From demonstration to demonstration they started to get to know each other. The common link between them was their sense of responsibility towards their country usurped by the tyrannical regime that has spent all its years in power to serve its own interests. This is what motivated them to form a working group to provide support, by all means at their disposal, to the revolutionary movement that aimed to overthrow the regime.
They participated in the weekly peaceful demonstrations alongside men of their city Salamyeh. When, in August 2011, the regime decided to stifle the free voice of the city in a violent campaign of mass arrests that affected most peaceful activists in Salamyeh, they organized women demonstrations to advocate the overthrow of the tyrannical regime and demand the release of their detained sons. They organized sit-ins and protest rallies in most streets of the city, the most famous being the sit-ins the central public square of the city just before Mother’s Day in March 2012. Their demand for the release of the detainees was not appreciated by the director of the security forces of the area that responded fiercely by going with shabbiha to beat and arrest all those who tried to prevent or defend the protesters.
After tightening the repression and surveillance of the city and the increase of the risk of arrests, the women of the coordination of the city of Salamyeh had to find another way to make their voice heard to the world and to all of the sons of the nation by organizing sit-ins in solidarity on a weekly manner at their homes with all the children of the Syrian revolution and to write statements that explain their position regarding the events in Syria in general, and of the city of Salamyeh in particular. Statements were read during sit-ins, published on internet through their own page and distributed to the citizens of the city after printing.
They were the first to take action in solidarity with the women prisoners on strike in Adra prison and devoted them a statement. They had also issued a statement following the prefabricated terrorist attack by shabbiha in Salamyeh against the committee offices, next to the house of the director of the security services of the area, which cost the lives of dozens of innocent civilians. Their latest release denounced the indiscriminate shelling of the city of Salamyeh that cost the lives of innocent persons in the city, including men, women and children. They condemned the massacres committed by the regime in all Syrian cities brandishing placards dedicated to these cities and that focused on “the unity of the Syrian blood” and warned of the sectarian attempts by the regime to divide Syrians that certainly does not fool and mislead them, neither them nor the citizens of the city. Among the most important slogans that they chanted during the demonstrations we can find: “The girls of Salamyeh want freedom, reject sectarianism and aspire to a civil state”, it is because they have experienced a living together in a free city whose social fabric is a beautiful mosaic that includes most of the components of the Syrian people. Only in Salamyeh there are Ismaili, Sunni, Alawite, Christians and Adygeas. Even if their proportions are unequal, these communities constitute the beauty of citizenship that unites them in the love of their great motherland Syria and their small town Salamyeh.
The women of the coordination of the city of Salamyeh by commitment and responsibility to all citizens without exception participated with activists of the city among the free rebellious youth in relief actions when their city was filled with affected refugees from other Syrian cities because of the criminal and treacherous regime. They offered what they were able to welcome them and meet their needs.
Amel, one of the active women in this group said: “We participated in the funeral processions of our martyrs, although generally the exit of women in cemeteries is not a customary practice in our city, we wanted to break archaic customs, including this one. Each of us considered the martyr as a son, brother or father, any martyr is the son of the city and not just of his family”. She added:” What distinguishes this group of rebellious women, it is the team’s spirit with which they work to achieve their objective, which is also the objective of the revolution throughout Syria, that is to overthrow the dictatorial regime based on cliques and clans and the establishment of a civilian democratic state for all the Syrian people with all its components. ”
Another, Yasmine, said that what distinguished our movement, it is its peaceful character. However the regime, by committing several massacres against civilians in many parts of Syria, forced people to take up arms to defend themselves. The constitution of the free syrian army pushed us to take a clear position on this issue. This is what we did because we are in favor of a free army organized with a single commandment in accordance with the political leadership of the revolution and whose objective is to establish a democratic, pluralistic civil state to serve all Syrian people, and which assumes the task of protecting civilians and work for the emancipation and the overthrow of the regime according to a thoughtful and responsible strategy.
While Ahlam, she says: “We categorically reject all phenomena foreign to the society and hide both foreign agendas and agendas removed from the aspirations of the Syrian people, acting under different names and in the form of extremism that only serves the regime and give this latter arguments to hit the revolution and terrorize the population. “She continues:” As a group of women, we believe that the establishment of a free and modern state cannot be achieved without the existence of that citizenship. It is our responsibility today to prepare a new phase in the life of Syrian women. A woman who will enjoy full rights of citizenship in a new society. Our revolution is not only a revolution against a corrupt regime and archaic and obsolete laws that do not guarantee justice to women, it is also a revolution against all the customs and the habits that have delayed women and have prevented them of a full and effective participation in the construction of the state and society.
Long live the revolution!
Freedom for all prisoners!
Women’s group of the coordination of Salamyeh
September 5th 2013