Protests in Libya

Submitted by Khawaga on February 17, 2011

Things are really heating up in Libya.
Here's just from one Twitter feed. Sorry for the crappy formatting.

ShababLibya LibyanYouthMovement
and this is what has happened for the past two days (going out evening) but I hear the numbers are increasing #Libya #Feb17
3 minutes ago

ShababLibya LibyanYouthMovement
and some of the airforce in the skies, we in libya go out late afternoon and sunset, so this is when protesters are coming out..
3 minutes ago

ShababLibya LibyanYouthMovement
but god help us, it was limited to central benghazi but now its spreading all over, mainly through deprived areas, there is helicopters ...
4 minutes ago

ShababLibya LibyanYouthMovement
they are doing their best to kill our spirits and the motivation, we know we can not stop, coz if he remains we are first in the black list
5 minutes ago

ShababLibya LibyanYouthMovement
arrest us one by one when we turn away, they beat you first so you are unconscious, then take them to tripoli and elsewhere #Libya #Feb17
6 minutes ago

ShababLibya LibyanYouthMovement
they caught a lot of us who appeared on videos from the night before, there are ppl undercover between us hiding in between cars and..
8 minutes ago

ShababLibya LibyanYouthMovement
contact: I spoke to my friend in central Benghazi, he said so many were arrested, and trapped in the corners of central Benghazi cont
9 minutes ago

ShababLibya LibyanYouthMovement
shocking account from a resident in #Benghazi we just spoke to #Libya #Feb17 #gaddafi crimes: as follows..
10 minutes ago

ShababLibya LibyanYouthMovement
contacts in benghazi: 'we need to write accounts urgently' to @AJArabic watch your site, you will receive accounts shortly #Libya #Feb17
17 minutes ago

ShababLibya LibyanYouthMovement
@
@EEE_Libya Try to protest through the streets chanting for #Tripoli to come out #Libya #Feb17
19 minutes ago

ShababLibya LibyanYouthMovement
confirmed: 400 in the streets of #Tripoli, come on guys let it snowball #Libya #Feb17
20 minutes ago

ShababLibya LibyanYouthMovement
@
@almanaralibya I have emails for BBC and Jazeera, they need videos and pictures asap, please tell the ppl uploading #Libya #Feb17
21 minutes ago
»

ShababLibya LibyanYouthMovement
the last we have from Ajdabiya is 4 ppl killed by sniper fire, we need info from there asap #Libya #Feb17 #Libya is at war with its regime
24 minutes ago

http://twitter.com/#!/ShababLibya

mikail firtinaci

13 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by mikail firtinaci on February 17, 2011

I was following el jezira. A reporter from libya told that the regime freed some prisoners giving them money and weapons to attack protesters. It seems there is indifferent shooting going on in the streets too

Khawaga

13 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Khawaga on February 17, 2011

Website with updates about Libyan uprising.

http://www.libyafeb17.com/

The news coming out is really grim; death toll is already big. That fucker Qadafy will try everything to stay in power.

Khawaga

13 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Khawaga on February 17, 2011

Comment by the Arabist.

Issandr el Amrani

My gut feeling is that the most important protests now taking place in North Africa are those in Libya. I say this with no disrespect to those in Algeria, where the regime certainly deserves to be brought down, or my own native Morocco, where the palace and Makhzen need a wake-up call that the status quo (and indeed, the regression of the last few years) is not acceptable.

But Libya shares something important with Egypt and Tunisia: an aging leader (41 years in power) faces a looming succession crisis in which the leading candidates are his own sons. I simply don't think that's an acceptable outcome for any republic in the 21st century, and was a key aspect to the revolt against Hosni Mubarak in Egypt, and to a lesser extent in Tunisia (with the rumored heir apparent being his nephew). Of course there are also differences: the Libyan regime is much more brutal, more tribalized, more totalitarian than Egypt or Tunisia. The country is split along an east-west axis, with the east kept systematically poorer and discriminated against, along with older historical grievances. That's why it's not surprise Benghazi saw the first and biggest protests, particularly since core organizers were relatives of the victims of the Abu Salim prison massacre of 1996.

Samotnaf

13 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Samotnaf on February 17, 2011

Isn't there a good chance that the US would back, from the very beginning, a political movement against Qadafy? Quite different from Tunisia and Egypt.

Khawaga

13 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Khawaga on February 17, 2011

Isn't there a good chance that the US would back, from the very beginning, a political movement against Qadafy? Quite different from Tunisia and Egypt.

I would assume so, but from what I've read they've been silent. They're probably trying to figure out what the heck is going on. Hard to figure out what is going on there.

Khawaga

13 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Khawaga on February 17, 2011

Live coverage

http://www.justin.tv/sama_libya#/w/876099168

Edit: it's in arabic.

Submitted by Joseph Kay on February 17, 2011

Samotnaf

Isn't there a good chance that the US would back, from the very beginning, a political movement against Qadafy? Quite different from Tunisia and Egypt.

isn't he a goodie in the war on terror now?

Yorkie Bar

13 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Yorkie Bar on February 17, 2011

Surely it's spelt Gaddafi anyway?

Submitted by Auto on February 17, 2011

Yorkie Bar

Surely it's spelt Gaddafi anyway?

I read somewhere that his name can be romanised in a whole load of different ways. One article listed 37 different spelling variations.

But I think Gaddafi is the most common.

Khawaga

13 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Khawaga on February 17, 2011

Since it's transliterated, it can be spelt in a number of ways. Qadaffy, Khadafi, Gadaffi, whatever.

Samotnaf

13 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Samotnaf on February 17, 2011

Go-dafty?

Auto

13 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Auto on February 17, 2011

I saw one Libyan Tweet describe him as 'The Daffy'.

Probably just another self-given title to add to the list...

baboon

13 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by baboon on February 17, 2011

Both the US and Britain, though there are differences between them, have supported the Libyan regime in the "war on terror" and as a regional policeman. That could change given the increase in instability but Bahrain is indicative of their hypocrisy and double-dealing

Khawaga

13 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Khawaga on February 17, 2011

Seems like the Libyan regime are using their equivalent of Baltagiya. Uprisings all over the country, though seems to be concentrated in the East and in Tripoli.

Mark.

13 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Mark. on February 18, 2011

On Twitter in the last few minutes

http://twitter.com/search?q=%23Feb17

http://twitter.com/search?q=%23libya

the mercenaries have now been kicked out of BAYDA and sent to the green mountain vallies surrounding the city, people joyous

Bayda: youth have formed groups to drive and bring in med supplies and other groups to defend the city from the mercenaries

Bayda: Police are sided with the people!!!! they are passing them weaponry to defend against the mercenaries

receiving note from Ajdabiya, 'the city is now in the hands of the protesters after a few deaths'

Breaking news of protesters take Albeyda Airport prevent 2 planes thought 2 b bringing mercenary backup

BREAKING: Bayda mercenaries are said to number 700 working under libyan officers, kicked out of the city

EVERY news organization thats been reporting on #Feb17 #Libya has the story wrong. Talk to the people in the country (not the ones paid off)

Bayda: between 25 and 35 dead in Bayda in total, and lots lots more injured, the youth are working tirelessly

Green Square (Tripoli) 15 min ago... #Libya #AJA #feb17 http://twitpic.com/40v26y

Report from Benghazi--7 year old shot in head

Reports in Libya: unconfirmed, Deaths so far well into 3 figures #Libya #Feb17, benghazi over 50 alone bayda 25-35

Source in #BENGHAZI: half of the city is out demonstrating. point of no return down

BREAKING: Tajora outside Tripoli now in full swing with anti Gov protesters

Confirmed sporadic and small groups of anti-government protesters in the capital #Tripoli

Amazing job on Libya by NYT Lede blog. Many videos posted. http://nyti.ms/eGr7gc Word is getting out, keep working guys!

Protests form and are later dispersed by thugs. #Tripoli trying to get organized. It's a matter of time.

Hundreds of #Egyptians protested outside the #Libya consulate in #Alexandria in solidarity with the Libyan struggle against #Gaddafi.

Good collection of #Libya vids http://is.gd/DQ2UIP

Mercenaries operating in #Libya have been confirmed to be #French speaking Africans from CHAD.

Mark.

13 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Mark. on February 18, 2011

Arms sales to Libya

Libya
In the third quarter of 2010 (the most recent period for which figures are available), equipment approved for export included wall and door breaching projectile launchers, crowd control ammunition, small arms ammunition, tear gas/irritant ammunition, training tear gas/irritant ammunition. Ammunition comprised £3.2m of the £4.7m million of military items licensed.

Sniper rifles were among the other equipment licensed in 2010. No requests for licences were refused in 2010.

Libya is a UKTI/DSO priority market country, and the UK has made ‘high level political interventions’ in support of arms sales to Libya.

Libya was also invited to attend the UK arms fairs: the Farnborough Airshow in 2010 and Defence and Security Equipment International in 2009.

The UK had by far the largest pavilion at Libya’s arms fair LibDex in 2010, and was supported by a team from UKTI DSO.

Mark.

13 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Mark. on February 18, 2011

Al Jazeera liveblog

Edit: some rather sparse information from Al Jazeera today:

12:16pm Hassan El Amin, editor of Libya Al Mostaqbal, talks live to Al Jazeera from London. He says that reports of 75 dead and hundreds injured in recent violence against protesters. 

9:08am BBC radio, quoting an eyewitness, said protesters against Gaddafi's four decades long rule clashed with security forces, who were using guns, and doctors had counted the bodies of 10 people. 

8:31am Thousands of anti-government protesters are on the streets of Libya's eastern city of Benghazi, a day after "day of rage" demonstrations led to fatal skirmishes with the security forces. 
 
5.23am In a statement on its website on Thursday, Human Rights Watch said Libyan security forces has killed at least 24 protesters and wounded many others in its crackdown on peaceful demonstrations.

In the statement, Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East and North Africa director at Human Rights Watch said:

The security forces' vicious attacks on peaceful demonstrators lay bare the reality of Muammar Gaddafi's brutality when faced with any internal dissent

You can read the whole statement here

Mark.

13 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Mark. on February 18, 2011

The death toll

The official media are slowly adjusting their death count upwards. The BBC this morning speaks of a possible 24 deaths over the past two days. This is shared by the New York Times. Amnesty International say they’ve confirmed 12 deaths, while Libyan State TV maintains that only 7 people died.


The BBC’s Rana Jawad said around 10 am GMT that there were many gunshots overnight but that it’s relatively quiet now. She confirmed again the statements of the doctor in Jala hospital who counted 15 bodies but was afraid it would be more this morning. Among the victims is a 13 year old boy, but the majority of the men killed are between 18 and 25 years old.

The reports are still in stark contrast with the reports on twitter that the death toll is possibly as high as 75-80. Still the majority of news sources focus on a new day of protest in Bahrain, mentioning any protests in Libya “on the side”.

The Guardian does have an article focused on Libya and mentions that protesters are back on the street. They also mention a possible 10-15 deaths in Benghazi and Al-Bayda, but mention that reports on twitter are much higher.

The media are cautious in their estimates and say it is difficult for them to verify information. Perhaps this is also in light of the rumours that were around during the Egypt protests. At the time, there were rumours that the Egyptian government deliberately fed misinformation to reputable media sources to make them look bad.

The people want today to be a day of unity.

Mark.

13 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Mark. on February 18, 2011

Limited information coming out on Twitter today

http://twitter.com/search?q=%23Feb17

http://twitter.com/search?q=%23libya

Contact in #Benghazi NOW: Prayers for 13 funerals in front of court. Thousands gathered.

Human Rights Watch: At least 24 dead in #Libya. Source I spoke with last night said witnesses reported 39 in Benghazi & Baida alone.

hopeful of tripoli today, sources claim they are ready to begin after friday prayers, watch this space

Today is Friday, big protests are planned for after Juma3a (afternoon prayer) #Gaddafi killed over 60 people yesterday in #Libya

Breaking from Al-Bayda: Funeral processions have started; 10 dead

http://bit.ly/fZ1yaB guys video of DEAD in benghazi, please spread to media urgent [***warning: graphic footage***]

Protesters damage #Bayda airprt runwy 2 prevent military planes from landing after attacks on protesters by aircraft

Escaped prisoners from Alkwayfya prison in #Benghazi have joined the protesters in the fight against the regime

Mark.

13 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Mark. on February 18, 2011

Guardian live updates

11.05am – Libya: Anti-Gaddafi demonstrators have taken over several cities in eastern Libya but have suffered scores of deaths, according to exiled opposition groups in London.

Government troops have withdrawn from al-Bayda, the scene of earlier confrontations, and protesters have blocked the runway to prevent military reinforcements arriving, the National Front for the Salvation of Libya maintains.

Mohamad Ali Abdalla, the deputy director of the NFSL, said:

I was told that there were 13 deaths in the city of al-Bayda alone last night and six more in Benghazi.

In al-Bayda, the city has been taken over and protesters are dismantling the runway to stop any military planes landing.

In total, there have been 30 deaths in Benghazi since demonstrations began on January 15th. Some of those who died were injured citizens who had been taken to al-Jala hospital in Benghazi.

Members of the revolutionary committee were shooting the injured who were brought in. I was told this by a nurse in al-Jala Hospital.

The government's revolutionary committee headquarters have been captured in other places, the FNSL claimed. In Ajdabiya, in north-eastern Libya, demonstrations were in charge of the city.

There have been few demonstrations further west nearer to the capital, Tripoli. In the western mountains, nearer to Tunisia, protesters have also been out on the streets.

Several opposition sites have reported that Gaddafi's regime has been relying on French-speaking soldiers, or "mercenaries" drawn from neighbouring Chad to crack down on the demonstrations

baboon

13 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by baboon on February 18, 2011

Mark above details the sale of "crowd control" arms from Britain to Libya and these (as in Bahrain) include sniper rifles. Two nights ago, a sniper on top of government buildings was reported shooting protesters.

This again underlines that the enemy is at home (as far as Britain is concerned in this case) and the enemy is our own bourgeoisie. Both Labour and the Conservatives have provided these regimes with the weaponry and the know-how for their murderous repression. I have relatives living in this country and they have told me of the public executions, shown on television, of the "enemies of the state", that once again, democratic governments are complicit in.

Auto

13 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Auto on February 18, 2011

Apparently Reuters is corroborating the report that control of the city of Al-Bayda has been siezed by anti-government protestors.

Anti-government protesters have seized control of the eastern Libyan city of al-Bayda after they were joined by some local police, two separate Libyan exile groups said on Friday.

"Al-Bayda is in the hands of the people," Giumma el-Omami of the Libyan Human Rights Solidarity group told Reuters.

"The city is out of the control of the [Muammar] Gaddafi regime," said Fathi al-Warfali of the Libyan Committee for Truth and Justice.

The reports, which the two groups said were based on their own telephone contacts with the city of some 250,000 people, could not be independently verified.

Mark.

13 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Mark. on February 18, 2011

http://twitter.com/search?q=%23Feb17

http://twitter.com/search?q=%23libya

moving to the west, Rajban: situation dire, no elec no net, 2 boys martyred, one was 17 first martyr in the west Omar Altabol

Zintan: very close to Rajban and almost exact same situation, scenes of most powerful videos, chanting go to hell gaddafi

ZIntan cont: they seem to have isolated all these villages and towns in the area with army, i think to protect tripoli

Massacre in El Baydaa - Lybia, cars on fire, live ammo, lots dead inlc a 6 year old girl.

Tripoli: now moving to the capital, situation tense, people waiting for the guy next door to go out first reports of small..

Ajdabia police sided with protesters to fight mercenaries but now gov shut down elec and net, it is surrounded by military

Breaking reports from #Benghazi: "We can see army in the city, can't see police anywhere"

The number of protesters in Benghazi is Estimated at 100,000

Situation is very tense in #Tripoli. I'm going for Friday prayers soon... We'll join the #egypt and #tunisia club soon insha'allah

Mark.

13 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Mark. on February 18, 2011

BBC live updates

1233: Khaleel, in the Libyan capital Tripoli, tells the BBC: "Things have reached boiling point in Tripoli, everyone is waiting for something to be triggered. There have been some small protests - they've started in Tripoli and there have been others in Fashloom, and Tajora, Sidi-Khalifa. I think there will be much bigger protests today. Things are going really badly - especially in Eastern parts of Libya. If this starts in Tripoli Gaddafi will be lost"

Mark.

13 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Mark. on February 18, 2011

[youtube]Ud9XuqVV_Js[/youtube]

Auto

13 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Auto on February 18, 2011

Reports coming in that people from Bayda are leaving for Bengazi in order to help the people there fight off Mercenaries:

BREAKING: contact: people leaving bayda with weapons provided by police, headed to benghazi to fight mercenaries!!!! #Libya #Feb17

Also, other reports are saying that the city of Dernah just along the coast has also been taken by protestors.

Things seem to be moving pretty rapidly.

Auto

13 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Auto on February 18, 2011

Looks like there's full-on armed insurrection in Libya. Reports of Soldiers and police joining the protesters (though at this point 'rebels' might be a more apt term).

Seems like large parts of East Libya could now be under the control of protesters/Anti-Ghaddafi forces. Protestors from various cities are now converging on Bengazi...

ocelot

13 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by ocelot on February 18, 2011

From protests to flying columns. Bloody hell.

Entdinglichung

13 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Entdinglichung on February 18, 2011

http://twitter.com/libyanfsl/status/38618376398061569

Imams in the mosques of Tripoli refuse to read the sermons given to them by regime

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-12307698

#
1602: Libyan newspaper Quryna has reported the torching of security, administrative and judicial buildings in Benghazi, including those of Revolutionary Committees, as well as two police stations in al-Baraka and al-Fuwayhat. It says more than 1,000 inmates escaped from the al-Kuwayfiayaa correctional facility in Benghazi on Friday. Security sources said about 150 had been recaptured.

ocelot

13 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by ocelot on February 18, 2011

From an interview with Ahmed el Gasir (presumably Libyan), of the NGO Human Rights Solidarity, by swissinfo.ch

«Les Libyens ont brisé la barrière de la peur»

[...]
swissinfo.ch: What role could the army in the coming days, knowing that it was a decisive factor in the Tunisian and Egyptian revolutions?

A.eG.: Gaddafi is a soldier. But over the years, he has marginalized the regular army and introduced what he calls security battalions, more powerful than the army. But we already know that, in Benghazi as in Al Baida, some members of these battalions have refused to use force against protestors.

So, Thursday morning, two planes arrived with another special battalion commanded by Khamis Qaddafi, the youngest son of the dictator. These people are not Libyans, but African mercenaries. We do not know where they come from, but from a local contact, they speak French. They are the ones who led the crackdown, with at least 30 deaths in the balance sheet.
[...]

ocelot

13 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by ocelot on February 18, 2011

From the Reuters roundup, clarifies who the guy being interviewed above is (and why by the Swiss)

[...]Two Swiss-based exile groups said anti-government forces, joined by defecting police, were battling with security forces for control of the town of Al Bayda, 200 km (125 miles) northeast of Benghazi and scene of deadly clashes this week.

The Libyan Human Rights Solidarity group and the Libyan Committee for Truth and Justice initially said protesters had seized Al Bayda but later said government troops were fighting back. The reports could not be verified.[...]

Cleishbotham

13 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Cleishbotham on February 18, 2011

This comes from the link below for those who read Italian

I manifestanti anti-governativi, con l'appoggio di alcuni poliziotti che hanno deciso di disertare, sarebbero riusciti a sopraffare le forze di sicurezza libiche e ad assumere il controllo di Beida, in Cirenaica, terza citta' del Paese per importanza: a sostenerlo sono due diverse organizzazioni dell'opposizione in esilio, entrambe con sede a Ginevra. "Beida e' nelle mani del popolo", ha dichiarato Giumma el-Omami del gruppo 'Libyan Human Rights Solidarity' .

For those who don't this says that "some police have decided to desert seesm to have succeeded in overcoming the Libyan security forces and taken control of Beida (Al Baida I think it appears as in other links) in Cyrenaica, thrid ctiy of the country. the source appears to be two Libyan exile organisations based in Geneva.

Auto

13 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Auto on February 18, 2011

Following things on Twitter at the moment. Hard to tell what is fact and what is over-excited rumour, but serious shit is going down either way...

Auto

13 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Auto on February 18, 2011

One tweet claims that the protesters/rebels have taken over Bengazi's radio station and are using it to broadcast propaganda and plan protest.

There was also an unconfirmed rumour that Ghaddaffi's sister had fled to Germany with her children.

Auto

13 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Auto on February 18, 2011

From Twitter:

bezesteni RT @microplatform: Aljazeera quoting witnesses in #Libya: protesters have taken control of army tanks in Benghazi!!! #Feb17

This is the second or third time I've seen this tweeted from different sources. If so, things in Libya may get even more mental than they already are.

Auto

13 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Auto on February 18, 2011

According to Twitter, Saa'di al-Gaddafi has been arrested in by protesters in Bengazi. Not entirely confirmed yet, but it's coming in from a whole lot of different sources.

Amazing if true.

Mark.

13 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Mark. on February 18, 2011

On Twitter. As Auto says it's hard to tell fact from rumour. In the end the most important thing here is probably what is happening in the capital Tripoli which came late to the protests.

Benghazi is now like Cairo, where youth are organising traffic and guarding property

Mercenaries still walking the streets of Benghazi and scaring people, citizen committees being organized to protect people

Video showing alleged non-Libyan mercenaries on the streets yesterday: http://tinyurl.com/4r92l6j

Caller from Rajban says troops r running out of food & locals refusing to offer

One must understand, mercenaries in libya have no where to go, they are running out of food its said in rajban

Protestors are taking over #tripoli tearing down #gaddafi photos and police are standing by

LPC (English) #Tripoli wman: cops "shooting at the innocent," 5 protesters arrested

The army has turned over 4 tanks to the people in Benghazi infront of the courthouse.

65 protesters killed (Mowed down) in front of the battalion of Alfadil Bo'Amr in #Birka, a suburb of #Benghazi

Doctor in eastern #Libya tells @AJE that death toll during political protests now over 70

Guardian report

Al Jazeera

In an apparent effort to control the public narrative in the wake of rare protests that have spread throughout Libya, the country's government is threatening to withdraw scholarship funding from citizens studying in the United States unless they attend pro-government rallies in Washington this weekend, Al Jazeera has learned.

Several Libyans studying in the US said they and their peers have received phone calls this week from a man employed by the Libyan embassy instructing them to join rallies in the capital on Friday and Saturday. The man told the students that their government-funded scholarships would be cut off if they did not attend...

Mark.

