Even before the official start time of 15:00 many protestors were gathered across from Downing Street to tell the government and the international community that enough is enough in Libya: the murder of innocent Libyans by Muammar al-Gaddafi’s regime should not be allowed to continue. The crowd grew and grew and as it did so did the energy and emotion. The chants could be heard echoing throughout Whitehall as hundreds turned into thousands and called for the resignation of Gaddafi and reminded the UK government that they had blood on their hands for selling arms to dictatorships such as Libya.
One gentlemen who came armed with a message for David Cameron (see above) spoke to me about how he worked in Libya for six years but eventually decided to leave because of the Gaddafi regime. He pointed out that Gaddafi has “always been hated” and that this is not simply a copy cat of other North African revolutions. Dr Sabah Almarii fears that “[Gaddafi] will kill everyone before he goes” but also finds it hard to envisage what will become of Libya once Gaddafi does leave. There is not even a pretence of democracy in Libya and any move to democracy would have to be a careful one.
As has been the case in all of these revolutions it is the young that have taken the lead to call for their civil liberties. It was no different today outside Downing Street as children were the most active and lively, some even leading the crowd in chants. One in fact lead a chant of “David Cameron don’t you care, Libyan blood is everywhere” whilst others held placards reading “save my family”.
The crowd were not scared to show anyone passing the bloody truth either. Many handed around images of those dying in the confrontations between protesters, the army and mercenaries in Libya. These were not images you would be shown on television by even the most daring news channel and were harrowing enough to leave anyone ashamed that Gaddafi’s genocide against his won people to continues.
Protesters didn’t mind poking fun at the whacky Gaddafi himself however. Many came armed with caricatures and edited images of him.
The entire effort has sent a clear message of solidarity and simultaneously told the the United Kingdom government they can not keep quite over the situation and certainly should not supply weapons to dictators like Gaddafi. Demonstrations are set to continue throughout the week and many have said they will camp outside Downing Street until Gaddafi is gone.