SYRIA: the people will not kneel and will not accept any new tyranny!
The Syrian revolutionary masses are still struggling against the Assad criminal regime, despite the lack of information on Syria.
Resistance is everywhere, from the constant demonstrations throughout the streets and cities of Syria against the regime to the prisons of this latter, for example in A’adra prison. A number of detained women in this prison, a Damascus eastern suburb facility, have launched a hunger strike in protest of authority negligence regarding their conditions and trial postponement. The female prisoners have been arrested by regime forces under spurious charges of “publicizing terrorist acts” and other political charges. In a letter extended by the detained women to the head of the Anti-Terrorism Court, they asked the authorities to look into their cases and accelerate their trial holding procedures particularly for senior women and those pregnant or suffering critical health conditions.
On the other side military offensives of the regime are continuing to kill more Syrians everyday, while the international community is still hoping to reach a political solution that would keep the structure of the regime and implement minimum change in complete disregard of the demands of the Syrian revolutionary masses for freedom and social justice. At the same time, the opportunist and bourgeois opposition of the National Coalition is still trying to earn new legitimacy by electing a new president and to serve the interests of Western imperialists and Gulf monarchies. The best example of this servitude was the congratulation and the praise to Qatar’s emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani handing power to his son, Crown Prince Sheikh Tamim. Did the Syrian National Coalition not remember that the Syrian people are struggling, in addition for freedom and dignity, also against the fact that a family has been at the head of a criminal regime for more than 40 years? They have definitely not understood what the revolutionary masses of the country are struggling for and this is why they do not represent them.
We reiterate our support for the Syrian revolutionary process, which is still very much alive despite what we hear, and our struggle against the two evils that are threatening it: the regime and the reactionary forces.
The Syrian regime, or the criminal obstacle for a Free Syria
The regime has done everything possible to annihilate the Syrian revolution since the beginning of the popular uprising in March 2011. It has killed more than 100 000 citizens, tortured and injured thousands of people, forced people to leave their homes, a few million between internal and refugees in foreign countries, and destroy villages, neighborhoods and cities. Around 10 million people, half of the country’s population, will need life saving assistance this year.
It has called foreign powers (Iran and Russia especially) and actors (Hezbollah and Iraqi militias particularly) to repress the Syrian revolutionary masses. It has used the tool of sectarianism even more than before (and this since 1970, see this article for more information http://syriafreedomforever.wordpress.com/2013/04/04/sectarianism-and-the-assad-regime-in-syria/) to divide people and provoke even more killings and destruction. One of the most terrible example of this evil use of sectarianism and totalitarnism is in Homs, by trying to change the demography of Homs amid a new wave of arrests – and a census. The city, which has been suffering of an inhuman siege for over a year now and is the target of new bombings and attacks from the regime, is divided today and some districts have been turned into big prisons, especially for vehicles, with one way in and one way out. These areas are mostly composed of the Syrians Sunnis, of which the majority of the population of Homs is issued.
In contrast, residents of Alawite areas can move freely from one neighborhood to another without any checkpoints or fear of arrest. This is a clear attempt to divide Syrians into sects, but this has not been successful as even in these neighborhoods, regime has arrested and assassinated Alawites, who have challenged the regime and joined the opposition.
In the same time, the regime’s army has led a census in some neighborhoods and whenever they completed a street, some of the young men were arrested the next day. It seemed like an excuse to search for people they wanted.
The districts where the census was conducted were Karam al-Shami, which is mostly Sunni with some Christians, and Khadr, which is a mix between Sunnis, Alawites and a Christian minority. The regime has developed since the beginning of the year a systematic policy to frighten people and to make leave them the city. One activist said in an interview that “many people emigrated in May and others are also intending to do so. For June and July thousands of people from Homs have made airline reservations for Egypt. And the number is growing” (http://beta.syriadeeply.org/2013/06/conversation-homs-unusual-population-census/#.UboCqLQWl36). The regimes sectarian policies have taken the most terrible forms such as massacres of villages composed of Sunni citizens such as in Banias and al Bayda. Lastly the regime has destroyed the city of Al Qusseir with the help of Hezbollah and both actors will be launching most probably very soon a massive attack on the city of Aleppo, in which some areas have been under the rule of some oppositions groups since autumn 2012.
