“Being a revolutionary or supportive of revolts means you don’t read old fashioned Marxists (As’ad Abu Khalil), you don’t read politicized historians (Robert Fisk), you don’t read blanket thinkers leftists (Joseph Massad), it means that you don’t read statuses on Facebook by privileged people like myself. It only means that you read common people’s banners and slogans in demos. Only then, you’ll know what this revolution is made of.” Razzan Ghazzawi, Syrian activist
This text above was written a couple of months ago by Syrian activist Razzan Ghazzawi, and translated very well my feeling regarding a (much longer) list of so called leftist personalities and groups that have failed to support the Syrian revolution for numerous reasons. These groups and persons, that I will not cite to not give them any importance, actually spread false analysis and lies, going as far as to deny the popular characteristic of this revolution, and justifying their refusal to support this revolution, because the Syrian popular revolution would have been hijacked by the Western and pro Western regional forces such as Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey.
This article is not to give a long analysis on the way this interpretation of the Syrian population revolution is completely wrong, as it was done in the past several times (see previous articles on the blog), but to show what the Syrian people have to say in contrast to these kind of discourses.
Foreign conspiracy using foreign and armed Islamists/ and terrorists? No Popular movement?
This is a claim coming back quite often by numerous groups. My answer to this affirmation is another question: Do you often see Islamists dancing, singing, and demonstrating side by side with women? Or do you see many foreign/ islamists/ extremists saying Christian and Muslims are one hand, and/or the the Syrian people are one?? Or demonstrating for a Democratic Civil State?? Check the nonexistent popular movement in Syria:
Demonstration in Jobar (village close to Damascus), 19.10.2012
Aleppo, Al-Ashrafiya Neighborhood, university students demonstrating,17.10.2012
Bab srejeh, Ezeh square, Damascus, 14.10.2012
Musical instrument (the 3oud) in the demonstration
“No to sectarianism, our dream is a civil state”
Deir Zor, 13.4.2012, for all that are scared, we are not calling for a war, we are calling to build a democratic and civil state for all Syrians
In Syria there are two sects: the sect of freedom and the sect of of the regime, our demand is a civil and democratic state
I could show you thousands of other pictures to show you that the popular movement is still very much alive despite what mainstream medias and so called leftists friends outside of Syria have to say Check the picture section to see more:https://syriafreedomforever.wordpress.com/the-revolution-in-pictures-%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%AB%D9%88%D8%B1%D8%A9-%D9%81%D9%8A-%D8%B5%D9%88%D8%B1/
We do not deny the presence of couple of hundreds of foreigners in Syria, but their role and numbers are less than marginal in the revolutionary process and its dynamics (see this report which confirms their small numbers http://www.crisisgroup.org/en/regions/middle-east-north-africa/egypt-syria-lebanon/syria/131-tentative-jihad-syrias-fundamentalist-opposition.aspx?utm_source=syriareport&utm_medium=1&utm_campaign=mremail) ! I would like to add that jihadi elements are often not viewed favorably by local populations, and beginning of eptember clashes took place between groups of the FSA and a jihadist group near the Turkish border. Mainstreams medias and these “leftists” groups also do not not mention armed opposition groups such as the “National Unity Brigades” of the FSA. The speaker of this group declared in the first line of a statement “Religion is for God, and the homeland is for all.”, while adding that “the National Unity Brigades operates for the sake of a civil, democratic state for all ethnicities and social identities”. To the question “Who arms and supports you?”, the speaker of the group answers : “Patriotic individuals who don’t want recognition. We reject any support that is politicized or that is not patriotic, no matter how big. And everyone who supports us shares our dream of a civil state.” (read the full interview :http://darthnader.net/2012/10/17/interview-with-member-of-the-national-unity-brigades-of-the-fsa/”
Of course these groups are not interesting because they don’t enter the simplistic picture of a revolution hijacked by Saudi and Qatari, neither do pictures of popular demonstrations.
Sectarianism is everywhere, be careful!
