Letter from a Syrian Socialist

Friday, 25 March 2011
Print

Events are beginning to move in the direction of revolution in Syria. Prior to today’s day of action we received this letter from a Syrian socialist that gives some interesting insights into the difficulties the regime is facing.

The situation in Syria is reaching a boiling point. The regime has used brutal repression in the city of Darr'a. The so called "Saraya Al-Difa' (Defense Brigades) which are paratroops under the command of Maher Al-Asad, the brother of the president, were the ones who stormed the Omary Mosque and are the ones besieging the city, terrorizing, arresting, and shooting. It is believed that more than 100 martyrs have fallen so far and hundreds more have been arrested. On top of that, locals have reported that Farsi is being spoken among some members of the security forces and there is widespread belief that these are Iranian “Revolutionary Guards”.

Today, Boutheyna Sha'aban, was on TV. She is a prominent face of the Syrian regime who has occupied a number of ministerial posts in the past and who is currently, some sort of a counselor for the president. She seemed shaky and was mumbling during parts of her speech, although she was trying to look strong. She repeated all kinds of rubbish that the regime has been saying along the lines that the President respected the legitimate demand of the protesters and is going to respond to them and that the violence that took place was caused by "agent provocateurs" who took advantage of the peaceful protests to advance their own agenda which has nothing to do with the demand of the Syrian people, but only aimed at striking at the stability and harmony the country enjoys. She finished her speech with the most ridiculous concessions, nonetheless very reflective of the fears of the regime, which included the immediate establishment of all sort of "committees" to "study" the different economic and political demands of the Syrian people (!) and also raising the wages of public sector workers (and improving benefits) to meet their needs. But how to meet "their needs" and by how much the wages are going to be increased she did not say! When she was asked who was behind this "conspiracy" in Darr'a she could not figure that one out either!

Tomorrow [Friday] is supposed to be the Syrian day of a rage and is going to be a decisive day that could very well mark the beginning of a full scale revolution. There have been many calls on people to take to the streets and protest but the response has been very meek so far. What happens tomorrow is significant because after the atrocities of the last couple of days people are very angry, but if they fail to mobilize that would boost the regime’s confidence that it has enough popularity or that the people are too scared to move and in the meantime it would greatly demoralize the revolutionaries. News coming from Facebook seems to show that people are going to move. Syrian Tribes (combined they are about 50% percent of the population) have issued a manifesto declaring revolution on the regime. Also other ethnic and religious groups such as Kurds and Druze seem to be in favor of a revolution. Even the Alawite sect, from which the regime emanates, and on which it counts for support, but which is in its majority impoverished, have declared support for the revolution according to reports on Facebook. All of this will have to be confirmed by events and how they will play out in actuality.

On Facebook people are coming up with all different ideas mostly around how to organize the demos. The general belief among the youth is that if you bring together a large number of a people in a square that is enough to overthrow the regime. But what is required is working class.

In solidarity,

A Syrian socialist