Solidarity with the Syrian revolution

A group of Syrian, Arab and international activists launched the Global Campaign of Solidarity with the Syrian Revolution at the World Social Forum in Tunis last month to create an open and diverse platform to support the Syrian revolution. The World Social Forum was an opportunity to create organic relationships with progressive intellectuals and social movements. In addition, it was an important moment to re-inscribe the Syrian revolution in a larger framework of popular struggles against oppression and authoritarianism. It was an occasion to reassert the Syrian people's right to self-defense and resistance against despotism and dictatorship.

The following statement, signed by intellectuals, academics, artists and activists from more than 30 countries, reminds the world that what is happening in Syria today is a people's revolution for freedom and dignity--and for that reason, it should be supported by all means. The campaign has called for a day of solidarity on May 31, during which groups in various cities around the world are invited to organize protests, cultural events and other symbolic actions in public squares and in front of Syrian embassies, as well as online. Groups based in different countries will choose the most effective strategies to support the Syrian revolution and remind the world that:

-- The massacre of the Syrian people must stop now.
-- Assad must step down and be brought to justice.
-- All countries or groups must end all financial and military support to the Syrian regime.
-- All Syrian regime embassies must be closed down. Complicity with the Assad regime will not be tolerated.
-- The Syrian representative must be expelled from the United Nations.
-- Aid must be sent to all Syrian refugees and internally displaced.

Hundreds march through Damascus' Old City area

WE, THE undersigned, stand in solidarity with the millions of Syrians who have been struggling for dignity and freedom since March 2011. We call on people of the world to pressure the Syrian regime to end its oppression of and war on the Syrian people. We demand that Bashar al-Assad leave immediately without excuses so that Syria can begin a speedy recovery towards a democratic future.

Since March 2011, Assad's regime has steadily escalated its violence against the Syrian people, launching Scud missiles, using weapons banned by the Geneva Convention such as cluster bombs and incendiary munitions, and using aerial bombardment. The regime has detained and tortured tens of thousands of people and committed untold massacres. It has refused political settlements that do not include Assad in power, and it has polarized the society through strategic acts of violence and by sowing seeds of division. The regime has also, since the early days of the uprising, sought to internationalize the crisis in order to place it within geopolitical battles that would only strengthen the regime.

Staying true to the logics of an authoritarian regime, Assad could never accept the legitimate demands of the Syrian people for freedom and dignity. Thus, there is no hope for a free, unified, and independent Syria so long as his regime remains in power.

This is a revolt that was sparked by the children of Deraa and the sit-ins and demonstrations of the youth in the cities, the peasants of the rural areas, and the dispossessed and marginalized of Syria. It is they who rallied nonviolently through protests and songs and chants, before the regime's brutal crackdown. Since then, the regime has pushed for the militarization of the Syrian nonviolent movement. As a result, young men took up arms, first out of self-defense. Lately, this has resulted in attempts by some groups fighting the regime to force a climate of polarization, and negation of the Other, politically, socially and culturally. These acts that are in themselves against the revolution for freedom and dignity.

What you can do

Find out more about the Global Campaign of Solidarity with the Syrian Revolution on its Facebook page. There’s also information on Facebook about the global day of solidarity set for May 31.

Sign a petition in solidarity with the struggle for freedom in Syria.

Yet the revolution for freedom and dignity remains steadfast. It is for this reason that we, the undersigned, appeal to those of you in the global civil society, not to ineffective and manipulative governments, to defend the gains of the Syrian revolutionaries, and to spread our vision: freedom from authoritarianism and support of Syrians' revolution as an integral part of the struggles for freedom and dignity in the region and around the world.

The fight in Syria is an extension of the fight for freedom regionally and worldwide. It cannot be divorced from the struggles of the Bahrainis, Egyptians, Tunisians, Libyans, Yemenis and other peoples who have revolted against oppression and authoritarianism as well as against those seeking to usurp or destroy the uprisings and divert them for their own agendas. It is connected to the Palestinians' struggle for freedom, dignity and equality. The revolution in Syria is a fundamental part of the North African revolutions, yet it is also an extension of the Zapatista revolt in Mexico, the landless movement in Brazil, the European and North American revolts against neoliberal exploitation, and an echo of Iranian, Russian and Chinese movements for freedom.

The Syrian revolution has confronted a world upside down, one where states that were allegedly friends of the Arabs such as Russia, China, and Iran have stood in support of the slaughter of people, while states that never supported democracy or independence, especially the U.S. and its Gulf allies, have intervened in support of the revolutionaries. They have done so with clear cynical self-interest. In fact, their intervention tried to crush and subvert the uprising, while selling illusions and deceptive lies.

