Save Aleppo! May Day Solidarity with Free Syrians

May 18, 2016

Solidarity demonstration in New York. Photo by Sarab Abu Adib Al-Jijakli‎,

“Aleppo is burning!” In Syria, the liberated zones of the city of Aleppo (as in other parts of the country) have been under relentless bombing by Russia and the Assad regime. Hundreds have been killed. This is in preparation for a threatened attack by Iranian-led imperialist forces. The bombings have included targeted attacks on hospitals and markets designed to make life impossible for the civilian population. These are genocidal attacks.

In the face of this state terrorism, people around the world came out to demonstrate their support for Free Aleppo.

In Chicago…   In New York…     In Brazil…


Chicago solidarity demonstration. Photo by Roger Beltrami,

In Chicago, it was striking how many Black and Latino/a workers in a May Day demonstration in support of immigrants joined in chants of “Free Free Syria!” as they marched by our Syrian demonstration. In return, a part of the Free Syria demonstration joined the May Day march. Some of the Leftists in the march who have long attacked the Syrian Revolution might not have liked this, but the whole episode revealed how weak and out of touch with all but state powers like Putin and Assad that old, corrupted “Left” has become.

The rally was defiant and spirited. The sense of urgency was reflected in the words of David Turpin, who ceded no ground to the phony “Left” in saying that a true antiwar position opposes the bombing of civilians, and therefore the call by Syrians themselves for a No-Fly Zone is, in this case, the true antiwar position.

Solidarity demonstration in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Photo by CSP – Conlutas,

As we wrote in News & Letters: “More and more, revolutionaries are beginning to challenge the Left. In the U.S., grassroots efforts like the Committee in Solidarity with the People of Syria (Minneapolis) and the Antiwar Committee in Solidarity with Self-determination (Indiana) are relating to the Syrian Revolution with the kind of thought, passion and perspective that marks a possible new beginning for internationalism.” (“The Syrian Revolution continues,” March-April 2016 N&L)

Minneapolis solidarity demonstration. Photo by Andrew Scott Berman,

This new beginning for internationalism is essential at this moment when the U.S. government has seemingly given the green light to an apocalyptic attack on Aleppo. U.S. military spokesman Col. Steve Warren in Baghdad issued this lying statement: “It’s primarily al-Nusra who holds Aleppo, and of course, al-Nusra is not part of the cessation of hostilities.” Secretary of State John Kerry has made similar statements. Jabhat al-Nusra, in fact, doesn’t control Aleppo, and does not have a large presence in the city as rebel forces have pushed al-Nusra away repeatedly. This lie is nothing less than a U.S.-approved warrant for genocide.

–Gerry Emmett and Bob McGuire, May 2, 2016

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