"We are the moral alternative": A revolution within the revolution"
"We are the moral alternative". "We are standing up because we are a moral alternative, and that comes before becoming a political alternative".
These were the mottoes shared on walls and banners throughout the country on November 8,
as part of a campaign trying to raise awareness about the need for high moral standards in the continuing struggle against tyranny. The campaign, called "Syria first, we are the moral alternative", is a reaction to the daily terror imposed by the regime, but also to the abuses and lack of moral standards characterizing certain groups of the opposition, according to activists. It is, therefore, an attempt to inspire "A Revolution within the Revolution".
Criticism to the opposition addresses both the political opposition, which is what the message "Being a moral alternative comes before becoming a political alternative" refers to, and also certain groups of the Free Syrian Army, which have been accused of violating human rights, through the reminder that the revolution should be "a revolution for dignity of the Syrian people." There is also a strong anti-sectarian discourse involved in the campaign, which insists on the same motto Syrians sang in demonstrations since the beginning of the uprising in March 2011: "One, one, one: The Syrian people are one."
The campaign is part of a movement that has not stopped and that insists that militarization can not replace the need for civil resistance and civil disobedience tactics. In words of one of the participants: "Democracy, social justice, freedom and dignity for all Syrians are the principles of this revolution, regardless of religious or ideological orientations." This is the message activists are trying to send to the Syrian street, so that people continue to support the revolution, which stands for universal values and is opposed to any human rights violations. It is also a message for the regime, an affirmation that civil resistance continues despite militarization of the conflict, and despite all regime attempts to silence citizen expression.
Demonstrators all over the country held banners with the following messages, which were also sent to members of the Free Syrian Army so that they could join the campaign:
- If they are sectarian, our revolution is anti-sectarian. One, one, one, the Syrian people are one.
- If they worship one man, our revolution respects all Syrians.
- If they humiliate, our revolution remains respectful of human dignity. The Syrian people will not be humiliated.
- If they want to repress freedom, our revolution is for everyone´s freedom. God, Syria, Freedom.
- If they are the source of radicalism, our revolution is based on a civil, democratic and diverse state. Muslims and Christians, together for a civil state.