Given that regional and world powers have left the Syrian people alone, we ask you to lend your support to those Syrians still fighting for justice, dignity and freedom, and who have withstood the deafening sounds of the battle, as well as rejected the illusions sold by the enemies of freedom.

As intellectuals, academics, activists, artists, concerned citizens and social movements, we stand in solidarity with the Syrian people to emphasize the revolutionary dimension of their struggle and to prevent the geopolitical battles and proxy wars taking place in their country. We ask you to lend your support to all Syrians from all backgrounds asking for a peaceful transition of power, one where all Syrians can have a voice and decide their own fate. We also reject all attempts of any group to monopolize power, and to impose its own agenda, or to impose unitary or homogenous identities on the Syrian people. We ask you to support those people and organizations on the ground that still uphold the ideals for a free and democratic Syria.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Signatories

Aaron Winslow (Columbia University, United States)
Abdellatif Zeroual (Left activist, Morocco)
Abdeslam Cherkouk (Journalist, Morocco)
Abir Saksook (Architect and activist, Lebanon)
Adam Hanieh (SOAS University of London, United Kingdom)
Adam Shapiro (Activist, United States)
Aida Seif Ell Dawla (Human Rights Activist, Egypt)
Akram Zaatari (Artist, Lebanon)
Alex Todorova (University of Columbia, United States/Bulgaria)
Ali Amin Suwaid (Writer, Syria)
Ali Atassi (Journalist, Syria)
Alice Walker (Writer, United States)
Amahl Bishara (Tufts University, United States)
Amr Al-Azm (Shawnee State University, Activist and board member of The Day After NGO, Syria)
Amr Saeddeine (Université libre de Bruxelles, Belgium/ Palestine)
Amy Ansell (Emerson College, United States)
Ania Loomba (University of Pennsylvania, United States)
Ann Ferguson (University of Massachusetts, United States)
Anne Meneley (Trent University, Canada)
Anthony Arnove (Author, Iraq: The Logic of Withdrawal, United States)
Arturo Escobar (University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, United States/Colombia)
Asef Bayat (University of Illinois, United States)
Ashok Chowdhury (India)
Aziza Chaouni (University of Toronto, Canada/Morocco)
Bassem Chit (Socialist Forum, Lebanon)
Bernadette Daou (leftist militant, Lebanon)
Bernardine Dohrn (Northwestern University, United States)
Bill Ayers (University of Illinois at Chicago, United States)
Bill Weinberg (Journalist and author, United States)
Brian Slocock (University of Paisley, Scotland)
Budour Hassan (Author, Palestine)
Cara Moyer (Emerson College, United States)
Caitlin Ella Wind (Writer, United States)
Chandan Redd (University of Washington, United States)
Chandler Davis (University of Toronto, Canada)
Chandra Talpade Mohanty (Feminist Scholar-Activist, India/United States)
Charles Hirschkind (UC Berkeley, United States)
Chela Sandoval (University of California, Santa Barbara)
Claudia Castañeda (Emerson College, United States)
David Byrne, McDonald III (Photographer and activist, United States)
David McNally (York University, Canada)
Dean Spade (Seattle University Law, United States)
Deepa Kumar (Rutgers University, United States)
Diana Coryat (University of Massachusetts, United States)
Dyala Hamzah (Université de Montréal, Canada)
Elena Yehia (University of North Carolina, United States/ Lebanon)
Elias Khoury (Writer, Lebanon)
Elliott Colla (Georgetown University, United States)
Elsa Wiehe (University of Massachusetts, United States/ Mauritius)
Erika Marquez (Bryn Mawr College, United States/Colombia)
Etienne Balibar (Columbia University, United States/ France)
Faraj Bayrakdar (Poet, Syria)
Farouk Mardam Bey (Intellectual, Syria)
Fawaz Traboulsi (Writer, Lebanon)
Felicia Pratto (University of Connecticut, United States)
Francois Burgat (CNRS, France)
Fredric Jameson (Duke University, United States)
Gail Daneker (Director of Peace Education and Advocacy, Friends for a NonViolent World –St. Paul, United States)
Gerry Emmett (Resident Editorial Board, News and Letters Committees, Chicago, United States)
