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March 4 Demonstrations Against Sanctions

Above photo: AFP.

This Saturday, there will be demonstrations against sanctions on Syria.

It will take place at the US Consulate in Toronto.

NOTE: Dave DeCamp writes in “The House this week voted overwhelmingly in favor of a resolution to maintain sanctions on Syria following a devastating earthquake that has killed at least 5,900 people in the country, The Cradle reported on Wednesday.

The resolution was introduced by Rep. Joe Wilson (R-SC) and received 51 cosponsors. It passed in a vote of 414-2. Only Reps. Thomas Massie (R-KY) and Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) voted against the measure.

The resolution calls for the Biden administration to remain committed to “implementing the Caesar Syria Civilian Protection Act of 2019,” a law that imposed crippling sanctions on Syria that are designed to prevent the country from rebuilding after years of war.”

The US’ economic blockade on Syria violates international law and is collective punishment against the Syrian People. It is unconscionable that the US persists with this as Syrians struggle to recover from the earthquakes.

The coalition organizing the National March to Stop War and NATO in Washington, DC on March 18 decided to add the demand that the US end its sanctions on Syria. Learn more about the march and endorse it here.

In solidarity with the Syrian people, suffering the unjust and unilateral coercive economic measures taken by the US and its European allies, the End the Siege Campaign has been established in cooperation between different popular movements and activists in the Arab world, Europe, and North America.

The End The Siege Campaign launches its first international action this Saturday, March 4, 2023, in a series of synchronous protests in Jordan, Palestine, Egypt, Yemen, Tunisia, Canada, Morocco, Lebanon, UK, Slovakia, Ireland, and Germany. The event in Canada will take place at noon this Saturday in front of the US Consulate, 360 University Avenue, in Toronto.

Syrians are suffocated by these economic sanctions, with the lack of fuel, electricity, water, food and medical resources. These sanctions constitute, in fact, a siege and an act of genocide against the people of Syria.

Loloa Al Kasawat, organizer of the demonstration in Toronto, observed: “The brutal coercive economic sanctions against Syria have destroyed Syria’s economy, and impoverished the people, many of whom fled the countries as refugees to Europe and Canada. Our families in Syria exist without jobs, adequate food, heating, and electricity. These sanctions were illegal because they did not have the approval of the United Nations Security Council. But since 2013, Canada and its US Coalition partners have shamefully only intensified these coercive economic measures. We call on these countries permanently to remove all sanctions on Syria now.”

After the earthquake, because of western sanctions,  there were huge difficulties in delivering relief supplies to Syria, which delayed access to survivors under the rubble. In addition, there is an acute shortage of medical equipment and supplies, in a country that has suffered for years from war and unjust sanctions.

We note that the US government has relaxed a part of its sanctions regime against Syria for six months in order supposedly to facilitate the flow of aid to earthquake-devastated cities, such as Aleppo and Latakia, through the Syrian government. We also note that the Canadian government says that it is not sanctioning humanitarian earthquake aid to Syria. This is not enough, however, because western financial instutions will not facilitate the money transfers required to activate the flow of aid because of the fear of stiff governmental fines, penalties, and reprisals.

We call on the Biden Administration and the Trudeau government to do the right thing: permanently end its coercive economic measures against Syria.

The event this Saturday will be the first of more to come. The campaign is expected to expand in other countries in the following weeks.  End the Siege Campaign in Canada will be hosted in Ottawa, Montreal, and Toronto.



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