by Eugene Walker
We have come into the streets in Bosra al-Sham in Daraa province to confirm the continuation of the Syrian revolution and the demands that brought us here in 2011…We will not go back on our demands for freedom, dignity and a united Syria.
On Aug. 25, the flag of revolution flew high in villages, towns and cities across Syria. In Sweida, Daraa, Aleppo, Idlib, Raqqa, Hasakeh and Deir al Zour, thousands were on the streets reviving the chants of the revolution.
—Leila Al Shami
“Long live Syria” and “Down with Bashar al-Assad!” were the chants in the southern Syrian city of Sweida, as several hundred protested in the central square. Demonstrations have been held in a series of towns in Daraa and Sweida provinces. The protests began after the government lifted fuel subsidies. These are areas with large Druze populations, provinces that have been under continual government control since the original Syrian uprising in 2011, the center of which was Daraa province.
Leila Al Shami reports in “Revolution Reborn”:
Protests erupted in the south of the country a few days ago, in regime-held Sweida and Daraa. They were triggered by the cost-of-living crisis, especially the recent increase in fuel prices as subsidies were cut. People are struggling to meet their basic needs—one of the reasons many are still fleeing the country. More than 90% of the population lives below the poverty line and half of the population are food insecure. A Syrian state employee currently earns around $10 per month, nowhere near enough to provide for a family as basic food items spiral in price. It is the regime which has brought the country to ruin. Protests triggered by socio-economic demands soon escalated to renewed calls for Assad’s downfall…
In Idlib, and Atarib in the Aleppo countryside, the flags of the Druze and Kurdish communities were raised alongside the flag of revolution. And there were numerous displays of solidarity with the Ukrainian resistance. In the camp of Mashhad Ruhin in Idlib, where people displaced by Assad’s terror now live, the crowds gathered and chanted: “The people want the fall of the regime!” Children, who were not even born when Syria’s revolution began, knew the words to every revolutionary song. Even members of the Alawite community, Assad’s loyalist base, have been taking to social media in recent days voicing their anger at the regime which has destroyed the country.
The Syrian revolutionary process of the second decade of the 21st Century was one of the most important developments to arise from the Arab Spring. It has been a test for the revolutionary Left then and now. News & Letters covered it extensively. For more on the Syrian Revolution see:
Now is the time to solidarize with the Syrian revolt, a solidarity that has been sorely missing.
FREEDOM FOR SYRIA!