Ghassan Hage (University of Melbourne, Australia/ Lebanon)
Ghassan Makarem (Socialist Forum, Lebanon)
Ghayath Naisse (Surgeon, Left Revolutionary Current, Syria)
Gilbert Achcar (SOAS, University of London, Lebanon/ United Kingdom)
Golbarg Bashi (Rutgers University, United States/Iran)
Gustavo Esteva (Universidad de la Tierra-Oaxaca, Mexico)
Hamid Dabashi (Columbia University, United States/ Iran)
Hani al-Sayed (American University in Cairo, Syria/ Egypt)
Haroldo Dilla Alfonso (Sociologist, Cuba/Dominican Republic)
Hazem al-Azmeh (Intellectual, Syria)
Ibrahim Al-Assil (Syrian Non-Violent Movement, Syria)
Ibrahim Jalal (Artist, Syria)
Ilan Pappe (University of Exeter, United Kingdom)
Isabelle Momméja (Activist, France)
James Cohen (Université Sorbonne Nouvelle Paris 3, France/ United States)
James L. Gelvin (UCLA, United States)
Jamie Allinson (University of Westminster. UCU member, United Kingdom)
Jean-Philippe Schreiber (Université libre de Bruxelles, Belgium)
Jean-Pierre Filiu (Institut d'études politiques de Paris, France)
Jed Murr (University of Washington, United States)
Jeff Napolitano (Activist, United States)
Jens Hanssen ( University of Tornoto, Canada/ Germany)
Jihad Yazigi (Journalist, Syria)
Jihane Sfeir (Université Libre de Bruxelles, Lebanon/ Belgium)
Jillian Schwedler (University of Massachusetts Amherst, United States)
Joanne Landy (Co-Director, Campaign for Peace and Democracy, United States)
Joe Vasicek (Science Fiction & Fantasy Writer, United States)
John Chalcraft (London School of Economics, United Kingdom)
John Holloway (Benemérita Universidad Autónoma de Puebla, United States/ Mexico)
John O'Brien (Los Angeles California, Stonewall Rebellion Participant, United States)
Joseph Daher (University of Lausanne, Syria/ Switzerland)
Karmen Abou Jaoudeh (Legal activist, Lebanon)
Khaled Khalifa (Novelist, Syria)
Khaled saghieh (Journalist, Lebanon)
Khawla Dunia (Activist, Syria)
Kirsten scheid (American University of Beirut, Lebanon)
Kmar Bandana (Université de La Manouba, Tunisia)
Konstantin Kilibarda (York University, Mississauga territories)
Laleh Khalili (SOAS, University of London, United Kingdom)
Lawrence Grossberg (University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, United States)
Leyla Dakhli (Researcher, CNRS, France)
Lieven de Cuater (Katholic Univerity of Leuven/RIT, Belgium)
Lilia Marsali (Teacher, United Kingdom)
Linda Quiquivix (Brown University, United States / Guatemala)
Lindsey Collen (left activist and novelist, Mauritius)
Loulouwa Al Rachid (Journalist, Saudi Arabia)
Manijeh Nasrabadi (New York University, United States/ Iran)
Manuel Barrera (Metropolitan State University, United States)
Manuel Castells (University Professor of Communication, University of Southern California)
Marc Saint-Upéry (Journalist and translator, France/Ecuador)
Maria Koundoura (Emerson College, United States/ Greece)
Marisol de la Cadena (UC Davis, United States/ Peru)
Marnia Lazreg (Sociologist, USA/Algeria)
Mary Nyquist (University of Toronto, Canada)
Max D. Weiss (Princeton University, United States)
Mayssun Succarie (American University in Cairo, Egypt/ Lebanon)
Mehdi Meftah (Militant, France)
Mélanie Cambrezy (Université de Montréal, Canada)
Mercedes Olivera B. (Antropóloga Feminista, UNICACH, México.)
Michael Cisco (writer and teacher, United States)
Michael Lowy (Social scientist, France)
Mirta Tocci (Emerson College, United States)
Mohamad Ali Attassi (Writer, Syria/ Lebanon)
Mohamad Al Bardan (Syrian Non Violent Movement, United States/ Syria)
Mohammad Moeini (University of Massachusetts, United States/ Iran)
Mohammed Bamyeh (University of Pittsburgh, United States)
Mona Abaza (American University in Cairo, Egypt)
Muhammad Ali Khalidi (York University, Canada)
Nadia Fadil (KU Leuven, Belgium)
Nadine Bekdache (Designer/ Activist, Lebanon)
Nadje Al-Ali (SOAS, University of London, United Kingdom)
Nasser Rabbat (MIT, United States/Syria)
Natalie Zemon Davis (University of Toronto, Canada)
Nidal Al-Azraq (United States/ Palestine)
Nigel Gibson (Emerson college, United States/ Britain)
Nimer Sultany (SUNY Buffalo Law School, United States/Palestine)
