Appeal: The Urgency of Taking Action in Solidarity with the Syrian People

Article  •  Publié sur Souria Houria le 22 novembre 2012
Click on this link to sign the online appeal:

The Urgency of Taking Action in Solidarity with the Syrian People

The Syrian people have been living a tragedy for 20 months. They dare to express – peacefully and en masse – their social demands for freedom, democracy, and liberation from the dictatorship of Bachar Al Assad. This same dictator has responded with the fury of revolvers, shotguns, machine-guns, canons tanks, helicopters, war-planes, war-ships, in addition to cluster-bombs and knives, targeting men, women, and even children. The mathematics of death surpasses 40,000 people. 100,000 others have been arrested, tortured, and disappeared; and 450,000 have fled to neighbouring countries. This is a war against civilians, a horrible storm destroying homes, equipment in cities and villages alike, and public goods.

The Syrian people courageously face this savagery committed by a dominating and hateful executioner who resorts to crimes against humanity. The right to life in Syria is a humanitarian duty and responsibility for each and every one of us. Over there is here. Over there, simple and bright citizens take action. Here we must cry out in anger.

Each one should ask: “If I do not speak out, who will? If I do not cry out right now, then when?” Over there a people of conscience refuses intimidation and surmounts fear. Here, we must rise to the challenge and become a people of dignity who speak and act in solidarity with the freedom of the Syrian people. We must adhere to a dauntless and courageous solidarity and address the authorities in France, in Europe, and the world, which until now have shown but faults and failures. Bachar Al Assad is brutalising Syria to an extreme while peaceful demonstrators maintain its civility. Bachar Al Assad and his clan have no legitimacy but continue to repress a society full of individuals imprisoned since birth. And the Free Syrian Army is on the frontlines defending Syrian civilians.

The world is not rising even to the bare minimum.  The United Nations are aphonic, impotent, incapable of any effective humanitarian reaction. The Security Council neglects its duty to protect civilians of all ages targeted by the regime’s brutality. In its current form, the Council limits itself to record and registration of the inexcusable vetoes of Russia and China, which meanwhile contribute to the armament of Bachar Al Assad and his clan. While the Security Council remains blocked by vetoes, the General Assembly still possesses a margin of power. Why ignore this? The General Assembly has the mandate to take concrete initiatives in response to the tragedy of the Syrian situation – in addition to the power of referral to the International Criminal Court.

Indeed, Europe has decreed sanctions whose success is questionable given the continued deliveries of armaments to Syria from Russia and Iran. Europe should not forget the wisdom of Walter Benjamin: “That Things are status quo is the catastrophe.”

France speaks generously, but faints into a wavering posture calling for a western-style democracy that ignores the rich ethnic and confessional diversity of the Syrian people, as well as the incredible task of pluralistic congregation – a task for which long-standing secular movements have been militating. Hundreds of peaceful demonstrations continue in Syria, with one particular slogan: “One, one, one, the Syrian people are one.” It is its “beautiful way of being with others,” would say Eluard.

On 9 November 2012, the slogans for peaceful demonstrations in Aleppo called out: “No to sectarianism! Yes to national unity!”, “No, to the disfiguration of our Syrian revolution!”, “Syria is for Syrians!”, “One country for a united people”, “National unity is our compass”, “Sectarianism is a bullet in our revolution”, “We will rebuild, oh son of the martyr, your mother, the nation”, “I am an Arab and I will defend the right of my Kurdish brothers and I salute the Arab-Kurdish brotherhood” … Everyone may find evidential proof of these by consulting the websites of the coordination committees of the Syrian revolution.

France must become engaged – concretely and ardently – alongside civil society, social networks, local coordination committees in villages and neighbourhoods (which fall between movements of insurrection and an extension of civil society). Syrians need food, medicine and medical equipment, school supplies, mattresses, blankets to prepare for the fast-approaching winter that can be bitter in Syria.

