I have visited in both Gaza and Palestine/Israel and thus, have glimpsed life there. It is not human. To nonviolently change this reality is something worth working for, working hard for. At 55 I went to nursing school and once I had my RN and training as a lay midwife, went with my husband, to volunteer for 4 years in the countryside of Guatemala, then Honduras. Life was/is hard there but nothing like Gaza. I feel the injustice and pain in my gut.
I founded and ran, for 8 years, a competition for young people worldwide called “What About Peace?” Several thousand youth answered the question with painting, poetry, short story, essay, photography, music. It was a way to have them think about peace, no matter what their thoughts.
Now, I protest drones at bases, have been to SOAWatch, am active in many satisfying ways with Code Pink, Women for Peace, lobbying Congress, travel to Pakistan, using humor and the ridiculous as well as fact and passion to bring light to difficult subjects. I was landstaff in Greece for “The Audacity of Hope”, and helped “The Women’s Boat” a tiny bit in Barcelona. Often, my presence is all I can offer, so I just go to learn and see what develops. I live in a retirement community in San Francisco, swim, participate in weekly vigils and actions, write, walk, and play the ukulele.
Quote from Barbara “When I visited Gaza, 6 years ago, I walked into the port as the sun rose and fisherman returned from a night of fishing. I was curious and a curiosity. We did not exchange words and I wandered, stopping at boats, looking at their catch. One boat with 2 or 3 quiet men, a few spaces down the harbor, another boat. Each had a box maybe 18”x18” and each box held enough small fish to leave spaces between them as they lay in the bottom of those boxes. It was a night’ work yet not even a meal. That memory is the reason I’m on the Al Awda today. Gaza was not and is not a human place.”
Barbara is on board AlAwda (The Return) from La Rochelle to Gijón.
Gaza Freedom Flotilla supporter and participant, 88-year-old Barbara Briggs-Letson passed on August 17 with her family and friends by her side. Click here to read more.