Socialist Worker

Syria: a united fight for freedom

Issue No. 2251

The uprising in Syria against Bashar al-Assad’s regime continues despite repression that has reportedly claimed some 800 lives.

The demonstrations started with calls for reforms—now they call for revolution.

Security forces have surrounded many villages, towns and cities in an attempt to snuff out the calls for change.

Mass defiance met them.

The regime now attempts to stoke sectarian divisions among the country’s diverse communities.

But accusations of this being a “Sunni Muslim uprising” have been met by cries of “Muslims, Christians, Kurds and Arabs—united in freedom” on the streets.

Western intervention would be a disaster. The regime’s credibility has rested on its opposition to imperialism. But this could not mask deep corruption and suppression.

This revolution broke out in the city of Deraa, home to many Syrians displaced by Israel’s 1967 occupation of the Golan Heights.

The crowds chant at security forces, “Cowards in the Golan, brave in shooting unarmed people.”

Many in Syria, Lebanon and Palestine now call for a return to the resistance of the revolutions in Syria in 1940s and 1960s.

How this uprising will unfold is difficult to predict. The key is Aleppo, the biggest city in Syria and its industrial heartland.

Protests have emerged in some neighbourhoods in Aleppo and among students.

But Syria’s vast working class has yet to make its voice heard.

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