France, Europe, the world must put forth the proper response to the tremors caused by the jihadist scarecrow, so precious for Bachar Al Assad. The presence of jihadism remains marginal, but presents a danger if the Syrian people are left to fend for themselves, alone. The refusal of fear is the best weapon against radical Islamism – something brave journalists who travelled to Syria and elsewhere have confirmed. Far stronger is the weapon of support and solidarity of all those who approve of the struggle – the struggle for freedom in the face of a torturous regime.

Let us not watch the destruction of this country, whose history is so precious for all of humanity. It is over there that the first home was built, where the first alphabet appeared, where countless structures and edifices have extended the Cultural Heritage and Living Human Treasures lists of UNESCO. The Syrian people – of peaceful and hospitable tradition – call and hope for efficient and speedy logistical and financial support (on the ground and in refugee camps). Above all, the Syrian people call for the recognition of their capacity to create a future of peace, justice, and freedom.

Let us add that today, the Syrian opposition is evolving strengthening its structure and ameliorating its coordination. The election of George Sabra as President of the Syrian National Council – historical figure of the resistance who spent eight years in the regime’s prisons – as well as the establishment of a coalition that unites other entities and leaders of the resistance in Syria (such as Riadh Seif) mark an important step that could help precipitate the fall of Bachar al Assad and his regime. From that point on, much of the international community will consider, following in the steps of France, this national coalition as the sole legitimate representative for the Syrian people – all means of protection should be provided to this coalition.

One year ago, many of us where at the Théâtre de l’Odéon, fully-packed, in a first act of solidarity with the Syrian people. We have continued to express our solidarity. Today, our duty is to continue and to do more, with two important initiatives of cultural, humanitarian, and political nature.

Monday, 19 November 2012, from 16:00 to 22:00 at Centquatre – Join us in a day of resistance and solidarity in the company of artists from all over the world, Syrian activists, specialists on the region, and witnesses. Guests will provide synthetic analyses of the situation inside Syria, as well as propose concrete action to be taken at the international level. This evening, which boasts the support of the Théâtre du Rond-Point, of CentQuatre, du Monfort Théâtre, and of the newspaper Libération, will establish a notebook of demands in favour of the Syrian people. – Address of Centquatre: 5, rue Curial in Paris, 19th arrondissement

Tuesday, 11 December 2012, join us at 10:00 at Gare de l’Est in Paris for the departure of the Train of Freedom for the Syrian People, which will travel to Strasbourg. In Strasbourg, after an event at the Théâtre national de Strasbourg, diverse delegations will go on to meet European officials at the Parliament of Strasbourg from 15:30 to 18:30 to communicate proposals for concrete action. This train is sponsored by the Syrian Business Forum.

            Reservations for the Train of Freedom (round-trip in one day): (tickets: 20 €). Refreshments will be served for breakfast.

To sign the petition:

