Darth Nader

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Today, it is with great sadness that we learned about the death of Yusef al-Jader, whose nom-de-guerre was Abu Furat. Liwaa al-Tawhid announced that he was martyred today after leading a successful operation to liberate the Infantry School In Aleppo. Abu Furat was from Jarablus, a city on the border with Turkey in the suburbs of Aleppo.  He was a great fighter, but also a man of great principle.

In this video, Abu Furat is speaking right after the liberation of the Infantry School. In a dialogue with the cameraman, he says the following:

Cameraman: Tell us what you are feeling now Abu Furat.

Abu Furat: Honestly, I am bothered.

Cameraman: Why?

Abu Furat: I am bothered because these tanks [that we destroyed] are our tanks. The ammo is our ammo. Those fighters are our brothers. I swear to God, every time I see a person that is killed, from…

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Palestinian Reflections

معاً ضد الديكتاتورية Juntxs contra la dictadura Together against    Dictatorship (Kurdish woman fighter of PYD "Rpkan" in Aleppo)معاً ضد الديكتاتورية. Juntxs contra la dictadura. Together Against Dictatorship (Poster featuring Rokan a Kurdish PYD fighter from Aleppo)

As we all witnessed yesterday Syria’s foreign minister Walid Muallem said that Syria will offer to help the US fight the Islamic State (IS) militant group. This of course has left the so called Anti-war camp and “Anti-Imperialist” left in the U.S/West and even Arab assadists that support Assad either confused or silent on the matter. It’s important to note these are the same leftists or as some call them ‘tankies’ that support Russian imperialism and Iranian mini-imperialism in the Middle East and don’t even care whether Russia is a capitalist oligarchy or if Iran has communist political prisoners in its jails or killed because of their ideas this shows you how unprincipled they can be by becoming reactionary by supporting bourgeois nationalism and fascism. This article will focus on…

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Arabic Literature (in English)

I feel rather lukewarm about this “Year of Reading Women,” despite an earnest belief that women’s books are (generally speaking) not taken as seriously as men’s:

Joanna Walsh's "year of reading women" bookmarks. Joanna Walsh’s “year of reading women” bookmarks.

Which women’s voices will this #readwomen2014 prioritize? Does it touch on any of the reasons why we gravitate toward male protagonists? Will it be, in the main, a celebration of English-language women’s voices? Of women at the center or the peripheries?

But despite my reservations, there’s a good enough chance that I’m wrong — in my lukewarmness — so if you’re keen to play along, this is a list of twelve suggestions of Arabic-writing women. Bonus points where the translator is also a woman. So here it is, one for every month of the year:

January: Hanan al-Shaykh, Story of Zahra, trans Peter Ford. You just cannot go wrong with Story of Zahra, which…

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Levantine Viper

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Theory is essentially the intellectual expression of the revolutionary process itself. In it every stage of the process becomes fixed so that it may be generalised, communicated, utilised and developed. Because the theory does nothing but arrest and make conscious each necessary step, it becomes at the same time the necessary premise of the following one.

 György Lukács


I’ve put together a list of books, articles, essays, anthologies, and collected works that are essential reading for those who wish to possess a basic understanding of Marxist theory. Every string of text in red font is a link. I’ve included links (PDFs or HTML on MIA) to the full text of every single work I’ve included in this list. The list begins with Marx and ends with contemporary Marxist academics and intellectuals, while covering everything in between. The list is organized chronologically, not in order of what should be read first…

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(Photo: Ziad Homsi | Douma, Syria 2012)

General Sources of the Syrian Revolution:

+ An interactive map of non-violence resistance in the Syrian Revolution (includes descriptions of each organizing group): http://www.alharak.org/nonviolence_map/en/#

+ Stories from Syrian Refugees: http://data.unhcr.org/syrianrefugees/syria.php

+ Syrian Observatory for Human Rights: http://syriahr.com/en/

+ An online collective of writers, intellectuals, and researchers of the Syrian Revolution:  http://therepublicgs.net/tag/translations/

+ Violations Documentation Center in Syria: https://www.vdc-sy.info/index.php/en/

+ A blog constantly updated with the latest videos, reports, and photos from Syria: http://www.therevoltingsyrian.com/

+ A blog by an underground Syrian activist (includes insight, reports, statements, photos, and more): http://razanghazzawi.org/about/

+  A blog by an Arab Anarchist writer (pieces include information regarding sectarianism, proxy wars in Syria, interventions, FSA brigade interviews, and more): www.darthnader.net

+ English blogger and investigator of the Syrian conflict: http://brown-moses.blogspot.com/ (Proof: regime use of chemical weapons: http://brown-moses.blogspot.com/2013/09/who-was-responsible-for-august-21st.html)

+ A blog by a Palestinian anarchist and activist (pieces regarding Palestine, Syria, human rights, Islamists, and more): http://budourhassan.wordpress.com/

+ Details and information about the Yarmouk Refugee Camp campaign, “Breaking the Silence,” and other translated pieces regarding Palestinian martyrs in Syria, etc.: http://saqet.wordpress.com/

+ Palestinian Camps News Network (ar): https://www.facebook.com/syriancamps (for english: search Facebook for: Palestinian Camps Network News Union)

+  A Syrian-run blog including the Revolutionary Left of Syria, political programs, photos, videos, anthems, and statements:  http://syriafreedomforever.wordpress.com/

