What else is the dissident to do when presented with a once in every seven year opportunity but take it? I mean, how many seven-year terms are left in my life anyway? So, all uncertainties about eventual outcomes aside, and all considerations of potential embarrassment notwithstanding, I cannot but make the call: the call for a protest rally in front of the Syrian Embassy in Washington, DC, on Saturday May 26th?
Why Saturday, and not Sunday, the day of the referendum? Because other protest rallies elsewhere in this world are planned on the same day, and I think it a good idea for us to be on the same page. But, the main idea behind this choice is to give an added push to the Syrian people to boycott the referendum on the following day, by showing, no matter how tentatively, that other Syrians all over the world feel the same way.
This means, of course, that our efforts should not appear too pitiful: we need to make a respectable show, we need numbers. For if Saturday came and there happened to be more representatives of the media in front of the Syrian embassy on Wyoming Avenue than actual protesters, especially Syrian protestors, then we are really in trouble, and there will be no paucity of gloaters around, including a certain asshole back in Syria who just needs to feel our growing contempt of everything he stands for.
So, the risk of a poor show notwithstanding, we really have no logical alternative but to forge ahead with this call and this plan – our own freedom rally, our second political coming of age. Let’s make it right this time this time around.
Yes. It has to be done my friends. Blogging is simply not enough here. A case of the phantom flu is good for our compatriots in Syria itself, it might be good for us as well, on Sunday. But on Saturday, May 26, 2007, we need to be out there, in front of our local embassy, standing up to the real half-man in our midst, Bashar Coeur de Frog, and his coterie of dimwitted thugs.
We cannot let these people represent us to the world anymore. We cannot let them continue to confuse so many of us as to where our loyalty belongs. It belongs to Syria, while theirs belongs simply to themselves, no matter what they happen to conveniently believe about themselves.
Yes, the decision to take part in such an event is not an easy one. It involves a certain element of risk, but, there are ways to deal with that. For instance, people who cannot afford to be identified can always wear a kufiya. No, it is not full proof, but it’s effective enough. It creates deniability and confusion.
Anyway, at the end of the day, each one of us will have to follow the dictates of his/her conscience. This is a unique opportunity, and if we want to make it the last such opportunity, we cannot afford to let it slip from our fingers.
So, if you are sold on the idea of the rally, and you want to take part, do send an email to the Syrian Elector Team at firstname.lastname@example.org to register and get on our mailing list. You don’t have to identify yourself to us. We just need to get an idea of the numbers we should expect, so we can be prepared.
Please, do also indicate whether you can do anything to help us get this thing started. We don’t have a lot of time, as you know.
And no, you don’t have to be a Syrian to take part in this activity. All freedom-loving people, regardless of their ethnic background, can take part in the event. After all, this is about supporting human freedom and dignity. The Syrians need to know that they are not alone, and it really does help when “average” Americans show up and prove that they do give a damn. Not to me, because I know. But to them, over there, in that beautiful country held hostage still to the whims of rapacious wolves.
PS. The event will not be held under the auspices of any one particular opposition group. In fact, we do encourage people not hoist any partizan slogans at this stage. The purpose of the rally is to show our unified rejection of the Assad regime in Syria and our continued support for democracy and human rights activists in the country at a time of a worsening crackdown.