worth a read

insidethemiddle by steve tamari

Before pundits, politicians, and gunmen succeed in convincing us that the uprising in Syria has become a civil war, it is worth remembering that the uprising began as a seemingly spontaneous mass-based movement of non-violent resistance. It was unprecedented, but that doesn’t mean it came out of nowhere.

Realists would have us believe that politics is determined by the exercise of power. During the spring of 2011, Syrian moms, dads, children, students, merchants and young professionals demonstrated otherwise. A motley crew of tech-savvy urban youth, poor farmers, frustrated merchants, unruly teenagers, and outraged parents carried the revolutionary fervor that had already gripped Tunisia and Egypt into Syrian cities and the countryside. In late January and early February 2011, sporadic demonstrations broke out in the Jazirah region of northeast Syria and in the Bab Tuma and Suq al-Hamadiya neighborhoods of the old city of Damascus. In early march a group of boys–…

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