The regime’s continuous use of bombardments, chemical weapons and other important weapons to kill the Syrian revolutionary masses show that there can be no possible solution that would allow a transition in which the structure of the regime and its leadership is part of it. This is why we reiterate that any solution, whether Geneva 2 or others, are a important threat to the Syrian revolutionary process. No possible democratic, social and free Syria under the Assad regime. This latter has been the most destructive actor for the Syrian society for the past 40 years and is continuing this on a daily manner. This is why the Assad regime is an obstacle to a Free Syria and always has been.
No the Assad regime has to be overthrown, this is the only solution!
A threat to the revolution of dignity and freedom: reactionary and sectarian groups!
This said, we cannot but also oppose the reactionary forces trying to change the nature of this popular revolution into a sectarian war. We stand with the Syrian revolutionary masses that have increasingly opposed the authoritarian and reactionary policies of these groups, including Jabhat al Nusra. This latter have not hesitated to arrest activists that were struggling against the regime since the beginning of the revolution, such as Abu Maryam a famous activist in Bustan Qasr arrested 3 times. Lately Aboud el Haddad, a journalist and civil activist that archived the crimes against the Syrian people since the beginning of the revolution, was arrested by Jabhat al Nusra (https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=493426967394412&set=a.388312314572545.83871.388306254573151&type=1&theater).
These groups have no will for freedom as we can see on this video: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=136666493204358&set=vb.135403903232435&type=2&theater . The Islamists are chanting “Fuck Freedom”. We remind these groups that the first slogan of the revolutionary masses were to replace Bashar with Freedom: Allah (God), Surya (Syria), Huryya (Freedom), instead of Bashar, slogan chanted by the regime’s supporters. Protesters famous song also included “Syria wants Freedom”. Definitely we can only support the revolutionary masses in their struggle for freedom and social justice. This is actually happening massively.
We can see throughout the country, the masses opposing a new authoritarian rule. This feeling was very well translated by the slogan of the Local Coordination Committees (LCC) on June 28: “tyranny is one, whether in the name of religion or in the name of secularism” (see http://syriafreedomforever.wordpress.com/2013/06/30/الجمعة-٢٨-حزيران-الاستبداد-واحد،-سواء/). A passage: “the Syrian revolutionaries went out in crowded demonstrations on the Friday of ‘A Flaming Revolution and a Debilitating Opposition’ across the country rejecting the transmission from political tyranny to tyranny in the name of religion, and they have directed strong criticism to the political opposition which haven’t been able to lead a victorious people till now”.
The city of Raqqa, which has been liberated from regime forces since March, has been showing the more resilience against the reactionary Islamist forces and the highest self organization of the masses as explained in a previous article (http://syriafreedomforever.wordpress.com/2013/06/07/syriaor-elsewhere-there-are-no-pure-revolutions-just-revolutions/).
On June 18, a massive demonstration, led by women, occurred in front of the headquarters of Jabhat al-Nusrah where protesters are calling for the release of prisoners that have been imprisoned. Protesters chanted against Jabhat al Nusra, and were decrying that their actions were “in the name of Islam.” The protesters also chanted one of the most famous song of the revolution, as it was the first one used in Damascus in February 2011: “The Syrian people refuse to be humiliated,”. ( check these videos to see the protests and interviews of protesters : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oDmaRUEL1hM)
This resistance has also taken the forms of many popular and civil initiatives. The group “Haquna” (meaning “our right”) organized demonstrations against Islamist groups in Raqqa in which they chanted “Raqqa is free, out with the Jabhat al Nusra”.
Aleppo and Bustan Qasr
In many of Aleppo’s neighborhoods, we have also witnessed increasing opposition to the Islamic Council Commission, which was established by Jabhat al Nusra, Ahrar al-Sham and Liwa’ al-Tawhid. The Islamic Council Commission sought to assert itself as a local police authority and Islamic court system, marketing its efforts to impose law and order but earning criticism from local activists for authoritarian behavior.
