On March 18, day of commemoration of the first dead of the uprising in Syria in 2011 killed by the Assad regime, we call to a protest and antiwar demo of solidarity to the syrian people, at Panepistimio Metro, Athens, at 17:00, 18/3/2017.
At the beginning of March 2011, as the Arab Spring was widely spreading, and influenced by the uprisings in Tynisia and Egypt, fifteen teenage students write anti-regime slogans like «the people want the regime to fall» at the walls of their school in Daraa, Syria. They are immediately arrested, imprisoned and tortured by the secret services and police. When their families protest, begging to set them free, the answer is threats and insults, non the least from the head of secret services and Assad’s cousin Atef Najeeb who reportedly tells them to forget their children and make new ones, or send him their wives to take care of that himself. On March 15, enraged people take to the streets of Daraa in protest, demanding that the kids are set free. As a gesture of solidarity to the imprisoned kids and the people of Daraa, mass protests also take place in Homs and Damascus.
Mass protests continue during the next days, and on March 18 the people of Daraa occupy central points in the city with sit-down protests. The army gets orders from the regime to start firing with live ammunition against the protesters – the account is four dead people. Although the first protests were peaceful, demanding that the detained teenagers be set free, they soon evolve to an uprising with massive popular participation and increasing tension, with slogans about freedom, dignity, reforms. These protests spread out, while at the same time they get suppressed even more violently by the authoritarian and neoliberal regime. This leads to an ever increasing radicalisation of the protesters, which shift to demanding the fall of the regime and Assad.
These demonstrations were unprecedented for syrian society, where the fear that was continuously imposed by brutal depression and regime propaganda had led to political paralysing for decades. Economic inequalities were dominant in the country, with big economic interests at the hands of the wider Assad family and affiliates, high positions in the army and administration given amost exclusively to Alawites, all while the largest percentage of syrian people – for the most part living in the country side – living in terrible conditions of poverty and oppression. In parallel, although the regime opportunistically supported the kurdish struggle for autonomy in Iran and Turkey, it internally suppressed the kurdish people systematically and brutally.
A massive, popular uprising for dignity, freedom and justice took place in Syria, a country with a totalitarian regime, where even talking about political or social issues was totally forbidden for decades.The regime answers with even more brutal repression, aiming at disrupting the protestors’ unity, using religious sechtarianism as a tool and unleashing extreme propaganda, according to which protesters appeared as incited rioters and terrorists, foreign agents and dangerous fundamentalists. Kidnappings and tortures by the secret police intensify, aiming to activists and the most active parts of the uprising. The army fires live on protesters regularly, at every protest and demo. Soldiers’ denial to follow (Alawites mostly) generals’ orders and shoot on civilians leads to mass defections from the army. The Syrian people revolt.
While mass popular movements continue with increasing intensity, self-organized coordinating committees appear in the social field, which coordinate the resistance and everyday life in the liberated areas. But, as the violence steps up, armed confrontation gradually leaves from the hands of the fighting society and becomes assigned to hierarchically structured armed groups with various ideologies and politics, such as the Free Syrian Army and Al Nusra. In the end a harsh civil war will prevail, during the course of which old religious and ethnic differences will accentuate and dominate. The syrian people were hit mercilessly by the Assad regime with arial bombings, barell-bombs, chemical weapons, sieges and mass starvation. Russia, Assad’s ally, gets actively involved from September 2015, hitting hard on the resistance and population with aerial bombings and attacks, during which it tests for the first time 120 different new weapons. Many imperialist powers will get involved in Syria, occasionally arming and supporting whichever side (regime or anti-regime) serves their interests best.
In the beginning of December 2016 aast Aleppo fell, after resisting for years to besiegement and continuous attacks with bombs and chemicals. The city was destroyed, with thousands of dead and thousands of displaced, whose only option was to find refuge in Idlib, same case as revolutionaries and people from other areas that were liberated and resisted but were subsequently regained by the regime. Today, assadist, russian and usa forces continue to hit, bombing areas such as Idlib and Ghouta which continue to resist heroically, while the Assad regime continues, more undisturbed than ever, to arrest, torture and murder.
Facing the continuous extermination of the syrian people one cannot remain silent, and postpone their solidarity for another day, when the «facts will be clearer» and analysis more «safe». We stand firmly against the wars of the bosses and stand on the side of the suffering people of Syria who are under attack. Despite it’s constant falsification, the syrian revolution remains a struggle for self-determination, freedom and a point of breaking with fear against a brutal, totalitarian regime.
We stand critically in solidarity to the fighting revolutionary parts of the syrian people, to the self-organized anti-regime communities and neighbourhoods which continue to resist no matter how hard they ve been hit. Against all kinds of authority, against would-be saviours. Beyond religions and borders.
On March 18, 2011 the first Syrian protestes get killed by Assad.
On March 18, 2011 lets unite our voices in solidarity with the protests in Syria
Initiative of anarchists and migrants for the internationalist solidarity to the revolutionary syrian people