Premiers signataires

Michel Piccoli, comédien
Pierre Arditi, comédien
Jeanne Moreau, comédienne
Ariane Mnouchkine, metteuse en scène
Patrice Chéreau, metteur en scène, cinéaste
Jacques Glowinski, professeur (h) au Collège de France, membre de l’Académie des Sciences
Hélène Cixous, écrivaine
Jack Ralite, ancien ministre
Stéphane Hessel, ambassadeur de France
Marcel Bozonnet, metteur en scène
Emmanuel Wallon, sociologue
Farouk Mardam Bey, éditeur
Samar Yazbek, écrivaine (Syrie)
Père Paolo Dall’Oglio (Syrie-Italie)
Costa-Gavras, cinéaste
Catherine Hiegel, comédienne
Robert Guédiguian, cinéaste
Roger Chartier, professeur au Collège de France
Bernard Lavillier, artiste
Bulle Ogier, actrice
Florence Malraux
Rithy Panh, cinéaste (Cambodge)
Jean-Luc Godard, cinéaste
Macha Makeieff, metteur en scène, directrice du théâtre de la Criée
Carlo Ossola, professeur au Collège de France (Italie)
Maguy Marin, chorégraphe
Jonathan Littell, écrivain
Rony Brauman, médecin
Hortense Archambault et Vincent Baudriller, codirecteurs du Festival d’Avignon
Dominique Blanc, comédienne
Ariane Ascaride, comédienne
Laurent Gaudé, écrivain
Chantal Morel, metteuse en scène
Jean-Luc Nancy, philosophe
Mohamad Al-Roumi, photographe et réalisateur (Syrie)
Marie-Christine Barrault, comédienne
Jane Birkin, comédienne et chanteuse
Julie Brochen, metteuse en scène, directrice du TNS
Pascal Ory, historien
Denis Guénoun, philosophe
Jacques Lassalle, metteur en scène
Didier Bezace, metteur en scène, comédien, directeur du TCA
Denis Podalydès, comédien, metteur en scène
Bernard Faivre d’Arcier, consultant
Michel Cantal-Dupart, architecte
Laurent Fleury, sociologue
Roland Monod, comédien et metteur en scène
Muriel Mayette, administratrice de la Comédie-Française
Noëlle Châtelet, écrivaine
Lucien et Michèle Attoun, directeurs du Théâtre Ouvert
Joël Huthwohl, conservateur des bibliothèques
Louis Sclavis, compositeur, musicien
Philippe Caubère, comédien
Laure Adler, journaliste, écrivaine
Catherine Dolto, médecin
Robin Renucci, comédien et metteur en scène
Anne Alvaro, comédienne
Bernard Noël, écrivain
Michèle Manceau, écrivain, journaliste
Olivier Py, écrivain et metteur en scène
Emmanuel Ethis, sociologue
Emmanuel Demarcy-Motta, directeur du Théâtre de la Ville
Pierre Rosanvallon, Professeur au Collège de France
Louis Joinet, magistrat
Monique Chemillier-Gendreau, juriste
Alain Joxe, géopolitologue
Noémie Kocher, comédienne
Marina Vlady, comédienne
Jacques Rosner, metteur en scène
Maurice Buttin, président du Comité de vigilance pour une paix réelle au Proche-Orient
Jean Bois, acteur, dramaturge
Dominique Constantin, comédienne
Gérard Alezard, syndicaliste, vice président honoraire du Conseil économique et social
Jacques Gamblin, comédien
Christian Schiaretti, metteur en scène, directeur du TNP
Nicolas Peigney, pianiste et compositeur
Elias Khoury, écrivain (Liban)
Florence Aubin, plasticienne
Abdellatif Laâbi, écrivain (Maroc)
Jacques Gaillot, évêque
Ernest Pignon-Ernest, artiste plasticien
Olivier Poivre d’Arvor, directeur de France Culture
Pierre Santini, comédien
Daniel Mesguich, directeur du Conservatoire national supérieur d’art dramatique
Didier Daeninckx, écrivain
José Garçon, journaliste
Nedim Gursel, écrivain (Turquie)
Béatrice Soulé, productrice
Michel Broué, mathématicien
Dan Franck, écrivain
Christian Boltanski, artiste plasticien
Sarah Moon, photographe
Patrick Weil, historien
Annette Messager, plasticienne
Daniel Buren, sculpteur
Pierre Hassner, politologue
Michel Tardieu, professeur (h) au Collège de France
Jean-Pierre Mignard, avocat
Michel Tubiana, président du réseau Euromed des droits de l’Homme
Gérard Lauton, enseignant-chercheur et syndicaliste