+ Revolutionary Left Current in Syria: Establishment of the “People’s Liberation Faction” to commemorate the third anniversary of the Syrian Revolution: http://syriafreedomforever.wordpress.com/2014/03/17/revolutionary-left-current-in-syria-establishment-of-the-peoples-liberation-faction-to-commemorate-the-third-anniversary-of-the-syrian-revolution/

+ A blog by a Syrian anarchist (topics include popular struggles, human rights, and social justice from an anti-authoritarian perspective): http://leilashrooms.wordpress.com/

+ Syria Untold: http://www.syriauntold.com/en

+ Syria Infographics: https://www.facebook.com/SyriaGraphic?ref=stream

+ Local Coordination Committees of Syria(includes statements, reports, and relief work): http://www.lccsyria.org/en/

+ Three years of revolt in Syria: http://www.newsocialist.org/744-three-years-of-revolt-in-syria

+ Revolts in Syria: Tracking the Convergence Between Authoritarianism and Neoliberalism: http://sanhati.com/excerpted/4249/

Articles and Interviews:

+ The Conscience of Syria: An Interview with Yassin Al-Haj Saleh, a Syrian activist, writer, and intellectual: http://www.bostonreview.net/world/postel-hashemi-interview-syrian-activist-intellectual-yassin-al-haj-saleh

+ A translated Interview with Dr. Sadiq Jalal Al-Azm: The Syrian Revolution and the Role of the Intellectual: http://therepublicgs.net/2013/04/27/interview-with-dr-sadiq/

+ The Syrian Revolution is not dead: http://syriafreedomforever.wordpress.com/2014/03/15/the-syrian-revolution-is-not-dead/

+ Syria: What is a Proxy War?: http://darthnader.net/2013/04/13/what-is-a-proxy-war/

+ Ordeal of a Dying Child Captures the Tragedy of Syria: http://time.com/23535/ordeal-of-a-dying-child-captures-the-tragedy-of-syria/

+ Palestinians Tortured to Death in Syrian Prisons: https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/news/middle-east/10331-palestinians-tortured-to-death-in-syrian-prisons

+ Syrian Anarchist Challenges the Rebel/Regime Binary View of Resistance: http://truth-out.org/news/item/18617-syrian-anarchist-challenges-the-rebel-regime-binary-view-of-resistance

+ Syrian Kurds: Out of Nowhere to Where?: http://www.turkishreview.org/newsDetail_getNewsById.action?sectionId=381&newsId=223532

+ Syria’s Nakba: http://www.bradleysecker.com/syrian-nakba

+ “Dear World,” Syrian Refugees: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/10/16/syria-refguee-photos_n_4101430.html

+ CNN | Revolutionary detainees tortured to death (11,000 victims): http://www.cnn.com/2014/01/20/world/syria-torture-photos-amanpour/

+ Syrian villagers drive out Islamic State militants: http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-28622809

+ Syrian Defector: Assad Poised to Torture and Murder 150,000: http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/07/31/syrian-defector-assad-poised-to-torture-and-murder-150-000-more.html#sthash.eTv0YOhK.dpuf

+ Rojava: A struggle against borders and for autonomy: http://roarmag.org/2014/07/kurdistan-rojova-syria-autonomy/

+ While Syria Burns: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/donna-mckay/while-syria-burns_b_5595992.html

+ Losing the Lonely War: Suicide in Syria: http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2014/07/08/losing_the_lonely_war_syria_suicide

+ Palestinians and the Assad Regime: For History and Generations to Know: https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/articles/middle-east/12640-palestinians-and-the-assad-regime-for-history-and-generations-to-know

+ Author Khaled Khalifa: “Revolutions Can’t Be Reversed”: http://www.jadaliyya.com/pages/index/18435/khaled-khalifa_revolutions-cant-be-reversed?fb_action_ids=609410532491496

+ On the Issue of Palestinian Support for the Assad Regime: http://beyondcompromise.com/2013/04/28/on-the-issue-of-palestinian-support-for-the-assad-regime/

+ Ex-Syrian footballl players form opposition team in exile: http://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/soccer/2014/06/20/ex-syrian-players-form-opposition-team-in-exile/11110557/

+ Syrian children paint a brighter future: http://www.theguardian.com/global-development-professionals-network/gallery/2014/jun/20/in-pictures-syrian-children-paint-a-brighter-future

+ Syrian refugees drown off of the Greek coast: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2199182/Syrian-refugee-boat-horror-58-migrants-die-smugglers-vessel-sinks-Turkish-coast.html (2012), http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/mar/18/syrian-migrants-drown-greece (2014), http://www.unhcr.org/533eaad86.html (2014)

+ Migrants from Libya and Syria risk their lives in jam-packed boats to get to Italy: http://www.news.com.au/lifestyle/real-life/migrants-from-libya-and-syria-risk-their-lives-in-jampacked-boats-to-get-to-italy/story-fnixwvgh-1226959092476 (2014)

+ “Take you portion”: A victim speaks out about rape in Syria: http://m.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2013/06/take-your-portion-a-victim-speaks-out-about-rape-in-syria/276979/

+ Raqqa: Slaughtered in Silence: http://www.syriauntold.com/en/story/2014/06/16/9773

