Awareness and freedom messages revive the heart of Damascus
While the Syrian regime along with its propaganda machine is working on isolating any civil dimension related to the Syrian uprising, Syrian civil activists continue to resist the regime and the international mainstream media trend that does not focus on grassroots initiatives. They insist on preventing the regime from achieving “its agenda of pushing people into sectarian violence and getting them away from real action”, as one activist mentioned to Syria Untold.
In Damascus, a group of young men and women are still active in a movement called “The Revolutionary Syrian Youth”, responsible for initiatives such as the “campaign to distribute pamphlets of awareness and freedom” that aims to spread awareness in lower-class areas where the regime is working on spreading sectarian violence.
The young activists distribute these leaflets whenever they find that there is a sign of violence that the regime is working on starting. From the Rukn al-Din district to Bab Tuma, they have tried to reassert the idea of unity against the sectarian [Assad] regime.
“For a state of justice, freedom and dignity: down with the regime!,” one of the leaflets says. “We want Syria for all Syrians, justice for men and women, we need to be real citizens in order to take back our lands in Syria and Palestine,” says another.
“To anyone hesitating in taking part in the revolutionary uprising, we tell you there is no absolute rightness or absolute freedom, but the revolution has already achieved a lot more than what the regime has destroyed” reads another one of their slogans.
The work of this group of activists includes engaging in dialogue with those who question their initiatives. “We believe that we can reach out to most people. We were surprised how positively our leaflets were received in the Rukn al-Din district, and also in Bab Tuma, where people thanked us for distributing this kind of messages.”
The activists are extremely selective in the language they use. They work on slogans which refer to common goals and stay away from any sectarian speech, concentrating on the national dimension that all Syrians can relate to. These include “To liberate the Golan Heights and Palestine, down with the regime,” “For food with dignity, down with the regime,” “I’m a Syrian, not a minority, freedom is my goal,” and “For freedom, yours and mine, down with the regime.”
Thanks to Global Voices Online for their help translating this piece.