Organisers of the Mullum2Bruns Paddle, which takes place this coming Sunday (June 27) say they want to avoid the event becoming ‘a platform for protest or activism’.
Campaigner Gareth Smith, who has regularly joined with his Palestine Flotilla said, however, he will not be deterred.
Mr Smith told The Echo he had received a call from one of the organisers ‘who told me that the purpose of the day was for people to have an enjoyable time on the water and that it was a family event. He did not think the event should be used for any other purpose.’
Mr Smith added, ‘I told him that I will be behaving in exactly the same way as I have always done over the years and I would be representing the people of Gaza, particularly now after so many of them have been slaughtered and badly injured by the Israeli military.
‘Gaza Aid Flotilla paddlers have always enjoyed positive support both from fellow paddlers and from audiences on the shore and this is the first time that organisers of the paddle event have raised any objection,’ he said.
Mullum2Bruns Coordinator Jo Spiteri told The Echo, ‘We informed Gareth that this is an eco-friendly, family event and we requested Gareth not to use this event as a platform for protest or activism as we don’t want issues on the day.’
For more details on the paddle see the special feature in The Echo, out Wednesday.