+ Portraits: The Syrian boy who stopped growing: http://tracks.unhcr.org/2014/05/the-boy-who-stopped-growing/

+ Portraits: Bilal, Hiding in Plain Sight: http://tracks.unhcr.org/2013/09/hiding-in-plain-sight/

+ Conversations: The Woman Caring for Damascus Orphans: http://www.syriadeeply.org/articles/2014/05/5409/conversations-woman-caring-damascus-orphans/

+ Will there ever be justice for Syria’s rape survivors?: http://www.thenation.com/article/179843/will-there-ever-be-justice-syrias-rape-survivors

+ Deformed babies born in Ghouta after Assad and his forces launched a gas attack: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/syria/10831062/Deformed-babies-born-in-Syria-after-Ghouta-gas-attack.html

+ 9 Palestinians tortured to death in regime prisons in 48 hours: http://beyondcompromise.com/2014/05/01/9-palestinians-tortured-to-death-in-regime-prisons-in-48-hours/

+ On the Syrian Revolution and the Kurdish Issue – an interview with Syrian-Kurdish activist and journalist Shiar Nayo: http://syriafreedomforever.wordpress.com/2014/04/07/on-the-syrian-revolution-and-the-kurdish-issue-an-interview-with-syrian-kurdish-activist-and-journalist-shiar-nayo/

+ Lebanon marks ‘devastating’ milestone with millionth refugee: http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/04/03/us-syria-crisis-refugees-idUSBREA320T520140403

+ Assad’s use of ‘barrel bombs’ in Syria is said to escalate despite U.N. ban: http://www.latimes.com/world/middleeast/la-fg-syria-barrel-bombs-20140730-story.html

+ A Lebanese teen rapes, kills a Syrian refugee child before throwing him in a garbage dumpster: http://www.naharnet.com/stories/en/134038-teen-rapes-kills-child-before-throwing-body-in-garbage-dumpster

+ The Assad regime’s war on doctors: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/worldviews/wp/2014/05/14/this-map-shows-the-syrian-regimes-war-on-doctors/

+ A general strike in the revolutionary town of Menbij challenges ISIS militants: http://www.dailystar.com.lb/News/Middle-East/2014/May-19/256939-general-strike-challenges-isis-in-aleppo-town.ashx#axzz327gHhAR1

+ UN documents expose Assad’s stravation campaign in Syria: http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2014/04/17/exclusive_new_un_documents_expose_assads_starvation_campaign_in_syria

+ Alternative Left perspectives on Syria: http://pulsemedia.org/2014/04/13/alternative-left-perspectives-on-syria/

+ In Lebanon, Syrian refugee children find safety from war but new dangers on the streets: http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/middle_east/in-lebanon-syrian-refugee-children-find-safety-from-war-but-new-dangers-on-the-streets/2014/04/03/3947194b-3e7e-4426-8203-a0e5fa9c1e5a_story.html

+ HRW: Syria: Defying Security Council on Aid Access: http://www.hrw.org/news/2014/03/28/syria-defying-security-council-aid-access

+ HRW: Air attacks terrorize Aleppo: http://www.hrw.org/news/2014/03/24/syria-unlawful-air-attacks-terrorize-aleppo

+ Syrian revolutionaries fighting against jihadists and ISIS: http://www.vice.com/print/syrias-revolution-is-fighting-back-against-isis-and-foreign-jihadis

+ A ‘revolution within the revolution’: The battle against ISIS: http://tahriricn.wordpress.com/2014/01/07/syria-the-battle-against-isis/

+ The Free Syrian Army (FSA) and the Kurdish Peple’s Protection Units (YPG) find a common enemy in ISIS: http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2014/03/syria-kurds-pyd-ypg-isis-rebels-kobani-afrin.html

 + The Syrian Shabiha (Thugs) and their State: Statehood and Participation: http://lb.boell.org/en/2014/03/03/syrian-shabiha-and-their-state-statehood-participation

+ How Assad helped forge ISIS: http://www.newsweek.com/how-syrias-assad-helped-forge-isis-255631

+ How did the sectarian nightmare come ture in Syria and Iraq?: http://socialistworker.co.uk/art/38822/How+did+the+sectarian+nightmare+come+true+in+Syria+and+Iraq%3F

+ Assad has never fought ISIS before: http://www.nytimes.com/roomfordebate/2014/08/22/should-the-us-work-with-assad-to-fight-isis/assad-has-never-fought-isis-before

+ Syria: The Other Threat – Polio: http://www.nybooks.com/blogs/nyrblog/2014/aug/12/syria-threat-polio/

+ The Anti-Imperialism of Fools: https://muqawameh.wordpress.com/2014/08/26/the-anti-imperialism-of-fools/

+ Revolts in Syria: Regime Neoliberalism, Fundamental Changes, Decolinial Arab Revolution, and Syria’s Revolt: http://zcomm.org/zmagazine/revolts-in-syria-by-omar-s-dahl/

Videos and Channels: 

+ Rare video evidence of Torture in Syrian Hospitals: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/foreign-affairs-defense/syria-undercover/rare-video-evidence-of-torture-in-syrian-hospitals/

+ Compilation of Assad bombardment and shelling in Daraya, Syria (Chapter 1: Explosions, Chapter 2: Civilians): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FYnxbjyxFtY

+ Rescuing a young child from underneath the rubble: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gKmw6xT2WjU

+ Nayef, a child from Aleppo, speaks about his martyred family members after a SCUD missile landed in his neighborhood: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3xHu_sOduo8

+ Graphic video of Regime forces beating and torturing dissenters: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kFwVsGeC4wE (“This is for the freedom you want!”)

