Stand in solidarity with the Syrian people against dictatorship, foreign intervention and racism – statement

 In International, Middle East

Ten years ago this month, protests erupted across Syria against the security forces’ brutality, inspired by the wave of uprisings around the region which had already brought down dictators in Tunisia and Egypt. Within weeks they had escalated into a nation-wide uprising, which mobilised hundreds of thousands of people to demand a different Syria: one which was more democratic, more equal and more just. The Assad regime’s response was brutally violent, unleashing a counter-revolutionary war against towns and cities which rebelled. Despite the horrific repression, activists continued to develop creative forms of protest and defiance, created alternative local councils, and mobilised to offer services to those in need, even when under siege. As the regime escalated its sectarian propaganda, designed to pit ordinary people against each other, many activists worked to offer an alternative of solidarity between Syria’s different religious communities. 

With the help of external powers such as Iran and Russia, the Assad regime has survived, at the cost of at least 400,000 dead and millions of refugees. The Gulf states have backed different armed Islamist factions while Turkey has invaded northern Syria three times since 2016, displacing hundreds of thousands of people. Meanwhile, military intervention by the US and its allies, in the name of fighting the Islamic State, has further intensified the conflict, increasing the agony of the Syrian people. 

In times like these, it is more important than ever to make a public stand against both the Assad dictatorship and the intervention of foreign powers, whether those allied to the regime, or opposed to it. It is also vital to call out the hypocrisy of those politicians in Europe and America who support military intervention in Syria, yet refuse to offer support and refuge to the millions of Syrians who have been forced to leave their homes by war and repression. 

We stand with Syrian refugees against the racism and discrimination they face in exile. We stand with the struggle for democracy, social justice and freedom in Syria, and oppose all forms of foreign intervention. 

Lifted from MENA Solidarity Network website

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