13 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Mark. on February 19, 2011

From the Guardian live updates

11.25pm GMT - Libya:

Rumours about what's going on in eastern Libya continue to fly. The Associated Press tries to piece them together:

Forces from the military's elite Khamis Brigade moved into Benghazi, Bayda and several other cities, residents said. They were accompanied by militias that seemed to include foreign mercenaries, residents said. Several witnesses reported French-speaking fighters, believed to be Tunisians or sub-Saharan Africans, among militiamen wearing blue uniforms and yellow helmets.

The Khamis Brigade is led by Gadhafi's youngest son Khamis Gadhafi, and US diplomats in leaked memos have called it "the most well-trained and well-equipped force in the Libyan military." The witnesses' reports that it had been deployed could not be independently confirmed.

Police and protesters appear to have teamed up:

In Bayda, residents said troop reinforcements entered the city along with militiamen. The soldiers appeared to keep their distance, at times using snipers to try to disperse protesters, while militiamen led the direct assault on protesters with knives and automatic weapons, residents said.

Several witnesses said local police, who belong to the same tribe as the residents, joined the demonstrators to fight the militias, driving them out of many neighborhoods. The protesters demolished a military air base runway with bulldozers and set fire to police stations.

"These mercenaries are now hiding in the forests. We hear the gunshots all the time," one witness said. "We don't have water, we don't have electricity. They blocked many websites."

Mark.

13 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Mark. on February 19, 2011

From the Libya February 17th site

As we walk into the early hours of the morning things are slowing down as people withdraw to rest for a while or catch some shut eye. It has most certainly been an charged day with more fallen martyrs and wounded. Much progress has also been made in the anti-Gaddafi demonstration front especially with the growing numbers of demonstrators coming out in Tripoli.

The East is now a Gaddafi-free zone after demonstrators successfully purged any remaining whiffs of pro-Gaddafi activity and security forces. We also received our first footage of the mercenaries that Gaddafi has paid to attack and kill the demonstrators. Disturbing footage and photography also illustrated the deliberate killings of the security forces with many fallen martyrs having sustained live bullets to the head and chest.

Today also witnessed the launch of the Free Libya radio station that has gained much coverage and listeners. They are still live now though most of what is being shared is in Arabic. Please listen by clicking the link on the right hand column (it’s hard to miss!)

Tomorrow the journey continues, and we will be here documenting and supporting the cause every step of the way. From now until the break of dawn in Tripoli do not expect much activity but I will be awake just in case something pops up.

I would like to thank all our visitors on behalf of our very small team and we hope to see your continued return to LibyaFeb17.com, our effort in helping with what we can as our people finally lock horns with the 42 year reigning regime.

Thanks once more!

Mark.

13 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Mark. on February 19, 2011

Special forces attacked a protest camp in Benghazi last night, reports of 35 people killed.

Guardian live updates

10.05am, Libya:

Libyan special forces have stormed a protest camp in the eastern city of Benghazi, the Associated Press reports. At 5am special forces are said to have attacked hundreds of protesters, including lawyers and judges, who have been camped out for the past two days in front of the courthouse in city, which has been a focus for the anti-government unrest.

One protester who spoke to the news agency said he feared the security forces were stepping up their brutal crackdown:

They fired teargas on protesters in tents and cleared the areas after many fled carrying the dead and the injured. This is a ghost city; we are all afraid that something big is going to happen in Benghazi today.

...

• Libyan security forces killed 35 people in the eastern city of Benghazi last night, according to Human Rights Watch. This brings the death toll from three days of protests in the east of Libya to 84, according to the New York-based group. Eyewitness accounts given to news agencies suggest the total could be significantly higher.

Al Jazeera

1:10pm  A source inside Benghazi tells Al Jazeera that the situation remains tense there today:

People woke up this morning with dozens of bodies and burnt vehicles in the streets. Snipers are still active in central Benghazi whilst other parts are completely liberated.



A funeral will go out from Al Jalaa Hospital and (perhaps) ... over 120 bodies are there. No details from other towns as mobile networks are very limited.

USA today

Libyans set up neighbourhood patrols in the shaken eastern city of Benghazi on Saturday as police disappeared from the streets following an attack by government forces on a two-day-old encampment of protesters demanding an end to Moammar Gadhafi's regime, eyewitnesses said.

"We don't see a single policeman in the streets, not even traffic police," a lawyer in Benghazi said. Residents feared that pro-government forces would soon follow up the raid on the protest encampment with house-to-house attacks…

Mark.

13 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Mark. on February 19, 2011

Reports on Twitter, may be unconfirmed

http://twitter.com/search?q=%23Feb17

http://twitter.com/search?q=%23libya

New reports to BBC of protesters in front of the court house in Benghazi, Libya, being attacked

A military plane full of special forces just landed in Benina airport in Benghazi

Funeral procession of 42 martyrs in Benghazi is about to start.

We need urgent supplies thru Egyptian border to Benghazi.

People in Benghazi begging for Tripoli to go out - but most of the news from east can't reach the people. They are in media black hole.

Funeral today in bayda for abdulqader sultan al gaddafi from the gaddafi family who refused to fire on protesters.

It is believed AbdulQader al gaddafi who joined protesters (from gaddafi familiy) was killed by khamis' brigade.

Ajdabia, east of Libya, falls in the hands of protesters. Eye witnesses confirm 10,000 protester; police join them.

baboon

13 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by baboon on February 19, 2011

The ex-British ambassador to Libya was on the BBC this morning after talking to his contacts in the country and reports, confirming stuff above, that some of the regimes' revolutionary committee buildings and police stations have been burnt down and that some revolutionary committee members and the police have joined the demonstrators. Soldiers and two APC's also went over to join the protests. This is all in the east of the country which has an anti-Gadafi base and one of his sons has sent plane loads of militia. Tripoli is still relatively quiet.

Mark.

13 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Mark. on February 19, 2011

CNN

Helicopters fired at demonstrators and sounds of gunfire rang out Saturday in the eastern Libyan city of Benghazi, a doctor who witnessed the incident told CNN.

The doctor said dozens of injured people are being hospitalized, most suffering from gunshot wounds. CNN is not identifying the doctor for security reasons.

"The situation is critical right now. The city is effectively under siege," the doctor said.

Mark.

13 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Mark. on February 19, 2011

http://twitter.com/search?q=%23Feb17

Report: 2000 demonstrators in center of Misurata demonstrating against regime Getting closer and closer to Tripoli.

Aljazeera live from Misurata: Eight shot in city; confirmation that city is up in protests; very close to Tripoli

Edited to add:

Number of people peacefully protesting in Misrata is now 5000+.

Protesters now taking control of Misrata, some of the arrested have been released.

Internal Security have paid gangs from around Misrata to aid them in suppressing protests. Provided with cars and batons.

Aljazeera live from Benghazi: Reports that last army camp in the city has been overrun by protesters

Mark.

13 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Mark. on February 19, 2011

Claim just now on Twitter, no idea if this is true or not, possibly rumour put out by regime?

News from AlBida: Qadfi army start to shoot city by fighter jets, they will destroy the city in few hours, Albida ppl is 100000

Edit: this report is likely to be false - see Khawaga's comment below.

Mark.

13 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Mark. on February 19, 2011

On Twitter

Just contacted a lawyer protesting in Benghazi, no helicopters, and no shooting right now. She said all lies.

Calling everyone in Misrata to collect at Jama3 IlSheikh. Numbers growing, but live ammo being used.

Hostage situation in Tobruq, eastern Libya; mercenaries surrounded in airport, demanding safe exit, holding several citizens hostage.

Civilians are being bombarded near Al-Fadhil army camp in Benghazi, not clear what weapons are used.

Reports that the anti-aircraft guns are being fired at protesters near Fadhil camp in Benghazi; seems like a desperate last stand

I'm getting reports of massive casualties near and around Fadhil army camp in Benghazi

Reports that over 200 dead near Fadhil camp in Benghazi now!

Mark.

13 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Mark. on February 19, 2011

On Twitter - again no guarantees of accuracy. The news from Tripoli and from Misrata, also in western Libya, is important.

Tripoli—military moving towards downtown jamahiriyya street to surround protesters

Multiple confirmations of protests in Libya's capital Tripoli! We got the news about an hour ago but held until sure

Confirmation now, that various brigades of the libyan army is now joining protesters to fight Gaddafi

Latest from Misrata, due to the killings which we can confirm is 3, the city is all out now, 11,000 onto streets

Here is the video of Misrata protests, allahuakbar, please mirror across the globe and spread the word http://bit.ly/fXVkdV

According to Aljazeera callers, Bani Ghazi is now under the revolutionaries' complete control.

Video from Shahat last night after the army was overthrown: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q8-HbsN12Nc

Report from Tripoli this morning

Mark.

13 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Mark. on February 19, 2011

On Twitter

Benghazi witness on Aljaz now: they're shooting protesters with anti-aircraft guns & 14.5mm machine guns

Eyewitness confirms that over 200 ppl have been massacred today alone in the city of Benghazi.

Breaking from numerous sources 55 just died in Benghazi from mortar attacks in birka barracks.

Benghazi is burning. artillery is being used against protesters in Libya more than 200 killed so far

Confirmed that the number of dead has surpassed 100 in Benghazi. Army is now shelling protesters.

http://bit.ly/fSWQ88 take a look what the shabab bayda captured (youth of bayda) shocking, enjoy guys.

Reports of gunfire in Tripoli

Submitted by Jazzhands on February 19, 2011

Someone on Wikipedia actually worked out an equation on that. As it turned out, there's 2608 ways to transliterate his name in English. I'm not sure which is weirder: the fact that there's 2608 ways to spell his name, or the fact that someone knows or cares enough to figure that out.

Mark.

13 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Mark. on February 19, 2011

[youtube]tmSKHo_R-V0[/youtube]

baboon

13 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by baboon on February 19, 2011

Who are the guys with yellow hats - the flown-in security forces or demonstrators? Whatever the case the regime is unleashing terror.

Mark.

13 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Mark. on February 19, 2011

The guys with yellow hats are security forces, I think these are the ones being described as mercenaries. According to the guy being interviewed they were taken off the streets after a day or two.

baboon

13 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by baboon on February 19, 2011

Thanks Mark. You're doing a great job by the way.

Khawaga

13 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Khawaga on February 19, 2011

Mark. Regarding the bombing of al Bedia; it might be scare stories put out. I've seen several msgs like that on Twitter regarding other cities. They're mostly in Arabic and when I request translations from the Libyans I follow they refuse because they don't want to spread rumours (I get others to translate instead, but I don't share them out of respect).

Now, having said that I wouldn't be surprised if Qadaffi did bomb cities. He's used chemical weapons against insurgents in the area before (Green Mountain/ Jabal Akhdar has always been the source of rebellions; it was where Omar al-Mukhtar conducted his guerilla campaign against the Italians), has personally killed people in Tobruk (I think it was Tobruk) and generally fucked over the east. If he were to do something like that message says it would be in the east.

Mark.

13 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Mark. on February 19, 2011

Khawaga - I think you're right and I was in two minds about whether to post it up. I haven't seen this particular rumour re-tweeted.

Mark.

13 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Mark. on February 19, 2011

A couple of unconfirmed reports from Tripoli on Twitter

First reports of government buildings torched in Tripoli, Libya's capital.

Tripoli demonstrations are escalating, heavy gunfire heard.

Also from Benghazi

Al-Fadhil Brigade building in Benghazi has fallen. This is the last base and the ppl are in control of Benghazi.

Mark.

13 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Mark. on February 19, 2011

Reports from Tripoli tonight: http://www.libyafeb17.com/?cat=3

This may be the best link to follow for reliable updates

Submitted by Auto on February 19, 2011

Mark.

Also from Benghazi

Al-Fadhil Brigade building in Benghazi has fallen. This is the last base and the ppl are in control of Benghazi.

Apparently they blew a hole in the wall with explosives. Pretty fucking intense.

Also it's rumoured that one of Ghaddaffi's nephews was killed when protesters stormed the base (possibly from the explosion), though that wasn't confirmed.

Mark.

13 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Mark. on February 20, 2011

[youtube]uD8NPeJ7vGM[/youtube]

Report from yesterday. I can't find much confirmed information on what is happening now.

Auto

13 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Auto on February 20, 2011

International media seems to be pretty much ignoring things in Libya beyond quibbling over bodycount because they can't get journalists in on the ground (or aren't willing to attempt it).

Mark.

13 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Mark. on February 20, 2011

I can see the problems they have reporting it, but maybe this is just an extreme example of them being complicit in official attempts at media management.

Mark.

13 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Mark. on February 20, 2011

Guardian

12.01pm Libya: 
Associated Press is reporting that the death toll is Benghazi may be much higher than the estimate from Human Rights Watch (which they had called "conservative").

A doctor in the Libyan city of Benghazi says his hospital has seen the bodies of at least 200 protesters killed by Moammar Gadhafi's forces over the last few days. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he fears reprisal.
Witnesses told AP that a mixture of special commandos, foreign mercenaries and Gadhafi loyalists went after demonstrators on Saturday with knives, assault rifles and heavy-caliber weapons.

Mark.

13 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Mark. on February 20, 2011

The situation in Tripoli

Posted on February 20, 2011 by admin
It’s been said a number of times over the past few days, but Tripoli is going to be key in these demonstrations. Yet actual information from Tripoli is very, very scarce. It’s likely that this is partially because people have been asking not to publicize the location of any demonstrations until they are large enough to withstand the security forces. There have been warnings of total surveillance in Tripoli and internet access is difficult.

A witness on Al Jazeera reported that a plane of African mercenaries is on its way to Tripoli at the moment. We are sorry that we can’t provide you with more information at the moment. There are also reports of mercenaries landing in Benghazi.



@ShababLibya: Breaking: 3 sources claim, foreign mercenaries have just landed in benina airport #Libya #Feb17 god help benghazi god help benghazi

Mark.

13 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Mark. on February 20, 2011

Al Jazeera

2:10 pm Here's a lengthy account provided by a 24-year-old student in Tripoli:

Here is what I know so far. In Zawiya reportedly two prisons were opened by anti-regime crowds, apparently because of low security there. I can confirm that the women's facility was opened. I also just found out that a friend's friend (male) who was imprisoned there was let out, so I guess that confirms the other.

The past few days in Trip have seen only pro-government events. Until yesterday, the biggest crowd was Thursday, when one of Q's sons and later Q himself showed up. On Friday, some of the Imams spoke against the protests and those 'who would corrupt the country and begin civil war.' Yesterday, from morning until about midnight, a crowd of easily one or two thousand people gathered in the green square. Several hundred, mostly young men, were on foot, while a few hundred cars packed with men and women continuously circled the square. Trucks would pull up periodically to distribute posters and green flags.

There was a music group leading chants and songs in favor of Q. Some of the chants were (translated) 'the people want ... colonel muammar', 'only god, muammar, and libya' and 'al-jazeera you fool, we want our leader, no one else'.

In the square, a strong security presence, including firetrucks in various positions, ambulances, and the occasional helicopter.

Yesterday, the ambulances turned on their sirens and participated in the parades and cheering. In the outskirts, increased military and traffic police stationed. As far as I can tell, there have not been true gunshots, only the sound of fireworks and noisemakers. Until last night, no violent clashes between security and the crowds, nor between anti- and pro- crowds, in the center of Tripoli (this excludes Zawiya). In fact, anti- crowds have yet to be seen at all.

The attitude in Tripoli contrasts starkly with that in the East. Many people in Tripoli do not believe that what is happening in the East is real, they either attribute it to the 'propaganda' of al-Jazeera (against which have been directed several slogans) or say that Egyptians and Tunisians have infiltrated the country, that 'real Libyans' wouldn't do such things. Historically, the two regions have not been great friends, and now whatever tension there was recently has been sharpening into open hate and disgust towards Eastern Libyans. Some people refer to them as 'Zionists and Israelis'.

Also, transportation cross-country has been mostly stopped. Planes and cars/buses no longer go to the East, and several foreign companies brought their employees to Tripoli.

Auto

13 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Auto on February 20, 2011

Twitter:

ShababLibya: BREAKING CONFIRMED: Protestors in Zawia has burned down Gaddafi's house and now heading towards Tripoli. #feb17 #gaddaficrimes #libya

It seems like Tripoli really is the key.

Also, Ghaddaffi really is a complete and total headcase. Even by Dictatorial standards.

rooieravotr

13 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by rooieravotr on February 20, 2011

I think what we are seeing in Libya is of special international importance. If Khadaffi gets away with this and succeeds in crushing the revolt throught these particular methods, other dictators will feel emboldened, and may copy his methods. If he is overtrown quickly, no dictator is secure anymore (I have seen speculations about N.Korea and Burma already). But there is a third scenario, a horrible comparison looming in my mind: Somalia after the overthrow of dictator Barre, in 1991...

Auto

13 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Auto on February 20, 2011

ShababLibya on Twitter is saying that the Birka barracks have now surrendered. Apparently they are trying to negotiate free passage to the airport, with the Bengazi youth saying they're not going to let them leave without a fight. Not surprising given how many people they've murdered...

Auto

13 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Auto on February 20, 2011

Also is it me or are the western Media deliberately trying to portray the Libyans as mere 'victims'? Of course many hundreds have been killed, but if you went by the media narrative you'd think that this was a case of completely helpless people being slaughtered by a government. Hardly a single mention of the fact that the people have been actively fighting back.

Auto

13 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Auto on February 20, 2011

Twitter:

ShababLibya: BREAKING CONFIRMED: ABDULLAH SANNUSI HAS BEEN ARRESTED. BENGHAZI IS FREE AND ARMED. #feb17 #gaddaficcrimes #libya

Auto

13 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Auto on February 20, 2011

Apparently a brigade of soldiers mutinied and helped the people take control of Birka army barracks.

ShababLibya: Al saika brigade 236 now in control of benghazi joint with the people, sorry i forgot form the call the officer incharge, #Libya #Feb17

rooieravotr

13 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by rooieravotr on February 20, 2011

Auto:

Of course many hundreds have been killed, but if you went by the media narrative you'd think that this was a case of completely helpless people being slaughtered by a government. Hardly a single mention of the fact that the people have been actively fighting back.

I thank that is a valid and important point.Victims can be expected to behave, and be grateful for the help thay may get (not that they are getting much...). They pose no danger to the powers that be. Peolpe liberating themselves from dictatorship? Now, that is a bit more subversive.. This is another important reason why spreading info on people fighting back is important. It helps shatter this picture of people-as-only-victims.

Khawaga

13 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Khawaga on February 20, 2011

Regarding the media: likely they are not reporting because they have no one on the ground. I used to go to Libya for work occasionally and we regularly wanted to get in reporters to write about the development projects and the commercial ventures the company I worked for was involved in. It was nearly impossible to get anyone in; it would take about 6 months for a reporter to actually get a visa for a journalist and when they were there they would have a government minder literally attached to their ass. Typically the visas were valid for a few weeks only. Thus, compared to Egypt (well Cairo), which is often the main office for the Middle East and/or North Africa for a lot of international media, there just weren't any journos there when it happened. To top that off, journalists are very lazy. They rely on fixers to do most of their work; to get in touch with people, to go places etc. There would be nothing of the sort in Libya, only govt. minders. Because of all of this (and more, like most intl correspondents have been laid off; companies reliying more and more on wire services etc.) Libya has been more or less ignored for a long long time, unless it was about Lockerbie or the odd oil contract handed to some Western company.

Now, I am not trying to excuse Western media, only to give an explanation for why there is silence. There is nothing stopping anyone now from going in. If some independent journo wanted to get in they could go the land route from Egypt, or, if the reports are true that Benghazi is liberated, they could fly in there.

Khawaga

13 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Khawaga on February 20, 2011

Self-oganization in Benghazi (from Twitter).

#Benghazi: Pharmacies distributing medicine for free; youths taken care of city's security, not a single case of looting reported #Libya

Mark.

13 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Mark. on February 20, 2011

Al Jazeera

9:55 pm Libyan envoy to Arab League quits and 'joins revolution' according to Al Jazeera Arabic. It is reported that he has resigned in protests in what he calls a massacre against the Libyan people



9:40 pm  Mohamed, a doctor from Al Jalaa hospital in Benghazi, confirmed to Al Jazeera that members of the military had sided with the protesters.

We are still receiving serious injuries, I can confirm 13 deaths in our hospital. However, the good news is that people are cheering and celebrating outside after receiving news that the army is siding with the people ... but there is still a brigade that is against the demonstrators. For the past three days demonstrators have been shot at by this brigade, called Al-Sibyl brigade.

Mark.

13 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Mark. on February 20, 2011

http://www.libyafeb17.com/?p=1223

22:58 @AJELive: News filtering in that thousands of protesters are now in green square clashing with pro-Gadaffi protesters

22:54 CONFIRMED – Very loud cheering can be heard in Sidi Khalifah

22:47 @AJELive: Three doctors in the car driving around the city – “police are running away in sog el jumaa district – we have won there” #libya (they are driving around with medication, to help people)

22:43 @AJELive: “We can hear gun shots from Ghaddafi’s residence in Bab Aziziyaa in Tripoli”

22:31 @diceylee808 #Libya, #Tripoli – People have formed into a mob of 1000′s armed with sticks, knives, swords, petrol bombs, & boards with nails in them.

22:27 Interviewee on @AJELive talking live from phone of protesters heading to main square in Tripoli.

22:27 Breaking: AJ Caller: Lieutenant Abdel Fatah Younis ElObeidi, has joined protesters (minister of public security)

22:26 @Evanchill: Tripoli sources to Al Jazeera: Security forces “besieging” the court complex where dozens of judges are protesting.

22:19 Youth of Sidi Khalifah blocking off entrances to area with cars, bricks and wood.

22:17 @ShababLibya: confirmed, fashloom once again now being referred by numerous sources as ‘upside down’

22:08 @Tripolitanian: In #Tripoli, police are firing hundreds of firecrackers/fireworks to simulate gunshots so that people stay inside.

22:00 Clashes between 2000 protesters and ‘revolutionary committee’ goons close to ‘Green Square’ reported

A contact in Tripoli has just informed us that there is heavy heavy gunfire in Tripoli right now! Planes can be heard flying all over Tripoli as well!

Confirmed reports of gunshots heard in Suq Al Jumua. Communication in Tripoli is said to be down or difficult.

Mark.

13 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Mark. on February 20, 2011

Al Jazeera

10:30 pm Doctor tells Al Jazeera that mercenaries have reached Tripoli. He says that mercenaries opened fire on protesters, killing four people. He estimates that around 2000 people were demonstrating. He managed to escape.

Auto

13 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Auto on February 20, 2011

Apparently the biggest tribe in Libya has come out against Ghaddaffi.

PortSa3eedy: Werfella tribe of Bani Walid are out in force. Very significant - one of biggest tribes, have arms to fight!! #libya #feb17 @ShababLibya

Mark.