+ Regime forces stomp over peaceful protestors in Bayda Village, Banias: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tlglKrvjjeU

+ BBC Report on the Yarmouk Camp siege: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-26330014

+ Palestinian Refugees from Syria speak out: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cUiEVZZn7rI

+ Assad forces drop chlorine bombs on residents of Hama, 2014: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WIAlfjqdRXk

+ After a government airstrike in Aleppo and 16 hours of digging, the Syrian Civil Defense rescues a 2 month old infant, 2014: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-XGgZmsKZAg

+ Shelling Kafranbel, Idlib on first day of Ramadan, 2014: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qdSeyvM7pRw

+ The Left Forum: A Different View of Syria – The Struggle by Yasser Munif: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vYlGYT3Cr1E

+ Video: 200 Syrian refugees drown off of Maltese coast: http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/world-news/horror-video-shows-moment-200-2483469

+ Dozens of people were killed yesterday after Assad forces dropped 2 barrel bombs (only minutes apart) in al-Sukary Neighborhood, Aleppo: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pMyjf8YeET4

+ Kurdish authorities arrested Iranian militants who carried sacks of poisonous scorpions they intended to throw in a Syrian refugee camp in Northern Iraq: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=375004139282176

+ UNCHR: Syrian refugee children and their passion for football: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=10153002950558438

+ Lebanon: One Million Syrian Refugees: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q4P_r4hG_Qk&sns=fb

+ English, Russian, Spanish, French, Kurdish, German: http://www.youtube.com/user/freeSyrianTranslator

+ English: http://www.youtube.com/user/ANAChannelEng/

+ English: http://www.youtube.com/user/SyrianZero

A Small Sample of Peaceful Demonstrations:

+ Protest Compilation: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GOSBQL8MyV0

+ Rastan Massacre 2012: Regime forces shell a peaceful protest: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vj0OZnfFOWQ

+ Assad soldiers torture and drag a man in the nude in the streets of Aleppo. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=56HmJSbqID4

+ The voices of Syrian children in the Za’atari Refugee Camp in Jordan (which is now considered the 4th largest city). https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rimcWreqrVg

+ “I am a human being, not an animal.” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=84LDUEPZzQM

+ Assad army soldiers shoot at unarmed protesters: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kDeJ_lOXyec

+ Assad army soldiers open fire on unarmed protesters in Mezzeh, Damascus: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yHHCLAmzV2c

+ Assad army soldiers open fire and kill protesters in Dara’a: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PKGEdC90n3g

+ Assad soldiers storm a peaceful demonstration in Douma, Damascus, violently beating civilians: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ORF0KIv7vUo

+ Aleppo 2013, Regime shells peaceful protest: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n-jlw_8UCU8

+ Hama, June 2011: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8-QFVL5rDyI

+ Homs, 2011: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dWL0FGodY24

+ An all-woman peaceful protest in Banias, Syria 2011: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Szgb2XH08rI

+ Dara’a, 2011: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8_5ZZzjYANc

+ Qamishli, 2011: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w9MFQ5QcL2k

+ Hama, 2012: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VgnUWXqiLPs

+ Hama, 2012: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GAumuuMDMT4

+ Hama, 2012: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cxfXBz1tsYE

+ Homs, 2012: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yM_otho4Gnw

+ Homs, 2012: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nMKJjqiN36Q

+ Idlib, 2012: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e7gtWhY0B4M

+ Aleppo, 2013: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LBdt2M8lWco

+ Damascus, 2012: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mbyoyj0vXO8

+ Syrian resistance against ISIS in front of the ISIS HQ: https://scontent-a-sjc.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-xaf1/v/t1.0-9/1003583_225277990994538_1134722556_n.jpg?oh=7f3f771adf01a31bfdde645d570a1b3e&oe=544D914B

+ Ma’arat al-Nouman protest the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (IS) and the Assad regime: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oJkWIYbhhFs

+ Aleppo and Idlib protest both IS and the Assad regime: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6AodbZEq8bM

Defections and the Creation of Brigades: 

+ AJ: Syrian defectors join protestors: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bNxjMpg8uLc

Malnutrition and Starvation:

+ A man who is on the brink of death due to extreme malnutrition: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8f7oXdoqKBc 

+ An infant starves to death due to malnutrition, 2012 Houla: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t_WgchWPAsQ

+ Children in Modamiyet al-Sham who starved to death: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gKmw6xT2WjU

Solidarity: 

+ Global Solidarity with the Syrian Revolution: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Global-Campaign-of-Solidarity-with-the-Syrian-Revolution/

+ Transnational Statement in Solidarity with the Syrian Revolution and against (all) foreign intervention: http://www.al-manshour.org/en/statement-by-rev-socialists-marxists-on-us-attack-on-syria

+ Articles via MENA Solidarity Network: http://menasolnetus.wordpress.com/articles-to-help-understand-the-mena-revolutionary-process-and-the-need-for-solidarity/

+ A Statement in Solidarity with the Syrian Revolution: http://al-manshour.org/node/5609

+ Somali refugee children to Syrian refugee children: http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-26954088

