Syrien, Links, Unten

Hier findet die grösste Revolution seit dem spanischen Bürgerkrieg statt, und alles was wir hören ist das Zirpen der Grillen. Das grosse Schweigen; „es ist kompliziert“ lautet die gängige Ausrede. Ironischerweise wurde Syrien vor der Revolution das „Königreich der Stille“ genannt. Im März 2011 explodierte dieses Schweigen in einer Vielfalt von Stimmen.

Der Ursprung der Gewalt in Syrien ist in Tatsache nicht so schwierig zu verstehen. Syrien war vier Jahrezente lang eine totalitäre Diktatur. Syrien war ein faschistischer Polizeistaat, geprägt von institutionellem Rassismus und Korruption. Einem kapitalistischen Wirtschaftssystem unterworfen, das lediglich einer reichen Cliqueé diente – der Assad Gang.

2011 erfasste Mut und Fantasie die Massen und SyrierInnen machten ihrem Ärger Platz und riefen nach Veränderung. Sie hatten die Schnauze voll von Korruption und Arbeitslosigkeit. Sie hatten die Schnauze voll der umhergreifenden Gewalt, der grenzenlosen Armut. Wütend das Kinder gefoltert wurden weil sie Sprüche gegen das Regime gesprayt hatten ging ein Schrei des Aufstandes durch das Land und verlangte das Ende der unterdrückenden Herrschaft von Assad, und erhebte sich zeitgleich für die Freiheit-  das Schicksal ihres Land in die eigenen Hände zu nehmen.

AntiDote versteht sich seit jeher als Sprachohr der erstickten Stimmen zu dienen . Nicht nur weil sie üblicherweise überhört werden, sondern auch weil sie Geschichte schreiben  Viele westliche Linke und AnarchistInnen tun sich mit der Thematik Syrien schwer. Doch stellt der Krieg in Syrien den definierenden Konflikt unserer Zeit und eine Bewährungsprobe unserer Bewegungen. Ein sowohl moralischer als politisch ethischer Kompass jeglicher zukünfiger Kämpfe.Continue Reading

The “Lottery of Life and Death” in Revolutionary Syria

AntiNote: The following article, written almost exactly two years ago, has special significance to us for several reasons, primary among them of course the subject matter—the gas attack in the outskirts of Damascus whose second anniversary was just observed by Syrian liberation activists and allies around the world—and the author.

Razan Zeitouneh is an award-winning Syrian human rights lawyer and activist who was abducted along with her spouse and two colleagues just a few months after writing this heartbreaking eyewitness account of the Ghouta massacre. Her story is one that should be far more widely known, and that provides a glimpse of the shape that the civil society movement took (though the assumption is widespread that it disappeared completely) after the Assad regime decided to counter the uprisings of 2011 with barbarous violence. Efforts to find her and secure her release have not ended.

Resources in English about the movement of which Razan Zeitouneh was a part and the context in which she worked are relatively rare but not inexistent. A good place to start is a medium-length documentary in Spanish and Arabic (with English subtitles), Ecos del Desgarro, which we recently shared in the Cinema Utopia section of this site.

A Search For Loved Ones Among Mass Graves
by Razan Zeitouneh
Originally appeared at Now. Media on 23 August 2013

“We have grown accustomed to the fact that anything is possible in this war and that the sole means to confront it is to prepare for anything.”

East Ghouta, Syria
I am trying to replay that day in slow motion in the hope of bursting into tears as any “normal” person is supposed to do. I am terrified by this numbness in my chest and the fuzziness of images running around in my mind. This is no normal reaction after a long day of tripping on bodies lined up side-by-side in long and dark hallways. Bodies are shrouded in white linen, and old blankets show only faces that have turned blue, dried foam edging their mouths, and sometimes, a string of blood that mixes with the foam. Foreheads or shrouds bear a number, a name, or the word “unknown.”     Continue Reading

For a Global Campaign of Solidarity with the Syrian Revolution

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. Continue Reading

Camara Negra presents: Ecos Del Desgarro

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The story of an impossible revolution

We share an important documentary made by the Camara Negra Collective which looks at the Syrian revolution and counterrevolution, giving voices to the grassroots activists who continue to struggle for freedom from tyranny and oppression. In Spanish and Arabic with English subtitles.

“I belong to this revolution that surpasses national borders. I love all revolutions. I love the revolutionaries that understand its meaning, its morals, its aspirations and its vision.”


AntiNote: Early in March 2011, inspired by the images coming from Tunisia and Egypt, around fifteen school children were arrested for writing “The People Want To Topple The Regime” on the walls of their schools. In their beautiful naivete they wrote their names under their messages of hope. The mukhabarat (secret police) broke into the houses of the children and arrested them In the dark of the same night. Among other verbal abuses, the chief of intelligence Atef Najeeb told the parents to forget about their children. The first demonstrations broke out, the first victims of a genocidal regime had to be buried, more protests followed. That is where the uprising started. Out of solidarity, for freedom and justice, self-determination, and personal emancipation.

The Syrian revolution did not follow any blueprints. Nevertheless, and contrary to the constant misrepresentation, it remains a  struggle for self-determination, liberty and a breaking point of the fear towards an all-powerful regime.

This is where the Syrian revolution conveys countless lessons for revolutionaries around the world. For us here at Antidote, this is expressed first and foremost in the ongoing discussions between an old, dogmatic “left” that refuses to recognize that it is about to become oblivious and marginal to protests and uprisings, so stubborn that it rejects everything that does not fit its approved textbooks, and a radically decolonized, ideologically emancipated and de-centralized left, which represents a fluid and ongoing project, where theory has to stand the test of its context and its time.

Last but not least, it is in the light of the Syrian struggle that we reflect and recognize our own shackles, our own dictators and regimes, and our own fears. And this is why we express our solidarity with those embracing diversity, supporting struggles, searching for allies, striving to become accomplices, wherever humans rise up and shake off the shackles of fear towards oppressive regimes.

The absence of dignity is the driving force of any revolution, that devotes itself to the desire of acquiring a life worthy of being precisely lived.

Ash-Shab Yurid Isqat en-Nizam!/ The People Want The Fall of The Regime

Website of Camara Negra: http://camaranegra.espivblogs.net/

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Still a Revolution: Solidarity Among Syrians

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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!

I have nothing to say except a question: is this a 3 year old child?

I have nothing to say except a question: is this a 3 year old child?


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.Continue Reading