By Mónica G. Prieto, Homs (Siria)
Translation: Blanca G. Bertolaza
A drum’s rhythmic beat sets the pace of the protesters. A young man, 23 year old construction worker until the revolution, chants songs echoed by the others. “What a shame Bashar, that you remain president being a criminal”. “Go away, Bashar”, the crowd shouts back. Among cries and chants, a male voice comes through a speaker. “Stay away from the checkpoints specially. They shoot to kill, so we repeat over and over again: do not go close to them”. Futile advice: the population of Homs has learnt to avoid, as much as possible, these checkpoints, as well as the avenues, where snipers fire indiscriminately at anyone who moves.
Until the bombings became constant, protests were still being held all over Homs. On Fridays, thousands of people went out on the street; the rest of the week, hundreds gathered in the neighborhoods, isolated from one another by military posts, to chant slogans against Bashar al Assad’s regime and show signs urging the international community to act.
“Freedom for our brothers and sons in prison”. “Stop the massacre”. “Where is the Arab League?”. “We are not Shiite, Alaouite or Sunni: we are all Syrian”. Muted cried in a revolution whose legitimacy is questioned by many, driven by the propaganda that labels as terrorists a civil population united in its call for freedom regardless of their social class, age and religion. A population determined to carry on until the end, because each new crime the regime commits renews their strength.
There are no weapons in sight at the protests, unless someone might try to consider as such the loudspeakers carried by the ones who direct them. None of the supposed terrorists Bashar al Assad claims to be fighting either, just men, women, teenagers and small children, ubiquitous in the marches and with the firm will to expose what is going on in Syria.
By Carmen Rengel / Translation: Blanca G. Bertolaza
- 30,000 Israelis set up camps in about twenty cities to demand a decrease in housing and basic product prices
- Salaries have gone up 1% in seven years, while rentals have gone up 250%. This disparity forces them to live with their parents
- The market is growing because of the demand of wealthy Jews who want a place to spend several weeks a year and because of speculation from millionaires from all over the world, especially in Tel Aviv
The indignant protest in Israel is unstoppable: 150,000 people took to the street on Saturday night to demand a radical change in national politics, that prevents the middle class from maintaining a wealthy upper class that shines and gives out the wrong image of the country, that of a land of milk and honey. 30,000 Israelis live in camps spread throughout about twenty cities, in a fight that will not settle for partial wins. Sick of being “exploited”, what started out as a minor movement has become, in 17 days, a popular tide that sweeps everybody away. Even in Zara you can see support signs.Their tenacity has lowered Benjamin Netanyahu’s popularity rate from 51% to 32%. That is why he has hurried to announce 10,000 flats for young people tearing down walls in government compounds that today are office buildings, or indirect taxes reductions, or aid for young people to move to under populated cities. Yesterday, he even announced the creation of a special ministerial team to offer solutions. It is not enough for the streets, who today have begun the calls for a strike in about thirty towns, who have shut down city offices and who refuse to clean up the streets and pick up the garbage. Even the administration is on strike. The trembling has reached the Government, with the resignation of the general Financial director, the man who estimated the cost of giving an answer to the citizens’ demands at 12.000 million Euros. Netanyahu’s coalition with the extreme right and the ultra orthodox is not in danger, but the opposition is taking advantage of the cause: opposition leader Tzipi Livni has demanded the Parliament to keep working, even though on Thursday it should go on holidays until October. “Now it is time to fight”, she says. Here is the account of the birth, demands and yearnings of Israel’s “indignant”.
Message from Israel’s 15M to Spain’s 15M