Houston: No U.S. Strike on Syria!

September 2, 2013 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us


From readers:

On Saturday, August 31, in Houston, a contingent of revolutionaries marched into a protest opposing a U.S. attack on Syria. Led by a banner, BA Speaks: Revolution—Nothing Less!, we chanted: "Stop thinking like Americans. Humanity comes first. No U.S. Strike on Syria! That will make it worse! What's the only way out of this mess… Revolution, Nothing Less!"

This set a different tone to the protest. At this busy intersection by the Galleria shopping district, two sides were demonstrating on opposite sides of the street. On one side were people calling for no intervention by the U.S. Among them were some people from the Middle East, many youth, and people with various organizations, like the Green Party, ISO, anarchists, libertarians, and the peace movement. On the other side of the street were mostly people from Syria who oppose Assad, and were supporting U.S. military intervention to end the killing of their families. The police were out in force, from the mounted patrol, to the tactical unit, claiming to prevent clashes between the "two sides.

RNL palm cards and the Revolution article on Syria, Revolution newspaper (20 copies), and other literature, like the Manifesto [Communism: The Beginning of a New Stage, A Manifesto from the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA], were distributed, as lively discussion broke out amid chants like "No War in Syria" and "Mr. Barack, we don't want another Iraq!" Many youth from outlying areas, organized through social media, came out, and approached the revolutionaries, hungry for information about the problem and solution to the situation.

At one point, after talking with some people about the gatherings on both sides, we decided to send part of our team over to distribute the Revolution article and talk with the people on the other side of the street to get this viewpoint out among them. The police had something else in mind. As soon as we reached the other side of the street and attempted to connect with people, we were assaulted and surrounded by a pack of cops who, in the name of preventing conflict, inflamed the situation, telling the people that we were against them, as they threatened us with arrest. Although a few, in response to the cops, yelled [for us to] go away and refused our fliers, several others took fliers and said that they wanted to hear what we had to say, before we were forced, with pig escort, back to the "other side."

When one of our team spoke at the rally, the whole group enthusiastically agreed that the U.S. is the biggest criminal on the planet, and most of them joined in with the chant that the revolutionaries originally marched in with. At the same time, many different viewpoints contended. Debate and discussion broke out about what the real problem is, why the solution is not to rely on this system, the role of the Congress, elections, and why communist revolution, how is that possible, and what kind of movement we need. One point from the Revolution article that captured people was on how we need to bring forward another way. Some of the Syrians spoke to how when the US gets involved, it is not for humanitarian reasons, and that neither of the sides fighting in Syria will bring about any positive change there. This all impacted and changed the terms, as many people later approached our team to talk and learn more about how to join with this movement for revolution.

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