13 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Mark. on February 20, 2011

Also

Al Jazeera: Touareg Source: The Touareg Tribe in Southern #Libya towns of Obari & Ghat joined the protesters demanding end to #Gaddafi rule.

Mark.

13 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Mark. on February 20, 2011

http://www.libyafeb17.com/?p=1223

23:15 @AJELive: “there is a white mitsubishi lancer … they are shooting at people randomly” doctor in Tripoli tells @AJELive

23:13 @AJELive: More news coming in: a resident of the upmarket suburb Benashour in Tripoli says she can hear gunshots and sounds of clashes #Libya

Mark.

13 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Mark. on February 20, 2011

BBC

At least four separate anti-government protests have broken out in the Libyan capital for the first time, witnesses say.

Security forces have used live ammunition and tear gas in response, eyewitnesses in Tripoli say...

Mark.

13 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Mark. on February 20, 2011

Al Jazeera

11:30 pm Al Jazeera spoke to one protester on the phone, amid noisy crowds, who summarised the scene in Tripoli:

About one hour ago, 1500 to 2,000 people gathered and they blocked all roads and they burned anything owned by the government on the way. They are now burning a picture of the president, which is why the noise is so loud and everybody's happy - there's a woman on the balcony singing and screaming and loving it.

We are in Tripoli, there are chants [directed at Gaddafi]: 'Where are you? Where are you? Come out if you're a man.' I believe we are heading toward Green Square, but to be honest, nobody controls these people and we are just going where we want.

There are no police, no army, no security forces. Everything is blocked off by protesters - and, as we cross the town - where apartment buildings are filled with people who live here - we are picking people up on the way. Everybody has been waiting for this - and it's finally happening.

Al Jazeera asked if Gaddafi was trying to impose a curfew in the city.

To be honest with you, no-one is listening to anything he says any more. Apparently, the son was meant to come out and give a speech - and everybody said, you know: '42 years too late, mate. It's not going to happen now, we're not going to listen to you, you better make your move.'

Among the crowd, we obviously have people here who are pro-government who are trying to spread rumours. Somebody will say: 'Al Jazeera just said that Gaddafi has run away from Libya,' and so everybody thinks: 'Okay, let's go home,' and then they make some calls and find it's just a marketing campaign or something just to make us go home.

But I don't think anyone's ready to go home. To be honest with you now, I don't think these people are after Gaddafi. More than anything else now, they're after blood.

Al Jazeera: How are protesters coordinating? Do you have access to social media networks or the internet?

There is no internet whatsoever - email can be downloaded to offline inboxes, but internet access is down. Skype was working earlier, but I think that has stopped working now.

As I'm talking to you now, looking left and right, I can see someone is holding a sword, someone else a baseball bat, pieces of wood with nails in it... People now are coming from the other side. I can see a lot of running right now. I'm not sure where they're headed. Wait, now I can see they are surrounding a car. We have seen a lot of cars full of Gaddafi supporters driving round in recent days and shooting at random. Now the crowd of people is attacking the car, beating it.

Mark.

13 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Mark. on February 20, 2011

All over by tomorrow?

http://www.libyafeb17.com/?p=1223

23:46 @LibyanThinker: News! Police stations in #Tripoli are being burned down.

23:32 @Tripolitanian: Gunfire in hay-Alandalus and Girgarish

23:30 @ElGeryani: confrimed! baba el azeziya surrounded by the people!

Auto

13 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Auto on February 20, 2011

From Twitter:

RT @AminBenzriouil: URGENT: BREAKING > Zwiya tribe is the main tribe in the oil producing areas; now say they will completely stop oil flow in 24 hrs #Libya

It looks to me as if the tactic of all-out violent repression isn't working for Ghaddafi. It seems to have turned a lot of people/tribes away from him and it has given the protesters more impetus to push forward (i.e. it's either us or him).

It just looks like he hasn't got enough bullets and mercenaries to kill all of them.

Mark.

13 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Mark. on February 20, 2011

Al Jazeera

11:54 pm: Further reports suggest the 500,000-strong Tuareg tribe in south Libya has heeded the call from the million-strong Warfala tribe to join the uprising. Protesters in Ghat and Ubary, home to Libyan Tuareg clans are reportedly attacking government buildings and police stations.

11:25 pm Online reports claim remaining pro-Gaddafi militia in Benghazi, around the Elfedeel Bu Omar compound, "are being butchered by angry mobs". It is impossible to verify the claims, though Al Jazeera has spoken with several people in the city who say protesters control the city, as security forces flee to the airport.

Khawaga

13 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Khawaga on February 20, 2011

Eyewitness in #Libya: Protesters are now in control of Libyana, one of the two mobile operators in the country. #Feb17

It just looks like he hasn't got enough bullets and mercenaries to kill all of them.

I read reports that the mercenaries have plenty of bullets, but no food and water...

Mark.

13 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Mark. on February 20, 2011

http://www.libyafeb17.com/?p=1223

23:56 @7our: Radio Libyan Revolution: “Don’t let him flee, catch them all, all the (Gaddafi) gang !”.Witness: 3/4 of Tripoli is in our hands.

23:55 @ShababLibya: BREAKING: TRIPOLI: MARCHING IN THE STREETS AND CHANTING! We’ll have a Free Libya soon,

23:50 @LibyayaLibya: Massive attacks front of Bab Alziiza #Tripoli. Snipers shooting at unarmed civilians.

Mark.

13 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Mark. on February 20, 2011

Religious leader Shaikh AsSadiq Al Gheryani, speaking to Al Jazeera

I also have some blame to lay on the TV stations, and especially on Al Jazeera, even though it has opened up a lot today and yesterday also. But what has been happening in Libya, a week since last Tuesday, and Al Jazeera is reporting things on its Live channel which are only being watched by 5% of people, it reports a small portion about Libya and then moves on to other news. And also the martyrs who have fallen in Libya are FAR MORE than those who fell in Egypt and Tunisia combined! And Al Jazeera dedicated a 24 hour non-stop coverage for these two previous revolutions, and whenever your signals were jammed, you announced new frequencies quickly to resume your coverage! And now there are opportunities for journalists to come in via the Egyptian borders! Why don’t you go in and broadcast live pictures to the world? THe matter is a tragedy! The matter is horrific! All the Libyans need to stand, the Libyans need to come out a RELIGIOUS OBLIGATION to stop this bloodshed. This must not be accepted!

Auto

13 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Auto on February 20, 2011

The Libyan ambassador to China has just resigned from his post live on AlJazeera Arabic and declared his support for the protesters.

Ghaddaffi is rapidly losing friends, it seems.

Auto

13 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Auto on February 20, 2011

Also, someone apparently just said on AlJazeera Arabic that Mutasim Ghaddaffi either shot or shot at his brother Saif al Islam.

Completely unconfirmed, and more than slightly bizarre. Perhaps a small 'falling out' within the family?

Mark.

13 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Mark. on February 20, 2011

Apparently a diplomat in Beijing but not the ambassador.

Hussein Sadeq Al Misrati, Libyan diplomat in Libyan Embassy in Beijing just defected live on Al Jazeera

One of Libya's diplomats in China urges all fellow diplomats to resign during intrvw with

He is not the ambassador .. He is a "2nd Secretary" in the Libyan Embassy in Beijing

Auto

13 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Auto on February 20, 2011

URGENT!!! #Gaddafi's privet jet has just left #Tripoli's international airport!!!!!! #Libya 5 minutes ago via web

Absolutely unconfirmed, as there are lots of rumours about Ghaddaffi fleeing to Venezuela or Brazil. Although it looks like we could be close to the finish now either way.

Beltov

13 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Beltov on February 20, 2011

Saif El Islam giving unprepared speech now on AJ. Looks like he dodged the bullet. Sounds like Libya is being torn apart by civil war. God know's what going to happen to the price of oil.

Khawaga

13 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Khawaga on February 20, 2011

And what nonsense is coming out of his mouth... amazingly poor speech.

Auto

13 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Auto on February 20, 2011

It certainly doesn't seem to be playing very well to the Gallery. It's just making him look more than a little mental.

Kids high on drugs responsible for the uprising? Really?

Mark.

13 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Mark. on February 20, 2011

Al Jazeera

1:00am: Saif El Islam Gaddafi, the Libyan leader's son, is speaking live on Libyan state television. He says he will address the nation without a written speech, in the Libyan dialect.

He says the media has greatly exaggerated the events in Libya, and says the number of casualties is 14, adding that he regrets the deaths of civilians. He also says unions and Islamic groups are beind the protests - and they are benefiting from the situation.

Translated snippets of his speech as he gives it are below:

"Citizens tried to attack the army and they were in a situation that was difficult. The army was not used to dealing with riots," he says.

"Libyan citizens died and this was a tragedy.

"There is a plot against Libya. People want to create a government in Benghazi and others want to have an Islamic emirate in Bayda. All these [people] have their own plots. Of course Arab media hyped this. The fault of the Libyan media is that it did not cover this.

Libya is not like Egypt, it is tribes and clans, it is not a society with parties. Everyone knows their duties and this may cause civil wars.

Libya is not Tunisia and Egypt. Libya has oil - that has united the whole of Libya.

"I have to be honest with you. We are all armed, even the thugs and the unemployed. At this moment in time, tanks are driven about with civilians. In Bayda you have machine huns right in the middle of the city. Many arms have been stolen.

"No one will come to Libya or do any business with Libya.

Auto

13 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Auto on February 20, 2011

As one Twitter user put it: Mubarak's speeches were an attempt to bore the opposition into submission. Saif is instead using the 'flight to surrealism' strategy as a diversionary tactic...

Beltov

13 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Beltov on February 20, 2011

He's losing time. He should be packing his bags before the BBC's John Simpson arrives. The day he landed in Cairo I knew it was game over for Mubarak.

Khawaga

13 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Khawaga on February 20, 2011

It is simply baffling. It's really the ramblings of a madman. And as one Tweeter out it:

Sayf's unintentionally confirming ALL the nauseating news we've been hearing from #Libya. Way to go, idiot. #Feb17

Jazzhands

13 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Jazzhands on February 20, 2011

The protests have spread to the capitol, Tripoli. Saif al Islam Gaddafi has said that "tens of thousands are coming to support Muammar Gaddafi tomorrow." So that means, either both Gaddafis are completely delusional, he's bluffing, or there's gonna be a lot of police-armed "counter-demonstrators" tomorrow.

Also, if kids with drugs caused these protests, that would have to be some hardcore I Am Legend shit they're on.

Auto

13 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Auto on February 20, 2011

The re-opened Guardian liveblog posted a message at 11:02 announcing that Saif was making a speech. It's since dissappeared.

You know your speech is bad when the Guardian decides it's not even newsworthy...

Auto

13 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Auto on February 20, 2011

RT @humeid: #Libya ambassador in India just resigned on BBC.

'Rats' and 'Sinking Ship' come to mind.

And with that, I'm off to bed. Revolution or no, I've still got work in the morning.

Khawaga

13 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Khawaga on February 21, 2011

The speech to end all speeches:

Saif-el Magnoun

I saw that I had to speak to you. Many Libyans asked me to speak. I don't have a paper or a document to read from.I will not speak in classical Arabic, I will speak in Libyan, I don't have any papers, this is a talk from the heart & mind. We all know that the region is passing through an earthquake, a hurricane or change. If this change does not come from the govts it will come from the people, we have seen this in other Arab countries. Today I will tell you only truth only. We know that there are opposition figures living abroad who have support in Libya. There people try to use Facebook for a revolution to copy Egypt. These people want to bring Libya to what happened in Egypt & Tunisia. We saw this on facebook and on emails. The country did a pre-emptive move by arresting some people before the protests, shots were fired, people died. The anger was directed at the police in Benghazi. People wanted to storm the police stations, people died, funerals occurred. This is a summary of what happened in Bengazi, now there is a major Fitna and a threat to the unity of Libya. Of course there were many deaths, which angered many people in Benghazi, but why were there people killed? The army was under stress, it is not used to crowd control so they shot, but I called them. The army said that some protesters were drunk, others were on hallucinogens or drugs. The army has to defend its weapons. And the people were angry. So there were deaths, but in the end Libyans were killed.

There are thee parts behind this

1- Political Activists whom we agree with,
2- What happened in Bayda are Islamic elements. Bayda is my town, my mother is from there. People called me. They stole weapons and killed soldiers. They want to establish an Islamic Emirate in Bayda. Some people took drugs & were used by these protesters.
3. The third part are these children who took the drugs and were used. These are facts like it or not.

We have arrested tens of Arabs and Africans, poor people, millions were spent on them to use them by millionaire businessmen. There are people who want to establish a countries in parts of Libya to rule, Like the Islamic Emirate. One person said he is the Emir of Islamic Emirate of Darna. The Arabic Media is manipulating these events. This Arabic media is owned by Arabs who are distorting the facts but also our media failed to cover the events.

Then there are the Baltagiya who destroyed public property, they fled jails. There are our brothers who sit and drink coffee and watch TV and laugh at us when they see us burn our country.

t is no lie that the protesters are in control of the streets now. Libya is not Tunis or Egypt. Libya is different, if there was disturbance it will split to several states. It was three states before 60 years. Libya are Tribes not like Egypt. There are no political parties, it is made of tribes. Everyone knows each other. We will have a civil war like in 1936. American Oil Companies played a big part in unifying Libya. Who will manage this oil? How will we divide this oil amongst us? Who will spend on our hospitals? All this oil will be burnt by the Baltagiya (Thugs) they will burn it. There are no people there. 3/4s of our people live in the East in Benghazi, there is no oil there, who will spend on them? Your children will not go to schools or universities. There will be chaos, we will have to leave Libya if we can't share oil. Everyone wants to become a Sheikh and an Emir, we are not Egypt or Tunisia so we are in front of a major challenge.

We all now have arms. At this time drunks are driving tanks in central Benghazi. So we all now have weapons. The powers who want to destroy Libya have weapons. There will be a war & no future. All the firms will leave, we have 500 housing units being built, they won't be completed. Remember my words. 200 billion dollars of projects are now underway, they won't be finished.

You can say we want democracy & rights, we can talk about it, we should have talked about it before. It's this or war. Instead of crying over 200 deaths we will cry over 100,000s of deaths. You will all leave Libya, there will be nothing here. There will be no bread in Libya, it will be more expensive than gold.

Before we let weapons come between us, from tomorrow, in 48 hours, we will call or a new conference for new laws. We will call for new media laws, civil rights, lift the stupid punishments, we will have a constitution. Even the LEader Gaddafi said he wants a constitution. We can even have autonomous rule, with limited central govt powers. Brothers there are 200 billion dollars of projects at stake now. We will agree to all these issues immediately. We will then be able to keep our country, unlike our neighbors. We will do that without the problems of Egypt & Tunisia who are now suffering. There is no tourism there. We will have a new Libya, new flag, new anthem. Or else, be ready to start a civil war and chaos and forget oil and petrol.

What is happening in Bayda and Benghazi is very sad. How do you who live in Benghazi, will you visit Tripoli with a visa? The country will be divided like North and South Korea we will see each other through a fence. You will wait in line for months for a visa. If we don't do the first scenario be ready for the second scenario:

The British FM called me. Be ready for a new colonial period from American and Britain. ou think they will accept an Islamic Emirate here, 30 minutes from Crete? The West will come and occupy you. Europe & the West will not agree to chaos in Libya, to export chaos and drugs so they will occupy us.

In any case, I have spoken to you, we uncovered cells from Egypt and Tunisia and Arabs. The Libyans who live in Europe and USA, their children go to school and they want you to fight. They are comfortable. They then want to come and rule us and Libya. They want us to kill each other then come, like in Iraq. The Tunisians and Egyptians who are here also have weapons, they want to divide Libya and take over the country.

We are in front of two choices, we can reform now, this is an historic moment, without it there will be nothing for decades. You will see worse than Yugoslavia if we don't choose the first option. Gaddafi is not Mubarak or Ben Ali, a classical ruler, he is a leader of a people. 10,000s of Libyans are coming to defend him. Over coastline Libyans are coming to support Gaddafi. The army is also there, it will play a big part whatever the cost. The army will play a big role, it is not the army of Tunisia or Egypt. It will support Gaddafi to the last minute. Now in the Green Square people shoot so that they show the world that the army is shooting. We must be awake.

Now comes the role of the National Guard and the Army, we will not lose one inch of this land. 60 years ago they defended Libya from the colonialists, now they will defend it from drug addicts. Most of he Libyans are intelligent, they are not Baltagiya (thugs) Benghazi is a million and a half not the few thousands who are in the streets. We will flight to the last man and woman and bullet. We will not lose Libya. We will not let Al Jazeera, Al Arabiya and BBC trick us.

We will live in Libya and die in Libya. (Ends)

Mark.

13 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Mark. on February 21, 2011

EA liveblog

2340 GMT: That, quite frankly, was a bizarre experience. No word on what has happened to Muammar Qaddafi, but Saif al Islam Qaddafi did appear to concede that some of the country is in the hands of the opposition. At the same time, there was the combination of the surreal threat --- drug dealers, foreign media, outside powers, Arabs and Africans --- and defiance.

ocelot

13 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by ocelot on February 21, 2011

Having been away from the internet for a few days and desperately trying to glean news from passing access to conventional news sources, I'd like to say how useful it is to be able to come to a thread like this and find the condensed gatherings of all the people who've been monitoring the available sources for the past few days. It's invaluable.

And as for what's happening in Libya at the moment. I have to admit my expectations were doom-laden coming into the weekend that Ghaddafi would be able to crush the insurgency in the East (as he has before) without being threatened in Tripoli. So having just watched the closing parts of Saif's extraordinary ramble, and having caught up on all the above, all I can say is, inouï. Listening to Saif's threats of tens of thousands of Ghaddaffi loyalists about to sweep into Tripoli, one is reminded of Downfall and Hitler in the bunker insisting on the nonexistent army corps that is going to sweep in and defeat the allies. Except that Bruno Ganz is a much better actor than Saif... and more credible.

Jazzhands

13 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Jazzhands on February 21, 2011

holy shit, check that out. Al Jazeera is saying now that an army group from Benghazi has defected to the rebels and opened fire on another army group sent from Tripoli because they refuse to obey orders and shoot the rebels. At least we know that parts the military are actively participating on the side of the rebels as opposed to just looking like it so they can secure power, like they have in Egypt.

They're saying now that the military is split along tribal lines and people are more loyal to their tribal unit than to the state, so whoever the individual tribes support is going to be the head of the new government. I'm seeing more and more possibility of the Somalian warlord scenario mentioned before. But that's still a long way away, and it's rather pessimistic, and none of the tribal leaders would have enough of a real agenda to really become warlords like Aidid was.

Mike Harman

13 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Mike Harman on February 21, 2011

Just caught up on this thread over the weekend, reading the past two days contracted like that was unbelievable, thanks people.

Mark.

13 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Mark. on February 21, 2011

Al Jazeera

12:07 pm Reports from news agencies, Twitter and witnesses speaking directly to Al Jazeera are painting a picture of semi-chaos overnight in Tripoli. It appears that some protesters from nearby towns converged on the city, and thousands from the capital itself turned out as well. They were allowed to march to the central Green or Martyrs' Square, which they occupied briefly before being confronted by security forces and pro-Gaddafi protesters, who came out in force after a late-night speech by Saif al-Gaddafi, the leader's son.   

During the night, protesters have broken into and burned a number of government buildings, reportedly including: State television; the main courthouse; a large, centrally located bank; an intelligence agency building; at least two police stations - one in Souq Jamaa and one in Zawadahmany.

Here's video, apparently of the police station in Souq Jamaa on fire:

[youtube]zDozcByEYOE[/youtube]

10:13 am Flickr user a7fadmokhtar - which means "grandchildren of Mukhtar" in Arabic; a reference to Libyan resistance hero Omar Mukhtar - posted yesterday what might have still be the only photographs yet to come out of Benghazi. You can view the photostream yourself.

Mark.

13 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Mark. on February 21, 2011

EA liveblog

1030 GMT: Al Jazeera reports from medical sources that 61 people have been killed in Tripoli today. The police station in the Souq Jamaa area reportedly has been burnt down.

1025 GMT: Ahmad Jibreel, a Libyan diplomat, has said that he drove 600 km (370 miles) from Baida in the east of the country, and the area is under civilian control.

1020 GMT: Asharq Al Awsatclaims Mustafa Abdul Jalil, the Libyan Minister of Justice, has resigned. According to Egypt's Youm7, this is because of the use of live bullets.

0948 GMT: Reports coming in that Libya's government headquarters in Tripoli is on fire. The building is near Martyrs' Square, where protesters are gathered.

Eyewitnesses also say that demonstrators have burned all police bureaux in capital Tripoli.

0900 GMT: Salahuddin Abdullah, A Benghazi protest organizer, tells Al Jazeera English that civilian committees are in control and trying to establish ad hoc local government.

0835 GMT: Reports claim State TV headquarters in Tripoli was attacked by Libyan protesters overnight, and other public buildings were set on fire. Snipers reportedly fired on the demonstrators.

There are calls across Libya for a march on Muammar Gaddafi's residence in Tripoli after 'Asr prayers, around 4:30 p.m. local time.

0820 GMT: A resident, out on the streets in the centre of Libyan capital Tripoli: "Quiet now. Few cars. Banks, shops closed. "It is like a ghost town."

Mark.

13 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Mark. on February 21, 2011

Guardian

9.59am: Reuters is reporting that a government building in Tripoli is on fire.
"I can see the People's Hall is on fire, there are firefighters there trying to put it out," a Reuters reporter said. The building is where the General People's Congress, or parliament, meets when it is in session in Tripoli. There were reports that protesters ransacked the state-run TV station in the capital last night, although it is broadcasting today.

9.03am: An eyewitness tells Reuters that Tripoli is calm after the protests in the Libyan capital last night. When I spoke to anti-Gaddafi protesters outside the Libyan embassy last week, one told me that the key would be if protests spread to the capital from the east, where anti-Gaddafi sentiment has never been far from the surface.

A Tripoli resident, who did not want to be identified, told Reuters the streets of the capital were calm early on Monday morning but that there was no sign of police, which is unusual for the city. He said that late on Sunday night anti-Gaddafi protesters had been replaced by his supporters, who rallied in the centre of the city around Green Square until about 5 a.m. (0400 GMT).
"After Saif al-Islam's speech, the pro-Gaddafi people, especially the youth, were touring the streets, particularly in the centre, cheering Gaddafi. These people stayed up the whole night, they were marching all night, some driving in cars.
"They were in Green Square and along Omar al-Mokthar street. I would say there were hundreds," he said.


"I talked to someone near the square where the clashes were taking place and he told me it was quiet and they (anti-government demonstrators) have now departed.


