Thursday, May 26, 2011

Vigils and Anticipation!

As the protesters observe their nightly vigils throughout Syria, and world leaders continue to send mixed messages to the willfully deaf and blind Assads, opposition groups are calling for conference in Antalya to consider forming a transitional council.

Wednesday 25, 2011

Hezbollah leader vows his undying support for the Assad regime, just as Europe pushes for UN resolution condemning violence in by Syrian authorities. Meanwhile, Syrian opposition groups plan to meet in Antalya, Turkey to attempt to form a transitional council that can represent the Syrian revolution on an interim basis. The siege of communities in Deraa, Idlib, Homs and Damascus continues. Anti-regime vigils continue to take place throughout the country in preparation for another big Friday protest.


A variety of established opposition and dissidents groups operating outside Syria, acting in cooperation with known rights and democracy activists and counterparts in the country, as well as some of the emerging protest leaders scattered throughout the country are planning to hold a major conference in the Turkish City of Antalya on May 31st – June 2nd in the hope of establishing a transitional council that can adequately represent the Syrian revolution on an interim basis on the international scene. I will be taking part in that conference, and will be providing more information when the time comes. This will be a major test for the Syrian opposition groups and their ability to remain relevant to the current goings-on in the country. Success will be premised on their ability to court the support of protest leaders and committees acting inside the country. Should they fail to do so, it will be to their detriment, rather than that of the Revolution. This is the dawn of a new age in Syrian politics, it’s not only the regime that’s being rejected, but traditional politics based on personalities and ideologies rather than issues and platforms. The Regime that the protesters want to topple is not only made of the Assads, the army and security generals and the Baath Party, there is an entire style, mentality and approach that is being rejected here, and the traditional opposition parties are intimately involved in this. The difference is: opposition groups and figures still have a chance to reinvent themselves, while the Assads and their establishment do not. I think the activists amongst understand that, but let’s see if the traditional opposition figures have managed to do so as well.

As such, the conference comes as referendum on the opposition’s ability to rejuvenate itself and rise to the challenges at hand, it’s not an indicator of where the revolution is going. The revolution has only one way to go: forward until the Regime is toppled. Its ability to do so might be hampered somewhat by the inability of the opposition to play a positive role, but the overall progress made and the course itself will not be reversed.  

Deraa / Nahiteh / May 25: thousands attend the daily protest, with speaker asserting that the people don’t want army intervention, that there are no armed gangs, and that people are leading secure lives, and only want “to topple the regime,” preferring “death over humiliation.”
Deraa / Al-Mseifra / May 25: funeral for a local martyr. “God is Greater  than the oppressor”
Ras Al-Ain / May 24: -regime Kurdish vigil
Damascus / Douma / May 25: anti-regime vigil. Chants in support of besieged community. “God is Greater than the oppressor.”
Damascus / Zahirah / May 25: anti-regime vigil. “Long live Syria, Down with Bashar Al-Assad”
Homs / Jouret Al-Shayyah / May 25: anti-regime vigil
Homs / Bab Amr / May 25: anti-regime vigil. Cameraman send message to the army: they said we are Salafist and terrorist, but here we are unarmed protesters asking you to accept as we are.
Hammouriyyeh / May 25: a funeral with mourners chanting “the people want to topple the regime”
Hama / May 25: anti-regime vigil
Deir Ezzor / May 25: anti-regime vigil. “There is no forever, long live Syria and down with Assad.”