To: Detroit Workers' Voice mailing list
December 15, 2016
RE: Solidarity with the Syrian people after the fall of Aleppo

  1.  Stop the Killing! Save Aleppo!
  2.  On the fall of Aleppo
  3.  Solidarity with Aleppo in Sarajevo
  4.   The White Helmets denounce Russian war crimes
  5.  Don't stand by and watch the triumph of dictatorship!

 Stop the Killing! Save Aleppo!

March for Aleppo in Seattle!
Friday, December 16, 2016 6 pm - 8:30 pm
Victor Steinbrueck Park
2001 Western Ave, Seattle,
Washington 98121

From the announcement for this demonstration:

We will be gathering at Victor Steinbrueck Park (park next to Pike Place with the totem poles) and marching to the Russian Consulate to rage for Aleppo. This event is also in collaboration with Americans for Refugees & Immigrants.

The people of Aleppo are being massacred by the Assad regime and Russia and WE WILL NOT BE SILENT. We condemn the lack of action by world leaders.

NEVER AGAIN IS NOW. Please do your part and  come show your support.

 On the fall of Aleppo

"It was necessary to destroy the town in order to save it." This was said in 1968 by a major in the US armed forces about the provincial capital of Ben Tre in Vietnam. Such was the nature of the savage imperialist war waged by US imperialism against Vietnam. Today we see that the Assad dictatorship has destroyed one Syrian city and neighborhood after another in order to subdue the uprising against it. The regime's slogan has been "surrender or starve", but the meaning is the same.

This month it was the turn of the liberated section of Aleppo to be annihilated. It had held out for four years against barrel bombs, gas attacks, heavily-armed troops, and blockade. It succumbed to the savage butchery of the Russian air force, the foreign militias, and Assad's forces. Civilians and medical personnel were especial targets for the Assad regime and its allies, so that by the end not a single hospital was left standing in East Aleppo. They had all suffered multiple attacks until utterly destroyed.

What has been done to Aleppo has been done, one after another, to all the urban areas and towns that have stood up for freedom. In many of these areas, people had for the first time in their lives carried out elections, formed independent committees, published their own papers, formed truly active women's centers, and so forth. Different trends had contested among them, but for once it was the people who were having their say. This was intolerable to the Assad regime.

If it had just been left to the Syrian people, the Assad regime would have toppled. But the Syrian uprising has faced the opposition of one reactionary force after another: troops from the theocratic Iranian regime; sectarian militias from Iraq; the Russian air force and military personnel; the sectarian Hezbollah from Lebanon; even Egyptian troops from the al-Sisi dictatorship; and so forth. They have also faced the protracted efforts of the US government to prevent them from getting the weapons needed to fight aircraft.

The fall of Aleppo probably won't be the end of the struggle against the Assad regime, but it is a major setback. The uprising, having lost its major urban areas, will have to change its tactics. Meanwhile the forces unleashed against Aleppo will be turned against Idlib and other areas. Civilians and rebels who manage to move from East Aleppo to other areas will come under attack there. The Assad regime and its major allies now hope for total victory. Meanwhile the foreign powers that seek a "negotiated solution" will pay less attention than ever to the Syrian people. None of them wanted to see a victory of the Syrian uprising. Instead they want to preserve the institutions of the dictatorship, which they regard as essential for stability, not allow the people to remove them. They might haggle over whether it would be advisable to remove some top officials, and how many years it would take to even do that, but they want to keep intact the institutions that have stomped on the Syrian people.

Today the Syrian uprising needs solidarity more than ever. This solidarity will only come from the people of other countries, not from the governments. This solidarity must aim to help stop the atrocities being committed against the people and fighters of East Aleppo. This is a crucial thing to do. But it also needs to support the goal of eliminating the Assad dictatorship. We must support the Syrian struggle for rights when the situation looks worse; indeed, it is most important to continue solidarity at that time.

Unfortunately much of the world left-wing movement has played a sorry role. A huge section of the left has no faith in the masses of people in Syria. It lectures over and over that what exists is simply a US imperialist plot to overthrow the Assad government or a "US war on Syria". It claims to stand for "Hands Off Syria", but it actually stands for "Hands Off Dictatorship". As far as it is concerned, any outside power can bomb Syria to its heart's content, so long as it is done in coordination with the Assad regime. So it doesn't protest the atrocities committed by the regime in Aleppo, but denies they have taken place. It doesn't even sympathize with the White Helmets, the  civilian volunteers who provide medical help to casualties in Syria, but slanders them as agents of imperialism. Assad and the Russian bomb medical personnel, and this section of the left denounces those personnel.