+ A collective of solidarity pieces “From Syria, to Palestine”: http://www.creativememory.org/?tag=palestine

+ Syrian AUB students protesting for Gaza silenced and beaten: http://stateofmind13.com/2012/11/21/syrian-aub-students-protesting-for-gaza-silenced-and-beaten-up/

+ When the history books are rewritten, let us not fall under the distracted few (From Palestine, to Syria): http://smpalestine.com/2012/05/07/when-the-history-books-are-rewritten-let-us-not-fall-under-the-distracted-few/

+ The struggle for freedom and food sovereignty: a letter of solidarity to the farmers of Syria: https://www.opendemocracy.net/arab-awakening/julia-z/struggle-for-freedom-and-food-sovereignty-letter-of-solidarity-to-farmers-of-

+ On our Nakba, to yours: A letter from a Palestinian refugee to a Syrian refugee: http://beyondcompromise.com/2014/05/14/on-our-nakba-to-yours/

+ “Freedom is a shared destiny: Gaza, Yarmouk, Golan”: https://www.facebook.com/jawlan.org/photos/a.189224621099784.40327.189080341114212/783945088294398/?type=1&relevant_count=1

+ From Syria, to Gaza: “Weekly Friday demonstrations in Syria tomorrow under the banner of ‘Wounded #Syria in Solidarity with #Gaza'”: https://twitter.com/talalalyan/status/495112330309804032

+ From Kafranbel, Syria, in solidarity with AJ journalists: https://www.facebook.com/kafrev/photos/a.584219388271298.153069.537011102992127/916957798330787/?type=1&relevant_count=1

+ Syrian and Kurdish solidarity in Efrin: https://www.facebook.com/SyriaBirati/photos/a.584264758296000.1073741828.584202631635546/650017318387410/?type=1&relevant_count=1

+ From Beirut: Solidarity with the Syrian people against Hezbollah: https://www.facebook.com/dawlaty.org/photos/a.353804228033963.81628.309212095826510/620278788053171/?type=1&relevant_count=1

+ From Aleppo, to Gaza: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=359267084224490&set=a.107836682700866.18771.100004236039480&type=1&relevant_count=1

+ From Rohaibeh, to Gaza: https://fbcdn-sphotos-g-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-xpa1/t1.0-9/q71/s720x720/1920459_10202301525034172_1868544096_n.jpg

+ Yarmouk for Gaza: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=693478954062342

+ From Douma, to Gaza: https://www.facebook.com/dcrn.2/photos/a.499502230126034.1073741826.491343570941900/673561056053483/?type=1&relevant_count=1

+ From Modamiyet al-Sham, Damascus, to Gaza: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10201298124253679&set=a.1825090805586.72565.1789763548&type=1&relevant_count=1

+ From Qaboun, Damascus, to Gaza: https://www.facebook.com/QudsN/photos/a.119620728114837.22171.119605611449682/693800930696811/?type=1&relevant_count=1

+ From Gaza, to Syria: Palestinian children raise Syria’s independence flag: http://palestinianpundit.blogspot.com/2012/06/gaza-children-raising-palestinian-flag.html

+ From Taftanaz, Idlib, to Gaza: https://www.facebook.com/Edlib.News.Network/photos/a.285438414799654.77453.245325925477570/807630899247067/?type=1

+ Mara’ protests in solidarity with Gaza (2012): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ckfTyhGRo7U

+ Gaza protests in solidarity with Syria (2012): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JXXifnJq0Bk

+ Aleppo protests in solidarity with Gaza (2014): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9y68C9KoAXU

+ Saqba protests in solidarity with Gaza (2014): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h30L7MWsNY4

+ Egyptian solidarity with the people of Syria and Burma: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lJY2eYvYXrk

+ From Syria to the family of Trayvon Martin: http://cdn.thedailybeast.com/content/dailybeast/articles/2013/07/15/syrian-rebels-side-with-trayvon/jcr:content/image.img.2000.jpg/1373946627977.cached.jpg.dimg.jpg/06714f7-2.cached.jpg

+ Solidarity from Syria to Greece: Statement by SRSB against dumping of chemical weapons in the Mediterranean sea: http://tahriricn.wordpress.com/2014/08/04/greecesyria-statement-by-srsb-in-solidarity-with-struggle-against-dumping-of-chemical-weapons-in-the-mediterranean-sea/

+ From Buenos Aires, Argentina, to Syria: https://www.facebook.com/IzquierdaSocialistaArg/photos/a.755732821133592.1073741828.438942059479338/755733004466907/?type=1&relevant_count=1

+ From Santiago, Chile, to Syria and Palestine: https://fbcdn-sphotos-f-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-xap1/t1.0-9/1239986_10201055959935823_558277980_n.jpg

+ From Brazil, to Syria: https://www.facebook.com/pstuenglish/photos/pb.604895052951906.-2207520000.1407110905./630170190424392/?type=3&theater

+ Pen pal program unites young Syrian and Somali refugees: http://wfpusa.org/blog/pen-pal-program-unites-young-refugees-kenya-and-syria

+ Syria’s crisis created 2.5 million refugees last year – the U.S. let in 36: http://www.vox.com/2014/9/24/6834813/refugees-syria-in-america-camps-unhcr-isis-crisis

Resistance in Arts: 