The Syrian people has continued to repeat its refusal of religious divisions, despite all attempts of the regime to light this dangerous fire, which it has used in different forms since the seizure of power by the Assad clan in 1970. The popular movement has reaffirmed its unitary struggle, by developing a sense of national and social solidarity that transcends ethnic and sectarian divisions. Nevertheless this popular revolution is still characterized as sectarian.
Aleppo, Achrafieh neighborhood, 10.14. 2012, ” Christians Muslims one!”
Damascus, Jobar, 15-10-2012, ” a heart with inside written, Sunni, Christian, Kurd, Shia, Druze and Alawites,
Daraya, 19.10.2012, first leaflet on the left :” Our Revolution is not sectarian, Our Revolution is for the spirit of freedom”
Raken el Din, 20.10.2012, Bachar Al Assad being encircled (or trapped) by Christians, Muslims Sunnis), Kurds, and Muslim Shias
Kafarnabel, 19.10.2012, Channels describing ( or saying) the Sunni blood is one do not represent us, we are Syrians, the Syrian blood is one!
picture taken couple of weeks ago in Syria: message saying “I am Syria, Sunni, Christian, Shia, Ismaeli, Alawite, Druze,Achoury, Kurdish, Tcherkesse”
Yabroud, October 2012
Yabroud, October 3 2012, Muslims and Christians coming out together in yet another anti-regime protest in #Yabroud.
In many demonstrations, we can see signs saying “sectarianism is the tomb of the revolution or of the homelands” or “no to sectarianism!” Following each massacre by the regime or bombings for which no one claims responsibility, and which many people think are organized by the regime, the popular committees denounce them and call for the unity of the people. The local coordination committees (LCC) in Syria also organized last June a campaign under the slogan “freedom is my sect”, in which the LCC carried symbols and placards rejecting the sectarian discourse of the regime and its murderous attempts to turn the Syrian revolution into a sectarian trap. In the town committee of Saraqeb, LCC protesters had placards representing the symbols of all the Syrian religions, while demonstrators in Daeel had a placard saying “In the future, in Syria, the policy of exclusion will be over”.
This does not mean that sectarianism does not exist in the popular movement in Syria. It exists and we should not deny its existence, never mind if it’s a minority.In a revolutionary process, different ideologies are present and struggle against one another, and some groups in Syria have recourse to sectarian propaganda in their struggle against the regime.
The struggle against sectarianism is part of the struggle to overthrow this criminal regime. This break with the sectarian policies of the regime also opposes the section of the oppositions using a sectarian discourse and backed by the Arab Gulf states in their sectarian propaganda, to transform this popular revolution in a sectarian war to prevent the deepening ad the spread of this revolution. Sectarianism can only defeated by struggling in conjunction for democracy, social justice, secularism and real independence.
A revolution of dignity and freedom
When mistakes and crimes are made in the name of the revolution, the popular movement is the first actor to denounce and condemn them. The popular movement reminds all the actors of the revolution and on a permanent basis why they started this revolution: freedom and dignity!
Aleppo, Achrafieh neighborhood, 17.10.2012, “our revolution is against what is wrong, whoever did it, our revolution is clean, and we keep it this way (or we will protect it)”
Barazeh, 3.9.2012, “After all the massacres, we repeat viva the revolution for full freedom and for a dignified life for all”
Kharbet Ghazaleh, 14.9.2012, Our revolution is a revolution of dignity, not a revolution of revenge
Saraqab, 14.9.2012, Our revolution is a revolution of dignity, not a revolution of revenge
Dar3aa, 21.9.2012, The Syria of the future: freedom, citizenship, social justice, dignity, democracy, political pluralism
Barazah, October 2012, “Our mistakes are more dangerous to our revolution that the bullets of the regime”
Banach, 2012, October, For the free Syrians, we need to overthrow the “I” we need the “we”
The pistol (gun) that has no culture kills and do not liberate
Aleppo October 2012, The Free Army, correct you path
Aleppo 12.10.2012 We do not seek a world where no one is killed, but a world where killing is not justified …
Composed of soldiers who have deserted and civilians who have taken up arms, the armed popular resistance has real popular roots within the insurgency. The most important section of the Syrian revolutionary movement is composed of rural and urban proletarians and the economically marginalized “middle classes” who have suffered from the implementation of neo-liberal policies, especially since the coming to power of Bashar Al-Assad. The majority of those who have joined the armed groups of the Free Syrian Army come from these social layers. It is therefore completely misleading and far from any materialist analysis to identify all these armed groups as acting on behalf of and in the interests of regional or global imperialist powers. Moreover, we have seen how different demands of the popular movement, including the unification of the FSA, the appeal against religious sectarianism and the call to preserve the objectives of the revolution, have been taken into account by the popular armed opposition. The campaign for “a revolution of dignity and morality” launched by the local coordinating committees (LCC) and supported by a large number of local grassroots organizations, at the end of August and the beginning of September 2012, focused precisely on these themes and on the principles and objectives of the Syrian revolution which the Syrian people in struggle is committed to respecting, including both civilians and soldiers.
