by Josh O’Sullivan
Around 80 people gathered in Aotea square today in Auckland representing different groups supporting the free peoples of Syria and condemning the barbaric and brutal attacks of Assad and his Russian backers. In Wellington on Friday 30 people held a rally outside the Russian Consul to protest Russia’s involvement in the bombings. The crimes in Eastern Aleppo are nothing short of genocide, with Assad’s government forces clearing out the rebels with the help of Russian bombs to attempt to stop the democratic revolution in Syria that have been fighting for their freedom for the last 6 years.
The Syrian uprising began with the rest of the Arab world in 2011, in a wave of revolutionary uprising where dictators were toppled from Tunisia to Egypt. but as we have seen over the past few years the forces of counter-revolution have smashed these popular movements for democracy. In Egypt, the activists and community leaders languish behind bars and suffer the torment of the military dictatorship under El Sisi. The same story can be seen in Syria, Assad met these peaceful protestors demanding democracy with bullets and jail cells. These assaults on the Syrian people split the Syrian army as many units supported the peoples cause.
Only a year ago in September, Assad’s regime was near collapse, but it has now been rescued by Russian bombers. The defeat of the rebels in Aleppo has transformed the fortunes of Bashar al-Assad’s dictatorial regime. Assad now controls the country’s major cities. The intervention of Russian air power has been decisive and disastrous for the Syrian people. On the ground, Assad’s own forces are thin; they have been bolstered by militias from Iran and Lebanon.
Assad’s brutal regime is responsible for hundreds of thousands of deaths and millions of refugees, nearly two thirds of the country have had to flee their homes. Assad’s prime concern is to keep his grip on power by destroying the Syrian people that massed for democratic change and an end to dictatorship.
Neither Washington nor Moscow!
Western Imperialism, led by the united States, has proven to be a false friend to the Syrian people. The U.S. has wavered on whether to support Assad outright or elements of the rebels deemed friendly to western interests. The U.S. and its allies have stood by, leaving the rebels held up in Aleppo to their gruesome fate. There has been very little diplomatic or material support to the Syrian people. Russian embassies have not been challenged, military supplies to the rebels have been limited and even prevented. and Food and Medicine have not been dropped into Aleppo.
Western countries do not want democracy and self-determination in the Arab world, because it may become an example to continue the work of the Arab Spring. All of the states and parties involved have their own agenda to fulfill. Hezbollah, Iran and Iraq send in their militias to bolster Assad’s forces; Russia bombs civilians; the US circumvents organisations providing aid and prevents the rebels from reaching out to other nations,while bombing Mosul next door in Iraq. Turkey seeks to destabilise both Assad and the rebels by fostering sectarian violence along with Saudi Arabia. ISIS and Al Nusra seek to take advantage of the chaos to destroy secularism and forge new totalitarian regimes. Everyone has been talking about the goals of the different imperial nations involved in this conflict. But no-one has been talking about the Syrian people and their push for reform and democracy. It is the Syrian people that fight for democracy that fight for secularism and justice. These imperialist governments aren’t interested in freedom or justice for the Syrian people – it will only be the left that can and should stand in solidarity and support of the Syrian cause for freedom and Justice.
In conclusion, support Syrian Solidarity New Zealand on facebook. This group has been vocal in its support of the Syrian people and called out the crimes of the Assad regime. If you can donate to www.syriarelief.co.nz to fund humanitarian and medical aid. Our solidarity from the other side of the world can make a difference to people fighting for their basic rights against tyranny. We will not let the Syrian Revolution be forgotten.
Imperialists out of the Middle East!
Victory to the Syrian Revolution! Down with Assad!