"Last night during the rioting there were police around and they were shooting into the air. But after that there have been no police around," added the Tripoli resident.

baboon

13 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by baboon on February 21, 2011

The BBC reported at noon, with the usual qualifications (though their exiled opposition contacts have generally proved to be reliable) that the roads going into Tripoli were alive with protestors making for the town. It also reported that the capital was relatively quiet this morning with no significant protests on the streets. This could point to a certain reluctance, or maturity at this stage within the masses, not to get drawn into an unequal fight.

Komar

13 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Komar on February 21, 2011

What does the Red-Black-Green flag represent? i've seen it in pictures from Benghazi

Submitted by Auto on February 21, 2011

Komar

What does the Red-Black-Green flag represent? i've seen it in pictures from Benghazi

I think it's the pre-Gaddhaffi, Kingdom of Libya flag. I think it's used by all shades of anti-Ghaddaffi oppositionists.

appledoze

13 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by appledoze on February 21, 2011

Man, just looking at this guy's Wikipedia article brings me disgust. He started out EXACTLY the same way Chavez was. Hell, even the political system of Libya is a bastardized form of the workers' councils and communes, and Chavez is setting up those himself as well. Both preached about radical democracy and that they were different. BUT NO. It's all the same Bolshevist vanguardism. In Libya the "vanguards" are the Revolutionary Command Council, and the networks of communes are completely powerless and subservient to them. I suspect Chavez intends to do the same. Also, if it's true that Gaddafi is hiding in Venezuela, I'm gonna start a fucking riot once I return in July.

Khawaga

13 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Khawaga on February 21, 2011

Auto

I think it's the pre-Gaddhaffi, Kingdom of Libya flag. I think it's used by all shades of anti-Ghaddaffi oppositionists.

Yeah, it also represents Islam (red. black and green were the colours of past Islamic empires) considering it often comes with the crescent moon.

mikail firtinaci

13 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by mikail firtinaci on February 21, 2011

Shia people use it without color. But of course majority of Libya is sunni

Khawaga

13 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Khawaga on February 21, 2011

Fucking hell....

Al Jazeera breaking: Multiple reports confirm that military airplanes are bombing protesters in Tripoli. #Libya

ocelot

13 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by ocelot on February 21, 2011

Might explain the story about the two Libyan Mirage fighters making an unscheduled landing in Malta an hour ago. Maybe they just couldn't stomach carrying out their orders? Or maybe something else?

Reuters: Two Libyan fighter jets land in Malta

VALLETTA, Feb 21 (Reuters) - Two Libyan fighter jets and two civilian helicopters landed unexpectedly in Malta on Monday, witnesses said.

Local newspaper reporters saw the single-seater Mirage jets land at Malta's international airport.

Airport sources said two helicopters carrying seven people claiming to be French citizens also landed at the airport. Maltese authorities were checking their identities, the sources said.

The office of Prime Minister Lawrence Gonzi said it was not clear whether the two fighter pilots intended to ask for asylum. They initially had asked to refuel, it said.

ocelot

13 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by ocelot on February 21, 2011

BBC

1657: The entire Libyan delegation to the United Nations has called for international action over events in Libya. The deputy ambassador called for protection for citizens from what he called the genocide being carried out by the Libyan government. He also called for a no-fly zone over the Libyan capital, Tripoli

AJE

6:52pm: The Libyan ambassador to the United Kingdom has resigned, alongside other embassy staff. They have joined demonstrators, Al Jazeera's correspondent reported.

Looks like it's not only the justice minister that wants out.

petey

13 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by petey on February 21, 2011

The 40-year-rule of the Libyan strongman Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi appeared to teeter Monday as his security forces retreated to a few buildings in the Libyan capital of Tripoli, fires burned unchecked and senior government officials and diplomats announced defections. The country’s second-largest city remained under the control of rebels.

Security forces loyal to Mr. Qaddafi defended a handful of strategic locations, including the state television headquarters and the presidential palace, witnesses reported from Tripoli. Fires from the previous night’s rioting burned at many intersections, most stores were shuttered, and long lines were forming for a chance to buy bread or gas.

...

Colonel Qaddafi’s whereabouts were not known, but residents feared that forces loyal to him might still fight back. Residents reported hearing airplanes and helicopters flying above the capital, but it was not clear if they were firing on protesters. They also reported seeing fighters they described as mercenaries roaming the capital and shooting at crowds.

The Libyan government has tried to impose a blackout on the country. Foreign journalists cannot enter. Internet access has been almost totally severed, though some protesters appear to be using satellite connections or to be phoning information to news services outside the country.

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/22/world/africa/22libya.html?hp

baboon

13 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by baboon on February 21, 2011

Reuters have just reported that workers' strikes have broken out in the oil fields of the east and in the centre of the country, Ras Lanif, which is the site of an oil refinery and petrochemical complex, "anti-government protests" have extended.

Khawaga

13 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Khawaga on February 21, 2011

That has been denied several times over by Venezuelan officials.

Beltov

13 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Beltov on February 21, 2011

AJ reporting that the 2 jets landing in Malta have indeed 'defected'.

Caiman del Barrio

13 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Caiman del Barrio on February 21, 2011

Gadafi and Chavez have always been very close, and Appledoze is right to highlight the similarities between the two systems. Like Libya, I feel that it only needs a spark - such as a 'socialist' dictator on the run from his own people arriving to plea for sanctuary - to ignite Venezuela. Also like Libya, there are an estimated 15 million handguns in circulation so it wuold be violent from the start.

Submitted by slothjabber on February 21, 2011

Khawaga

That (Ghaddafi going to Venezuela) has been denied several times over by Venezuelan officials.

Yeah, BBC now saying he was still in Libya earlier today whe he spoke to Ban Ki Moon.

I did say they were 'reporting' that he'd gone.

Khawaga

13 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Khawaga on February 21, 2011

I did say they were 'reporting' that he'd gone.

Oh, I wasn't having a go at you. Just clarifying.

slothjabber

13 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by slothjabber on February 21, 2011

I should probably have put 'BBC has reported, but it's not confirmed/it's been denied by Venzuela' to make sure.

I'd deny it too if I was Chavez.

Khawaga

13 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Khawaga on February 21, 2011

I'd deny it too if I was Chavez.

So would I.

Auto

13 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Auto on February 21, 2011

Gaddaffi is fucking insane. Ordering fighter jets to bomb your own capital city? Fucking mental.

I think these have to be the dying moments of Ghaddaffi's regime. Although it seems that the old man has decided he's going to take as many people with him as he can before the end.

slothjabber

13 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by slothjabber on February 21, 2011

Al Jazeera reporting that F-16s have been seen over Tripoli.

Just wondering who has F-16s in the vicinity. Italy? USA from Italian bases? Any Arab states? It seems really unlikely that they're Libyan. They could of course be mis-identified...

Khawaga

13 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Khawaga on February 21, 2011

I've seen that rumour on Twitter as well. People saying it's Israeli planes.... Very unlikely.

Auto

13 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Auto on February 21, 2011

Twitter:

RT @iyad_elbaghdadi: Breaking Aljazeera: Two Libyan fighter jets land in #Benghazi airport after refusing to bomb the city #Feb17 #Libya

baboon

13 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by baboon on February 21, 2011

The two jets that landed in Malta are Mirage jets which have presumably been supplied by France.

"Libya is regarded as a priority partner, with the UK boasting the largest pavilion at Libya's arms fair.
... figures show that in the third quarter of 2010, equipment approved for export to Libya included wall-and-door breaching projectile launchers, crowd control ammunition, small arms ammunition and teargas/irritant ammunition. No requests for licences were refused. Earlier this month, the trade minister, Lord Green, announced that ministers would be 'held accountable' if companies fail to secure deals and foreign investors favour Britain's economic rivals. Beside him was the Business Secretary, Vince Cable" (John Kampfner, todays Guardian).

It seems to me that Saif al-Islam Gaddafi, who said last night that behind the revolt was Islamism, tribal loyalties, drug taking and terrorism, was being groomed by the Foreign Office as Britain's point man in Libya. Hague was on the phone to him only a few days ago.

On Channel 4 News tonight there's an unconfirmed report of workers' strikes breaking out in Nafoora. I'm not sure if these are the same strikes reported on the BBC earlier today.

a.t.

13 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by a.t. on February 21, 2011

Rumours are that the planes are from Saudi Arabia... seems pretty unlikely given the poor relations between Gaddafi and the Saudis but they have already been involved in the repression in Bahrain and no doubt they are terrified at the minute so who knows

Apparently Gaddafi is set to give a speech on tv, prepare for another blast of mentalness I think

Submitted by xslavearcx on February 21, 2011

Caiman del Barrio

Gadafi and Chavez have always been very close, and Appledoze is right to highlight the similarities between the two systems. Like Libya, I feel that it only needs a spark - such as a 'socialist' dictator on the run from his own people arriving to plea for sanctuary - to ignite Venezuela.

if its the case that hes going/gone to venesuala it will be interesting to see how the average leftie applauds the libiyan revolution whilst at the same time applauds good old chavez

Samotnaf

13 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Samotnaf on February 21, 2011

Gaddaffi is fucking insane. Ordering fighter jets to bomb your own capital city? Fucking mental.

Under the post-WWll Gaullist-Communist Party coalition in France, they bombed a town in Algeria, then their colony, because of an uprising there (I think Setif, but it might have been somewhere else); something like 20,000 died. Not quite like bombing your "own" capital city, but still...I mean, Thiers had loads of parts of Paris raised by canons in the suppression of the Commune. If London had an uprising as significant as the one going on in Tripoli, as a last resort, when nothing but naked repression is going to work for them, the rulers would be prepared to bomb it. Go-dafty's not the only one who's insane.

mikail firtinaci

13 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by mikail firtinaci on February 21, 2011

Mustafa Kemal ordered turkish army to bombard Dersim - a city of zaza kurds in the east of country- by planes in 30'ies. Turkish state is still proud of one of those bombarders who was the first woman pilot in the world -at least they claim so- and adopted daughter of Kemal himself...

Mark.

13 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Mark. on February 21, 2011

New website documenting both confirmed and unconfirmed reports from Libya

http://revolution2.moonfruit.com/

Mark.

13 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Mark. on February 21, 2011

Al Jazeera

12:30am: Further reports that Libyan border guards have abandoned the eastern border with Egypt

12:03am: Al Jazeera's Anita McNaught, reporting from Istanbul, says a plane sent earlier today to pick up some of the 25,000 Turkish workers in Libya had to turn back after approaching the country - because there was no-one left in air control facilities

12:01am: Online reports say Darnah city now under attack from "mercenaries".

11:46pm: Unconfirmed reports suggest the Migraha tribe has now abandoned Gaddafi. This follows the Tuareg and Warfela tribes who came out in support of the protests yesterday.

10:59pm: Libyan city of Misratah, east of Tripoli, is latest to be attacked by airstrikes. Heavy artillery fire devastates buildings as tanks roll into the city, witnesses tell Al Jazeera.

10:52pm: Two military planes reportedly land at Benghazi airfield - after their pilots refused to attack the city, our colleagues at Al Jazeera Arabic tell us.

10:49pm: Yet more airstrikes are targeting civilians, right now, in the city of Az-Zawiya- west of Tripoli, witnesses tell Al Jazeera. No news yet of numbers killed or injured.

10:40pm: Yusuf Al Qardawi, a leading Sunni cleric, has just issued a fatwa on Al Jazeera Arabic, encouraging the assassination of Gaddafi

9:51pm: New airstrikes have hit Al Joumhouria [The republic] Street in Tripoli, eyewitnesses tell Al Jazeera Arabic.

baboon

13 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by baboon on February 21, 2011

When the British successfully tried out ariel bombardment on the Kurds in the 20s, the RAF high command suggested trying it out on "northern cities" in Britain that were gripped by strikes.

When the British Task Force returned from the Falklands the officers put up a large banner on the leading warship saying "Call off the rail strike or we'll call in an air strike".

Didn't German planes bomb the workers in the German revolution?

radicalgraffiti

13 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by radicalgraffiti on February 21, 2011

reports on twitter say that 10 pilots executed for refusing to attack protesters, and hundads of soldures.

a caller on the bbc says that some of the mercnerys are white not africa, but he doesn't know where from.

sorry cant spell

more from twitter Breaking on Al Jazeera says there are ads in Nigeria and Guinea requesting mercenaries for #Libya for $2000 a day..

Yorkie Bar

13 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Yorkie Bar on February 21, 2011

a caller on the bbc says that some of the mercnerys are white not africa, but he doesn't know where from.

Eh? There's plenty of white Africans.

Submitted by radicalgraffiti on February 21, 2011

Yorkie Bar

a caller on the bbc says that some of the mercnerys are white not africa, but he doesn't know where from.

Eh? There's plenty of white Africans.

i have no idea, that just what he said

ocelot

13 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by ocelot on February 21, 2011

He did speculate about them being Eastern Europeans (possible). But there's still plenty of white South African mercs kicking about. Dunno if (ex-)Executive Outcomes/Sandline would touch it tho. Now that would be a story...

ocelot

13 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by ocelot on February 22, 2011

So after all that trailing of Ghadaffi addressing the nation, we get a 6 second clip of him sitting in what looks suspiciously like a Robin Reliant in a ruined warehouse with an umbrella annoucing that he is in Tripoli. Beyond insane...

rooieravotr

13 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by rooieravotr on February 22, 2011

Khadaffi's last days: Society of the Spectacle returning to its surrealist roots...

gypsy

13 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by gypsy on February 22, 2011

There is also the shadowy Islamic Legion, created in the 1980s from Muslims from the Sahel and probably behind the rumours of "foreign mercenaries" operating in eastern Libya.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-12532579

Submitted by Entdinglichung on February 22, 2011

gypsytimetraveller

There is also the shadowy Islamic Legion, created in the 1980s from Muslims from the Sahel and probably behind the rumours of "foreign mercenaries" operating in eastern Libya.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-12532579

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Islamic_Legion

many of their members were Tuareg, Tubu and Kanuri refugees from Sahel countries who weren't really voluntaries but often confronted with the alternative of joining (and fighting in Chad) or being sent back to their home countries, when the legion was dissolved in 1987, they were expelled from Libya, many of them formed the core of the Tuareg rebel groups in Niger and Mali (as far as I know, among them e.g. the members of Tinariwen)

[youtube]UbdiCDsilCs[/youtube]

a.t.

13 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by a.t. on February 22, 2011

Well Gaddafi is giving his speech, unsurprisingly it is mad, he just defended himself by referencing Waco. He also threatened even more violence as far as I can tell. I am convinced that he's trying to turn his exit into a black comedy.

Hieronymous

13 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Hieronymous on February 22, 2011

Damn, this farce has been going on for an hour. My take is that he doesn't have a clue about what's happening on the streets and is mad. Stark, raving mad...

He keeps talking about the "drugs" the youth are taking and how they're "bad for their hearts." Fucking nuts...

He also said that Tienanmen, in unifying China, was more important than crushing the people there. He threatened to do a Tienanmen on the Libyans.

Khawaga

13 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Khawaga on February 22, 2011

He is actually mental... "I will cleanse house by house". And he would if he had the chance. Reading from the green book etc. Fucking mental bastard.

a.t.

13 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by a.t. on February 22, 2011

I think the highlight of the speech was ''no one must allow the country to fall into the hands of crazy people''.

Khawaga

13 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Khawaga on February 22, 2011

Paper on Qadaffy's political ramblings.

http://www.tamiu.edu/~mbenruwin/Political_Belief_System_of__Qaddafi_1.pdf

ludd

13 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by ludd on February 22, 2011

Anti-imperialist solidarity: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2011/02/22/AR2011022203086.html

MANAGUA, Nicaragua -- Nicaragua's leftist President Daniel Ortega says he has telephoned Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi to express his solidarity.

Ortega says he has called several times this week because Gadhafi "is again waging a great battle" to defend the unity of his nation.

Human rights groups say more than 200 people have died as Libyan security forces crack down on protesters.

Ortega has long been an ally of the Libyan leader, based in part on a shared distrust of the United States.

Ortega says that "it's at difficult times that loyalty and resolve are put to the test."

Ortega made his comments Monday night at an event commemorating Nicaraguan revolutionary hero Augusto Cesar Sandino.

Submitted by Jazzhands on February 22, 2011

ludd

Anti-imperialist solidarity: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2011/02/22/AR2011022203086.html

MANAGUA, Nicaragua -- Nicaragua's leftist President Daniel Ortega says he has telephoned Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi to express his solidarity.

Ortega says he has called several times this week because Gadhafi "is again waging a great battle" to defend the unity of his nation.

Human rights groups say more than 200 people have died as Libyan security forces crack down on protesters.

Ortega has long been an ally of the Libyan leader, based in part on a shared distrust of the United States.

And here's where the Maoist farce finally reveals itself. I never really had much respect for those "anti-imperialists" who are willing to ignore obviously reactionary actions of certain regimes, but this is a refutation that works better than anything I could actually say about them. The origin of Maoist "anti-imperialist" ideology is in China's attempts to create its own sphere of influence in the Third World, not any actual reasoning based on what will be most beneficial for the revolution.

baboon

13 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by baboon on February 22, 2011

His speech was far better than "The King's Speech" made by another drooling idiot.

There's reports on Russian TV of two more fighter-bombers landing in Benghazi. Al-Jazeera reports that the largest oil refinery in Az-Zawiyah, 50 K west of Tripoli, has been hit by air strikes.

BBC News tonight showed a Chinook helicopter (who provided that?) firing on demonstrators.

I've finally heard from my relatives in the central coastal region and they are all safe and well but scared.

Mark.

13 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Mark. on February 22, 2011

EA liveblog

2035 GMT: Here's a twist on this afternoon's Qaddafi speech....

The Libyan leader said, in his 90-minute ramble, that Minister of Interior Abdul Fattah Younis had survived an assassination attempt but was missing.

Well, tonight Younis has said, "Qaddafi's men came to shoot me but the bullets missed me."

2020 GMT: Abdul Hakim Walidi of the influential Werfala tribe says, "We have organised a march of anger heading towards Tripoli."

2028 GMT: Speaking to Al Jazeera, Libyan Minster of Justice Mustapha AbdalJalil, who has also resigned, is praising protesting youth.

2012 GMT: Al Jazeera reports that Libya's Minister of Interior, Major General Abdul Fatah Younis, has resigned, urging the army to join the people and respond to their "legitimate demands".

1520 GMT: A defecting Libyan Air Force captain has told Al Jazeera that high-ranking officers asked Libyan leader Qaddafi to step down, but he replied he will give them "burnt land". The captain reportedly claimed that officers who refused to follow orders were shot dead.

1335 GMT: More Libyan diplomats have resigned, including the Ambassador to France and the representative to UNESCO.

1237 GMT: Air Force v. Army. The primary targets of last night's aerial bombardment may have been dissident military units --- following the defection of numerous ground forces --- rather than protesters. Fighter jets bombed ammunition depots and command centres.

Helicopters did aim at civilians, firing to disperse demonstrators.

Auto

13 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Auto on February 22, 2011

Taken from Twitter, so of course it is completely unconfirmed...

RT @7our: "Baer, a former ME CIA officer, said source told him that as of Monday Gaddafi had the loyalty of only ab 5,000" soldiers. #Libya

...but I have been noticing that Ghaddaffi seems to be losing friends very rapidly. His tactic of severe repression seems to have backfired somewhat.

Are we witnessing a 'Final days in the Fuhrerbunker' scenario?

Submitted by gypsy on February 22, 2011

Khawaga

He is actually mental... "I will cleanse house by house". And he would if he had the chance. Reading from the green book etc. Fucking mental bastard.

He really is a scary individual. His speech and the umbrella video before it showed someone who is completely detached from reality.

Submitted by gypsy on February 22, 2011

Entdinglichung

gypsytimetraveller

There is also the shadowy Islamic Legion, created in the 1980s from Muslims from the Sahel and probably behind the rumours of "foreign mercenaries" operating in eastern Libya.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-12532579

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Islamic_Legion

many of their members were Tuareg, Tubu and Kanuri refugees from Sahel countries who weren't really voluntaries but often confronted with the alternative of joining (and fighting in Chad) or being sent back to their home countries, when the legion was dissolved in 1987, they were expelled from Libya, many of them formed the core of the Tuareg rebel groups in Niger and Mali (as far as I know, among them e.g. the members of Tinariwen)

[youtube]UbdiCDsilCs[/youtube]

Cheers that is very interesting indeed.

Mark.

13 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Mark. on February 23, 2011

Al Jazeera

12: 48am: Al Jazeera Arabic reports the Libyan warship that has been in Maltese waters for the past several hours arrived there after its crew refused to carry out orders to bomb Benghazi.  A second Libyan ship has also reportedly been sighted in the area.

12:35am: A Libyan pilot - speaking from Switzerland - tells Al Jazeera he flew a plane load of mercenaries into Libya. He said he didn't realise what was happening at the time, but that the group were not speaking Arabic, but could hear them chanting verse.  He urged his fellow pilots not to go to work and not to answer their phones. He said that, in the chaos of Tripoli, they would not be found. He said he was sure they and their families would be safe as the regime collapsed and lost power. 

Mark.

13 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Mark. on February 23, 2011

[youtube]IVzYADb7MMc[/youtube]

ocelot

13 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by ocelot on February 23, 2011

AJE

3.59pm: Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, whose security forces crushed protests against him in 2009, condemned state brutality against protesters in Libya. He said on Wednesday:

"How can a leader subject his own people to a shower of machine-guns, tanks and bombs? How can a leader bomb his own people, and afterwards say 'I will kill anyone who says anything?"

:confused:

also

4.27pm: A Libyan airforce plane has crashed near Benghazi after the crew bailed out, the country's Quryna Newspaper reports. The newspaper said the crew had orders to bomb Benghazi, but refused to carry them out.

4.17pm: Major General Suleiman Mahmoud, a commander in Libyan army in Tobruk, is now on the side of the Libyan people. He called Gaddafi "a tyrant" and told Al Jazeera "the people in the army are steadfast" in the city.

baboon

13 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by baboon on February 23, 2011

AP reports that two Russian made fighters crashed in the desert near Benghazi and the pilots bailed out? One of the pilots was called Gaddafi and from the great leaders' tribe. The same report contains many reports of self-organisation, self-defence committees and soliders joining the demonstrators across the country, particularly spreading to the west. It looks like the regime is existing in isolated pockets and once again Friday looks like the big day.

baboon

13 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by baboon on February 23, 2011

Sorry, one Russian Sukhoi fighter plance and two pilots. Also a local residents defence committee is guarding Gaddafi's secretive anti-aircraft missile site near Tobruk armed with AK's.