This resentment was fully expressed after the assassination by Islamists of a 14-year-old for making a joke referring to the Prophet Mohammad. A demonstration was organized by Bustan Qasr’s popular committee against the Islamic Council and Jabhat al Nusra, chanting: “What a shame, what a shame, shabbiha have become revolutionaries,” comparing the infamous paramilitary groups loyal to Bashar al-Assad to the armed rebels who executed the boy.
Recently in a new demonstration, protesters in Bustan Qasr chanted “Fuck (Toz) The Islamic Council”, because of this latter’s repetitive repressive and authoritarian policies (https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=489563531124753&set=vb.262701267078822&type=2&theater). On July 1 2013, another demonstration demanding the overthrow of the Islamic Council and some sections of the FSA acting as thugs, was again organized after a group acting on behalf of the Islamic Council tried to steal or take by force products in various shops (https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=643464745681594&set=a.470814509613286.116018.470802712947799&type=1&theater).
Local activists in Bustan Qasr have also condemned the criminal behavior of opportunistic militants of the FSA and this has occasionally resulted in violent clashes. (and this started as far back as February 2013 protests in Aleppo against Liwa’ Ahrar Souriya leader Ahmad Afash, accused of robbing factories and extorting their owners. www.youtube.com/watch?v=6tZnQ6IeoQc).
The people of Bustan al-Qasr have worked on many civil initiatives against the regime, sit-ins, graffiti, decoration of the neighborhoods with revolution flags and mourning ceremonies for martyrs like activist Abdel Wahed Henawi. At the same time, they have resisted the Islamization trend associated to certain groups fighting the Syrian regime, to prevent them from taking over their revolution (see http://www.syriauntold.com/en/story/2013/06/08/3220).
The information revolution office of Kafranbel has issued a popular statement criticizing the behavior of some armed groups as well:
“Kafranbel has witnessed the development of many negative phenomena in the recent period, which had a negative impact on the revolution and on the citizens and the most occurring are frequent shootings and other related kidnapping and other negative actions, including the armed manifestations deployed in the city.
Because the weapon is not a feature of our revolution and because it only came to protect the revolution and the citizens, and the campaign in the city (… and gives a negative image for the ones holding the arms).
And we call upon all the existing revolutionary military powers in Kafranbel to rally around a single goal and put aside their differences and call on them to unite around the goal they were established.
We call on all citizens in Kafranbel to rally in a demonstration on Monday 01/07/2013 after Maghrib prayers in the Square for the following objectives:
1 – the overthrow of the immoral Assad regime
2 – to reject all acts of injustice from kidnapping and aggressions whatever the reasons and motives
3 – to renounce armed manifestations in Kafranbel
4 – Calling all military revolutionary forces to unite around the ultimate goal of protecting the revolution and the citizens
A sit in was organized in Deir Zor to condemn the attacks on the medical and civil movement and protest against the kidnapping of the media activist (Amer-Huwaidi) Abou hussain al Dairi (https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=527435933982863&set=a.178470582212735.45854.177009252358868&type=1&theater). This action followed a campaign launched in June by activists in the city designed to encourage citizens to participate in monitoring and documentation processes, including making them partners in claiming their rights and to promote the culture of a human rights in the society. A strong emphasis was put during this campaign on the idea of right and justice for all to confront all parties, and that the information that we collect is for all Syrians and their future.
FSA needs to correct its path
The condemnation of Islamists reactionary armed groups and some sections of the FSA acting as thugs should not be understood as a condemnation of the armed resistance or the totality of the FSA. The opposite, many democratic sections of the FSA play an important role in the defense of the revolution and its objectives, as well as struggling against sectarianism. In this video we can see members of the FSA cleaning a church in Deir Zir bombed by the regime, and saying that Syrian Christians are an indivisible part of Syria: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=380298088743014&set=vb.135403903232435&type=2&theater . In this other video, we can see the cordial and close relations between members of the FSA and some Christians residents https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=Uz42Z6_FeaM . Also some FSA brigades have members from mix religious backgrounds, for example Sunnis, Alawite and Ismaelite as in this video clip (https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=bU_kqCM_fO4).
