immigration prison in occupied Palestine, where they were held there for six days until deported.

Although the Tahrir’s  flotilla to Gaza was unsuccessful, there were several things that made it worthwhile for Heap. He said he sensed that efforts to liberate the Palestinians were being recognized.

He quoted eight year old Hind, a Palestinian girl living in a refugee camp who said to one of his colleagues, “when I see the boats coming, I think maybe we are not alone anymore, please don’t forget us.”

The trip has received media attention from Canada, The New York Times, and journalists at Al Jazeera.

Related Audio: David Heap speaks about persistence and hope in the face of adversity heaptalks

He finished his talk by quoting what the Conference of South African Trade Unions said, “The thing to keep in mind is that it doesn’t matter what we do this week or this month for Palestine, it matters how many decades we’ll be with Palestine because that’s how long she’ll need us.”