Khawaga

13 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Khawaga on February 23, 2011

From Alive in Libya (a decent website)

Jazeera, I want to deliver this information, I confirmed it personally, on my responsibility. I am a Libyan citizen. Today in Benghazi they discovered a room underground, a room that is completely locked-in. Completely locked. Holding 1500 young men from Benghazi. From the 15th of February the first day of demonstrations to today when they got them out, the 22nd, they had been without food or water. They heard the voices from the barracks, noise, people. After they went to check, they got them out, God be praised, alive. 1500 young men, buried alive, buried alive. Muammar must be obliterated. We will not surrender. Our dead are in heaven, he is in hell. God bear witness that I have delivered this message, if there are any Muslims. God willing.

http://alive.in/libya/2011/02/22/caller-personally-confirmed-1500-young-men-buried-alive-in-an-underground-room-in-benghazi-speak2tweet/

Khawaga

13 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Khawaga on February 23, 2011

AP

A French doctor working in Libya's eastern city of Benghazi told Le Point Magazine that over 2,000 people were killed in that city alone in the past days of fighting, AFP reported.

"From Tobruk to Darna, they carried out a real massacre... In total, I think there are more than 2,000 deaths," he said.

The 60-year-old anesthetist who has been living in the Libyan city for over a year, said that one the first day of fighting in Benghazi, "out ambulances counted 75 bodies...200 on the second [day], then more than 500." On the third day, he added, "I ran out of morphine and medications."

He told the French magazine that forces attacking protesters "included police and the army but also mercenaries from Chad and Niger."

http://www.jpost.com/Headlines/Article.aspx?id=209544

baboon

13 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by baboon on February 23, 2011

Very interesting report at the end of Channel 4 News tonight. One has to be careful, witness the false reporting of the "sacking" of the Egyptian museum, which was largely slanted to make Arabs look like savages. I think there was some minimal damage but this was by elements of the Egyptian state and the treasures were protected by the people.

But the report on Channel 4 looks kosher and it details a battle over the last few days in a major military base outside Bengazi which was landing flights of mercenaries and special forces, both well armed. When the local people heard about it they went en masse, armed with various implements and the occasional AK and, despite getting bombed by fighter jets and shot by helicopter gunships, they overwhelmed the enemy and took the base, which is now under their control. I don't see how any revolutionary, with all due caution, can't but welcome these movements.

berrot

13 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by berrot on February 23, 2011

Even the FT has reported on the emergence of self-organisation:
"In a dramatic reversal, residents of Benghazi say they have seized control of the city after an army unit switched sides and helped them overcome security services loyal to Col Gaddafi, who now faces a spreading popular revolt.

After four days of street confrontations in which at least 200 local people were killed, residents said Benghazi was calm and that citizen committees were being put in charge of running it.

"There's no more fighting in Benghazi. Our people are establishing and organising themselves into committees to protect public and private institutions," said Sohail al-Atrash. "We do not see any soldiers on the streets any more, nobody is threatening us."

Mostapha el-Gheriani, an engineer, said citizens now had "total control"."

If you have access to their archives, it is here:
FT Tuesday 22 Feb http://presscuttings.ft.com/presscuttings/s/3/articleText/44827748#axzz1EokKuzT3

Berrot

Entdinglichung

13 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Entdinglichung on February 24, 2011

delusional stuff in the WRP's News Line from yesterday:

http://wrp.org.uk/news/6150

We urge the Libyan masses and youth to take their stand alongside Colonel Gadaffi to defend the gains of the Libyan revolution, and to develop it.

This can only be done by the defeat of the current rebellion and a major national discussion about the introduction of workers control and management of the Libyan economy and society, as well as the introduction of the political organs for exercising that political control and management.

Further, the Libyan workers must take their place as a leader of the revolutionary wave that is sweeping through North Africa.

This can only win through the establishment of the United Socialist States of North Africa.

Mark.

13 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Mark. on February 24, 2011

Reuters

Anti-government militias are in control of the Libyan town of Zuara, about 120 km (75 miles) west of the capital, Egyptian workers who crossed into neighbouring Tunisia told Reuters on Thursday.

Samotnaf

13 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Samotnaf on February 24, 2011

Entdinglichung:

delusional stuff in the WRP's News Line

Haven't checked since the early 90s, but News Line used to be virtually subsidised by Gadaffi: it was the only English language paper available there from the 70s (though I'd guess that probably changed more recently) and I seem to remember something like 50% of their production went there. They'll be bankrupt if he goes.

Mark.

13 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Mark. on February 24, 2011

Government forces attacking cities in the west of Libya

EA liveblog

1115 GMT: Regime forces are attacking Misurata in the west of Libya. Witness report the use of anti-aircraft weapons as well as gunfire.

Yesterday the opposition took control of Misurata, the first city beyond eastern Libya to turn against Muammar Qaddafi.

1010 GMT: Al Jazeera English has been report that regime forces are attacking Az Zawiyah city in northwest Libya, where thousands are demonstrating. An eyewitness said 50 injured people were taken to hospital in the city after the "Gaddafi Brigade" used anti-aircraft weapons in the assault. Several protesters were reportedly killed.

A former military officer has told Al Arabiya, "A war crime is taking place right now."

Al Jazeera video

baboon

13 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by baboon on February 24, 2011

To back up petey's and other posters above about the relative insignificance of tribal divisions in this uprising, divisions that the regime tried to play up, through the person of Saif, from the outset.

Last night on Channel 4 News, they had an expert on Libyan affairs from Exeter University. He talked about how the regime had deliberately "punished" the eastern part of the country because of historical and, some, tribal factors, but he said that tribal questions were not a major factor now even in the east and this was a general uprising for common cause.

There's no working class leadership to this movement, it's true. But who expected there to be a workers' revolution falling out of the sky? But there are strong proletarian elements to this movement in Libya: solidarity, self-organisation, the fight against repression, the question of unemployment and unity of purpose - even if the latter doesn't immediately express itself in a revolutionary force.

I don't think it's a matter of waiting to see what the future brings for the movement - that's a cop out - but of seeing the potential of what's happening right under our eyes. We should be moved by and welcome these events and, more importantly, be ready to learn the lessons from them because these are profound movements for the working class that can't be written off as "tribal divisions".

Obama is standing up for "freedom, justice and the dignity of all people" and, like Britain and others, has been doing so by backing and arming regimes like Libya's all over the world. He talked last night about reserving the right to US unilateral action - which I don't see likely. But insisted, a la the Balkans, and the first Gulf War, on the "humanitarian option" and "humanitarian assistance". I can see the latter going through NGOs representing their countries' imperialist interests.

It has been constantly repeated that the rapprochement and business deals between Libya and the UK began with the embrace of the two grotesques, Blair and Gaddafi in 2005. But to my certain knowledge, BP, as a British company, has been active in Libya since the mid 1980s. Since 2005 it has effectively been an American company as far as I can see. But it was useful for the British connection to be played up by the administration in response to the Gulf oil spill.

Gaddifi and his forces are still hanging on and are fighting for their lives, not least with weaponry supplied by Britain and others. There's a lot of talk from the protestors about the importance of Friday. I've got to go to work for the next 36 hours. Be there or be (Tahrir) square - in spirit at least.

Auto

13 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Auto on February 24, 2011

From the Guardian's reporter in Bengazi:

RT @martinchulov: Most govt buildings here in Benghazi razed. Assault on the state is breathtaking in scale #Libya #Feb17

Samotnaf

13 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Samotnaf on February 24, 2011

baboon:

There's no working class leadership to this movement, it's true.

Not only true, but healthy.

Submitted by Entdinglichung on February 24, 2011

Samotnaf

Entdinglichung:

delusional stuff in the WRP's News Line

Haven't checked since the early 90s, but News Line used to be virtually subsidised by Gadaffi: it was the only English language paper available there from the 70s (though I'd guess that probably changed more recently) and I seem to remember something like 50% of their production went there. They'll be bankrupt if he goes.

it seems, they are still subsidized by Gadaffi, in today's issue: http://www.wrp.org.uk/news/6153 :cry:

ernie

13 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by ernie on February 24, 2011

Al Jazeera are reporting that in Mesarata that the people have fought off an assault by a government para-military brigade called the Hamza brigade of about a 1000 fighters. This brigade had used heavy weaponry including artillery against the city .The city is under attack again.
Hamza is an interesting choice of name he was Mohammed's enforcer, and this will not be lost on the population.
Al Jazeera reporting military attack on Az-Zawiyah in the west of Libya, where the 'great leader' has send he will make a broadcast later
We have mocked the "great leaders " rank but it must be terrifying for those living in Libya, they know he means it.
The very softly softly response of the 'West' to this repression: no UN resolution, the US saying nothing for days etc etc I think is deliberate. They along with the ruling class in the Middle East are using the bloody massacre in Libya as an example to the rest of the Middle East and the World of what can happen if you rise up.

Submitted by gerbil on February 24, 2011

Entdinglichung

delusional stuff in the WRP's News Line from yesterday:

http://wrp.org.uk/news/6150

We urge the Libyan masses and youth to take their stand alongside Colonel Gadaffi to defend the gains of the Libyan revolution, and to develop it.

This can only be done by the defeat of the current rebellion and a major national discussion about the introduction of workers control and management of the Libyan economy and society, as well as the introduction of the political organs for exercising that political control and management.

Further, the Libyan workers must take their place as a leader of the revolutionary wave that is sweeping through North Africa.

This can only win through the establishment of the United Socialist States of North Africa.

ROTFLMAO!! Fuck me, that is funny. The fantastist spirits of Gerry Healey and Vanessa Redgrave lives on.

Thanks for the post - it's the first belly laugh I've had all day :o)

Mike Harman

13 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Mike Harman on February 24, 2011

The WRP youth section used to leaflet my old workplace once or twice a year, scary eyes.

ocelot

13 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by ocelot on February 24, 2011

There was a bit from the French doctor's interview with Le Point yesterday, that didn't get translated for the Guardian or AP stories. It speaks to the extremity of the struggle for Benghazi

Libye : "C'était un carnage absolu"

[...]
During those days, I have seen war. In Benghazi, there were snipers everywhere. I ended up face down in the streets, it was carnage. I have revived one of my 6th year students of medicine, he took a bullet in the head, which exitedt through the mouth. Like the other youth, he had set off, stripped to the waist, to assault the government's strategic points. They are ready to die, they do not care, they have no weapons. The first few days, police had piled up the dead to impress them, they carried on regardless. They want to finish this once and for all, they know that this week that the regime falls or never.
[...]

extraordinary.

Auto

13 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Auto on February 24, 2011

Man, those popular committees work fast. First radios, now a newspaper:

RT @ShababLibya: JUST IN: First Edition of the new Benghazi Newspaper: http://bit.ly/g4bpWO #libya #feb17

Can anyone translate the headlines?

Also, I know that we have to be very careful in claiming these comittees as revolutionary in our sense of the word - but they already seem to be doing a better job of organising society than Ghaddaffi ever did.

It's probably highly unlikely - but I'd find it hugely ironic if Ghaddaffi's fall lead to the creation of an actual direct democracy.

Mark.

13 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Mark. on February 24, 2011

Regarding the popular committees here are some comments from the Arabist blog. I don't know enough about Libya to judge how accurate they are.

Reports from liberated east Libyan cities suggest an impressive level of organization on the part of the populace, with most basic urban functions up and running. One wonders if Qaddafi's ideosyncratic jamahiriyan ideology, roping people into participating in rubber-stamp "Basic People's Congresses" to create a facade of direct democracy, has in fact formed the provided the institutional template for a countrywide insurrection against him.

Is it that, or are tribal authority structures sufficiently intact to provide a rallying point?

I'd suspect that tribes and Qaddafi's institutions might overlap a bit, and reinforce each other -- particularly in the cities, where tribes might otherwise atrophy...

Mark.

13 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Mark. on February 25, 2011

Al Jazeera

10:10am Libya's government has spent years strengthening relations with Latin America, mostly through investments. But now, Al Jazeera's Gabriel Elizondo reports from Sao Paulo on the region's divided reaction to Gaddafi's crackdown on protests in Libya.

.

[youtube]u-HvdqjsqXM[/youtube]

5:01am Venezuela's top diplomat on Thursday echoed Fidel Castro's accusation that Washington is fomenting unrest in Libya to justify an invasion to seize North African nation's oil reserves.

Nicolas Maduro, the Venezuelan Foreign Minister said:

They are creating conditions to justify an invasion of Libya.

4:27am Hugo Chavez, the Venezuelan president, has backed Muammar Gaddafi on Twitter. 

Chavez tweeted:

Gaddafi is facing a civil war.



Long live Libya. Long live the independence of Libya.

Edit: I wonder if Chavez is really using Twitter?

Edit2:

An article in Spanish by supporters of Chavez and Castro who are arguing for opposition to Gaddafi

¿Qué pasa con Libia? Del mundo árabe a América Latina

machine translation

One of the authors, Alma Allende, has written some of the more interesting reports from Tunisia, but maybe these need to be read with a bit of scepticism given her apparent pro-Chavez, pro-Castro position.

Auto

13 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Auto on February 25, 2011

Al Jazeera English is reporting that 'Anti-Ghaddafi revolutionaries' have taken over the Libyan embassy in Paris.

Mark.

13 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Mark. on February 25, 2011

Al Jazeera

1:31pm All diplomats at the Libyan embassy in New Delhi, India have now defected, Prerna Suri, Al Jazeera's correspondent in India reports.

1:25pm Security forces are deployed around mosques in the Libyan capital, Tripoli, fearing protests when Friday prayers end shortly, Al Jazeera Arabic reports.

12:30pm The AFP news agency reports anti-government protesters calling themselves "children of the revolution" have occupied Libya's embassy in Paris.

French police were reportedly stationed outside the embassy, preventing anyone else gaining access, including those wishing to bring the protesters food.

EA liveblog

0645 GMT: An eyewitness has told Al Arabiya that Az Zawiyah --- 50 km (30 miles) west of Tripoli and the site of Muammar Qaddafi's stand by telephone yesterday --- has been taken by the opposition, which is now co-ordinating with cities in "Free Libya" in the east.

Eyewitness account from Tripoli (BBC)

Auto

13 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Auto on February 25, 2011

A comment from one of my 'non-political' co-workers:

'These popular committees seem to be doing a better job of running the country than the government!'

A completely off-hand statement, but I thought it was an interesting thing for them to say, nonetheless. ;)

Samotnaf

13 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Samotnaf on February 25, 2011

12:30pm The AFP news agency reports anti-government protesters calling themselves "children of the revolution" have occupied Libya's embassy in Paris.

And the Lybian ambassador and all his staff have left the building.

Submitted by radicalgraffiti on February 25, 2011

Mark.

Al Jazeera

10:10am Libya's government has spent years strengthening relations with Latin America, mostly through investments. But now, Al Jazeera's Gabriel Elizondo reports from Sao Paulo on the region's divided reaction to Gaddafi's crackdown on protests in Libya.

.

5:01am Venezuela's top diplomat on Thursday echoed Fidel Castro's accusation that Washington is fomenting unrest in Libya to justify an invasion to seize North African nation's oil reserves.

Nicolas Maduro, the Venezuelan Foreign Minister said:

They are creating conditions to justify an invasion of Libya.

4:27am Hugo Chavez, the Venezuelan president, has backed Muammar Gaddafi on Twitter. 

Chavez tweeted:

Gaddafi is facing a civil war.



Long live Libya. Long live the independence of Libya.

Edit: I wonder if Chavez is really using Twitter?

I couldn't find it on his twitter account, but its on the website linked to from there, in the feed from twitter,

@chavezcandanga
Hugo Chávez Frías
Vamos Canciller Nicolás: dales otra lección a esa ultraderecha pitiyanqui! Viva Libia y su Independencia! Kadafi enfrenta una guerra civil!!
2011-02-24 20:47:05

Auto

13 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Auto on February 25, 2011

It looks like shit is kicking off in a big way in Tripoli. Live fire in a number of districts, protests all over - Tajoora barracks have apparently joined the protesters - rebel reinforcements possibly at the outskirts of the city.

All unconfirmed as it's moving so fast, but it looks like the Battle of Tripoli could be underway.

rooieravotr

13 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by rooieravotr on February 25, 2011

From Libyafeb17

17:02 CONFIRMED: Now people headed to Martyr Square from many districts of Tripoli, they should be there in the next hour.

17:02 @ShababLibya BREAKING: Reports from eye witness number now 60,000 and army generals with protesters heading to Martyrs

Submitted by petey on February 25, 2011

Auto

A comment from one of my 'non-political' co-workers:

'These popular committees seem to be doing a better job of running the country than the government!'

A completely off-hand statement, but I thought it was an interesting thing for them to say, nonetheless. ;)

pursue that, you might have a live one 8-)

Auto

13 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Auto on February 25, 2011

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cBY-0n4esNY&feature=youtu.be

Well as they say: if you have to go, finish on a song.

Apparently this video is becoming very popular among Arabic youth...

Mark.

13 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Mark. on February 25, 2011

Mark.

13 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Mark. on February 26, 2011

Al Jazeera inside story: unconfirmed reports of Algerian support for Gaddafi, with involvement of Algerian special forces and Algerian planes ferrying mercenaries

Caiman del Barrio

13 years ago

In reply to by radicalgraffiti

Submitted by Caiman del Barrio on February 26, 2011

radicalgraffiti

Mark.

Al Jazeera

10:10am Libya's government has spent years strengthening relations with Latin America, mostly through investments. But now, Al Jazeera's Gabriel Elizondo reports from Sao Paulo on the region's divided reaction to Gaddafi's crackdown on protests in Libya.

.

5:01am Venezuela's top diplomat on Thursday echoed Fidel Castro's accusation that Washington is fomenting unrest in Libya to justify an invasion to seize North African nation's oil reserves.

Nicolas Maduro, the Venezuelan Foreign Minister said:

They are creating conditions to justify an invasion of Libya.

4:27am Hugo Chavez, the Venezuelan president, has backed Muammar Gaddafi on Twitter. 

Chavez tweeted:

Gaddafi is facing a civil war.



Long live Libya. Long live the independence of Libya.

Edit: I wonder if Chavez is really using Twitter?

I couldn't find it on his twitter account, but its on the website linked to from there, in the feed from twitter,

@chavezcandanga
Hugo Chávez Frías
Vamos Canciller Nicolás: dales otra lección a esa ultraderecha pitiyanqui! Viva Libia y su Independencia! Kadafi enfrenta una guerra civil!!
2011-02-24 20:47:05

EDIT not sure how to zoom in on that but fortunately someone from El Lib took a screenshot lol.

As regards #chavezcadanga, the account was opened about a year ago and almost instantly became inundated with desperate pleas from Venezuelans for him to sort out their problems. At first, an effort was made to reply to every single tweet but they eventually became too many. It later transpired that it's not him personally doing most of it, but looking at the bombastic language, he appears to have some sort of access to it. I mean, like every other rich, self-important Venezuelan, he has a Blackberry so why shouldn't he be tweeting from inside meetings?

Submitted by jesse blue on February 26, 2011

Mark.

Al Jazeera inside story: unconfirmed reports of Algerian support for Gaddafi, with involvement of Algerian special forces and Algerian planes ferrying mercenaries

link please! this sounds relevant

Mark.

12 years 12 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Mark. on February 26, 2011

jesse blue - the claims were made towards the end of a broadcast of Inside Story last night. I made the post just after watching it. This Inside Story broadcast doesn't seem to be on the website yet - the last one posted up ('Libya's power struggle') is Thursday's broadcast. Maybe it will be there later in the day. I haven't seen the claim made anywhere else.

http://english.aljazeera.net/programmes/insidestory/

Edit: I think this is the one

Inside Story: what would a new Libya look like?

Mark.

12 years 12 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Mark. on February 26, 2011

Another unconfirmed report, this time of Serbian mercenaries piloting planes involved in air strikes on Tripoli and Benghazi. The claim seems to come from the Libyan air force pilots who landed in Malta.

http://globalvoicesonline.org/2011/02/24/serbia-reactions-to-the-story-of-serbian-mercenaries-in-libya/

baboon

12 years 12 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by baboon on February 26, 2011

The industrial coastal town where my relatives are has "fallen to the rebels" as they say. I am concerned because of the six children, all first cousins to my kids, three of them are young men (though the role of women in this revolt has been similar to elsewhere - up front). One of them had just returned home with his new Geordie bride - I suppose it's just like Saturday night on the town to her. The last we heard they were all OK and news is slow coming out. I'm concerned but pleased.

Just a funny story for a bit of light relief: Myself and someone else above reported the incident of the Russian-made jet fighter ditching in the desert in the east of the country rather than shoot protestors with the two pilots bailing out. It turned out that one of them was a Gaddafi, close to the man himself. So the original story looked like that of two heroes or at least two brave men.
I didn't quite understand though why they didn't land the plane and possibly hand it over to the "cause".
The real story has emerged that the co-pilot in the back, Gaddafi, was holding a pistol to the pilot's head and threatened to shoot him if he didn't bomb the protestors. In a moment of desperate and comic inspiration, the pilot hit the ejector button and I don't know what the G forces were but they must have pulled the gun right out of his hand. I bet he was surprised and I hope they kicked the shit out of him when they got him on the ground.

Mark.

12 years 12 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Mark. on February 26, 2011

Manchester demos http://www.libyafeb17.com/?p=2599

Mark.

12 years 12 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Mark. on February 26, 2011

Pambazuka News

Migrants take many routes into Europe. Some people cross into Greece from Turkey, others from Algeria into Spain. For many, the way into Europe is through the Sahara into Libya, across the ocean and into Malta and Italy. The migrants come from Somalia, from Chad, from Senegal, from Nigeria and from all over North and West Africa.



The journey across the Mediterranean in small and usually over crowded boats is perilous and many have sunk. If they are intercepted by the Italian navy the migrants are forced off the boats, often with clubs and batons that dispense electric shocks, and taken to prisons in Tripoli. In crass violation of international law no attempt is made to ascertain whether or not the migrants are political refugees or to enquire into their health or where the parents of children may be.



From Tripoli they are taken to European funded migrant detention centres in places like the tiny village of Al Qatran out in the dessert near the border with Chad and Niger. Al Qatran is a thousand kilometres from Tripoli and it may take three days for captured migrants to be moved across that distance in trucks. In the detention centres there may be more than fifty people in a room. They sleep on the floor. The routine sadism that always occurs in any situation in which some people are given absolute power over others is endemic. There are beatings, rapes and extortion. Suicides are a common response as are mass jailbreaks in which many migrants have been killed by the Libyan police. But some have escaped out into the vastness of the Sahara to make what they can of sudden freedom without papers or money in a desert.



It was in the early days of the 2003 Iraq war that Tony Blair first proposed the idea that migrants trying to enter Europe should be sent to ‘transit processing centres’ outside of Europe. There is a similar logic here to the way in which the United States has outsourced torture to countries like Egypt.



