Behind the Green Curtain: Libya Today

The Bread Queue in Janzour

posted to the Free Generation Movement facebook page this morning, July 18, 2011 at 6:17am
Today, at a queue for bread in Janzour, I witnessed the following.

Production was slow and the queue was getting longer. The owner of the bread store came out, apologised and told those waiting that due to fuel shortage his machines were working at 50%. He urged people to just buy bread for ¼ dinar and then come back later for more. He said there was also a flour shortage so urged, again, for people to be economical.

One women shouted “it’s not your flour, its Moamers flour, who are you to ration it?”

The people in the queue were visibly angered by this comment and one man shouted “and do you think your moamer carry the flour here on his back?”

She fell silent but immediately made a phone call.

Minutes later people whispered in the man’s ear to leave as she is a well known revolutionary committee member and loud mouth. He disappeared into the side streets moments before uncountable security trucks turned up with armed men.

The men demanded that the shop owner tell them who the “traitor” was. The shop owner said that he was just a customer and can’t remember just a single person from hundreds of daily customers.

The security chief said to him “Either tell us who he is, or we close this place down”. The man bravely stood tall and said “Close it, but if you want me to give you details about a man I do not know then you are delusional”.

A symbol of defiance from a man standing in a queue. A symbol of nepotism by one woman who thinks she can say and do as she pleases because of who she knows. A symbol of intimidation by security forces enforcing jungle law.

You cant even speak your mind in a bread queue, and then Saif AlGaddafi says “we will have elections”. On what planet do these people live?

Audio: Live Phone Call w/ @Niz_FGM – Update on current situation in Tripoli

Below is the recording of a phone interview with a member of the Free Generation Movement based in Tripoli. In in Niz gives us his view of current events in Tripoli. He says that the security apparatus in Tripoli is falling apart. But they still have strength in numbers and a willingness to use brutal force. In the past week check-points have become more numerous and more heavily armed. He thinks this is because some of the gains in the western mountains have put some of their fighters within minutes to Tripoli by car. In the past week security has increased with more harassment and more arbitrary arrests.

For example there were reports that the security forces had been given 72 hours to find Free Generation Movement people and they just started going around randomly arresting people and accusing them of belonging to activist groups. They are very indiscriminate in their killing and arrests in Tripoli. It's not an arrest, more like kidnapping. The crackdown in Tripoli has been both brutal and effective.

They are slowing down the resistance but can't stop the inevitable fall of Qaddafi. We hear everyday of more and more deflections and are hearing now of military men who are deflecting but staying in place. Noticing now that a lot of the people manning check-points in Tripoli are not from Tripoli, more from Sirte and other Qaddafi strongholds.

There's no fuel. Long fuel cues of abandoned cars. No money in the bank. People can't make withdrawals, public employees aren't getting paid. A lot of people are not going to work. A lot of people are watching the news and waiting to see what happens.

Journalist not really covering Tripoli, but they can't because of Libyan government restrictions. This is supporting the story that there is a lot of support for Qaddafi in Tripoli. He wants everyone to know this is not true. There is a lot happening but it's mostly underground. FGM has done a lot of actions to raise the moral of the people and demoralize the regime. See my diary here for an example. There is also a growing armed struggle in Tripoli that is not being reported. This is mostly attacks on check-points late at night.

There has been a big decrease in NATO activity above the city, it's not non-existent but not like a month ago. This has also lowered moral in the city. NATO activity raises moral in the city. Now there moral is high for other reasons. The massive rallies in Benghazi, Misrata, London and other places, the gains in the west and the developments on the diplomatic front have all raised their moral.

But there is apprehension for what may be a very bloody battle very soon in Tripoli.

LPC #Tripoli w/ @Niz_FGM : Current situation in the city, state of security forces and resistance activity. #Libya (mp3)

1.7 million rally for Qaddafi? Not as it seems!

Now we have another video from Qaddafi's massive support rally in Tripoli on July 8th, 2011. I have already blogged about certain questions surrounding this march in my dairy. Now this video from libyaresistence purports to show that many of those in attendance weren't from Tripoli. They write:
Attempts to call on Tripoli residents to abandon local mosques and pray at green square back fired for the regime, as attempts were made to show the people of Tripoli stood by the “leader”.

Local mosques remained open despite the call by authorities, and local residents turned out in full to pray at their usual mosques in defiance of the regime.
The atmosphere was visibly positive as it was very apparent that everyone present was making an open stand against the regime.

