Fear about showing support for Syria uprising resonates in Vancouver

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      A Vancouver activist says many Syrian Canadians are afraid to attend local rallies to support the uprising in Syria.

      “They’re afraid that they will be verbally assaulted. They’re afraid that their pictures will somehow get into the hands of horrible people who will take very violent measures against their family in Syria,” Jeanne d’Arc Remko told the Straight by phone today (August 3).

      Remko made the comments following a CBC report that Syrian Canadians have allegedly been threatened after speaking up about the crackdown against protesters in the Middle East country.

      In Vancouver, Syrian Canadians and supporters have been holding weekly Saturday afternoon rallies outside the Vancouver Public Library main branch.

      The rally participants are calling for an end to the regime of Bashar al-Assad and a transition to democracy.

      Remko said vocal critics sometimes show up at the rallies, but she hasn’t heard of anything like the reported threats.

      “We try to come to the rallies with a consensus that we’re a peaceful group and that we’re only here to educate people,” said the SFU student whose family is from Syria.