It is in this spirit, that Friday July 5th 2013, was named ”Oh, Battalions, Be Alert and Awaken” where crowded demonstrations across the country demanded “the correction of the FSA battalions’ pathway to help progress toppling the tyrannic regime and fulfill the noble revolution’s goals in achieving a civil and democratic country” (https://www.facebook.com/notes/لجان-التنسيق-المحلية-في-سوريا/messages-from-lcc-to-the-world/689041184456354).
We have nevertheless to understand the crucial role played by the popular committees and organizations in the continuation of the revolutionary process, they are the ultimate actors that allow the popular movement to resist. This is not to undermine the role played by the armed resistance, but even this latter is dependent on the popular movement to continue the battle, otherwise without it, it will not stand a chance against the regime.
Kurdish uprising against PYD (PKK)
This will of change and refusal of all injustices have also involved the regions which are inhabited by a majority of Kurdish people. An increasing uprising led mostly by the youth has been witnessed in various cities following the arrests of Kurdish activists pro revolution and critical of the PYD (PKK branch in Syria), which has been de facto governing much of Kurdish areas in Syria’s north and northeast after Assad regime transferred its rule to it.
Rallies and sit-ins in the town, located in Hassaka province, began on June 17, following the arrests of the activists supportive of the Syrian uprising against Bashar al-Assad.
In the city of Amouda, which has seen protests in support of the revolution since nearly the beginning of the revolutionary process, hundreds are detained, while PYD forces have raided and attacked offices of other Kurdish political actors, including KDP-S and Yekiti (see http://syriafreedomforever.wordpress.com/2013/06/23/statement-by-the-kurdish-youth-movement-tck-about-the-latest-events-in-the-city-of-amouda-and-videos-and-pictures-from-the-protests-and-sit-ins/; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OmWDbTQ0kfA&feature=youtu.be).
Support to this uprising and battle against injustice has come from throughout Syria. The LCC published a statement Regarding the Acts of Violence Against the Kurdish Syrian Civilians (https://www.facebook.com/notes/لجان-التنسيق-المحلية-في-سوريا/a-statement-regarding-the-acts-of-violence-against-the-kurdish-syrian-civilians/686341961392943) affirming its rejection of such practices and its condemnation, while stressing on the necessity of the political and military leadership of the PYD to stop such blatant transgressions toward the citizens and change its behavior and strategies in the area as a whole and stop all forms of oppression and allow all the civil society organizations and the parties of the Kurdish and revolutionary movement to work freely, and give way to everyone’s participation in the local administration, and activate the independent civil judiciary to achieve a transparent investigation and bring those responsible of this blatant breach to fair trial as a result of what they have committed. The LCC also declared that any attempt to bring back the people under any name to accept the tyranny of any group and its attempts of organized violence oppression will be met with a similar reaction to the revolution of dignity in 2011 and that before it in 2004 (Kurdish uprising).
Conclusion: popular self-organization, or the road to a new and free Syria!
Examples of self organization have continued to develop and expand despite the lack of information of this crucial element in the Syrian revolutionary process (see this article for example and this link to observe the registered civil actions in the country: http://www.alharak.org/nonviolence_map/ar/#حملات%20توعية).
The dynamism of Syrian society and its popular organizations can also be seen in the multiplication of newspapers published throughout the country. The number of newspapers in Arabic published before the revolution was not more than 3 official newspapers, while today we have more than 40 independent newspapers published inside Syria.
The Syrian revolutionary masses have demonstrated their determination as we have said in previous articles to continue their revolution in order to establish a free democratic, social and independent Syria. They will not accept any new injustice, whether made in the name of nationalism or Islamism. As chanted again and again “the Syrian people will not be humiliated!”
In the same time, the Syrian revolutionary masses have shown that their destiny is linked to the liberation of the people of the region and elsewhere, especially Palestine but also Iran. As you can see below, a graffiti written in Farsi was made in Saraqeb city, in Idlib province:
“The green path will cross from Damascus to Tehran, toppling all tyrants. The path of humanity and love from the free Syrian people.”
Viva the Syrian revolution and all the people in struggle! And Glory to all the martyrs for freedom and social justice!
Source: Syria Freedom Forever
(NB: Tahrir-ICN has made slight grammatical edits to the original)