By the undersigned
Global Campaign of Solidarity with the Syrian Revolution
12 July 2015
CALL TO ACTION: August 21st is a Global Day of Solidarity with the Syrian People and the Syrian Revolution. Break the siege on the revolution! Organize an event in your city!
After four years since the start of the revolution, the population of Syria has already paid a severe price for their fight for freedom. More than 300,000 people have been killed, of whom 95% were murdered by Assad’s forces. The numbers of injured, arrested and missing are still unknown, though it could be at least half a million in total. Moreover, the number of detainees is estimated to be more than 200,000, with the fate of most still yet to be discovered. Thousands of towns and villages have been destroyed and more than 11 million people have been forced to leave their homes, including over four million refugees who have sought safety outside the country.
These atrocious figures show the suffering caused by this bloody regime, which uses the entire deadly arsenal in its possession to repress its own people. Assad does this solely in order to remain in power. Moreover, it is important to remember that the same regime had imposed various neoliberal policies on workers, youth and poor peasants; this imposition only intensified under Bashar’s rule.
The immense determination of the people’s struggle is nevertheless proven by the ongoing resistance against this state machine of class and sectarian hatred.
AntiNote: The following is an extended excerpt of a radio interview, edited for readability. Transcribed and printed with permission. Listen to it in its entirety:
On 2 May 2015, host Chuck Mertz of This is Hell! Radio (Chicago) spoke with activist Salma Kahale about the Syrian revolution—using that very term, in fact, which has so shamefully disappeared from many of our vocabularies when we talk about Syria.
As the conflict entered its fifth year two months ago, we posted on our Facebook page a compendium of articles—including several from our own archives—by activists who persist in using the word. These were our thoughts at the time:
It isn’t the Syrian Revolution that failed, we have failed. Failed to inform ourselves, to share the importance of the continuing Syrian Revolution and to stand in solidarity with it. One day we will recognize the legacy of a struggle for justice, freedom and self-determination that has very few equals throughout history. The heroes of the Syrian Revolution are well and alive and remain forever an inspiration for courage and resistance and humanity.
Today we salute all of those who struggle for freedom and justice and remember the 15 arrested schoolboys of Daraa who on March 6th 2011, inspired by the uprisings in Egypt and Tunisia, sprayed the following words on the walls of their town and brought Spring to Syria.
“As-Shaab / Yoreed / Eskaat el nizam!”
(“The people want to topple the regime”)
With this in mind, we have also interspersed in this interview a small selection of photographs by the Damascus-born journalist Rami Jarrah, whose Facebook and Instagram feeds are must-follows, as is the independent media organization he co-founded in Syria, ANA Press. He has recently been making stunning portraits of children in Aleppo, and even as his photographs have been attracting more and more attention, he has been unfailingly generous and kind in granting permission to use his work. Captions are also his.
Long Live the Syrian Revolution!
Chuck Mertz: There is a peace movement in Syria. A new coalition, involving tens of thousands of activists and dozens of organizations, has a plan to stop the bloodshed there.
Yassin Al Haj Saleh ist ein bedeutender, syrischer Dissident. Von 1980 - 1996 in Gefangenschaft, wurde er seit 2011 zu einer führenden Stimme des syrischen Aufstandes. Er versteckte sich 21 Monate lang innerhalb Syriens und lebt heute im Exil in Istanbul. Das Interview wurde via Email mit New Politics Editor Stephen R. Shalom geführt und von aNtiDote ins Deutsche übersetzt.
Wir, gewöhnliche SyrierInnen, Flüchtlinge, Frauen, StudentInnen, Intellektuelle, Menschenrechts-AktivistInnen, politische Gefangene … existieren nicht.
By Mariam Barghouti
As you walk in the streets of Ramallah, with its aesthetically appealing buildings and the chaos of shoppers and street vendors the silence here is deafening.
We continue to protract this bubble deeper into the echelons of denial and complacency. The ululations in the summer for Gaza, and the metamorphosis into a population of cheerleaders continues to etch its indentation. We offered blistered tongues and Gaza offered its soul.
An Interview with Revolutionary Anarchist Action on Kobanê
AntiNote: This interview with members of Devrimci Anarşist Faaliyet (Revolutionary Anarchist Action, or DAF) first appeared in Turkish in Meydan, a “monthly anarchist gazette,” on 22 October 2014. The English translation appeared on the DAF’s own site five days later. The DAF is a relatively young political organization in Turkey whose name speaks for itself—they announced their active participation in the Kobanê Resistance several months ago.
In the coming weeks we hope to provide a fuller profile of this group, their work, and where they fit into the complex political landscape of Rojava—as well as the Kurdish struggle and the Syrian revolution more broadly. For the moment it is sufficient to emphasize that many of the DAF’s allegations about Turkey’s disposition towards ISIS were further confirmed last weekend with widespread reports of an ISIS incursion into Kobanê directly from the Turkish side.
by Leila Shrooms
The following is based on a skype presentation I gave at a panel ‘the Syrian Revolution: Grassroots Movements and Media Coverage’ organized by the MENA Solidarity Network-US and The Global Campaign for Solidarity with the Syrian Revolution, at the Left Forum in New York.
Much of the debate on Syria by people who identify as being ‘leftists’ both in the West and the Arab world has been dominated by issues most prominent in the media such as a focus on geo-politics, militarization, Islamism and sectarianism. It’s ultimately been a very State-centric discourse. Conversely there seems to be very limited knowledge or discussion about popular struggles or grassroots civil movements in Syria. This is strange because the politics of liberation should not be grounded in discussions between political leaders and States but grounded in the struggles of people for freedom, dignity and social justice.
by AntiDote’s Ed Sutton
My good friend and comrade in the AntiDote Writers Collective, Laurent Moeri, has recently written a very moving series of portraits; short vignettes about the deaths of children and young people at the hands of authorities. It is called Berkin Elvan Lebt (“Berkin Elvan Lives;” the full English version is now available here).
But Berkin Elvan is dead.
Exploring the potential and the limits of anarchism: a long bike ride to Athens
Everything in Exarchia gets lent and borrowed, everything gets traded. Above all perhaps the most valuable asset: time.
by AntiDote’s Laurent Moeri
2011 was the year of Occupations. From Cairo, through Athens, to New York, Frankfurt and Zürich, people grabbed their tents and made themselves some space to voice their grievances. But not only that—they established free spaces in which, away from commercialized party politics, they reclaimed the empty husk of democracy and began filling it with life again.
At first glance, the uprisings against dictatorship in North Africa and the waves of protest through Western metropoles didn’t appear to have much in common. Yet they were unified in their impulse to break out of coercive, repressive structures.