It is a horrific fact, but this time last week, on March 15th, the violence in Syria had officially lasted for one whole year. In that time, the UN estimates that at least 8,000 have been killed, including hundreds of children. Yet the Syrian regime continues to indiscriminately shell civilian neighborhoods, arbitrary arrests and torture are commonplace and humanitarian workers are being denied access to help the thousands that are wounded and without medical aid.
By failing to pass a resolution demanding the violence end, the UN Security Council’s inaction has been interpreted by Assad as a license to kill.
But there is hope. Across the world, from Indonesia to Egypt, America to South Africa, UK to Brazil, activists, NGOs, celebrities and former global leaders came together on March 15th to Unite for Syria, calling on the Security Council to STOP ONE YEAR OF BLOODSHED.
More than 40 political heavyweights from more than 25 countries, including Desmond Tutu, Fernando Cardoso (former President of Brazil), F W de Clerk (former President of South Africa) and Jody Williams (US Nobel Peace Laureate), signed an open letter to the Security Council calling for a resolution against the bloodshed to be passed as a matter of urgency.
Then, some of the world’s largest tweeps, including @NellyFurtado and @StephenFry, took part in a Twitter campaign that reached over 20 million people and trended globally. This also included Arab Spring activists, such as @AlexanderPageSY who was forced to flee Syria and @ArabSpringFF who was held and tortured by the Syrian regime. Both spoke out on March 15th about their experiences, hopes and fears.
Finally, hundreds of campaigners and celebrities, including Natalie Portman, Patrick Stewart and Susan Sarandon, made their own stand to UNITE FOR SYRIA: posting photos and taking part in a campaign video that demonstrated the global outcry against the ongoing crisis.
Alone, videos and photos or tweets and letters will not stop the bloodshed. But a world united against inhumanity will. On March 15th people across the world stood together to demonstrate their unity with Syria. It is time the Security Council took note.
Photo credit: Crisis Action