Tuesday, 18 August 2015

Clear the sky

Photo: Syria Civil Defence rescue volunteers watch the sky as they eat.

On the second anniversary of the Ghouta massacre, Planet Syria and Breathless are campaigning under the slogan ‘Clear The Sky’.

Clear The Sky – Facebook event page.

Planet Syria write:
Two years ago on 21st August 2013 the world was focused on Syria after the government of Bashar al-Assad used Sarin on civilians in the worst chemical attack for a quarter of a century. (Since the Halabjah chemical attacks by the Saddam Hussein regime in 1988).

The world feigned outrage. Obama said a red line had been crossed.

But today the chemical attacks continue. Chlorine is routinely used in barrel bomb attacks on civilian neighborhoods. But it’s not the chemicals that are killing most people, it’s the bombs themselves.

Please invite all your friends to this event and do the following:

A) Join a street vigil or protest and look up towards the skies in groups. Educate the public around you by distributing fliers. Take photos and post them to this event. If you can’t do that...

B) ...Change your profile photo to a picture of you looking up towards the skies. Copy and paste the five points below into the description of your profile picture and add a link to this event.

C) Don't forget to use #‎clearthesky on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram etc.

Here are 5 things everyone should know about what is happening in Syria today:

1. The Assad regime is killing 7 times more civilians than Isis.

2. More than 11,000 barrel bombs made of scrap metal and high explosive have been rolled out of regime helicopters onto hospitals, homes and schools since the UN banned them. They are the biggest killer of civilians. They drive extremism.

3. These barrel bombs are the leading cause of displacement, forcing refugees to cross the Mediterranean and other borders.

4. Many of the barrel bombs are dropped on areas under siege. More than half a million people in Syria live in areas with no access to food, water or medicine since 2013, including the areas of Ghouta that were targeted by the sarin gas attacks in the same year.

5. The international anti-Isis coalition is flying in the same airspace where many of these barrel bombs are dropped, choosing to look the other way.

There is no military solution to the fighting in Syria. But like in Bosnia, a no-fly zone can help protect civilians from the worst of the violence and encourage the fighting parties to come to the negotiating table.

Too many Syrians spend their days looking up at the sky, wondering when the next barrel bomb will drop and what it will hit. Today we look up in solidarity with all those who continue on, and call on all those with a conscience to join the call to #clearthesky.

Join 100+ non-violent Syrian groups in asking for the international community to enforce the UN ban on barrel bombs with a Bosnia-style no-fly zone.

In London, Syrians and their friends will be marking the anniversary with an event this Saturday the 22nd of August.

Assemble at 2pm in Trafalgar Square, before walking to Downing Street. Please bring flowers to mourn the dead.

More on the Syria Solidarity website and on their Facebook event page.