Note from Tripoli: This is the Beginning for Some and The End for Others
There have been reports of Libyan forces firing randomly at protesters in the capital city of Tripoli on February 21 and 22. Human Rights Watch has confirmed at least 62 deaths in the violence in Tripoli. It says at least another 200 have been killed in clashes across the country since the uprising against the Muammar el-Qaddafi government began last week.
I received this email about the situation on ground in Tripoli from a trusted source last night. I’m reproducing it as is:
Just wanted to let you know what’s going down here in T-town as of late. Things are beginning to heat up and the people are slowly waking up and reacting to the violence of the past couple of days.
Last night from around 9pm onwards people started barricading and patrolling their neighborhoods. In the beginning all we could hear were fireworks and chants from both pro-regime and anti-regime groups. But the confusion is such that sometimes we couldn’t tell them apart. At the end of the night I can almost guarantee that most of the (paid) pro-regime chanters here either decided to hide and switch sides or were beaten up by the protesters.
As the night progressed the rumors of anti-regime uprisings in the green sq increased. People took his son’s speech, which basically made us sound like a bunch of crack-sniffing criminals, as a insult. It was around that time when the sound of live ammunition began. This lasted well into the early morning. We don’t much about how many people were shot, who was actually shooting etc etc. This is part of the problem. All information here is from word of mouth. Were hearing talks of there being a massacre of unprecedented scale, were not sure if they mean in numbers or in indiscriminate shooting. Talks of various govt building being burnt down. Mercenaries shooting right and left.
So thats the status quo of things here. Its currently 11am in the morning and things have calmed down. Quiet before the storm.
The general sentiment here is a mixed one. One of hope, fear and excitement. Fear not of being hurt or shot but of the unknown. Hope for change. Excitment for what’s to come. There is a complete blackout of information. Nothing official, nothing confirmed. Who’s winning, how many are dead. Who’s still here? Who’s left running with there tail between there legs. The only source of information that we have is that between each other.
I’m disgusted by the leaders of the international community and how they’re being silent about this. Hillary Clinton yesterday directed a whole speech about Bahrain. Why didn’t she mention Libya? Or are we only worth mentioning when it has to do with oil and terrorism. They need to speak out now. They need to stop releasing petty statements and actually take a STAND. We know that they have no real leverage buthaving the international communities eyes on us is the only this can actually get noticed.
I have to end this quickly as im not sure how long this connection is going to last. Just let everybody know that the Libyan people are out in the streets and they’re united, despite last night’s statement that we are not. The people are going out now. They will go out later on tonight. Nothing can stop whats starting now. This the beginning for some and the end for others. Lets just pray that this can be done with the least deaths possible.
Photo courtesy CrethiPlethi.com
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