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حملة التضامن البريطاني الليبي للحرية وحقوق الأنسان
British Libyan Solidarity Campaign For Freedom And Human Rights ( BLSC )

Monday, 17 January, 2011

Press Release

Monday 17th January 2011

Will Libyan’s living under the Dictatorship of Gaddafi follow in the footsteps of their Tunisian neighbours?

The people of Libya have been gagged by the single party totalitarian regime of Col Gaddafi for 41 years. With oppressive Laws such as Law 71 which makes it illegal to form an Organisation or a Party that criticises the Regime, carrying the death penalty, there have been few incidences of public protest in Libya. But the wind is changing and tomorrow Libyan’s have planned a protest in Tripoli, Benghazi and Darna.

The first sign of activists taking to the streets was when empty new houses were occupied by squatters who are in despair about the chronic shortage of housing in the oil rich country where homeless families have to exist on the streets while the fat cats in power enjoy the life of the rich and elite and buy some of the most expensive real estate on earth for their own personal use. These houses were built all over Libya by Investment Bankers and sold to the people.

Eight years later the people still have not been able to move in to their properties and now the squatters have moved in. Two days ago Gaddafi in his speech in Sabha, South Libya announced that the empty houses should be handed over to the people. Sounds good doesn’t it? The problem is that these houses are not still owned by the investment bankers, they have been bought with the blood sweat and tears of Libyan workers who have waited eight years to have their dreams come true, and now Gaddafi is giving their houses away to other people who didn’t pay for them.

Gaddafi committed this act of stupidity in the face of panic because of what happened to Ben Ali in Tunisia. Aware his people are at breaking point because of the poverty in Libya he wanted to do something to make him look like a benevolent Dictator, giving to the poor. The only problem was that unlike Robin Hood, he was stealing the property from the poor to give to the poor. So the people who have had their property confiscated are heading for the streets in a rare show of bravery. It is crucial that the British Press covers these protests. It is the only protection from annihilation that these people have, that the West is watching. We call on the British Press to cover these demonstrations and watch how the regime responds.

It took the self immoliation of unemployed graduate Mohsen Bouterfif to start the uprising in Tunisia, what will it take to get the people on the streets in Libya? Perhaps the shooting of the protesting homeless. Will the domino theory be played out in the Middle East? We may know by Tuesday.

15 Knightsbridge

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