It’s been two years since the heart of Syria’s Revolution, the city of Homs experienced it’s first massacre. The town’s residents gathered for a peaceful sit-in at the clock-tower in the center of town to protest the treatment of protesters in Daraa and to stand in solidarity with them. Not long after the sit-in started, Assad’s forces began firing into the crowd at point blank range … the rest, as you may know, is history.
A video showing the festive and defiant atmosphere at the protest
The moment when Assad’s forces opened fire on the crowd …
WELCOME TO DARAYA, THE EPICENTER OF PEACEFUL PROTEST … AND THE WASTELAND OF WAR. Daraya (Damascus): Mar 21, 2013 - For the residents that remain in this town, this is what daily ‘life’ is like. Assadist tanks raid the streets firing at anything and everything. When they are forced out by the local FSA, the jets begin their air-strikes and Assad’s artillery continues it’s demolition of this entire town.
Daraya was home to the most vibrant protest community in Syria. They handed out flowers and bottles of water to Assad’s soldiers even when they shot at them. Daraya is also home to the single worst massacre of the Syrian Revolution when on Aug 25th, and for 3 consecutive days afterwards (see here) Assad’s forces murdered upto 1,000 men, women and children.
Daraya is next to Assad’s main airforce base of Mezzeh in Damascus. This is why Assad seeks to destroy Daraya, for if it is liberated, his airforce base will be sacked and his jets will not be able to bomb Syrians anymore.
This is a before/after satellite photo of Daraya since the revolution began.
How a battle over a Facebook page became a war for the soul of the Syrian revolution.
A woman stands in the middle of a busy Damascus street. Yellow cabs honk and weave around her. Her red dress, splattered with white paint, flows in the wind along with a red fabric banner held up above her head like a translucent shield. A group of people gathers on the sidewalk to observe as she turns side to side, for all to see. As we watch them watching her through our computer screens, we hear a new sound — not a familiar chant of the revolution, but loud claps of extended applause. When she faces the camera, we finally read her words: “Stop the killing. We want to build a country for all Syrians.”
Her name is Rima Dali, and she stood in protest alone, armed with a red scarf and a powerful message, in front of the Syrian Parliament on April 8. She would be detained for two days for her dissent.
Dali’s action, while brave, would have been easy to disregard as a fleeting incident if it hadn’t happened again, a few days later, in front of the Palace of Justice. And again a few days after that, when more people occupied Dali’s place and even more onlookers clapped from the sidewalk.
Activists like Dali, who had a strong presence at the beginning of the uprising, are trying to rewind Syria’s clock to the early months of the revolution, when the message of selmiyeh — peaceful — dominated the streets. During the past two weeks, despite the regime’s relentless violence, Syria protested like it was 2011 again.
THE MOMENT ASSAD’S MERCENARIES FIRED ON THOUSANDS OF PEACEFUL PROTESTERS JUST A STONES THROW FROM HIS LAIR (PALACE) Damascus (Mezzeh) Feb 18, 2012 - As the brave men, women and children of Damascus come out in the freezing cold and in the thousands to show their solidarity with the besieged city of Homs, Assad’s forces begine their unprovoked and brutal attack on the unarmed and defenseless protesters.
Watch as the huge crowd has no where to run as Assads thugs casually walk around firing at them…
How much longer can the Syrian people hold these peaceful protests under such barbaric force? Its only a matter of time before every Syrian take his/her safety into their own hands and fights back.
SYRIAN ARMY TANK VS PEACEFUL PROTESTERS: Dara’a, Oct 14, 2011- Watch as this tank approaches a large group of peaceful protesters. They wave their arms in the air and some sit on the ground to show that they are obviously unarmed, except for their camera-phones and banners. However, these “weapons” of freedom are too much for the mercenaries in the tank to accept, so they open fire on crowd, you can see one get shot in the face and is rushed away, probably to a make-shift hospital as all government hospitals have been turned into prisons and places of torture.
THE BRAVEST PEOPLE ON EARTH - This video was shot in April, 2011 in the town of Baniyas. These brave protesters lay on the road with their shirts off and ‘peace’ signs in the air to show the approaching tank that they are demonstrating peacefully and they are unarmed.
I’m not sure what happened to these men, but given the Syrian Regime’s history of massacre’s it may not have ended peacefully.