Saturday, June 12, 2010

Smuggled video of Mavi Marmara boarding

Democracy Now! has aired "previously unseen raw footage" shot on board the Mavi Marmara. The video was smuggled out by an American – filmmaker and activist Iara Lee. The video doesn't really show much and Lee was below decks when the boarding took place so she can't really comment knowledgeably on events as they unfolded. She does have lots to say, however.

AMY GOODMAN: When you show the video of the helicopters above—and we’re showing that now—we see that there is—and we can hear below the sound of an explosion. What was happening there?

IARA LEE: I can’t give you all the technical information about what is rubber bullet sound, what is, you know, live ammunition. But obviously, they came with live ammunition. And minutes afterwards, we had the megaphone in our rooms, in every room on the ship, saying, "Stay quiet and calm. They’re using live ammunition. There is no way we can resist. They are taking over the ship. Just stay calm and don’t resist at all." You know? The other boats, they used rubber bullets and tear gas; they didn’t kill people. But in our ship, they came to kill.

JUAN GONZALEZ: The issue of these explosions, several people have said, have told us, that the explosions occurred, and even some shooting, before any soldier landed on the boat. Is that your recollection, or do you know for sure?

IARA LEE: We didn’t have guns. We were, you know, grabbing chairs. And, you know, the boys were taking like whatever they could get hold of, like broomsticks and so forth. And it was just completely disproportionate. And the injuries and the dead people started happening very quickly, to the point that—you know, you can see here in the footage. They managed to get hold of some Israeli soldiers, but obviously we were so brainwashed about nonviolence as our methodology that we didn’t kill any of the Israeli soldiers. Actually, when they got injured with the commotion, they actually got treated by our passengers. But the megaphone kept saying, "We are civilians. Don’t use violence. And we have extremely injured people. We need medical help," because we were not prepared medically to take care of, like, dead people. But we were ignored, and a lot of people who were injured actually ended up bleeding to death and died.

So according to Lee, Israel's trained killers were intent on killing but only managed to kill nine out of some 600 passengers. Jeez, those screwy Jews can't get anything right.

Or it could be the boarding party fired only after meeting a hostile reception but Lee can't accept this because she has been "brainwashed" into thinking all Israelis are bloodthirsty killers.

Update: Readers will be shocked to learn that the Democracy Now! video was heavily edited to make it more appealing for its target audience. The full video paints quite a different picture to that described by Iara Lee, who claims in a San Francisco Chronicle Op-Ed:

Under attack, some passengers skirmished with the boarding soldiers using broomsticks and other items at hand.

So as the Israelis boarded Mavi Marmara passengers grabbed whatever was weapon-like and defended themselves. Not quite, as Lee's video clearly shows (the timings below show the number of minutes into the video).

16:00 The stage is set for coming events with an unseen person saying that Israeli boarders will be thrown into the sea, adding: "These guys, these guys, these Turks, they're not like us... they're always ready for these things..." When asked if the "Turks" are ready to fight the reponse is, "Whatever happens."

22:50 An unseen high-speed tool – possibly an angle grinder – can be heard cutting metal while the faithful pray nearby. Maybe typical pre-dawn maintenance, or perhaps the ship's fixtures being cut into wieldable lengths.

35:55 Israeli naval hyenas commence their assault, attempting to inflict excruciating death via massive multiple paintball hit trauma. Gee, Iara Lee doesn't say anything about this in her Op-Ed or during the Democracy Now! clip. Regardless, passengers respond by throwing things – possibly not flowers – at the would be boarders.

38:20 Footage of what appears to be a blood spattered bulkhead, the stains described as "blood". Keep watching and you'll discover it's paint-ball splatter, one of the passengers confirming that no live ammunition has yet been fired. (The apparently blood-splattered bulkhead appears at Democracy Now! without elaboration.)

40:00 Israel air-borne hyenas – versatile, ain't they? – begin to descend from a hovering helicopter while taking fire from two peaceniks armed with high-powered slingshots. Despite being clearly visible targets, the pacifist humanitarians draw no fire from the bloodthirsty, supposedly live ammunition-firing killers above.

48:20 A very somber moment as, amidst the chaos, two men pray on deck, one of them pointing skyward. Is he? (a) predicting rain, (b) wanting to ask a question, (c) pointing to where he thinks he will soon meet up with 72 virgins, (d) testing wind direction, or (e) pointing to where those cunning hyenas came from. Regardless, point-to-the-sky-guy soon ends his prayers and gets to his feet but not before grabbing his length of cushiony rubber-handled metal pipe – available at all Bludgeons-R-US outlets and wherever quality blunt implements are sold.

It therefore seems safe to assume that some on board the Mavi Marmara didn't attend the intent-on-peace brainwashing sessions. And one more thing, Israelis should see if maybe Iara Lee and the Democracy Now! crew could give them some spin lessons.

Update II: The teaser image below features the apparently blood-stained bulkhead. The expertly edited video refers to "blood" on the bulkhead but the paintball splatter explanation is missing. Thus the peace-lovers at Cultures of Resistance are outright liars. Are you as shocked as I am?

Israeli Attack on the Mavi Marmara, May 31st 2010 // 15 min. from Cultures of Resistance on Vimeo.


Anonymous Dan Lewis said...

"we were not prepared medically to take care of, like, dead people"

They didn't have a blanket?

6:01 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

In the bit where they are focusing the light on the helicopter above, you can clearly see a guy on the boat when a lethal sling shot who kinda puts it away when he sees the cameraman come close.

6:41 AM  
Anonymous Dan Lewis said...

I was reminded of a line from an old Simpsons episode: "Wow, videoing this crime spree was the best idea we EVER had!".

Obviously firing a slingshot at a helicopter is a worthless gesture, however I'm sure there are people who regard it as noble. They miss however that those slingshots are fatal when fired at a person, and there's no question that happened as well.

Although the video is not that exciting, being on the wrong deck, I did notice how completely calm and prepared they were. These people were warriors. Not peace activists. Any ordinary person would have been absolutely shitting themself. These guys were ready for battle, and like the Arabs after every war they started, when they lost became complete sooks.

7:41 PM  

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