Muammar Gaddafi’s early attempts to show that he would be able to take on the policing of Europe’s borders were not a huge success. In August 2004 a plane was chartered to deport 75 captured Eritrean migrants from Tripoli but the passengers seized control of the plane in mid flight and diverted it to Khartoum where the UNHCR recognised 60 of them as legitimate political refugees.



But on the same day that the European union lifted its economic sanctions and arms embargo on Libya in October 2004 it was agreed to engage with Libya on ‘immigration matters’ and a technical team was sent to Libya the following month. The United Kingdom and France both moved quickly to sell weapons to Libya and in 2008 Italy and Libya signed The Treaty of Friendship, Partnership and Cooperation between the Italian Republic and Great Socialist People’s Libyan Arab Jamahiriya in which Italy agreed to invest five billion dollars in Libya in exchange for, amongst other things, a Libyan agreement to undertake to police migration into Europe via Libya. Silvio Berlusconi declared that closer relations with Libya are about “fewer illegal immigrants and more oil.” Since then Berlusconi and Gaddafi have, through the investment arms of their respective family trusts, become co-owners of a major communications company.



This sort of personal connection between an elected politician in the West and a despot elsewhere is hardly unique. The French Foreign Minister Michele Alliot-Marie spent her Christmas holiday in Tunisia as a guest of a businessman with close ties to Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali as the protests against Ben Ali were gathering strength. The first response of the French state to the protests in Tunisia was to send arms to Ben Ali. The French Prime Minister Francois Fillon spent his Christmas holiday on the Nile as a guest of the Egyptian state. In March 2009 US Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, commented, in a discussion about severe and routine human rights violations by the Mubarak regime, that “I really consider President and Mrs. Mubarak to be friends of my family.”



In recent years all sorts of European institutions beyond oil companies and security agencies made their own deals with the dictatorship in Tripoli. The London School of Economics accepted a £1.5m grant from the Gaddafi International Charity and Development Foundation for a ‘virtual democracy centre’. The Foundation is headed by the same Saif al-Islam Gaddafi who recently went on to Libyan television to tell protestors that his father’s government would ‘fight to the last minute, until the last bullet’...

Mark.

12 years 12 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Mark. on February 26, 2011

Guardian

2.58pm: Libya Gaddafi's security forces have abandoned parts of Tripoli, where protesters now openly defy the regime, Reuters reports.

The withdrawal of security forces from the working-class Tajoura district after five days of anti-government demonstrations leaves Gaddafi's grip on power looking tenuous, says the news agency.

Residents say troops killed at least five people overnight when they opened fire on protesters trying to march from Tajoura to the central Green Square. The number could not be independently confirmed.

A funeral on Saturday morning for one of the victims turned into another show of defiance against Gaddafi. "Everyone in Tajoura came out against the government. We saw them killing our people here and everywhere in Libya," Ali, aged 25, told Reuters.

"We will demonstrate again and again, today, tomorrow, the day after tomorrow until they change."

Auto

12 years 12 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Auto on February 27, 2011

From the Guardian, who have sent Peter Beaumont to join other foreign journalists on the regime's 'look, everything's fine!' PR tour. Said campaign hasn't got off to the best start:

Peter Beaumont has just phoned in with news that has come straight from Catch-22. In the Audioboo, he told me me Libyan minders were taking him to the town of Zawiyah, presumably to show that it's still under government control. That has not turned out to be the case as Peter has been busy interviewing rebel forces who have taken over the town. He can confirm that Zawiyah, some 30 kilometres from Tripoli is under rebel control. The people he talked to in the town centre said they are now under "Benghazi government" control. In the background there are people chanting "Down with Gaddafi" and "We want change". So the regime's PR campaign has got off to a shaky start to say the least as the minders have taken foreign journalists to a town in rebel hands. Pity those minders, not exactly what the regime had in mind.

Submitted by Steven. on February 27, 2011

gypsytimetraveller

Khawaga

He is actually mental... "I will cleanse house by house". And he would if he had the chance. Reading from the green book etc. Fucking mental bastard.

He really is a scary individual. His speech and the umbrella video before it showed someone who is completely detached from reality.

basically it's as if Dundee United led a revolution

Auto

12 years 12 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Auto on February 27, 2011

From the Guardian:

3.01pm: Some clarification from anti-Gaddafi forces in Benghazi, where the revolt began, on that interim government. They say the National Libyan Council they have formed is not an interim government but the "face of the revolution". At a news conference, they said an interim government announced by the former justice minister was his own "personal view". Reuters reports that a spokesman for the new council said he saw no room for any negotiation with Gaddafi's government. One of Gaddafi's son's, Saif al-Islam, has offered to start talks with the opposition.

When the ex-Justice minister announced the interim government, I had thought that was it for the self-organisation of the Revolution. This statement makes me think twice.

Perhaps there could be more to come from the Libyan revolution even after Ghaddaffi falls...

ernie

12 years 12 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by ernie on February 27, 2011

auto

The absence of a powerful autonomous working class self-organisation in this situation means that the ground is open for fractions of the Libyan bourgeoisie to use this popular unrest as a means for trying to further their own ends on the bodies of those who have been slaughtered. The sight of much of the old regime jump from Gaddaffi;s ship to simply be integrated into the new transition government must leave many of those involved in the bitter struggles wondering what they have really achieved. Thousands dead only to see Gaddaffi's old interior minister -chief torturer- setting himself up as the new leader! What has changed?

Unlike Tunisia and Egypt where there were strikes and demonstrations against unemployment in Libya at present it is not possible to tell whether the working class has been able to put forwards its own demands.. There were reports of strikes in some of the oil fields, but this have not been reported since. However, it is interesting that it is working class areas of Tripoli that have been the focus of the brutal repression in the capital. Hopefully more information will come out about what the working class has been doing.

On a broader level, the working class in Libya does not have the same recent history of struggles as their has been in Egypt which will effect its ability to defend itself own interests in this very dangerous situation for it. It would appear that the 'opposition' bourgeoisie has managed to place itself at the head of the unrest and this means that increasingly the working class and population are being asked to struggle to defend this bunch of gangsters against the other in the name of democracy and freedom.

Rowntree

12 years 12 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Rowntree on February 27, 2011

Good post Ernie.
Workers getting slaughtered destroying a regime that will be replaced by a new bourgeois
government (with many of the same old faces) that will continue to oppress.

baboon

12 years 12 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by baboon on February 27, 2011

The dangers are obvious: in Egypt a renewed imperialism shakes itself off; in Tunisia we see riots and wholesale looting - a certain degeneration of the situation from the situation before. Among many workers all across the region nationalist sentiments exist and are probably stronger.

In Libya the vast majority of people are fighting for their lives, because if this regime survives it will exact a terrible, wholesale revenge. That's what changed Ernie and that is a very fundamental question for those involved. To put this down to one group of gangsters fighting against another is to somewhat miss the point.

Of course fractions of the bourgeoisie, related to the old regime, are, with certain manipulations by wider imperialisms, jockying for a position. Where else has this not happened?

There's a strong working class in Libya, a lot of unemployment even greater than similar regimes. Lots of immigrant labour and lots of industry. The bourgeoisie say "rebels take control" but, in some obvious instances, these are people taking control of their own towns. Zawiyah is a case in point. Six million people, docks, university, hospitals, schools, public transport, nearby oil fields and the second biggest oil refinery in Libya - do you reckon there's any workers there? These workers haven't got the recent strike experience as workers in Egypt, that's true but it's not a necessary prerequisite. They are workers and it's fairly obvious to me that they've been involved in the struggle against the state.

You could see these workers in Zawiyah as unconscious, atomised individuals wandering blindly around. Or you could see them as being led by Islamicism or tribal loyalties. The western media and Saif have played those last aspects up. But it takes a fair degree of self-organisation to take anti-aircraft cannon fire (Britain supplied such goods), repel the army and consolodate positions. And seeing that there must be numbers of workers involved it's not hard to envisage a certain degree of workers' self-organisation. There's other factors that are relevant; clear fraternisation by the army and expressions of internationalism with the Bangla-Deshi workers telling a British reporter that they've never eaten so well. I don't think that we can just denounce these struggles as gangster faction fights when there's clearly a lot more going on.

While the British media was getting hysterical about the "rescue" operation, an English oil worker in the east had nothing but praise for the Libyans; he said that they armed themselves and set up their own militias, protected them from government mercenaries and provided them with food.

Human Rights Watch has described the foundation that Saif set up in Libya "as a force for freedom, willing to take on the interior ministry in the fight for civil liberties".

Submitted by Rowntree on February 28, 2011

There are clearly thousands of Egyptian workers in Libya. Plus lots of British workers (in the Oil Industry) who have no connection to the hugs and kisses given by Blair to Gaddaffi a few years ago.

Mark.

12 years 12 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Mark. on February 27, 2011

From http://www.libyafeb17.com/

Eyewitness account of Tripoli – 27th February

Today, mood is quiet and tense… heavy efforts made to get people out to work. BUT all the expats are out and no Libyan company (espcially in the oil sector) can function without them.

So all that are seen open in the streets are gas suppliers, banks with no money (I’ll get to this one), bakeries and grocery stores.

Banks have been offering all families that present their family books 500 dinars for free. The catch, there’s no money to give them and so there name are just registered down to be given later. It is an attempt to get the people out and film the propaganda to be shown through local media that all is returning to normal. Libya in terms of economics and business is slowly grinding to a halt. If the problem continues for a long period then even the capital will have a humanitarian problem.

The other thing noticed is the constant passing of planes, military, helicopters and private. Somthing is cooking and its all coming down at Maeteega Military Airport.

So far AzZawiya and Misurata are quiet despite wrong reports and rumours they were under fire and say they are ready for whatever will come at them.

Other areas news is vague and it seems quiet. In Tajoura they are locking down areas even in the day to keep ppl in the street corners in an attempt to try and clean up the streets but even during the days there’s retaliation from the bravehearts known as Awlaad Al Turki. At night the armed security retreat back in fear as its impossible for them to control the side streets they know little about.

Anyway, that’ll do for today… think above paints a pretty clear picture along with the attachments.

Soldier kills security battalion commander

Almanara Media has just published the following news item which we have translated for you:

News has reached us via email that a security battalion commander in az Zawiya was killed by a soldier in the battalion. Soldiers refused orders to shoot and the commander was determined on the implementation of the orders of Khoweildy. One of the solders stepped forwards and rendered him dead with a bullet to the head. The soldier then said: It’s better that you die rather than the victims be tens of youth.

jesse blue

12 years 12 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by jesse blue on February 28, 2011

http://www.jadaliyya.com/pages/index/741/libyas-significance
http://www.jadaliyya.com/pages/index/744/exclusive-update-from-benghazi_inside-information-on-the-opposition-movement

don't know about the site, but this seems interesting though:

If not quite a tabula rasa, Libya is also almost certain to escape the clutches of democratic reform – best represented by Saif al-Islam Qaddafi and advocates of partnership between government, capital and civil society – and proceed directly to regime transformation. In contrast to Tunisia or Egypt, the Libyan people will not be required to engage in a further series of mass demonstrations against the new-old regime because there will be no one left to demonstrate against. Rather, the Libyan people will have a unique opportunity to speedily establish a new constitutional order and associated institutions that remove the security establishment from the apex of the power structure, and ram these down the generals’ throats.

and so on, which really seems true.

Entdinglichung

12 years 12 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Entdinglichung on February 28, 2011

http://www.wrp.org.uk/news/6162

TRIPOLI CALM – as Libyan masses prepare to defend their city against NATO

:cry:

Submitted by jesse blue on February 28, 2011

Entdinglichung

http://www.wrp.org.uk/news/6162

TRIPOLI CALM – as Libyan masses prepare to defend their city against NATO

:cry:


what a bunch of morons

Mark.

12 years 12 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Mark. on February 28, 2011

According to a report in Foreign Policy the US tried to slip language into the UN resolution on sanctions that would give legal cover for military intervention.

While the U.N. Security Council spent last week debating sanctions and the pursuit of an investigation into crimes against humanity in Libya, the U.S. delegation had another idea on its mind. U.S. diplomats sought to insert language into the U.N. resolution on Libya that would have raised the possibility of an international military intervention, two Security Council members familiar with the discussions told Turtle Bay.

The U.S. amendment called for authorizing member states, working with the cooperation of the United Nations, to use "all means necessary to protect civilians and key installations." In the diplomatic terminology of U.N. resolutions, the phrase "all means necessary" has traditionally served as a code for military action.

But the effort to secure legal cover for action inside Libya encountered implacable opposition from Russia. Russia's reservation over the Western approach dates back to the 2003 U.S. and British invasion of Iraq. In that case, the United States invoked the breach of a resolution twelve years after the fact - namely, the 1991 ceasefire resolution that ended the first Persian Gulf War by imposing a set of cumbersome disarmament obligations on Iraq.

Russia's U.N. ambassador at the time, Sergei Lavrov, who now serves as Russia's foreign minister, never forget the Anglo-American maneuver. He has insisted that all subsequent sanctions resolution -- all of which are adopted under Chapter 7 of the U.N. Charter, the article that authorizes both sanctions and military force -- include a provision that expressly prohibits the use of military force.

The latest negotiations on the Libyan resolution were no different. In order to ensure Russian support for the resolution, Britain agreed to include a provision that explicitly prohibits the use of force to enforce the council's demands. "The legal trick that the allies tried to pull before the Iraq invasion is now tying their hand to intervene in Libyan," said Carne Ross, a former British diplomat who oversaw negotiations on Iraq before the war.

Khawaga

12 years 12 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Khawaga on February 28, 2011

ernie

auto

The absence of a powerful autonomous working class self-organisation in this situation means that the ground is open for fractions of the Libyan bourgeoisie to use this popular unrest as a means for trying to further their own ends on the bodies of those who have been slaughtered. The sight of much of the old regime jump from Gaddaffi;s ship to simply be integrated into the new transition government must leave many of those involved in the bitter struggles wondering what they have really achieved. Thousands dead only to see Gaddaffi's old interior minister -chief torturer- setting himself up as the new leader! What has changed?

Unlike Tunisia and Egypt where there were strikes and demonstrations against unemployment in Libya at present it is not possible to tell whether the working class has been able to put forwards its own demands.. There were reports of strikes in some of the oil fields, but this have not been reported since. However, it is interesting that it is working class areas of Tripoli that have been the focus of the brutal repression in the capital. Hopefully more information will come out about what the working class has been doing.

On a broader level, the working class in Libya does not have the same recent history of struggles as their has been in Egypt which will effect its ability to defend itself own interests in this very dangerous situation for it. It would appear that the 'opposition' bourgeoisie has managed to place itself at the head of the unrest and this means that increasingly the working class and population are being asked to struggle to defend this bunch of gangsters against the other in the name of democracy and freedom.

While this outcome is certainly possible, I find it less likely that it will happen than the other option, which is an entirely new regime. Libyans are very aware of who was in the Qadaffy regime and from what I've gathered people have not forgotten what the rats, that are leaving the sinking ships, did. They appreciate that they've now "switched" sides, but do not want them as part of any new government. Old Qadaffy loyalists have claimed to be the new leaders etc. but are always rebuffed by protesters and tribal leaders.

What Jesse Blue posted seem to be more likely, especially in the east where there's already been moves to start a new government. Not a communist revolution, true, but not like Egypt where there a military Junta (that was already in power) used the protests to commit a putsch (though considering recent events in Egypt, it seems like people are waking up to the fact that nothing really changed so the verdict on Egypt is still out).

If not quite a tabula rasa, Libya is also almost certain to escape the clutches of democratic reform – best represented by Saif al-Islam Qaddafi and advocates of partnership between government, capital and civil society – and proceed directly to regime transformation. In contrast to Tunisia or Egypt, the Libyan people will not be required to engage in a further series of mass demonstrations against the new-old regime because there will be no one left to demonstrate against. Rather, the Libyan people will have a unique opportunity to speedily establish a new constitutional order and associated institutions that remove the security establishment from the apex of the power structure, and ram these down the generals’ throats.

Samotnaf

12 years 12 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Samotnaf on February 28, 2011

Maybe there's something in the WRP story (even the most ideological crap has some partial truth to it):

According to Al Jazeera US millitary forces surronded Libya.

The US military is moving naval and air forces into position around Libya, the Pentagon said Monday, as Western countries weigh possible intervention against Moammar Qaddafi’s regime.

"We have planners working various contingency plans, and I think it's safe to say as part of that we're repositioning forces to provide for that flexibility once decisions are made," Pentagon spokesperson Colonel Dave Lapan told reporters.

The redeployment of "naval and air forces" would give US President Barack Obama a range of options in the crisis, said Lapan, without specifying what ships and aircraft had been given orders or what potential action was under consideration.

As Qaddafi’s troops assaulted opposition forces, US and European leaders were weighing the use of NATO air power to impose a no-fly zone over Libya to stop Qaddafi from using air strikes against his own people.

For any military intervention, US commanders could turn to the USS Enterprise, which is currently in the Red Sea, as well as the amphibious ship the USS Kearsarge, which has a fleet of helicopters and about 2,000 Marines on board.

from here.

Mark.

12 years 12 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Mark. on February 28, 2011

The Guardian asks the obvious question

This increasingly aggressive stance raises a number of questions. Are the US and Britain primarily concerned to protect Libyans from their cornered leader, or are they more concerned about western investment and securing Libya's oilfields – the dominant consideration behind the last decade's appeasement of Gaddafi?

Jazzhands

12 years 12 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Jazzhands on March 1, 2011

Gaddafi just told the BBC that there are absolutely no protests against him whatsoever in Tripoli. After trying to convince people they're in Al-Qaeda, agents of imperialism, and pretty much anything else he can think of, his next logical step is to deny it outright.

Haha OK buddy. If there was ever any doubt as to whether or not he still has any grip on reality, it's gone now.

Samotnaf

12 years 12 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Samotnaf on March 1, 2011

Mark:

The Guardian asks the obvious question:

This increasingly aggressive stance raises a number of questions. Are the US and Britain primarily concerned to protect Libyans from their cornered leader, or are they more concerned about western investment and securing Libya's oilfields – the dominant consideration behind the last decade's appeasement of Gaddafi?

But rather typically for the liberal lefties, this reduces the reasons for intervention to "western investment and securing Libya's oilfields", and not the potential development of class war in the country and region.

Submitted by Spartacus on March 1, 2011

Samotnaf

For any military intervention, US commanders could turn to the USS Enterprise

:eek: surely spock would stage a mutiny?

waslax

12 years 12 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by waslax on March 1, 2011

There actually is an aircraft carrier named USS Enterprise. If only Spock were on it.

Samotnaf

12 years 12 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Samotnaf on March 1, 2011

Spartacus - in fact, that comes from Al Jazeera - somehow the quote bit didn't come out right (was fine on preview).

ernie

12 years 12 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by ernie on March 1, 2011

Baboon

I think you are correct to point out the nonsensical nature of my claim that nothing had changed, Clearly there has been a whole social movement. Point taken.

However, the point of my post was not to question the existence of a working class in Libya or the fact that workers have displayed staggering courage in no longer being willing to endure their terrible situation. The point was that without a powerful autonomous independent movement this movement is being pulled into a defence of the interim government i.e. the defence of one bourgeois fraction against another. This does imply that the working class should do nothing but above all that it has to struggle to defend itself own interests which means defending its interests against the efforts of the interim government etc to get it to follow them. Warning of the grave dangers facing the working class and the poor in Libya does not equal rejecting their struggle to throw off the terrible weight of the Gaddafi regime. But there is a great difference between throwing yourself unarmed against the guns of the regime in order to get rid of them, or to stop them attacking others, and doing the same in the name of defending the interim government. The first we can fully support the second we have to reject and warn against,

As you have pointed out elsewhere one of the main strengths of this movement has been the fraternization between the population and the army. In the West the turning point in many places appears to have been the coming over of the soldiers to the protesters. The danger I see is that the more the interim government can consolidate the various armed militias and military groups into some form of overall command the more the struggle becomes a fraction fight. The US and GB imperialisms are certainly trying to get them to do this in order to bring the situation under greater control.

The one thing that Gaddafi, the 'opposition' interim government and the main imperialist powers are agreed on is that the working class and its efforts to defend itself have to be crushed. The working class is faced with enemies to the front and even greater and more dangerous ones behind it. This is why without a struggle to defend it own interests, as we saw in Egypt at the end of the demonstrations and the beginning of a new strike wave, the very grave danger is that it will end up being dragged into defending one fraction against another: something we are already beginning to see.

I do not think this movement is tribalist or islamist.

baboon

12 years 12 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by baboon on March 1, 2011

Ern I know that there's a discussion on the ICC's website on this but I will answer you here as you've posted here and continue the discussion.

I too disagree with Devrim's position that this movement is Islamicist and tribalist. I don't think that anyone seriously holds this view except maybe in the regime or what I've seen of the Workers' Revolutionary Party position.

As to the nuances and warnings of your position above, I can only agree now that we can see the forest for the trees. The dangers of an overall statist defence (or offence) amalgamating various more or less spontaneous self-defence and public health committees is pointed out in the Guardian piece posted by Mark above, where one of the "revolutionaries" says that we need to move from the creation of (local) health and security committees to what's implied as an overall governing body. I think that given the numbers of workers in the industrial areas involved, then they would have had a strong representation on these local committees - even if they wasn't out and out proletarian. The potential for these committees to turn into something stronger is destroyed in subservience to a "national salvation committee", as you rightly say.

This latter would further become a tool in the hands of the larger imperialisms. Gaddafi's previous arms suppliers, Britain, France, the US, etc., directly complicit in his massacres, are now manoeuvring and acting to defend their vital interests in this area and their wider and longer term imperialist ambitions. Cameron went as far yesterday as saying that he was prepared to consider supplying arms to the rebels and Sarkozy - another of the murderous regime's mates - has already stolen a march by sending at least two aircraft loads of "humanitarian" assistance to the east of the country. If previous such efforts are anything to go by then there will be "humanitarian" armements involved and "humanitarian" special forces with the NGO's fronting for them.

It's the same with any possible "no-fly zone": when the coalition of the willing brought this into operation over the Iraqi Kurds, it was a method of emplacement of US and British forces. There was nothing humanitarian about it as it only applied to fixed wing aircraft and Saddam was allowed to continue using his helicopter gunships which were ideal in putting down the Kurds. Even if now the "international community" (imperialism in different layers of strength) imposes a total no-fly zone it is still very difficult to keep track of low-flying helicopters.

There were further examples on the TV news last night of solidarity and internationalism reported by fleeing refugess from the Libyan people by Indians (one Indian worker and her children expressed their thanks), Bangla-deshis and British oil workers - the latter obviously in direct contact with Libyan workers. But now the masses and the workers face the twin dangers of a renewed assault by desperate elements of the old regime and a national committee, an interrim government, backed by various elements of imperialism.

