Committees, Councils and Cultural Production

Omar Aziz
Omar Aziz

In this presentation on Syria – in green Seattle’s public library  – Leila al-Shami talks about Razan Zeitouneh, founder of the Local Coordination Committees, and Omar Aziz, the anarchist who first thought of building local councils. And I talk about the revolution’s cultural and media achievements. Interesting questions from the audience afterwards.

The West is Wrong on Syria

by Razan Zaitouneh

Human rights lawyer Razan Zaitouneh bemoans the West’s indifference to Assad’s crimes, its focus on chemical weapons but not on the starving children in the areas besieged by Assadist forces, and its failure to arm the Free Army. This was first published at The Damascus Bureau.

Why does the West insist on dealing with our dead and injured as if they were less valuable than a Westerner – and as if our casualties don’t even deserve respect or compassion?

After the chemical massacre in Syria’s two Ghoutas, we believed that the world would, at last, take our interests into account in one way or another. We did not believe that, upon seeing hundreds of dead children, the international community would act only in favour of its narrow interests.

The chemical massacre was a milestone, not only in the Syrian revolution, but also in the Syrians’ consciousness and minds.

I witnessed the massacre myself. I saw the bodies of men, women and children in the streets. I heard the mothers screaming when they found the bodies of their children among the dead

As a human rights activist who has always believed in the humanitarian principles of the United Nations, I can talk for hours about the psychological breakdown and the amount of humiliation I felt after the adoption of UN Security Council resolution 2118. This resolution implies that Bashar al-Assad will continue to rule Syria for at least one more year, with the international community’s acquiescence. The resolution also reveals the lie we have all been living regarding the human rights principles that have not been applied, not even in form, in Syria.  If this is how I have been affected, how does the ordinary Syrian citizen, who has never believed our misleading slogans about human unity and equality, feel after suffering such discrimination and injustice?

The world goes further in disrespecting the sufferings of the Syrians by awarding the Nobel Peace Prize this year to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons. This award shows the West has exchanged its moral ethical obligations for the legal ones.

Meanwhile Assad, the real criminal, is free because no one cares.

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