[International Solidarity] Syrian People are not alone -Avaaz

Dear friends,

Powered by millions of online actions and donations from 75,000 of us, our community is playing a central role in supporting the Syrian people as they persist in peaceful protest against all odds. Together, we’re empowering citizen journalism, smuggling in medical supplies and western journalists, and much more. We’re making a difference, but the staggering bravery of the Syrian people is their gift to the rest of us. Read this [email] for the full story, or look at this recent media coverage of Avaaz‘s work on Syria: BBC, CNN, El Pais, TIME, The Guardian, Der Spiegel, AFP.

This morning, 4 western journalists are home safe with their families, the echoes of the horror and heroism of Baba Amr still ringing in their ears. Over 50 Syrian activists, supported by Avaaz, volunteered to rescue them and scores of wounded civilians from the Syrian army’s killzone. Many of those incredible activists have not survived the week.

Abu Hanin is one of the heroes. He’s 26, a poet, and when his community needed him, he took the lead in organizing the citizen journalists that Avaaz has supported to help the voices of Syrians reach the world. The last contact with Abu Hanin was on Thursday, as regime troops closed in on his location. He read his last will and testament to the Avaaz team in Beirut, and told us where he had buried the bodies of the two western journalists killed in the shelling. Since then, his neighborhood of Baba Amr has been a black hole, and we still don’t know his fate.

It’s easy to despair when seeing Syria today, but to honour the dead, we must carry forward the hope they died with. As Baba Amr went dark and fears of massacre spread, Syrians took to the streets — yet again — across the country, in a peaceful protest that showed staggering bravery.

Their bravery is our lesson, the gift of the Syrian people to the rest of us. Because in their spirit, in their courage to face the worst darkness our world has to offer, a new world is being born.

And in that new world, the Syrian people are not alone. Millions of us from every nation have stood with them time and time again, right from the beginning of their struggle. Nearly 75,000 of us have donated almost $3 million to fund people-powered movements and deliver high-tech communications equipment to help them tell their story, and enable the Avaaz team to help smuggle in over $2 million worth of medical supplies. We’ve taken millions of online actions to push for action from the Security Council and the Arab League and for sanctions from many countries, and delivered those online campaigns in dozens of stunts, media campaigns and high-level advocacy meetings with top world leaders. Together we’ve helped win many of these battles, including for unprecedented action by the Arab League, and oil sanctions from Europe.

Our team in Beirut has also provided a valuable communications hub for brave and skilled activists to coordinate complex smuggling operations and the rescue of the wounded and the journalists. Avaaz does not direct these activities, but we facilitate, support and advise. We have also established safe houses for activists, and supported the outreach and diplomatic engagement of the Syrian National Council — the opposition movement’s fledgling political representative body. Much of the world’s major media have covered Avaaz’s work to help the Syrian people, including features on BBC, CNN, El Pais, TIME, The Guardian, Der Spiegel, AFP and many more, citing our “central role” in the Syrian peaceful protest movement.

Today, a dozen more nightmares like that visited on the city of Homs are unfolding across Syria. The situation will get worse before it gets better. It will be bloody, and complicated, and as some protesters take up arms to defend themselves, the line between right and wrong will blur. But President Assad’s brutal regime will fall, and there will be peace, and elections, and accountability. The Syrian people simply will not stop until that happens — and it may happen sooner than we all think.

Every expert told us at the beginning that an uprising in Syria was unthinkable. But we sent in satellite communications equipment anyway. Because our community knows something that the experts and cynics don’t — that people power and a new spirit of citizenship are sweeping our world today, and they are fearless, and unstoppable, and will bring hope to the darkest places. Marie Colvin, an American journalist covering the violence in Homs, told Avaaz before she died, “I’m not leaving these people.” And neither will we.

With hope, and admiration for the Syrian people and courageous citizens everywhere,

Ricken, Wissam, Stephanie, Alice, David, Antonia, Will, Sam, Emma, Wen-Hua, Veronique and the whole Avaaz team

P.S. If you want to do more, click here to help keep our lifeline of hope into Syria open:

Avaaz.org is a 13-million-person global campaign network that works to ensure that the views and values of the world’s people shape global decision-making. (“Avaaz” means “voice” or “song” in many languages.) Avaaz members live in every nation of the world; our team is spread across 13 countries on 4 continents and operates in 14 languages. Learn about some of Avaaz’s biggest campaigns here, or follow us on Facebook or Twitter.

To contact Avaaz, please do not reply to this email. Instead, write to us at http://www.avaaz.org/en/contact or call us at +1-888-922-8229 (US).

One thought on “[International Solidarity] Syrian People are not alone -Avaaz

  1. The World Must Come Together to Support the Syrian Revolution

    The Syrian uprising has now entered its sixth month! The March 15th revolt has already claimed more than 2, 600 lives, mostly civilians and protesters! The death toll on the part of the people is mounting day by day! According to the latest media reports, the latest list of death was 17; while one protest group put the death toll as high as 32! As a close student of political science and keen observer of international events, I cannot help but wonder why it is that the international community it seems is silent with regard to the barbaric and criminal regime of Assad?

    The global family of nation must condemn Assad’s organized and massive killings of his own people and citizens who are merely demanding their freedom. The international community must condemn Syria’s military and renounce its state’s sanctioned license to commit horrendous atrocity and despicable crimes against their very own people.

    There is no shadow of doubt that the Syrian authorities are guilty of crimes against humanity in their systematic annihilation, organized violence and massive elimination of their very own citizens. The powers that be at that country are destroying the living parts of Syria. The world must stand up as one to condemn them and order them to cease and desist from further committing acts of state terrorism!

    Of course, one commentator might argue that the world community cannot simply interfere in the internal issue and the question of sovereignty of an independent nation based on the basic principles of international law.

    My reply would be: yes indeed; however the same international law that govern the conduct of states towards their citizens and their relationship with regard to other nations also mandates that the moment a nation begun exterminating its own citizens; it is the duty of every civilized nations and member states of the international community who voluntarily promulgated and subsequently ratified and agreed to the said law to denounce and condemn the said erring member state. The interference that I am talking about is not a military action against the said erring state, but rather to impose economic sanction and issue a strong collective/universal moral indictment (such as the withdrawal of recognition and/or termination of diplomatic relation, etc.) with regard to its bloody treatment and criminal conduct toward its own citizens and people. It is the moral duty and ethical obligation of all citizens of the world to support those people who are demanding reforms and fighting for change and freedom. The world cannot turn its back to the Syrian people who has been bravely and steadily struggling to chart their own destiny and attain their own collective happiness. The Syrian people are waiting and we must not deny neither could we abandon them in this critical period in their history! We must act now and move promptly!

    On this note, I would like to sincerely commend and firmly praise the outstanding bold stance undertaken by the Turkish government under its Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Ergodan, especially when he stated in a press conference in Tripoli: “Those who are attacking their people with tanks and guns will not be able to remain in power”. The Syrian authoritarian regime “will eventually have to pay the price for this”.

    The criminal military Syrian dictatorship must learn from the lessons of history or if not, Assad and his cohorts will suffer the fate of the immoral leaders of Tunisia, Egypt and Libya; who were thrown by the collective and majestic powers of the people to the dust-bin and garbage-can of history!

    To the world community: Support the struggle of the Syrian people; follow Turkey’s example!

    To the people of Syria: continue the just struggle and may your people finally attain the freedom and happiness that you all justly deserved!

    September 19, 2011


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