Mark.

12 years 12 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Mark. on March 1, 2011

squaler

12 years 12 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by squaler on March 2, 2011

g liveblog

9.52am: Al Jazeera is reporting that rebels say they have retaken Brega, according to Reuters. We can't confirm this at present.

9.28am: According to posts on Twitter, 14 people were killed in fighting in Brega, which has been retaken by Gaddafi forces, but rebels are heading to the town from nearby Ajdabiya:

@SultanAlQassemi

Al Arabiya: 14 dead in clashes between revolutionaries & Gaddafi forces in town of Brega, 670 km east of Tripoli. #Libya

@martinchulov

Rebels in ajdabiya say the're reading for counter-assault to take bregga 90km south. #libya #feb17

9.14am: More on the bombing of Ajdabiya - about 75km from Brega which has already been retaken - from the Associated Press:

The witnesses told The Associated Press they saw two warplanes bomb the eastern part of the town of Ajdabiya at 10am (8am GMT) local time Wednesday. They also said that pro-Gaddafi forces were advancing on the town, some 470 miles (750km) east of the capital Tripoli.
Ahmed Jerksi, manager of the Sirte oil company which runs the facility in the eastern town of Brega, said pro-Gaddafi forces retook control of the facility, south-west of Ajdabiya.

squaler

12 years 12 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by squaler on March 2, 2011

it appears it was targeted... I suppose if it were blown up they would say that instead

g liveblog:
• Ajdabiya, 75km from Brega, has reportedly been targeted by Gaddafi's airforce this morning. A weapons dump was targeted to the south of the city. "Opposition people are massing," Martin Chulov reports, but he adds that the "town will not be taken without a fight.""

• Gharyan and Sabratha, both near Tripoli, have also reportedly been retaken by Gaddafi forces.

--
10.10am: A rebel coalition has told Reuters Brega is under its control:

"We are probably going to call for foreign help, probably air strikes at strategic locations that will put the nail in his (Gaddafi's) coffin," Mustafa Gheriani, a spokesman for the rebel February 17th coalition, told Reuters.
"They tried to take Brega this morning, but they failed. It is back in the hands of the revolutionaries. He is trying to create all kinds of psychological warfare to keep these cities on edge," he said.
About Ajdabiyah, he said the town was " basically stable and our people are grouping to deal with any major assault. For now, it is still just hit and run."

Al-Arabiya reports that Gaddafi's forces are only in control of Brega airport but not the town itself.

10.21am: A worker at the Brega oil facility has just told al-Jazeera English that the rebels are indeed in control of the town. He was clearly emotional and gave a breathless account of clashes with Gaddafi forces who he said had been repelled but were still at the airport. He said 15 people had been killed. At one point he shouted "Allahu Akbar" (God is the greatest) and people with him joined in the chanting. When asked who was in control of Brega, the unnamed man said:

"The locals, the revolutionaries, it's us. Allahu Akbar. We are controlling Brega now."

10.55am: The excellent Feb17voices has interesting audio from a woman in Zintan, about 90 miles south of Tripoli. She says about 40 people are missing from the city, unaccounted for:

The last three days the army has attacked the city three times, all of which were repelled by the residents. The army was put to flight leaving weapons and cars behind...

Today and yesterday ,42 to 43 mercenaries were captured who were trying to enter the city. Thank God the youths are in control of the city. Government battalions keep attacking but each time the residents captured soldiers and weapons thank God...

The youth have also established a military council to manage the affairs of Zintan which is made up also of some of the older officers who have defected from Gaddafi.

11.23am: The situation in Brega remains unclear. Libyan state TV is reporting that Gaddafi's forces are in control of the airport and seaport, contradicting rebel accounts that they have been repelled. An al-Jazeera correspondent in Ajdabiya (75km from Brega) said thousands are gathering there to prepare to help out their fellow rebels in Brega. People in Ajabiya could be heard firing their weapons, apparently to test them in preparation.

aj liveblog has this:

1:00pm

AJE correspondent: The emphasis in Benghazi has been first and foremost to fortify this town, people have been signing up ... hundreds of men as far as I can tell, have been giving their names and their mobile phone numbers to recruitment officers ... many of them have said that they want to march on Tripoli, but its quite clear that the rebel commanders think that it is the most important thing to secure and consolidate Benghazi, because this is afterall the heart, the seat of the revolution and it is the headquarters, politically and militarily for anti-Gaddafi forces.

ocelot

12 years 12 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by ocelot on March 2, 2011

A plausible sounding assessment from a RUSI analyst in the Indo

[...]
Though every pillar of his rule is crumbling at the edges – tribes, army, diplomats and ministers – Colonel Gaddafi retains not just a firm grip over his capital. He is also demonstrating the ability to direct ground forces – special forces and ad hoc militias – several hundred miles from his base, such as at an oil refinery in the middle of the country and cities on each side. Colonel Gaddafi's most loyal units are also his best equipped and trained, and bombing raids on Monday suggest he still wields potent airpower.

Though Colonel Gaddafi's delusional speech at the beginning of the week hinted at a leader without a grasp of reality, he is not without a strategy. He aims not to regain his lost territory, but to enforce a grinding stalemate that might persuade his adversaries to reach a settlement. His rant was designed to emphasise his enduring presence at the capital, countering the opposition's attempt to project an image of momentum.
[...]
But the Nato Secretary General and prominent Arab voices have demanded that [enforcing a no-fly zone] be authorised by a UN Security Council resolution. That will not be forthcoming. Veto-wielding Russia and China will be opposed to any resolution that violates the principle of non-intervention. Beijing also has had flickers of unrest at home.
[...]
Colonel Gaddafi would have to cross one of what are likely three lines before pushing a coalition to sidestep the UN: a single and compelling massacre; intensification of airstrikes; the use of chemical weapons. In the coming week, it is probable that he will calibrate his violence to pressure rebel cities around Tripoli without decisively crossing that threshold. That suggests that against the backdrop of Nato's flexing, the stalemate could drag into the spring.

baboon

12 years 12 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by baboon on March 2, 2011

Given the importance of oil to all the world's major economies, do we see over Libya then expressions of mutual interests of all these economies, cooperation and a transcending of different national interests which are out of date and a thing of the past in the new globalised, cooperative world? Or rather, are we seeing, in front of our eyes, expressions of discordance, the assertion of national interests, tensions, in a word imperialism rearing its multi-faceted head?

France has sent at least two flights of "humanitarian" aid to Benghazi. It's a pound to a pinch of shit that these flights contain arms, special forces,
and Arabic-speaking secret service agents under direct instructions from the Quai d'Orsay. French PM Fillon said yesterday that these were the first of many flights.

British special forces have been active in Libya for at least several days now. Their "humanitarian" mission was to rescue British oil workers, though most of these seemed to have been "rescued" by Libyan oil workers already. The Telegraph reports this morning that SAS forces are active in the west of Libya searching for Gaddifi's supplies of mustard gas. That Gaddafi was supposed to give up his WMD in exchange for a hug and a kiss from Tony Blair we can leave aside for the moment. What would be embarrassing for the British government would be the discovery that at least some of these WMD's had been supplied by Britain in the first place - just as Britain, along with Germany, supplied Saddam with his chemical and biological weapons in the 80s. Britain has supplied all sorts of weaponry and technology to Libya and not just riot control stuff. Whatever, the SAS is active in the east and west of Libya.

We don't see cooperation and the transcending of national interests anywhere over Libya, but the reinforcement of those national interests, trying to stitch up others and tendencies towards chaos. NATO is riven by arguments; the EU the same and the UN is good for nothing except as a talking shop to cover up its own divisions and overriding national interests.

Four US warships have entered the international waters of the Med for "humanitarian" reasons - and if you believe that, you'll believe anything. A few days ago (days seem like weeks now) 2 Iranian warships went into the same waters through the Suez Canal.

China and Russia have blocked any attempt at a "no-fly zone" - not that the US wanted one - and France has openly criticised Britain's position on the question. Italy, which regards this region as its own imperialist backyard has supported Britain's position against France, offering up it air bases in competition to Cyprus.

I don't see globalised cooperation and the transcending of national interests anywhere here.

fidel gastro

12 years 12 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by fidel gastro on March 2, 2011

I find all this quite irrelevant to be honest, there is no real alternative amongst these 'revolutions'. The people are handing their power over to politicians, the military and perhaps a return of a Libyan Monarchy.

Khawaga

12 years 12 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Khawaga on March 2, 2011

Here we go again...

Mark.

12 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Mark. on March 3, 2011

Libya discussion forum http://www.libyafeb17.com/forum/

http://www.libyafeb17.com/forum/?mingleforumaction=viewtopic&t=6

Libyan_Anarchist

I'm in Tripoli, word on the streets is that after jum3a prayer...a whole host of 'sit-ins' (remaining outside and refusing to leave) will be staged around the capital outside mosques where protesters will be unarmed, peaceful and noisy! Remains to be seen if this can still be done...


If you were to ask for my personal opinion, I hope we 'march' in numbers instead of a 'sit-in'. A 'sit-in' would make us too exposed and vulnerable.

...

I understand the concept of one huge push but you need to understand that Tripoli has never been like Benghazi where there is a sense of togetherness, so it is very difficult to plan. People have become distrustful of each other, you don't know who is 'for' and who is 'against', you only start differentiating once things start kicking off!


The number of people who are armed is growing, but they are on the other side of course. There is talk that once a crowd gets moving, some military will join but again difficult to foresee, it just happens once things get underway. Deep down we are waiting for the East to reinforce

Mark.

12 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Mark. on March 4, 2011

Anarkismo: Interview with Mazen Kamalmaz

5. What’s the role of the Libyan People’s Committees? Are the masses creating their own means for direct democracy?

In fact, these committees became part of every revolution everywhere in the Arab world. I accept that these are good examples of direct democracy, the whole liberated areas are run in this way now, as was the situation after the fall of Ben Ali regime in Tunisia and after Mubarak ordered his security forces to pave the way for thugs to practice looting everywhere to intimidate the revolting masses. What is needed now is to make this a way of life, not just an interim measure: this must be our message to the masses.

baboon

12 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by baboon on March 5, 2011

The push to Ras Lanuf yesterday, following fleeing government forces, was initiated by the volunteer irregulars and the army had no choice but to follow them. They appear to have "taken" this pro-Gaddafi town with the locals welcoming them. These irregulars, mostly youth but by no means all young men, are being controlled by no one at the moment. The Gaddifi-turncoat minister, who has put himself in charge the army in Benghazi, was against the push. The ex-justice minister has also been making reassuring noises to the oil companies based in the region.

The British media very often quotes local anti-Gaddafi sources as doctors, oil workers, engineers, factory workers, unemployed, etc., to suggest workers are involved as individuals. Strongest fighting is often in industrial areas. But I've only seen one report of a strike early doors and a clear entry by the working class could well affect the balance of forces.

I've seen some oil company production figures, one of which says production is down by 80%. Other estimates have substantial reductions. For whatever reason, many workers are not going to work in key industries. Strikes and self-organisation of the workers must be a possibility given that the unions must be totally discredited. Such a move could well integrated with the youth (and others) on the street and on the warpath.

The regime responds with more terror. Disappearances, night time raids, shootings, bombings and threats of further massacres. Gaddafi has thousands of well trained troops and police, and we know that he is well armed because Britain and all the others has provided him with a whole range of materiale from fighter jets to body armour. And oil money is still pouring into his coffers, well enough to pay for his mercenaries.

GCI-ICG

12 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by GCI-ICG on March 5, 2011

Some leaflets about the uprising in the Maghreb and Mashrek translated in English:

Solidarity with the rebels at war against the State and the power in the Maghreb and elsewhere by “Ergendeda” on “Libcom” (read the original in French and also in Arabic).

Here or elsewhere, one and only struggle, class struggle” by “Comitesoutienstbg” on “Libcom” (read the original in French).

Leaflet of solidarity with the Tunisian insurgents” by “Luttes autonomes” (read the original in French).

Rebels in the Maghreb… who they are?” by “GCI-ICG” (read the original in French and also in Czech, in Spanish, in Turkish, in Portuguese and in Italian).

Mark.

12 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Mark. on March 6, 2011

Conflicting reports (or rumours?) on Twitter just now

Unconfirmed report that Sirte is now free of Gaddafi's brigade & youth of Sirte helped in freeing it.

Sorry, still battling in Sirte, but revolutionaries are confident that it is over and they have won!

squaler

12 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by squaler on March 6, 2011

from guardian

In the rebel stronghold of Benghazi, an SAS unit of up to eight men was being held after a secret mission to put British diplomats in touch with leading opponents of the regime ended in humiliation, the Sunday Times reported. The soldiers were captured as they escorted a junior diplomat through rebel-held territory in the east, according to the newspaper.

on twitter people seem to be talking more about it.

also this just this minute: AFP: Explosion has been heard in the rebel-held town of Ras Lanuf, followed by the sound of anti-aircraft guns opening fire #libya #feb17

Mark.

12 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Mark. on March 6, 2011

EA liveblog

0810 GMT: An EA source offers support for the story, reported in The Sunday Times of London, that a British Special Air Service (SAS) unit and a "junior diplomat" are being held by the opposition in eastern Libya.

The source believes, but cannot confirm, that the diplomat is actually an officer of the British foreign intelligence service MI6. They were likely on a mission to safeguard British oil interests in Libya.

According to The Sunday Times, the appearance of the eight-man SAS unit and diplomat angered the Libyan opposition, who ordered their detention in a military base.

It looks like reports of the rebels reaching Sirte last night were wrong

baboon

12 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by baboon on March 6, 2011

It's said that the SAS units have been "captured" but it appears that they are where they wanted to be, in touch with the opposition leadership which I think is part of a process that is more far-reaching than protecting Britain's oil interests - though that will be part of it - which in the first instance a few soldiers and a couple of spies won't do.

Britain is a declining secondary, but major imperialist power which is still very much capable of projecting its national interests in various key parts of the globe.
In order to do this it doesn't have to rely only on gunboats or armies, but, like many similar states, uses diplomacy, spies, special forces, NGO's, etc.

This from yesterday's Guardian:
"Britain is to send a team of experts capable of giving military advice to eastern Libya to make contact with opposition leaders as the struggle for control of the country escalates.
The move is a clear intervention on the ground to bolster the anti-Gaddifi uprising, learn more about its leadership and see what logicistical support it needs...
David Cameron has been determined to back the resistance partly because, following advice this week by experts and Libyans in the UK, he believes that it is neither tribal nor Islamist, but is built around democratic demands that could in the medium term mark a decline in anti-western mood in the Middle East".

For "decline in anti-western mood" read strengthening of pro-British influence in the Middle East - particularly after the Blairite disasters.

The piece goes on: "The foreign secretary, William Hague, has been in telephone contact with General Abdul Fattah Younis Obaidi, the former Libyan interior minister, now based in Benghazi, who is seen as a likely successor to Gaddafi. Obaidi was yesterday placed in charge of military defences in a sign that he is at the helm of the oppostion.
British officials know the identity of all the members of the broad-based Benghazi committee currently focused on keeping essential services and defences going....
The UK diplomatic task force is to assess humanitarian need and keep the opposition leaders in the east of the country better informed about diplomatic activity. The national council is focused most on what it can do to help the isolated rebel towns close to Tripoli".

There couldn't be a clearer statement of intent from British imperialism.

If the "diplomatic task force" is now in the hands of the opposition forces in Benghazi then that is exactly where they want to be. They won't appreciate the details leaking though.

Red Marriott

12 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Red Marriott on March 6, 2011

This from yesterday's Guardian:
"Britain is to send a team of experts capable of giving military advice to eastern Libya to make contact with opposition leaders as the struggle for control of the country escalates.
The move is a clear intervention on the ground to bolster the anti-Gaddifi uprising, learn more about its leadership and see what logicistical support it needs...
David Cameron has been determined to back the resistance partly because, following advice this week by experts and Libyans in the UK, he believes that it is neither tribal nor Islamist, but is built around democratic demands that could in the medium term mark a decline in anti-western mood in the Middle East".

For "decline in anti-western mood" read strengthening of pro-British influence in the Middle East - particularly after the Blairite disasters.

It may be that the Western intervention in Libya will be similar to the Stalinists in the Spanish civil war; behind-the-scenes military advisors sent in, covert arms shipments, political manipulation of the state power for securing of wider geo-political interests, organising the crushing of any more radical potential etc.

Alf

12 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Alf on March 6, 2011

I think there are other more general parallels with Spain as well. I think the events in Libya began as a general popular revolt - not clearly proletarian, but a social movement against the state and its savage repression. In Spain, July 1936, the initial response to Franco (in Barcelona above all, the mass strike, storming of the barracks, and the arming of the workers) was more evidently working class, given all the traditions of the European and Spanish proletariat. But in both cases, the bourgeoisie nationally and internationally spares no effort to drag this class reaction onto a different front - war between bourgeois camps. This doesn't mean that the bourgeoisie has now got total control - after all, it is still reeling from a severe shock to its rule. But it does mean that a fundamental shift in the balance of forces has taken place, and any proletarian reactions will now be highly defensive and minority based. This is a call to the movements in Egypt, Tunisia, and internationally to express their solidarity with the oppressed in Libya by taking their own struggles onto a new stage - not least at the political level.

Cleishbotham

12 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Cleishbotham on March 6, 2011

Alf
Are you seriously comparing Spain in 1936 with Libya today? There was aclass movement in Spain for years before the generals' revolt (and the Spanish working class had not been involved in WW1). There were class-based movements (however indequate they turned out to be). There is no comparison...

Alf

12 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Alf on March 6, 2011

There are huge differences between Spain 1936 and the situation in North Africa today, and I already made the point that the working class in Spain had a far more profound experience than the working class in Libya, which is one of the reasons it has been drawn into this trap so quickly. But what is striking about today is the way the ruling class has intervened so rapidly to push a social conflict towards a battle on the military fronts, with the international bourgeoisie jumping in right away to back the contending forces (although not many are supporting Gaddafi at the moment). Obviously, if you don't think there was any initial social revolt, the comparison with Spain makes less sense. I also tried to distinguish between a proletarian movement and a more general popular revolt.

Submitted by Devrim on March 6, 2011

Alf

I think there are other more general parallels with Spain as well.

Cleishbotham

Are you seriously comparing Spain in 1936 with Libya today? There was aclass movement in Spain for years before the generals' revolt (and the Spanish working class had not been involved in WW1). There were class-based movements (however indequate they turned out to be). There is no comparison...

I have to agree with Jock here. I don't think that there is any comparison that can usefully be made with Spain whatsoever.

Alf

Obviously, if you don't think there was any initial social revolt, the comparison with Spain makes less sense. I also tried to distinguish between a proletarian movement and a more general popular revolt.

These are quite amorphous terms. What do they actually mean? Certainly in 1936 in Spain there was a workers revolt, which was built on a history of class struggle. It is not that the comparison falls down quantitively, but also qualitatively. There is no evidence for any working class expressions at all in the recent events in Libya. On the contrary, from the start it has been a struggle in which neither side had anything to offer the working class except dragging them into a civil war.

Devrim

Alf

12 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Alf on March 7, 2011

I think that the original protests came 'from below' and were not mobilised by the bourgeoisie; on the contrary, the elements of the old regime began jumping ship and regrouping once the protests started. They now seem to have largely succeeded in their work of recuperation. As I said the fact that the protests were 'popular' rather than proletarian made them much more vulnerable to the machinations of the ruling class. But this distinction between different kinds of revolt poses theoretical questions which should perhaps be developed on a different thread.

jesse blue

12 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by jesse blue on March 7, 2011

the mercenaries appear to be less african and more syrian/eastern european:

http://www.jpost.com/MiddleEast/Article.aspx?id=211101

Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi is using paid mercenaries from Serbia, Syria, the Ukraine and Romania to attack rebels, Asharq al-Awsat reported.

According to Al Jazeera, Libyan rebels shot down two Syrian planes in Ras Lanuf.

Syria denied the claims, Israel Radio reported.

baboon

12 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by baboon on March 7, 2011

It looks like the SAS minders wanted to go in the hard way. They could have landed at the port of Benghazi and taken to what's solidifying as the government's in waiting HQ. The ground work had been done and the group could have entered, even armed, with diplomatic status. Instead they went right over the top, landing in the middle of the night and guaranteed to attract attention from the armed and nervous regulars and irregulars nearby. This was a mission organised by boneheads and is a bit of blow to the interests of Britain in the short term.

There are reports on the BBC this morning that US special forces are active on Libya's borders and that plans have been drawn up to supply arms to the rebels. At the moment, Gaddafi is showing a certain amount of "restraint" in his use of weapons.

I agree with the idea of a social revolt in Libya in the context of unemployment, repression and the general movement in the region. In the absence of a working class stamp on the movement, it becomes open to a faction fight and the wider forces of imperialism. I've read the ICT position on Libya which seems to put everything down to "tribalism" from the beginning. That should also be pursued elsewhere.

baboon

12 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by baboon on March 7, 2011

Just a point that I forgot to add and which I think is important in relation to the manoeuvres of British imperialism, is the fact that the British have also maintained close contact with the Gaddafi regime as the Foreign Secretary admitted yesterday. Having a foot in both opposing camps is not unusual for British foreign policy.

Submitted by ocelot on March 7, 2011

Devrim

There is no evidence for any working class expressions at all in the recent events in Libya. On the contrary, from the start it has been a struggle in which neither side had anything to offer the working class except dragging them into a civil war.
Devrim

1. What exactly are "working class expressions"? Are they limited to strikes and other forms of industrial disputes? If so, is it possible for unemployed workers or unwaged workers to take part in "working class expressions"?

2. re "From the start...neither side has anything to offer the working class...". My understanding was that at the start it was a revolt by people, including working class people, for getting rid of Ghadaffi. The fact that that has since degenerated into a civil war, does not justify a "from the start" position, unless you adopt the time-traveler perspective that the future retrospectively limits the present. Or, unless you adopt the position that the working class has no real interests in whether it lives under dictatorship or liberal democracy (or fascism) within capitalism. Is it really your position that properly class conscious workers should be opposed to any attempt to overthrow the dictatorship they may live under, as part of a properly "internationalist" perspective?

ocelot

12 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by ocelot on March 7, 2011

Meanwhile, the degeneration of British foreign office gameplay continues to decline from Graham Greene to Rowan Atkinson.

We were just checking out the hotels...

1104: On Sunday, Libyan state television broadcast a recording of the British ambassador to Libya, Richard Northern, talking to the former Justice Minister, Mustafa Abdul Jalil, who is now a leader of the rebels in Benghazi. Mr Northern said: "We have been planning to send some officials to stay in Benghazi to liaise with you, with the National Council, but also to keep an eye on the humanitarian situation. Ahead of those officials who are coming we sent a small group just to find if there was a hotel, if everything was working and there was somewhere they could stay and work."

