The popular movement against the Assad regime continues. We are publishing a translation of a statement from the Syrian Revolutionary Left, a group of Marxists inside and outside Syria that in January published the first issue of a monthly newspaper. We hope that this will allow more people who read English to become aware of the revolutionary socialist presence in the struggle in Syria.
We realize that the statement contains language that, in English, may sound outdated to some readers — for example, using "the masses" to refer to the ordinary people of the country. However, it’s important to appreciate that this is not the case in the context of Syria today and in the original Arabic. Also, in this statement "sectarianism" refers to the Assad regime’s practice of pitting the country’s different ethno-religious communities against each other in order to maintain its rule (the regime tries to present itself as the protector of Christians, Kurds and Alawite Muslims against the Sunni Muslim majority) — NSW
The Barbaric Regime Will Not End the Determination of the Syrian Revolutionary Masses!
Since the beginning of last month (January), the killing and destroying machine of the ruling regime accelerated, with the proposition of the Arab plan which asked for the withdrawal of the tyrant in favor of its Vice President. The army and the militias have actually stormed numbers of cities and villages.
This bloody regime took advantage of the endless discussions of the Security Council — that the Russian and Chinese governments used their veto to prevent from passing a resolution condemning the regime — to trigger the barbaric attack on the neighborhoods of the city of Homs. They have committed a new massacre on February 3 and 4, which adds to the long list of massacres of the determined and revolutionary masses. The barbarity of the ruling regime requires a strong condemnation by the forces and vivid people of conscience struggling for justice and freedom; these latter should appeal to take legal action against the perpetrators of these crimes. Despite the enormous suffering and sacrifices of the masses, this murderous regime has suffered a huge defeat when it tried to crush the revolution and break the will of the revolutionary people.
The masses, by their great revolution, write the lines of the most prestigious page of the history of heroism, abnegation, courage and honour there is to confront one of the worst regimes in the region, in terms of crimes and terror. They know intuitively and from experience that the regimes concerned by the Syrian case are here only through the prism of their narrow selfish interests or for the long term. They know as well that they are not moved by the sacrifices and suffering of the Syrian people. The masses rely only on their own strength and their will to force the bloody Assad regime to fall. They also know that the increasing participation of the masses in the revolution, reaching the undecided and the timid, the more they rise and extend the forces of the revolutionary movement brandishing the banner of freedom, equality and social justice, the more it strengthens the support, preventing the fall into the dark problems of sectarianism which the regime and counter-revolutionary forces encourage. If this happens, the revolutionary process would have eased the suffering and sacrifice, while provoking the downfall of the regime. This will then offer the prospect of building a new free Syria, democratic and pluralistic, based on equality between all citizens, without discrimination on the basis of gender, race or religion.
We must prevent a repetition of the massacre of Homs and all the others perpetrated by the ruling regime. This is the reason why we tell this rotten regime that it faces the Syrian people in all its components and not neighborhoods of cities or a city and a village here and there. We answer to this regime that the uprising will continue in all locations. The people struggling against the dictatorship (which has no restrictive sectarian characteristic) are all the Syrians in their great struggle for freedom. This is why the regime has failed to break the revolutionary movement, especially on a sectarian basis, which the revolutionary dynamic rejects. The regime will continue to fail in this regard because our people are one and united in its fight against the ruling clique.
The general strike at the end of last year, although it was limited, has shown that it can paralyze the economic and military levers of the regime and help to stimulate the revolutionary political consciousness of the masses. Today, while a movement of civil disobedience was announced for three days in protest against the massacre of Homs, we do not just call on all leftists to call for and participate in it effectively. We also demand to monitor and implement the strikes (with political, economic and social demands), for civil disobedience and to encourage the inclusion of all revolutionary forces which are the only ones capable of paralyzing the material levers of the system and the savagery of its repression.
Syrian revolutionary militants, let’s continue the expansion of strikes and the disobedience movement to paralyze this bloody regime by our common struggles, by the mere energy of the revolutionary people of Syria, which is unlimited, and continue building self-managed committees and local councils to deal with the affairs of the revolutionary masses, because this dictatorial regime is tottering, despite its false claims about its infallibility.
With the solidarity and the unity of the Syrian people and their heroic resistance, we will make possible the overthrow of the Assad regime.
Workers, peasants, students, unemployed and officials, oppressed and tortured in Syria, all together let’s work for the mass general strike at the national level.
Glory to the martyrs of the revolution, victory to the Syrian people, united, united.
Damascus February 5, 2012
Translation by Khalil Habash.
Published on the New Socialist webzine.