Michel Morzière, ingénieur
Jean-Michel Frodon, critique cinématographique
Philippe Herzog, économiste
Claude Fischer, présidente de Confrontations Europe
Paul Fourier, responsable national de la CGT
Janine Mossuz-Lavau, politologue
Valérie Dreville, comédienne
Jacques Téphany, directeur de la Maison Jean Vilar
Julie Bertuccelli, réalisatrice
Alan George, politologue
Fabrice Puchault, directeur de l’unité documentaire de France 2
Caroline Casadesus, chanteuse lyrique
Jean-Pierre Siméon, directeur artistique du Printemps des Poètes
Paul Rondin, administrateur de théâtre
Michel Reynaud, psychiatre
Virginie Dörr, graphiste
Rafik Schami, écrivain (Allemagne)
Ammar Abd Rabbo, photographe (Syrie)
Christophe Ruggia, réalisateur
Jean-Pierre Sinapi, réalisateur
Cécile Paoli, comédienne
Denise Chalem, actrice, réalisatrice, scénariste
Nathalie Griesbeck, maitre de conférence de l’Université et députée européenne Grand Est
Vincent Goethals, directeur du théâtre du Peuple de Bussang
Claire Duhamel, comédienne
Colette Corber, libraire
Béatrice Bastide
Arlette Namiand, auteur
Jean-Paul Wenzel, auteur, metteur en scène
Vladimir Velickovic, peintre
José Chidlovski, producteur, réalisateur,
Mémé Perlini, metteur en scène (Italie)
Salvino Raco, metteur en scène (Italie)
Jean-François Louette, professeur de littérature française à l’Université Paris-Sorbonne
Geneviève Brisac, écrivaine
Jean-Pierre Thibaudat, critique dramatique
Alain Gresh, journaliste
André Markowicz, traducteur
Françoise Morvan, traductrice
François Tanguy, metteur en scène
Laurence Chable, comédienne
Jean-Manuel Gonçalvès, directeur du Centquatre
Sophie Cluzan, archéologue
Stefan Weber, directeur du département islamique du Pergamon Museum (Allemagne)
Ignacio Gutiérrez de Terán Gómez Benita, Université autonome de Madrid (Espagne)
Fernando Garcia Burillo, éditeur (Espagne)
Immaculada Jiménez Morell, éditrice (Espagne)
Clara Janés Nadal, poète (Espagne)
Moustafa Khalife, écrivain (Syrie)
Darina Al Joundi, comédienne (Syrie)
Ziad Majed, politologue (Liban)
Maram Al Masri, poète (Syrie)
Rania Samara, traductrice (Syrie)
Clio Makris, sculptrice (Grèce)
Zizi Makris, artiste peintre (Grèce)
Wladimir Glasman, ancien diplomate
Bahram Hajou, peintre (Allemagne)
Michel Kail, philosophe
Bernard Moninot, plasticien
Jean-Baptiste Para, écrivain
Yassin Al Haj Saleh, écrivain (Syrie)
Youssef Courbage, démographe
Philippe Queyras, artiste plasticien
Anne et Patrick Poirier, plasticiens
Cristina Crevillen, auteure
Subhi Hadidi, journaliste (Syrie)
Bashar Rahbaii, journaliste (Syrie)
Rosa Martinez, productrice
Robert Fortune, metteur en scène
Patrick Sommier, directeur de la Maison de Culture 93
Bernard Vasseur, philosophe, directeur de la Maison Aragon-Elsa Triolet
Yves Clot, professeur de psychologie du travail au CNAM
Jean-Pierre Moulin, comédien
Dominique Vidal, historien et journaliste
Alain Libolt, comédien
Agnès Sourdillon, comédienne
Henri Vart, producteur
Luc Béraud, cinéaste
Annie Miller, productrice de cinéma
Georges Caudron, comédien
Olivia Grandville, chorégraphe
Jean-Louis Martinelli, directeur du théâtre Nanterre-Amandiers
Sylvie Debrun, comédienne
Véronique Nahoum-Grappe, anthropologue
Nicolas Monquaut, syndicaliste
Le Syndeac
Adel Abdessemed, sculpteur
Caroline Bourgeois,
Colette Korber, libraire
Béatrice Bastide, cadre culturel
Martine de Rabaudy, journaliste
Michel Marcus, magistrat
André Pomarat, comédien, directeur de théâtre jeune public
Nicolas Monquaut, syndicaliste
Roger Chartier, directeur d’étude à l’EHESS
Fernand Thuil, président de l’AJPF (jumelage entre camps palestiniens et villes françaises)

voir l’appel dans le journal Libération(pdf) 2012-11-16~1663@LIBERATION, ou sur le lien: