San Francisco. Video by Tom Vee.
On Saturday, between 150 to 200 people gathered in San Francisco’s UN Plaza to protest the United States’ burgeoning bombing campaign on Syria. The rally and march were organized by Bay Area Resistance Network–a new network of folks from affected communities of U.S. colonialism. The network includes Arabs, Muslims and people of color living in the Bay.
The local callout said:
On this day, we will focus our attention on the suffering of the Syrian people. But yesterday it was Egypt; the day before that it was Gaza; before that it was Yemen, Libya, Iraq & Afghanistan. While these are some of the most televised examples of our day, we cannot ignore the militarization of the US-Mexico border, the funding of the Mexican military against the Indigenous Communities of that region, the propping up of brutal dictators across the globe, and an endless list of other acts of colonization.
Our solidarity for our peoples shouldn’t be isolated to colonial borders and neither should our resistance. This action is in support of the Syrian people’s struggle for self-determination, and a stand against both US imperialism, and the Assad regime.
Our very sincere hope is that we, the people affected by Colonialism, Militarism & Displacement can come together and build a network that confronts our oppressors while breaking our isolation from each other.
Rally participants were joined by those from an earlier demo, which took place just down the street near the Powell BART station. Cops–confused at a group of people who asked for no allowances from the state– hawked near the crowd, fruitlessly searching for “organizers” of the gathering. After firey speeches, the rally spilled onto Market, where the pigs unsuccessfully tried to contain marchers into half of the Northeast-bound lane. The people, led by a banner reading “In Solidarity with the Syrian People: May God be With Them,” treated the officers as inanimate objects–flowing like liquid around the state goons and their vehicles,, silently ignoring their pleas. The march snaked through Union Square-shoppers with shouts of “Down with the U.S! Down with Bashar!” and “While you’re shopping, bombs are dropping!” A rally-repeat then commenced on Union Square, where a captive audience of shoppers and tourists heard from, among others, Tareq Samman, a Syrian brother who spoke on the impeding bombing. Adam Hudson, a freelance journalist who investigates and reports on Guantanamo Bay, also spoke.
Samman speaks here. (See the full transcription of his speech at the bottom.):
And Hudson’s speech is here:
A young woman speaks to the pending U.S. intervention:
Here is the full transcript of Tareq’s speech:
My name is Tareq
I was born and raised in Syria and came to the US 3 years ago. The Syrian revolution against the long brutal dictatorship of the Assad regime started back in March 2011. Since then more than 100 thousands Syrians were killed and many more have been detained and tortured. One in three Syrians have been displaced and forced to become refugee in their country or neighboring countries. 10 days ago there was a chemical attack on Ghouta of Damascus were over a thousand of people were killed including over 400 children. Since then the US government has declared that there will be a military action to punish the regime. And as much I would like to see the regime fall, The attack even if it killed Bashar will not free Syria and it will cause more death, more destruction and more chaos. But let’s be careful that the call against the US intervention does not become a way to cover up the Syrian regime crimes.
The US government is not a friend of Syria and never has been. For 2 and a half years the US and it’s allies like Qatar, and Saudi, Russia, Iran, and Hizbollah have been funding the war in Syria and feeding the flame of violence on all sides. This must stop for the Syrian revolution to succeed, the foreign powers must leave Syria for the Syrians. I want the Assad regime to fall. I want to stop the violence from all sides to start build a new democratic secular syrian state. I don’t want the US government to intervene, or any other government. You must ask your governments to stop feeding the war. You must help the Syrians by donating for food, water, and medicine. We all need to work together to stop the suffering of Syrian people.
No to Assad regime. No to US intervention. No to Islamist extremist. No to war.