Noa Shaindlinger (University of Toronto, Canada/Palestine)
Norman Finkelstein (American researcher and writer, United Sates)
Olivier Le Cour Grandmaison (Scholar, France)
Omar Dahi (Hampshire College, Syria/ United States)
Omar Dewachi (American University of Beirut, Iraq/Canada)
Omnia El Shakry (UC Davis, United States)
Oussama Mohamad (Film maker, Syria/ France)
Ozlem Goner (CUNY, Turkey/ United States)
Pablo Stefanoni (Chief editor, Nueva Sociedad, Argentina)
Paul Kingston (University of Toronto, Canada)
Pierre Tevanian (Writer, activist, France)
R. Radhakrishnan (UC Irvine, United States/ India)
Rabha Attaf (Reporter, France)
Raed Firas (Activist, Syria)
Raed Khartabil (Activist, Syria)
Rashid Khalidi (Columbia University, United States/Palestine)
Razan Ghazzawi (Activist, Syria)
Richard Seymour (Writer, London School of Economics, International Socialists Network, United Kingdom)
Rime Allaf (Writer and adviser, Syria)
Robert Young (New York University, United States)
Robin Yassin-Kassab (novelist and commentator, Syria/ United Kingdom)
Rola Rukbi (Syria)
Ruba Alkhouli (Activist, Spain)
Saad Hajo (Cartoonist, Syria)
Saba Mahmood (UC Berkeley, United States)
Sabah Hallak (Lebanon)
Sadiq Jalal Azem (Writer, Syria)
Sadri Khiari (Writer, Tunisia)
Salah Mosbah (University of Tunis, Tunisia)
Salam Kawakibi (Arab Reform Initiative, Syria)
Salam Said (Economist/Germany)
Salameh Kaileh (Intellectual, Syria/Palestine)
Salim Vally (University of Johannesburg, South Africa)
Sami Hermez (University of Pittsburg, United States/ Lebanon)
Samir Aita (Le Monde Diplomatique editions arabes, Cercle des Economistes Arabes)
Samuel Binkley (Emerson College, United States)
Santiago de Rico Alba (Philosopher, Spain)
Sarah Bracke (KU Leuven, Belgium)
Sarah Eltantawi (Scholar of religion and writer, United States)
Sari Hanafi (American University of Beirut, Lebanon/ Palestine)
Seda Altug (Bogazici University, Turkey)
Sherifa Zuhur (historian, Director, Institute of Middle Eastern, Islamic and Strategic Studies, United Kingdom)
Sherry Wolf (Author of Sexuality and Socialism, United States)
Simon Assaf (Activist, United Kingdom/ Lebanon)
Sinan Antoon (New York University, Iraq/ United States)
Sirisha Naidu (Wright State University, India/ United States)
Sonja Mejcher-Atassi (America University of Beirut, Lebanon)
Srinivas Lankala (University of Massachusetts, India/United States)
Stephen R. Shalom (William Paterson University, United States)
Steve Graham (Newcastle University, United Kingdom)
Steven Friedman (University of Johannesburg, South Africa)
Suad Joseph (University of California, Davis, United States/ Lebanon)
Swati Birla (University of Massachusetts, India/ United States)
Sylvie Tissot (University of Paris-8, France)
Talal Asad (CUNY, United States)
Tamera Marko (Emerson College, United States)
Tariq Ali (Writer, journalist, and filmmaker, United Kingdom/ Pakistan)
Tewfik Allal (Activist, Manifeste des libertés, France)
Thaer Alsahli (Activist, Syria/Palestine)
Thierry Boissière (Institut français du Proche-Orient, France)
Thomas Harrison (Co-Director, Campaign for Peace and Democracy, United States)
Thomas Markus Kvilhaug (International Socialist branch, Norway)
Tiffany Kreierhoff (writer, United States)
Toufic Haddad (author, SOAS, United Kingdom)
Vijay Prashad (Trinity College, United States/ India)
Walid Daaw (Teacher, The left forum)
Walter Mignolo (Duke University, United States/ Argentina)
Wendy Brown (UC Berkeley, United States)
William E. Connolly (Johns Hopkins University, United States)
Yahya Madra (Bogaziçi University, Turkey)
Yasmine Farouk (Faculty of Economics and Political Science, Cairo University)
Yasser Munif (Emerson College, Syria/ United States)
Yassin el-Haj Saleh (Intellectual, Syria)
Yazan Louai Al-Saadi (Journalist, Al-Akhbar English, Lebanon)
Youssef Fakhr el-Din (Journalist, Syria/ Palestine)
Yusef Khalil (Activist, United States/Lebanon)
Yveline, Delacroix (Activist, France)
Zaïneb Ben Lagha (Université de la Sorbonne Nouvelle, France)
Zeinab Abul-Magd (Oberlin College, United States/ Egypt)
Zena Hallak (Tunisia)
Zeynep Inanc (United States)
Ziad Majed (American University of Paris, Lebanon/ France)