“Dialogue only if killings stop”

Statement to the Syrian people: people’s uprising enters its third month
Damascus Declaration for National Democratic Change
Editor’s note: We publish this declaration because it helps to understand the political forces at work in the current uprising. We do, however, strongly disagree with the attempt of the “Damascus Declaration” to mobilise Western pressure. We believe on the contrary that liberation is only possible against imperialism which today try to indulge the movement with support of “democracy” – but we know that eventually that means subordination.

The courageous Syrian uprising enters its third month, still strong and continuing. Demonstrators took to the streets in the majority of the Syrian cities and towns on the fourth friday – the Hara’er friday – to express tribute to the four women who had been killed in Banyas, to the hundreds of mothers bereft of their killed sons, and the arrested women in the wounded Dara’a, to Damascus, Homs, Hama, Idlib, Dair az- Zor, Al- Raqqa, Al- bu- kamal- Al- Qamishli, Amuda and others. [Hara’er means free contrary to enslaved women.]

This Friday witnessed the falling of six martyrs in Homs and Dara’a. This limited number of martyrs, in spite of the sacredness of Syrian blood, and in comparison with the previous weeks, can be considered a step ahead if the regime decided to drop the security choice –even if gradually. At the same time it proves that the one capable to stop killing is the one who commands it.

The evolution of the uprising at the end of the eighth Friday is determined by two elements: One side by the insistence of the Syrian people to go forth towards its goals of freedom and building the civil democratic state. And on the other side the persistence of the regime to the security choice. The Syrian army has come to besiege and overrun cities and towns, whose number exceeded seventeen across the Syrian homeland, last of them Tel-kelekh, which was overrun by the army on Saturday, killing four and injuring twenty others, and causing the straying of thousands towards Lebanon. The arrests persist, sometimes randomly, so that the numbers exceed eleven thousand so far. Among their recent lists are Mazin Uday, Fawzi Al- Hamada, Najati Tayara.

On the Hara’er Friday also, the regime circulated that there is the attempt to commence a dialogue ‘with the people in all governorates’. It announced to be in dialogue with known opposition personalities. But what leaked out of these talks reveals that its aim is to end the crisis by reforms according to the regime’s vision. It remains within the frame of the ongoing security solution hoping to ease the external pressures and to tranquilize the people at home.

The Damascus Declaration, being one of the opposing forces of the national patriotic democratic opposition, has already expressed many times, that the talk about dialogue, in the shadow of the regime’s current insistence on its security choice, is a mistaken stand. It would diminish the role and sacrifices of the youth, the real credit owners of the uprising, the suffering of thousands of detainees, and the aspirations of the revolting Syrian people as well. Besides, it would be a kind of political suicide. There need to be healthy and productive conditions for political dialogue that could lead Syria out of its crisis:

1. The acknowledgement of the regime that Syria suffers a deep political and structural crisis, increasing in dimension and seriousness, which requires political solutions. This truth is denied by the regime. It uses its media to misguide the people through the narrative about conspiracy, sedition, armed gangs and the looming Salafist emirates in order to justify the killing. It tries to convince itself that the people’s demands do not exceed simple all day life questions.

2. The withdrawal of the army and security forces from the streets and ending violence and killing, stopping to persecute activists and demonstrators and releasing all those who were detained on the background of the recent events.

3. Guaranteeing the freedom of demonstration, to everyone who wishes to express his opinion peacefully. The oppressing laws must be lifted.

4. The call to a general conference for national dialogue, representing all those who accept and believe in the democratic future of Syria following a sound program with defines mechanisms and perspectives in a free and secure atmosphere.

The last eight weeks have proven that Syria has entered a deep political crisis out of which there is no exit but through national dialogue. The more the voice of reason inside the regime raises and the security choice – which brings ruin to the country – retreats, the more will be hope for the Syrians that they will overcome this stage with a minimum of human and material costs and a maximum of social and national coherence.

Greeting to the souls of the martyrs!
Long live Syria, free and democratic!

15th May, 2011
General Secretary