This shows the extent of the crisis in the left, and the Detroit Workers' Voice list will continue to carry articles on how this crisis developed and what to do about it. The betrayal of the democratic struggle by much of the left has paralyzed mass solidarity with the Syrian people. Nevertheless, many people around the world have been disgusted by the massacres taking place in Aleppo and throughout Syria. Syrians and supporters in various countries have demonstrated outside Russian consulates and embassies. And some other actions have taken place too, including a minute of silence at a Bolivian workers' meeting.

Aleppo may have fallen, but it won't be forgotten. For years to come, progressive people around the world will draw lessons from what has happened in Aleppo and throughout Syria.

More material about the Syrian uprising and why it deserves support can be found at http://www.communistvoice.org/00Syria.html.

By Joseph Green <>

 Solidarity with Aleppo in Sarajevo

From a report on social media:

Massive protest for Aleppo in Sarajevo

#Sarajevo, #Bosnia_Herzegovina, 14-12-2016: Thousands of people from all backgrounds gathered this afternoon in Sarajevo, the capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina, to protest in solidarity with Aleppo, with the city's mayor also present at the event to show solidarity with the people of Aleppo. Serbs, Bosniaks, Croats, Arabs and Turks in the city, Muslims Catholics Orthodox Christians and Jews, all came together to condemn Assad's internationally assisted Nakba. Following the demonstration, a number of the protesters went to the Russian Embassy in the city to hold another peaceful protest against Russia's partnership in Assad's ongoing genocide in Aleppo and across Syria.

The people of Sarajevo, who know all too well at first hand the horrors that vicious militias like Assad's and the Iranian regime's are perpetrating in Aleppo, stood together to condemn the ongoing genocide, holding banners in Arabic, Bosnian, English and Turkish, and free Syrian flags.The organiser of the protest said, "We can't do enough to end the suffering of civilians starving under constant shelling and siege, however we can raise our voice against slaughter. We are calling onto people in power that play geopolitical games over people in Syria to stop it and stop bringing their armies and arms deals."

  The White Helmets denounce Russian war crimes

The following is excerpted from the article "Syria's White Helmets accuse Russia of Aleppo war crimes" in Reuters, December 15, 2016.

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - Russian air strikes in the Aleppo, Syria, region have killed some 1,207 civilians, 380 of them children, the Syrian White Helmets civil defense group told United Nations war crimes investigators in a letter seen by Reuters on Thursday.

The White Helmets, the Syrian Network for Human Rights, Independent Doctors Association and the Violations Documentation Center outlined their accusations against Russia in a 39-page document submitted to the U.N. Commission of Inquiry on Syria.

The document lists some 304 alleged attacks carried out primarily between July and December in the Aleppo region in which the groups say there is a "high likelihood" of Russia responsibility. ...

 "Evidence clearly indicates that Russia has committed or been complicit in war crimes in Syria," the White Helmets letter to the U.N. inquiry said.

The document said the accusations were based on witness testimony and corroborating evidence, which includes video footage identifying the aircraft responsible for attacks, audio intercepted from aircraft cockpits and the munitions used. ...

The U.N. high commissioner for human rights, Zeid Ra'ad al-Hussein, said in October that air strikes in the city of Aleppo's rebel-held east by government forces and allies were responsible for the overwhelming majority of civilian casualties.

(Reporting by Michelle Nichols; Editing by Jonathan Oatis; excerpting by JG)

Full text at https://www.yahoo.com/news/syrias-white-helmets-accuse-russia-aleppo-war-crimes-010641440.html?ref=gs

 Don't stand by and watch the triumph of dictatorship!

Below is an appeal which was organized by the group "Promoting Enduring Peace" (PEP). It's hardly likely that the measures proposed will be adopted, and the statement does not suggest what needs to be done in that case. Nevertheless, it demonstrates opposition to the Assad dictatorship and its atrocities. The DWV list has also carried statements from other activists who refuse to go along with the pro-dictatorship stand of such groups as the United National Antiwar Coalition.

Syria Appeal December 2016

Open Letter -- Appeal to Break the Sieges in Syria

Syria is undergoing the worst warfare on the planet. We must not stand by and watch the triumph of a dictatorship whose very heart is torture and war crimes. We believe the key to eventual peace is to stop the sieges of over one million Syrians. We call for these measures:

Airdrop food and supplies to all besieged areas. If the U.N. won’t do it the U.S. should lead the way.

Call for all forces to allow civilians to leave besieged areas if they wish without fear of detention or conscription or to remain in their homes.

Encourage local ceasefires without using these to create more forced displacement.

Release all political prisoners and account for all those who died in detention.

Signed by:

Institutions listed for identification only

http://www.pepeace.org/syria-appeal-december-2016


Back to main page, how to order CV, write us!

Posted on December 24, 2016
http://www.communistvoice.org
e-mail: mail@communistvoice.org