The regime amassed another crowd at “green square” to rally for their cause. The crowd was not as large as previous Friday and FGMovement were in attendance to evaluate the situation. See this video for our explanation of the size of the crowd and the scenes at the square.

Rest assured, people of Libya, the majority of the people of Tripoli were nowhere near “Green Square” today.

a New Video of the Beginnings of the Libyan Uprising is Posted

This video from the beginning of the uprising, February 18, 2011 in Benghazi was posted on Saturday. It is particular instructive for those that weren't following the Libyan uprising in those early days and so have come to think that the rebellion in Libya is different from those in Tunisia and Egypt because they think that "right from the beginning" the rebels in Libya were armed.

This 11 minute video was taken from a window. This was before the protesters in Benghazi had armed themselves but you will see why they soon did so. The shooting by Qaddafi's thugs starts near the end of the video. People are cut down in the street by the yellow hatted mercenaries sent by the Qaddafi regime to put down the demonstrations.

Gaddafi yellow hats mercenaries 11 2 18 لقبعات الصفراء بنغازي

In closing I would like to show you two of the young people that are dying to free their country from the Qaddafi regime. Below is a picture of Muhammad Baltu and Muhammad Al-Qatrani taken in happier times. This was posted today @ Feb 17 Martyrs // A Tribute to Libya's Revolutionary Heroes

the description reads:
Muhammad Baltu (right) and Muhammad (left) were friends in life and now are now martyrs. Baltu was killed on Friday July 15, 2011 in Dafniyah district following in the footsteps of his friend who died on February 19, 2011 in Benghazi. This picture was taken at their friend’s wedding in Misrata.

May God bless their souls.

Here is a recap of my other DKos dairies on the Internet, North Africa and Anonymous:
Gilbert Achcar on the Libyan situation and the Left
NATO slammed for Libya civilian deaths NOT!
Qaddafi's Million Man March
NATO's Game Plan in Libya
February 21st - Tripoli's Long Night
Did Qaddafi Bomb Peaceful Protesters?
Tripoli Burn Notice
Libyans, Palestinians & Israelis
'Brother' Qaddafi Indicted plus Libya & Syria: Dueling Rally Photofinishs
An Open Letter to ANSWER
ANSWER answers me
No Libyans allowed at ANSWER Libya Forum
Are they throwing babies out of incubators yet?
Continuing Discussion with a Gaddafi Supporter
Boston Globe oped supports Gaddafi with fraudulent journalism
Doha summit supports Libyan rebels
Current Events in Libya
Who's running Egypt?
Amonpour Plays Softball with Gaddafi
Californians Support North African Revolts
Google Supports Revolts | Anonymous does too!
Secret U.S. Intelligence Source on Middle East Revealed !
Arming Gaddfi
Are "mutinous officers" are being executed in Egypt now?
Algeria's 19 year long State of Emergency to end soon, President says
Senior Egyptian Army Officers Ordered Massacre!
Tales of Tyrants: Ben Ali, Mubarak & Suleiman
The Mubarak Screw Up & the Suleiman Danger
BREAKING: Mubarak is Defiant
The Google Search for Wael Ghonim
Tunisia's Revolution Continues
Google Goes Rebel, Supports Egyptian Protest
Tunisian Anonymous activists take on Egyptian cause
Protesters roar back with "Day of Departure" for Mubarak
Act Now to Stop Mubarak's Thugs From Killing More! w Petition
Act Now to Stop Mubarak's Thugs From Killing More!
They Should Have Helped That Street Vendor
Million Egyptian Protest Planned as Resistance Continues
Huffington Post Disses the Jasmine Revolution Redux
No Internet? No Problem! Anonymous Faxes Egypt
Egypt is on Fire!
North African Revolution Continues
Egypt Protests Continue, Tunisia Wants Ben Ali Back
BREAKING: Protesters Plan Massive "Day of Wrath" in Egypt Today
Tunisians Thank Anonymous as North Africa Explodes
Huffington Post Disses the Jasmine Revolution
Tunisia: A Single Tweet Can Start A Prairie Fire!
Anonymous plans Op Swift Assist in Tunisia
Arrested Pirate Party Member Becomes Tunisian Minister
Is Libya Next? Anonymous Debates New Operation
Tunis: This Photo was Taken 66 Minutes Ago
The WikiLeaks Revolution: Anonymous Strikes Tunisia
EMERGENCY: DKos Must Act Now to Protect Tunisian Bloggers!