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

Ertrunken, ohne Pass oder Visa

Der letzte Feuerbrief, eines freien Syrier’s, ertrunken im Mittelmeer

Mutter entschuldige, weil das Schiff gesunken wurde und ich dort nicht ankommen konnte und ich das Geld nicht verdienen werde, um die Schulden für diese Reise zu begleichen.

Oh Mutter sei nicht traurig falls sie meinen Körper nicht finden. Wozu wäre das auch gut? Es gäbe zu hohe Ausgaben um meine Leiche zu verschiffen, Beerdigung und Beileidsbekundungen.Continue Reading

Ahogándose sin visa ni pasaporte

El último mensaje de un Sirio Libre ahogándose en el Mediterráneo

Perdóname mamá, porque el barco ha sido hundido y no pude llegar, y no voy a poder ganar el dinero para saldar las deudas que hemos hecho para pagar este viaje.

Oh mamá, no estés triste si no encuentran mi cuerpo, ¿cuál sería el beneficio? El transporte de mi cadáver, el entierro y las condolencias significarían demasiados gastos.

Perdóname mamá, porque la guerra ha acontecido y tuve que vivir como los demás, aunque mis sueños, como sabes, no eran tan grandes como los de los demás. Mis sueños fueron del tamaño de la caja de medicamentos para el colon y del precio del cuidado de tus dientes en el dentista.

A propósito, el color de mis dientes es verde, porque se le han pegado musgos, aunque siguen siendo más bellos que los dientes del dictador.Continue Reading

Drowning without Visa or Passport

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The Last Message of a Free Syrian, Drowned in the Mediterranea

Translated by Muhannad Al Boshi

I am sorry mom, because the ship has been sunk and I couldn’t reach there and I will not be able to earn money to repay the debts we took for this journey.

Don’t be so sad Oh mom! If they will not find my body, what could be the benefit?! There would be too many expenses for moving my corpse, burial, and condolences.

I am sorry mom, because the war has befallen and I had to leave like the others, although my dreams, as you know, were not so great like the others.  My dreams were like the size of a medicine box, and the price of taking care of your teeth at the dentist.

Continue Reading

Einige Gedanken zu Syrien

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Von Leila Al Shami, übersetzt von AntiDote

Ich wurde gebeten, für das anarchistische Treffen in Tunis, an dem ich leider nicht teilnehmen konnte, eine Übersicht der Ereignisse in Syrien zu verfassen. Das Folgende ist eine leicht editierte Version . . .

Im Jahr 2011, im Zuge eines Aufstandes, der durch die Mittelmeerregion zog, ­erhoben sich die Menschen in Syrien in gewaltigen Zahlen um das Abtreten des Regimes zu fordern. Es war ein spontaner Volksaufstand, der seine Ursprünge in den benachteiligen ruralen und urbanen Gebieten hatte. Es war eine Antwort auf Jahrzehnte der Diktatur, eines repressiven Polizeistaats, einer mafiösen Elite und der neoliberalen Politik des Baath Regimes, welche weite Teile der Bevölkerung verarmen ließen.

BurningSyria von Tammam Azzam

BurningSyria von Tammam Azzam

Es war eine Bewegung ohne AnführerInnen, die Menschen verschiedener Klassen, Ethnien oder Religionen verband. Junge Männer und Frauen organisierten sich horizontal in den Komitees, die in Dörfern und Städten sprossen, und versuchten die Proteste und den zivilen Ungehorsam zu koordinieren. In den belagerten oder bombardierten Gebieten versuchten sie direkte Hilfe, zu leisten.Continue Reading

Four Years Out: Thoughts on the Syrian Revolution

By Leila Al Shami
(visit her excellent blog)

I was asked for an overview on Syria for a meeting of anarchists in Tunis which unfortunately I couldn’t attend. This is a slightly edited version.

In 2011, the Syrian people, as part of a transnational uprising sweeping the region, rose up in huge numbers to demand the overthrow of the regime. It was a spontaneous, popular uprising, originating in the disadvantaged rural and urban areas. It was a response to decades of dictatorship, a repressive police state, a mafia-style elite and the neoliberal policies of the Baathist regime which had impoverished large sections of the population.

It was a movement without leaders which united people across class, ethnic and religious boundaries. Young men and women organized horizontally in the committees which sprang up in towns and villages across the country to coordinate protests and civil disobedience campaigns and to send aid to besieged or bombarded communities. The activists in the committees worked to coordinate the demands of the revolution across the country – for the fall of the regime and a transition to a democratic, non-sectarian, civil state.

Over time, in the face of increasing and savage state repression, people armed themselves and organized in popular militias to defend protesters and their communities from attack. By 2012 there was a full blown military struggle between, on one hand, a multitude of popular militias loosely grouped under the ‘Free Army’ label and, on the other, the State.

Continue Reading