Detroit — On May 6 at downtown’s Hart Plaza, Detroit FIST (Fight Imperialism, Stand Together) held a counterdemonstration in defense of the sovereignty of the Syrian Arab Republic.
The FIST action was an answer to global events organized by the so-called #Allepoisburning campaign, which supports the intervention of U.S. and NATO forces and the misnamed Free Syrian Army in the Syrian war. The campaign falsely claims people in the Syrian city of Aleppo are being killed by President Bashar al-Assad and the Syrian Army.
At their protest, anti-imperialist activists loudly chanted slogans denouncing U.S./NATO and their allies for fueling the five-year conflict in Syria. They fiercely opposed any further imperialist involvement in any capacity.
Not forgotten are the imperialists’ intervention in and subsequent obliteration of Libya as a functioning society. It is clear that the U.S., NATO and states subservient to them have no intention of bringing anything but destruction to those countries they intervene in and conquer. The same holds true for Syria.
As the Syrian Arab Army, with assistance from forces of the Islamic Republic of Iran and the Russian Federation, among others, continues its advance in liberating areas held by various armed groups, a globally coordinated and so-called “grassroots” movement that is imperialist backed and funded and directed by nongovernmental organizations, has sprung up virtually overnight.
Claiming solidarity with people in Aleppo, these right-wing demonstrators concealed the fact that the bulk of the territory held by opposition forces in the city belongs to Jabhat al-Nusra, the al-Qaida affiliate in Syria. They obscure the fact that the Syrian government is fighting Western-backed terrorists who are attempting to tear apart one of the last remaining independent, secular, pluralist Arab republics.
In Detroit, even when the #Allepoisburning demonstrators outnumbered the anti-imperialists at least 3 to 1, the latter remained militant and determined to defend a banner calling for a halt of U.S./NATO/Israeli attacks on Syria. A verbal and potentially physical confrontation was maintained with resolute defiance, even in the face of overwhelming numbers within arm’s reach.
Just a short drive from the two clashing events in downtown Detroit is the city of Dearborn, with the largest Arab population in the U.S. Since the beginning of the conflict, many sizeable demonstrations in support of the Syrian government have occurred in that city, with nothing comparable in favor of U.S. imperialist intervention.