(BBC)

Submitted by Devrim on March 7, 2011

ocelot

1. What exactly are "working class expressions"?

Things like 'Cor Blimey'? No, it is a mistake, I was writing quickly before I went to work. I meant to say something like 'expressions of working class struggle'.

ocelot

Are they limited to strikes and other forms of industrial disputes?

No, but what I meant was that certain things are visible, and others are not. Strikes have a tendency to be reported, whereas mass meetings in working class districts might pass by unnoticed by the media.

ocelot

2. re "From the start...neither side has anything to offer the working class...". My understanding was that at the start it was a revolt by people, including working class people, for getting rid of Ghadaffi. The fact that that has since degenerated into a civil war, does not justify a "from the start" position, unless you adopt the time-traveler perspective that the future retrospectively limits the present

I think that it has been quite clear from the start that this movement didn't have anything to offer the working class. The term 'the people' is an amorphous mass, and generally 'people's struggles' have a tendency for the working class to end up following interests contradictory to its own.

Devrim

Caiman del Barrio

12 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Caiman del Barrio on March 7, 2011

Ban the ICC from this thread as an interim solution while you sum up the collective guts to ban them permanently. Libya's too important for their hijacking and Machiavellian idiot recruitment strategies. I wouldn't mind Devrim being excluded from it.

Mark.

12 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Mark. on March 7, 2011

The ICC discussion seems to be a spillover from a reasonably interesting debate on their own site. I hadn't really seen it as disrupting anything but if anyone has a problem with it then maybe they could split the thread.

Cleishbotham

12 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Cleishbotham on March 7, 2011

Caiman del Barrio

Why do you want to ban the ICC from this thread especially when two of them (Devrim and Alf) clearly are expressing seriously different points of view (unless of course you think this is all part of their "recruitment strategy").

I can understand past frustrations with the ICC but libcom will become be libdemcom if it invokes the banning of an independent communist like Devrim...

Submitted by ocelot on March 8, 2011

Devrim

ocelot

2. re "From the start...neither side has anything to offer the working class...". My understanding was that at the start it was a revolt by people, including working class people, for getting rid of Ghadaffi. The fact that that has since degenerated into a civil war, does not justify a "from the start" position, unless you adopt the time-traveler perspective that the future retrospectively limits the present

I think that it has been quite clear from the start that this movement didn't have anything to offer the working class. The term 'the people' is an amorphous mass, and generally 'people's struggles' have a tendency for the working class to end up following interests contradictory to its own.

First off, my problem with the formula "this movement doesn't/didn't have anything to offer the working class" is that it starts from the assumption of separation between the two. As if movements were horses galloping down the turf and the working class was the punters on the other side of the rail, clutching their betting slips hopefully. It conjures up an idea of "opt-in" history, where movements happen independently of the working class whose role is then to observe and either choose to opt-in, having run a revolutionary cost-benefit analysis on the situation, or remain passive. To me that seems a peculiar and not at all correct perspective. Of an ilk with practice of apprehending the present with the same tools that historians apprehend the past - to deal with the pressures of being in the moment by pretending that the moment has always already passed, is closed of possibilities, so as to avoid the possibility of being wrong or mistaken. What the existentialists called bad faith, and which leaves no room for Georges Danton's revolutionary watchword: "De l’audace, encore de l’audace, toujours de l’audace...".

But enough of my pseudo-lit crit rubbish... I'm still not clear why it was clear - what was the evidence, what is the reasoning? It's not clear to me whether the proposition is, baldly, that the overthrow of Ghadaffi's regime never had anything to offer the working class? If that is the proposition here, then we need an explanation of how exactly, a large number of Libyan working class people's perception that the only chance of their lives getting better lies through getting rid of Ghadadffi, are mistaken. Or, if that is not the proposition, then what exactly is the proposition?

baboon

12 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by baboon on March 8, 2011

Yes, I agree with the above (Cleish). I disagree with the position that events in Libya were all stitched up from the start in relation to a possible extension of the struggle onto a more fertile, and thus stronger, terrain, but the more events descend into two opposing bourgeois camps the more the working class will be squeezed. Also the more, however clumsily in the SAS case (al-Jazeera last night reported an exchange of fire after they landed), the major imperialisms intervene, the more dangerous becomes the postion of the working class and the general population.
This is an ongoing discussion on an important issue that could be continued elsewhere and talk of banning anyone detracts from it.

MT

12 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by MT on March 8, 2011

I am ignorant of the Libyan working class struggles in the past, but if there are close to none, then Devrim made a good point. But let's turn it around and ask - what it has really offered so far and WHY? It may be more constructive way of debating the matter.

I find Caiman del Barrio's claim pretty uncomradely and offensive because Devrim started an interesting debate (I haven't read the ICC debate and its conclusions but I don't feel ICC is now going to take over... what exactly?...).

I would rephrase Devrim's comment. "There is no evidence for any expressions of working class struggle at all in the recent events in Libya." Does anyone consider this to be an untrue statement?

Submitted by Devrim on March 8, 2011

ocelot

I'm still not clear why it was clear - what was the evidence, what is the reasoning? It's not clear to me whether the proposition is, baldly, that the overthrow of Ghadaffi's regime never had anything to offer the working class? If that is the proposition here, then we need an explanation of how exactly, a large number of Libyan working class people's perception that the only chance of their lives getting better lies through getting rid of Ghadadffi, are mistaken. Or, if that is not the proposition, then what exactly is the proposition?

I don't feel that the argument "a large number of [Libyan] working class people's perception that the only chance of their lives getting better lies through..." is really useful. It could apply to anything through fighting for either side in the Second War to voting for George Bush.

On the question of the class nature of the movement, I think that really the onus is on yourself to show that there is a working class one, as it is difficult to prove an absence. I can't see anything to suggest one. On the contrary from the word go, this movement has come across as Islamicist and tribalist.

Devrim

Mark.

12 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Mark. on March 8, 2011

Nothing to do with the argument above and probably ancient history by now but this Guardian article from September is interesting on relations between the EU and Gaddafi while they were still on the same side.

The European Union is keen to strike a pact with Muammar Gaddafi to stem the flow of immigrants across the Mediterranean, officials said today, after the Libyan leader put a price tag of €5bn (£4.1bn) a year on the deal.

"There is great scope to develop cooperation with Libya on migration," said Matthew Newman, a commission spokesman. Other officials said three negotiating sessions were expected by the end of the year between Brussels and Tripoli as well as the staging of a summit of EU and African leaders in Libya in November.

In a highly theatrical visit to Italy this week, Gaddafi warned that Europe would turn "black" unless it was more rigorous in turning back immigrants. Libya is a key transit point for illegal migration from Africa to Europe. The Libyan leader said the bill for sealing the crossing routes would be at least €5bn a year.

Libya is already taking part in three "pilot projects" set up by the EU and Italy on migration, and Tripoli has received almost €20m in EU funding, the European commission said…

Submitted by Mark. on March 8, 2011

MT

I am ignorant of the Libyan working class struggles in the past, but if there are close to none, then Devrim made a good point.

I think the starting point here is that there has been no real working class organisation in the past because the regime was so repressive. For instance all the other north African countries at least have unions of some kind but Libya doesn't. I may have missed something but I'm not aware of any history of organisation outside unions either and I suspect it might have been suicidal to try.

Having said that I don't really know much about Libya and I'm not that sure of my facts.

MT

12 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by MT on March 8, 2011

Yes, I expected that as well. That is why my first idea was that Devrim has made a good point and I didn't understand why he got so harsh response.

Submitted by Devrim on March 8, 2011

Mark.

MT

I am ignorant of the Libyan working class struggles in the past, but if there are close to none, then Devrim made a good point.

I don't know that much about Libya but I think the starting point here is that there has been no real working class organisation in the past because the regime was so repressive. For instance all the other north African countries at least have unions of some kind but Libya doesn't.

Libya has trade unions just as Egypt does. I can't find an English link, but there is a National Trade Union Federation. Of course it was linked to the state but then so are the old Egyptian ones.

Devrim

MT

12 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by MT on March 8, 2011

But Devrim, the Egyptian ones tried to disconnect themselves with the structure and when the chance emerged, they organized independent federation(s) - although with not very different politics I would say, but I see a difference here.

Mark.

12 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Mark. on March 8, 2011

Devrim - I'll stand corrected then. Still I wonder if the relationships between the unions and the state in Egypt and Libya were really equivalent.

Submitted by ocelot on March 8, 2011

MT

I would rephrase Devrim's comment. "There is no evidence for any expressions of working class struggle at all in the recent events in Libya." Does anyone consider this to be an untrue statement?

Yes. Depending precisely on your understanding of what "expressions of working class struggle" actually means. Certainly there is evidence of struggles that working class people are involved in. When in the past weeks the residents of the working class neighbourhoods of Tripoli tried to take to the streets (and were savagely repressed), the available evidence suggests they were trying to counter their grievances, economic and political, - their needs - against the rule of the current regime, rather than taking up arms in support of a rival state/regime. Particularly where you have long-term mass unemployment, from Ballymurphy to Benghazi, the class struggle necessarily takes the form of direct confrontation between unemployed workers and the state, as there are no bosses to strike against, or workplaces for the workless to occupy - the site of struggle of the unemployed working class is the street, inevitably.

So why can the struggle by working class Libyans against the power of capital that confronts them in the form of the state, not be considered as evidence of class struggle? That's an open question, not merely rhetorical.

Counter-arguments would be, firstly that composition does not automatically imply content - that just because the majority of participants in an activity are wearing Man U shirts, does not make it a Man United match. That is, the fact that the majority of participants in a conflict are working class (an sich), does not necessarily make that conflict a class struggle.

Secondly that revolutionary struggles are by their nature instances of asymmetric warfare. To the extent that the initial surge of contestation is blocked and the situation degenerates into civil war where the insurgent side begins to mirror the command structures of the enemy it is fighting, until the logic of symmetrical conflict produces two sides that are increasingly difficult to distinguish the one from the other.

In relation to both these counter-arguments, I'd say both that we lack sufficient information and that the situation is still likely somewhat fluid.

But in relation to the proposition "There is no evidence for any expressions of working class struggle at all in the recent events in Libya." I'd have to say that there is insufficient information to assess the class compositional (or decompositional) effects of the current struggles.

MT

12 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by MT on March 8, 2011

I am a proponent of the first argument (the same as in the case of Egypt and, well, generally).

You say we lack the information, which i agree with, but still you respond "Yes." to the posed question, which i find pretty confusing...

Yorkie Bar

12 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Yorkie Bar on March 8, 2011

So just to be clear we're now going to stop posting updates about the situation or discussing its trajectory in any concrete way, we're just going to argue back and forth as to whether any of it 'counts' as class struggle in the bizarre otherworld of the ultra-left?

Submitted by squaler on March 8, 2011

Devrim

...from the word go, this movement has come across as Islamicist and tribalist.

I'd be interested in knowing why it came across that way to you?

Submitted by MT on March 8, 2011

Yorkie Bar

So just to be clear we're now going to stop posting updates about the situation or discussing its trajectory in any concrete way, we're just going to argue back and forth as to whether any of it 'counts' as class struggle in the bizarre otherworld of the ultra-left?

Are you asking on behalf of someone? I haven't seen you posting updates here much. And as for the argumentation - well, call it what you like, but to me it is an attempt to figure out the nature of the revolt(s) which something very material not "otherworld"...

ocelot

12 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by ocelot on March 8, 2011

speaking of updates

Guardian

12.15pm: Reuters reports tanks firing at the opposition in Zawiyah. It has spoken to a Libyan exile who said he spoke to a friend in the city, 50km west of Tripoli, today:

My friend said it's miserable. He described that Gaddafi forces are trying to destroy the city. Many buildings are completely destroyed, including hospitals, electricity lines and generators.

People cannot run away, it's cordoned off. They cannot flee. All those who can fight are fighting, including teenagers. Children and women are being hidden.

They tried to evacuate. Their (Gaddafi forces') tanks are everywhere, firing. They (rebels) are fighting back. Gaddafi's army is not in control. The fighting is continuing.

Sounds like a potential for a Grozny-style outcome in Zawiyah. On the armour question though, we have this militarist contribution

12.24pm: The Guardian's security editor, Richard Norton-Taylor, has been assessing the options for Gaddafi's forces and writes that one view is the Libyan dictator might leave the capital exposed by taking the fight to the rebels:

Gaddafi's commanders face a key dilemma - whether to deploy elite forces now surrounding Tripoli further east to attack the rebels or continue to concentrate their forces around the capital, according to a leading land warfare analyst.

The danger of leaving the capital, Gaddafi's "centre of gravity", exposed, was spelled out to me by Brigadier Benjamin Barry, a former British army officer attached to the respected International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS).

Since the 1993 coup attempt Gaddafi has deprived the army of resources, instead putting them into "elite regime forces within 50 miles of Tripoli's centre" said Barry. That reflected a classic nature of dictatorship, he observed.

He added that the rebels appeared to have an unlimited supply of small arms, light weapons and anti-aircraft guns. "Their light infantry force is more than enough to sustain them for some time", he said. The regime had no shortage of armour but it faced the problem of taking its forces out of the Tripoli area reducing its "critical mass" there.

Taking on the fight to Misrata and Ras Lanuf, coastal towns to the east of the capital, could erode the regime's combat power, said Barry. He also noted that the rebels had not yet attempted to mount terrorist attacks on Tripoli - nor had Gaddafi ordered his air force to bomb Benghazi and Tobruk.

rooieravotr

12 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by rooieravotr on March 8, 2011

On the nature of the revolt. There seems to have been a shift. The first days, there were demonstrations,street fights and so on, in cities where unemployment is high (Benghazi and so on). Police and soldiers mostly sided with demonstrators, some kind of committee structure was formed. How these commitees were formed is unclear. It seems that notables (judges and so on) quickly came to the foreground, but it also seems that the involvement of the population was strong and genuine. Some sort of self-organisation seems to have been developing. All kind of bourgois forces operated in that context and, after a while, came to dminaten (lots of ex-Kadhafi functionaries, now apparently in the lead, for instance). But the committee context in which they operated was not exactly their favourite terrain. At that stage, this was not just another bourgois camp against the other.

However, the more the thing turns in civil war, the more the anti-Kadhafi forces are reorganising, more and more in the direction of just another interim government, a bourgois structure. But there seem to be counterforces operating: things don't run smoothly. Also, the fact that there was a call to return to work in Benghazi, emanating from some of these committees, strongly suggest that lots of people were NOT at their work before that. You dont't call people back to work if they are all unemployed anyway. This call sounded like a restauration of bourgeois order. That suggests that bourgois order had been quite shaken at the very least, otherwise there would not have been anything to restore.

The way the anti-Kadhafi forces fight their war does not suggest bourgeois business-as-usual, either. I woukld think w that what we are seeing has been a revolt with strong working class undertones, degenerating into civil war under, still contested, bourgeois leadership (the rebvel leaders didn't want to march westwards too soon; lots of insurgenst marched westwards anyway, almost to the outskirts of Sirte..)

Then, even if there is now bourgois domination of the revolt, I think thast it is not in a tribalist or Islamist fashion. The dominant symbol is the pre-Kadhafi flag. That is a symbol of the Libyan state, a monarchy, but more important: a national state (a state with national ambitions). It is not a flag tribalist forces would be very comfortable with, I would think. And it would certainly not be the flag that Islamist forces would use. None of the reports from Benghazi mentions much Islamist presence. And rebel spokespersons insist that they want the WHOLE of Libya rid of Kadhafi, under new leadership as it were.

So yes, the revolt is more and more unde bourgeois leadership, unfortunately. But they seem to be fighting for bourgois liberal democracy, not for Islamism of a restauration of tribal autonomy. Whether there is a basis for a funtcioning liberal set-up in Libya is another matter. But it does not seem true to paint the rebellion as tribalist/ Islamist.

By the way, I see no reason to ban anyone in this debate. This is a debate worth having, contributions like Devrim's force me to think things through again and again, and that is fruitful. No problem, as long as we combine it with actual updating of the situation.

Khawaga

12 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Khawaga on March 8, 2011

I think the starting point here is that there has been no real working class organisation in the past because the regime was so repressive. For instance all the other north African countries at least have unions of some kind but Libya doesn't. I may have missed something but I'm not aware of any history of organisation outside unions either and I suspect it might have been suicidal to try.

There were unions as Devrim said, there were even plenty of committees for the working class to organize their neighbourhood etc. but all part of implementing the green book. I also think that any call based on working class self-organization might be met with skepticism. Gadaffy used a lot of rhetoric about like that.

And yeah, any organization outside of the accepted Gadaffy ones have been brutally repressed, i.e. the people involved were killed (such as televising the hanging of student protesters in Benghazi or gunning down over 1000 prisoners that protested for better conditions etc.) or disappeared.

I would add that, purely from a point of view of living standards, the working class will be better off without Gadaffy. If not materially, then at least they will have the possibility of actually organizing rather than be afraid of getting shot or imprisoned and tortured.

Boris Badenov

12 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Boris Badenov on March 8, 2011

Devrim

On the question of the class nature of the movement, I think that really the onus is on yourself to show that there is a working class one,

Devrim, I may be repeating a question that's already been posed on this thread, but honestly I can't find any answer to it on this page, so here it goes:

What is a proper, unadulterated working-class struggle in your opinion? What criteria must it meet to be truly revolutionary?

Alf

12 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Alf on March 8, 2011

I agree with a large part of rooieravotr regarding the development of the situation in Libya and also with his approach to the debate. The question of the class nature of the movement and its perspectives is, as others have said, vitally important. I have no objection at all if people want to restrict this thread to updates and continue the discussion on a new thread, but I don't think there's a contradiction.

Regarding the situation, I would say the key issue is whether the dynamic towards inter-bourgeois war can be reversed within the present situation. The two factions may not have everything under their control but I think the point has already been reached where it is not possible to reverse this dynamic except by taking a radical new turn towards class struggle, and I think the Libyan proletariat on its own is not well placed to do that. .

Submitted by ocelot on March 8, 2011

I missed this earlier

Devrim

ocelot

I'm still not clear why it was clear - what was the evidence, what is the reasoning? It's not clear to me whether the proposition is, baldly, that the overthrow of Ghadaffi's regime never had anything to offer the working class? If that is the proposition here, then we need an explanation of how exactly, a large number of Libyan working class people's perception that the only chance of their lives getting better lies through getting rid of Ghadadffi, are mistaken. Or, if that is not the proposition, then what exactly is the proposition?

I don't feel that the argument "a large number of [Libyan] working class people's perception that the only chance of their lives getting better lies through..." is really useful. It could apply to anything through fighting for either side in the Second War to voting for George Bush.

Disagree. By accepting that just because the majority of people involved in a conflict, such as WW1, does not make that a class conflict, it does not follow that anything working class people engage in - such as deciding to fight against their government, rather than for it against workers of other countries - is also of undecideable validity. That would be post-modern style relativism that negates any kind of analysis. It is quite possible to make the argument that people who fought for their country in imperialist wars, or voted for George Bush, etc, were mistaken in their assessment of their interests. So the question is can you can construct an argument such that the idea that Libya worker's hopes of a chance of better life takes Ghaddafi's departure as a precondition, is also mistaken? I keep prodding at the question "did Ghaddafi's removal have nothing to offer the working class from the start" for the reason that a certain indifferentist position would reply "yes, absolutely". I'm not accusing anyone here of holding that indifferentist position, but when I don't hear a clear rejection of it, when the question is posed, it is surely not surprising that I keep prodding.

Devrim

On the question of the class nature of the movement, I think that really the onus is on yourself to show that there is a working class one, as it is difficult to prove an absence. I can't see anything to suggest one. On the contrary from the word go, this movement has come across as Islamicist and tribalist.

From historian to lawyer :). But there is an asymmetry here. I am not claiming certainty in relation to outcome, whereas you are. What's more you appear to be implying that anyone who doesn't share that certainty (not only that the outcome is now certain, but that the outcome was decided even from the start) lacks a properly revolutionary perspective. Whence this certainty?

The purpose of this thread is for people to provide links or extracts of the available information floating around the web so as people will have a good chunk of material here to help them make up their minds about what is going on.

So why not post the evidence for your contention that the movement is overhwhelmingly "tribalist and islamicist" in character here, so people can inform themselves?

MT

12 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by MT on March 8, 2011

Devrim said:

On the contrary, from the start it has been a struggle in which neither side had anything to offer the working class except dragging them into a civil war.

I may not agree with the civil war thing as I think noone could predict it would turn into a civil war (I think there were several possibilities of further development or end of the revolt).

But to go to the first part of the sentence. From my point of view, in the beginning (and even more now when we know some more facts thanks to the ongoing debate) I considered the situation the same way as Devrim. There is no revolutionary force and neither a sign of its emergence in the process of struggle. That means the revolt has nothing to offer to the class as a class against another class, as a revolutionary entity, as a revolutionary part of the working mass. Obviously, if the Libyan state finished Kaddafi and established more democratic regime, then it means more freedom. It means potential for many things workers can do. But then I think the communist debate becomes shallow, cos easily everything can be called "pro-working class" or how to say it. I hope I am clear in what I try to say. Basically, wehn a communist asks "why does event X offers to the working class" then I expect common understanding of what is meant by the working class in the revolutionary perspective, not in some democratic discourse. Sorry if I am not clear enough, would welcome further questions.

Khawaga

12 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Khawaga on March 8, 2011

I may not agree with the civil war thing as I think noone could predict it would turn into a civil war

I think quite a few people expected that, that is unless Qadaffy was outed really quickly.

MT

12 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by MT on March 8, 2011

but this statement operates with a specific precondition. I mean, if there is a bad weather, the soldiers won't like to fight is something is a level of discussion that leads us nowhere, cos we don't know what the weather is going to be. but we don't have to go into this I guess...

rooieravotr

12 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by rooieravotr on March 8, 2011

Meanwhile, this has been going in Zawiyah. Demonstrators against tanks.

Khawaga

12 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Khawaga on March 8, 2011

All I am saying is that the possibility of bloodshed and war was much much greater in Libya (as with Bahrain) than in say Egypt or Tunisia. If shit hits the fan in Algeria it also more likely that it will be more like Libya than Egypt. It's not like the weather at all; if you are aware of the power dynamics in a country it is easy to figure these things out. The Qadaffys don't have an easy out like the Mubaraks; they are more likely to face a firing squad rather than the courts, prison or exile. Same shit with the Khalifas (?) and the security establishment in Bahrain; a minority Sunni ruling aristocracy that will all have to leave if the uprising is successful. In Egypt the power dynamics were very different; the army and elements of the old regime, if they played their cards right, could still be involved in the political arena post-uprising.