The debate is permanent between the popular movement and armed opposition, but there are still needs for more coordination and cooperation (see article : https://syriafreedomforever.wordpress.com/2012/07/06/syria-debate-and-analysis-on-the-popular-armed-opposition/ and https://syriafreedomforever.wordpress.com/2012/10/11/%D9%84%D9%85%D8%A7%D8%B0%D8%A7-%D9%84%D8%A7-%D9%8A%D8%B3%D8%AA%D9%85%D8%B9-%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%AC%D9%8A%D8%B4-%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%AD%D8%B1-%D8%A5%D9%84%D9%89-%D9%86%D8%AF%D8%A7%D8%A1%D8%A7%D8%AA-%D8%A7%D9%84/)
Palestine and Syria
The Palestinian refugees in Syria have participated in the demonstrations and in the fight against the regime and have given shelter in their camps to many Syrian families fleeing repression. Palestinian refugees have also suffered repression and count in their ranks more than fifty martyrs and hundreds arrested by the security forces. Several Palestinian refugee camps in Syria have been the target of shelling by the army of the regime.
Raken al Din, 9.9.2012, ” One, One, One, Palestine and Syria are one”
Palestine is in the center of our revolution
Revolution controlled by imperialists?
Binich 2012, September, “Overthrow all who want loyalty in exchange of support”
Kafranbel, 12.12.2012, Support in exchange of loyalty
I am a Syrian revolutionary and I support the Bahraini people’s Revolution, response to the two sects, and I am a Bahraini revolutionary and I support the Syrian people’s revolution
The Syrian people are not naive, despite what may think some groups and individuals, they know the game played by international and regional powers. They refuse it and continue their revolution.
The formation from below of popular autonomous organizations across the country, as centres of popular power, has also strengthened political consciousness and the experience of the movement of the fighting Syrian people itself in struggle.
The struggle of the Syrian people echoes the words of the Communist Manifesto: “The proletarians have nothing to lose but their chains. They have a world to win”.
Criticisms of the division and of the Syrian opposition
Aleppo, 5.10.2012, the revolution breaks leaders
Overthrow the Syrian Council and the Coordination Committee (Haitham Mannaa)
Aleppo. 5.10. 2012, On the right, the money of the revolution and on the left the people
Yabroud, September, For the opposition, don’t bother yourself, our revolution will produce our own leaders
The Syrian popular revolution did not only revealed the courage, the high political conscience and determination of the Syrian people in his stuggle for freedom and dignity, but its humor as well.
Tartouss, 14.10.2012, “Fu…, to all the security services and the state of the Baath”
The popular masses, faced with the political calculations and the hypocrisy of the global and regional powers, still want to overthrow the regime, 18 months after the outbreak of the revolutionary process in the country, but especially they continue to organize themselves and to organize peaceful or armed resistance in order to liberate Syria from tyranny. In this struggle, the popular movement repeatedly reaffirms its commitment to freedom, equality and social justice. Political and critical consciousness and practical experiences have continually increased within the movement, strengthening every day the freeing of the people from the authoritarian yoke of the regime and from the influence of its totalitarian ideology.
And as written below: “to start the story from the beginning: the people want to overthrow the regime”
Long Live the Syrian popular revolution!