+ The Creative Memory of the Syrian Revolution: http://www.creativememory.org/?p=11616

+ Revolutionary Syrian Documentaries and Short Films (Subtitled): http://www.youtube.com/user/Bidayyat (http://www.bidayyat.org/)

+ Films made by Syrian revolutionaries, including interviews with artists, intellectuals, writers, etc. (Subtitled): http://www.youtube.com/user/ashare3/featured

+ Abounaddara Films on Vimeo w/ subtitles in both English and French: https://vimeo.com/user6924378/videos

+ Sam Lens Photography in Syria: https://www.facebook.com/samlenses

+ Syrian revolutionary photographers in the cities of Homs and Damascus: https://www.facebook.com/LensYoungHomsi + https://www.facebook.com/LensYoungdimashqi

+ Infamous revolutionary demonstration signs in Kafranbel, Syria: https://www.facebook.com/kafrnbl

+ Revolutionary graffiti in the city of Saraqeb: https://www.facebook.com/SaraqebWalls

+ Revolutionary music under siege, Yarmouk: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ymweKAmoQ5chttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CvN6BBaPpjM

+ Graphic arts of the revolution: https://www.facebook.com/dawlaty.org

+ Syrian Memory Collective: http://syrianmemorycollective.tumblr.com/

+ The Syria Campaign: https://www.facebook.com/TheSyriaCampaign

+ Hamisch: The Syrian Cultural House in Istanbul: http://hamisch.org/?lang=en

+ Film: “On The Bride’s Side” – Five Syrians and Palestinians create a fake wedding to smuggle Syrian refugees across Europe: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z1uWZ75dy50

+ Film: “Our Terrible Country” – FID Film Festival of Marseille: Grand Prize in the International Competition: http://vimeo.com/96295077

+ Film: “Silvered Water, Syria Self-Portrait” – Special Screening in Cannes Film Festival 2014: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CPaERAgs2uY

+ Film: “Return to Homs” – Sundance 2014 Winner, World Cinema Grand Jury Prize: Documentary : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oYMhVE2iJCk

+ Syria’s Underground Film Club: Anonymous ‘Emergency Cinema,’ No Dead Bodies: http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/06/29/syria-s-underground-film-club-anonymous-emergency-cinema-no-dead-bodies.html

Literature and Poetry: 

Woman in the Crossfire: Diaries of the Syrian Revolution by Samar Yazbek

+ Just Five Minutes: Nine Years in the Prisons of Syria by Heba Dabbagh

+ The Power and the People: Paths of Resistance in the Middle East by Charles Tripp

+ The People Want by Gilbert Achcar The Syrian Dilemma by Nader Hashemi and Danny Postel 

+ The Silence of Contemporary Syrian Literatyre by Mohja Kahf http://www.thefreelibrary.com/The+silence+of+contemporary+Syrian+literature.-a080500168

+ A New Emergence of Poetry in Syria http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/features/2013/09/20139784442125773.html

+ The City by poet Gajas al-Madhum http://www.versoteque.com/en/author/gajas-al-madhun/poem/the-city

Reports: 

+ Inside Syria’s 27 Torture Centers: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2168079/Inside-Syrias-27-torture-centres-We-suck-blood-floor.html

+ Translated: “A Discussion Paper on Local Councils in Syria” by activist and martyr, Omar Aziz: https://muqawameh.wordpress.com/2013/09/14/translated-quota-discussion-paper-on-local-councils-in-syriaquot-by-the-martyr-and-comrade-omar-aziz/ (also reference: http://tahriricn.wordpress.com/2013/08/23/syria-the-life-and-work-of-anarchist-omar-aziz-and-his-impact-on-self-organization-in-the-syrian-revolution/ and http://budourhassan.wordpress.com/2013/02/20/omar-aziz/ for Omar Aziz’s work and impact)

+ Report on the sieges of Yarmouk Camp in Damascus and Moa’damieh City in the Damascus Suburbs: http://www.vdc-sy.info/index.php/en/reports/1379660373#.UuPfZWTTlO1 (ViolationS Documentation Center in Syria)

+ Recent Confidential Torture Report: Torture and Execution of Persons Incarcerated by the current Syrian regime: http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2014/images/01/20/syria-board.of.inquiry.doha.jan.2014.18.1.version.x.to.print..pdf (torture and execution of 11,000 victims, 55,000 photos)

+ Human Rights Watch Report regarding indiscriminate air strikes by the Assad regime (April 2013): http://www.hrw.org/reports/2013/04/10/death-skies

+ Human Rights Watch article: activist deaths and feared activist deaths in detainment: http://www.hrw.org/news/2013/02/22/syria-activist-dies-jail-second-feared-dead (update: Ayham Ghazzoul was killed under torture by Assad forces in detainment)

+ ”I wanted to die” Syria’s Torture Survivors Speak Out | Amnesty International: http://www.amnestyusa.org/sites/default/files/mde240162012en.pdf

+ Syria Sexual Assault in Detention | Human Rights Watch: http://www.hrw.org/news/2012/06/15/syria-sexual-assault-detention

+ Detention and Abuse of Female Activists in Syria | Human Rights Watch: http://www.hrw.org/news/2013/06/24/syria-detention-and-abuse-female-activists

+ Syria: Sexual Violence Reports | International Federation for Human Rights: http://fidh.org/IMG/pdf/syria_sexual_violence-web.pdf

