Sunday, September 15, 2013

1151. The Syria Solidarity Movement: First Newsletter

By The Syria Solidarity Movement, September 15, 2013

This is the first newsletter of the Syria Solidarity Movement.  Many of you supported our work as part of the Free Palestine Movement, which sent delegations to two Gaza Flotillas and participated in several billboards and bus ads for Palestinian human rights.

More recently, you provided funds for one delegate (Paul Larudee) and part of the funds for another (Amir Massoumi) to participate in a peace delegation to Syria, led by Nobel Peace Laureate Mairead Maguire, and you received dispatches describing the visit and the findings of the delegation.

We pledged that any further Syria advocacy would be separate from the Free Palestine Movement, and the creation of the Syria Solidarity Movement is a fulfillment of that pledge.  We recognize that some of you may wish to be on only one of the two lists, and we will of course unsubscribe you if you wish.  However, both lists will be active only when there is something to report or some action that we ask you to take.

We are not the voice of the Syrian people, but we are the voice of people throughout the world – and especially those who are in countries whose governments are part of the problem – who listen to the Syrian people.  Syrians do not speak with a unanimous voice, but our solidarity is based upon principles that many of them have articulated, and which accord with international law and standards, as follows:
  1. Above all else, we respect Syrian solutions to Syrian problems.
  2. We oppose all military intervention in Syria, including the provision of any arms, military training, intelligence, personnel or equipment except for the purpose of national self defense.
  3. We advocate a reduction of arms and a ceasefire by all combatants.
  4. We advocate massive provision of humanitarian aid for all displaced Syrians, wherever they may be, including Syrian territory.  This aid should be administered under the supervision of the United Nations or similar international agencies.
  5. We advocate a Syrian national dialogue under international auspices, in a location and with protections and guarantees that permit all parties to feel safe, and without the exclusion of any parties.
Some argue that we should include other principles, such as advocacy of a secular society and a government based on nondiscrimination and human rights.  Although we understand and respect such arguments, we believe that it is not our place to make such declarations, but rather to support Syrian declarations of their principles.

We will shortly be reporting to you about some of our ongoing activities, including actions to prevent U.S. military intervention in Syria, a North American tour by Mother Agnes-Mariam of Mussallaha ("Reconciliation"), the peace organization in Syria that invited the international peace delegation in May, 2013, the gathering of deterrence volunteers in Syria to defy military intervention, and other activities.

We welcome your participation and your inquiries.

The Syria Solidarity Movement

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