+ Reports on torture method practiced by Syrian authorities | Syrian Network for Human Rights: http://www.dchrs.org/english/File/Reports/syrian-network-for-human-rights-report-09-02-2013.pdf

+ Special report on use of chemical weapons in Ghouta and the Damascus suburbs | VDC: http://www.vdc-sy.info/index.php/en/reports//chemicaldamascussuburbs#.UwyB9EJdVe8

+ Amnesty International Report on the Palestinian Refugee Camp of Yarmouk: http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/asset/MDE24/008/2014/en/c18cfe4d-1254-42f2-90df-e0fce7c762fc/mde240082014en.pdf (summary of the report: http://beyondcompromise.com/2014/03/10/amnesty-international-report-underlines-who-destroyed-yarmouk/)

+ Treatment of Kurds under the Assad regime one year after the Kurdish Intifada of March 12th, 2004: http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/asset/MDE24/002/2005/en/9aea4751-d539-11dd-8a23-d58a49c0d652/mde240022005en.html

+ Under Kurdish Rule: Abuses in PYD-run enclaves in Syria: http://www.hrw.org/node/126065

+ HRW: Barrage of Barrel Bombs: http://www.hrw.org/news/2014/07/30/syria-barrage-barrel-bombs

Sustainability and Donations:

+ Syrian Orphans: http://syrianorphans.org/donate/

+ A new collective supporting relief programs, waste management, civil defense, education, etc. in areas liberated from both the regime and ISIS: https://www.syriaingreen.com/about.html 

+ Matar Handcrafts: Embroidered handmade items by Syrian women on the grounds to support the psychological, social, and economic necessities of women and children. http://www.matar.org.uk/

+ Karam Foundation: Projects for Syria including milk for infants, flour mills, arts and sports programs for Syrian refugee camps, etc.: http://karamfoundation.org/projects/

+ Basmeh & Zeitooneh – Disaster Relief in Lebanon: https://www.facebook.com/basmehzeitooneh

+ Syrian Sunshine Foundation: Includes projects for field clinics, medical materials, family, widows, and orphan support, educational items, and more: https://syriansunrisefoundation.org/

+ Syrian Children Community Center in Beirut: https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/syrian-children-community-center-in-beirut

+ Hamisch (Margin), a Syrian cultural center in Istanbul for Syrians in exile: https://fundly.com/the-syrian-cultural-house-in-istanbul

To be updated… 

Introduction: The Period of Power and the Period of Revolution

A revolution is an exceptional event that will alter the history of societies, while changing humanity itself. It is a rupture in time and space, where humans live between two periods: the period of power and the period of revolution. A revolution’s victory, however, is ultimately achieving the independence of its time in order to move into a new era. The Syrian Revolution has entered its eighth month and still has days ahead in its struggle to overthrow the regime and unlock new areas of life. The authoritative control on the territories is relatively present, but its scope of power differs from region to region, from day to day, and from hour to hour throughout the same day. During the past, continuos demonstrations were able to break the dominance of absolute power in certain areas. It was the continuation of demonstrations that produced a National Council that included a broad spectrum of mass movements, organizations, and political parties, which were counted on to represent a legitimate alternative authority to the Arab and international communities. The National Council is imperative in order to accomplish the efforts required to protect the Syrian people from the regime and its brutality.

However, the revolutionary movement remains independent of daily human activities and is unable to interfere with everyday lives. Although the public still manages as they did in the past, there are “divisions of daily work” between day-to-day activities and revolutionary activities. This means that the social formations in Syria lives in two overlapping times: the period of power, in which the regime still manages everyday activities, and the period of the revolution, in which activists work daily to overthrow the regime. The risk lies not in the overlap of the two periods, for that is the nature of revolutions, but rather in the absence of correlation between the spheres of daily life and the revolution itself. So, what is feared of the movement during the coming period is one of two things: humans becoming bored due to the continuity of the revolution and its disruption of their daily lives, or humans resorting to the use of heavy weaponry, causing the revolution to become the rifle’s hostage.

Accordingly, the efforts one must undertake in order to independently detach his or her social formations under authority and separate “the period of power and the period of revolution” is the extent in which the revolution will successfully create an atmosphere of victory. It must be recalled that the past months were rich trials of several focuses in the areas of emergency medical and legal support, and now, we must urgently enrich these initiatives to include broader areas of life. The blending of life in a revolution is an inherent requirement for its continuation and its victory. It requires a socially flexible structure that is based on the collaboration between the revolution and the daily lives of humans. This form of structure will be called: the local council.

The purpose of this entrance, and what is followed in the discussion paper, is to research the feasibility of the formation local councils with members from diverse cultures who belong to different social divisions, yet are working together to achieve the following:

  • To support the people in managing their own lives independent of institutions and state agencies
  • To form a space for collective expression that supports the collaboration of individuals promotes daily and political activities
  • To initiate activities of the social revolution at a district level and unify supporting frameworks

As time passes, the course of human life for individuals and families transforms into one of a constant search for safer places to live. This course in time also transforms daily work into tireless efforts to discover what has happened to missing loved ones. Thus, families persistently work to access information regarding detainment locations and rely on their general knowledge or relatives to assess the areas of detention.

The role of local councils is to transfer such misery from what would usually fall under “the period of power” into a process that includes a unique community initiative.

The council must, at a minimum, work on the following:

i. Find safe housing for families coming new into the regime and provide them with needed supplies. The council located in that region must collaborate with its counterpart, the local council from the region that the families initially fled from.

ii. Organize statements for the detainees and transfer the information to concerned authorities in the revolution. The council must arrange to contract legal authorities and must provide support to the families by issuing follow-ups on the conditions of loved ones in detention.

iii. Manage the request reports of affected families and work to ensure the expenses through financial aid for the public and “regional revolution funds.”

Such acts demand organization, proper management of information, and knowledge of the arts of administration; however, this is not impossible despite the given type of rebellious environment. The revolution has nurtured a generation of experts in organizing demonstrations, strikes, and sit-ins that are capable of arrangements and work management specialties carried out innately by the people.

This revolutionary responsibility must not replace relatives or acquaintances (or at least during the first stage) and should not be binding in any way. Humans will begin to feel comfortable out of state services, and those who find temporary alternatives for kinship relations need time and practice in order to enter into contact and collective social behavior sophisticatedly and effectively.

The Topic of Exchange Between Human Beings: The Formation of New Participants

  • Provide a venue for discussion in which human beings are able to trade and search for solutions to daily issues
  • Build horizontal links between the local councils of one geographic region and expand to include links between different geographic regions

The revolution transformed individuals themselves to broaden the horizons of their own lives once they ensured that the conflict was their means of liberation and, thus, marked their continuity and cooperation with the struggle enduringly. They were able to discover their newly defined capabilities of innovation and invention, of rich social engagements and assorted colors, that were different than what they had initially entrusted while being restricted under a single tyrannical killer for half a century.

Here, the local council’s role is activating the people’s cooperation and transferring it into their living spaces, which will vary in the nature of their activities and their movement in the face of authority, namely:

i. Encourage people to discuss their conditions every day (in regards to their livelihoods and daily demands) and to solve specified issues collectively.

ii. Consider the issues that require solutions outside the scope of the given locality, such as finances or support from other areas.

The Topic of Land: Collective Rediscovery

  • Defend the territories of the region that the state seeks to expropriate or has already acquired.

The State’s acquisition of land in the cities and suburbs of Syria and its entailed population redeployment are foundations of its policy for domination and social exclusion. The State thus relies on these strategies to ensure its power. This policy has worked to form “safe” residential areas for officials and army officers, for shopping areas, and for the implementation of business plans in order to accommodate the wealthy. The revolutionary movement that we are witnessing in the rural and suburb areas of Syria is one aspect of the people’s rejection of the State’s expropriation and marginalization policies.

The role of the local council is the direct defense of property from State squatters, by any means necessary. It is imperative to take action through:

  • Intervening quickly with properties that are subject to expropriation resolutions.
  • Communicating with legal networks of the revolution to raise cases before the courts and challenge the decisions of acquisition in hopes of cancellation or, at the very least, postponement.
  • Making the defense of the property and land an issue that concerns that masses of residents in the area collectively.

Configuration of Local Councils:

  • The formation of local councils is related to the ability of movement in each region, which means it will be harder to accomplish in areas that are subject to heavy security presence and relatively easier in areas where revolutionary movement is more empowered.
  • The achievements of the local council will be a gradual process according to the people’s circumstances, demands, and interactions with it.
  • The success achieved by each of the councils will be measured through experience and an increase in designated members.
  • The configuration of local councils will not be an easy task, though it will be the basis for the continuity of the revolution. The difficulty of formation will not only be due to the suffocating security collar and siege, but also new and unfamiliar practices in life and social relationships. This situation demands an independent entity that is separate from the authority, in which the role of the body will be to support and develop economic and social activities in the area of its presence, while having an experienced administration in various fields.
  • In the beginning, the program of the local councils must be applied in locations that have the most appropriate conditions. These localities will serve as pilot areas in order to correctly measure the proper formation of councils in other areas that are subjected to the toughest of conditions.
  • Due to the absence of the electoral practice under the current circumstances, the local councils must be made up of social workers and laureates who are respected by the public, have expertise in social, organizational, and technical areas, and the potential and desire to commit themselves to voluntary work.
  • The launch of local councils in stages will be in accordance with the priorities of the regime and those who will support its creation:

i. Local council members

ii. Regional activists

iii. Volunteer activists from outside the area that have experience in their respective fields of work

The Role of the National Council

The Council plays a pivotal role in the following matters:

  • The legitimacy of the initiative: the National Council must adopt the idea of local councils, which will provide it with necessary legitimacy to launch, and facilitate acceptance by the activists in the sector.
  • Funding: The National Board of Directors must accept financing the “Revolution Funds,” which in itself is a job the Council must fulfill. It allows greater flexibility in covering the establishment of local councils by covering all expenses of creation and costs that may not be covered by the region itself.
  • The National council must facilitate the coordination between regions and raise the expectation of organization to the framework of entire provinces, for each area and each locality is still based on initiatives that are in accordance to their reckoned mobility. This independence undoubtedly proves the great flexibility in the movement, regardless that it was most affected by the absence of accommodating spaces. The role played by the National Council here is essential in finding a common ground and a closer interdependence between different regions.

To learn more of Syria’s anarchist martyr Omar Aziz, his life, and his legacy in the revolution, click here.

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