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A “Day of Rage” in Libya.

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Much of the Arab world is seeing dissent from citizens, dissent from the young, as the emotionally charged memories of the student protests from Cairo and all of  Egypt spread through the internet and the media. Tunisia has seen turmoil, as have Yemen and the tiny island of Bahrain. Libya too, has seen protests and violence. The demonstrations in Libya were concentrated on Thursday, February 17, and some related disharmony then was carried over to Friday.

Reports coming out of Libya seem unreliable. It is noted that the CNN News organization does not have journalists in Libya. ABC, in its The World Today, seemed a little short of material; much of their discussion was centered on the eyewitness account of a man named Mohamed who spoke of children and youthful protesters jumping off the Giuliana Bridge to escape security forces. He stated that 12 people died. He went on to say that Gaddafi has brought in the military from Chad, and that people were jumping off the bridge, fearful for their lives. “Children, I swear” he said. “And the water was really deep.” Some reports place the number killed in the city of Benghazi, where the Giuliana Bridge is located, at about 50. Benghazi has long been in opposition to Gaddafi, because of violence and public executions there. There has been substantiation of the military coming in from Chad.

The eyewitness, Mohamed, felt that those on the streets, beyond the military from Chad, were pro-Libyan President Gaddafi supporters who were paid lavish sums to attack the demonstrators. 5000 [dollars?] the man said, and late model cars. Gaddafi has been the Libyan president for as long as many can remember. The people of Libya, with the aid of Facebook, Twitter, and Internet sites staged a “Day of Rage” in protest of government control of the media, and of violence in recent years. Gaddafi staged a counter demonstration, in opposition to the Day of Rage, in the capital city of Tripoli. Few acknowledge movement in recent years toward free expression. President Moammar Gaddafi still controls the nation’s media.

Facebook had live video of protesters in Benghazi, Zentan, Rijban, and Shahat. Concurrently, state media showed pro-government supporters on Thursday in Tripoli in support of Gaddafi. Some claims were made that the government news releases were less than authentic. The pro-government reports showed demonstrators waving flags and holding up photos of Gaddafi on a roadway, to the accompaniment of fireworks.

There has been limited coverage in the media of Gaddafi’s agreement, in response to the protests and the Day of Rage, to double the salaries of state employees and to release from captivity 110 accused Islamic militants.

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About John Lake

John Lake had a long and successful career in legitimate and musical theater. He moved up into work behind the camera at top motion pictures. He has done a smattering of radio, and television John joined the Blogcritics field of writers owing to a passion for the liberal press, himself speaking out about the political front, and liberal issues. Now the retired Mr. Lake has entered the field of motion picture, television, and video game (now a daily gamer!) critique. His writing is always innovative and immensely readable!
  • troll

    …here’s a look at the question of leadership in these uprisings

  • Don’t have much confidence, Kurt, in the ordinary people, do you now? Must have rulers to tell ’em how to live from day to day and conduct their daily lives.

  • kurt brigliadora

    A natural occurrence between the haves and the have nots…The question to ask yourself is; If the “have nots” get their way, will they even know how to sustain their existence? How long will it take. what will the struggles be???

  • John Lake

    roger nowosielski:
    Thanks for the stream from Bahrain!

  • One way or another, the US is not bearing down hard enough on Libya and Bahrain to stop state violence. My prediction is, it will because of the Zeitgeist: it’s committed to a rhetoric of democracy and freedom even it is is against its national interests. It’s just so damn slow in responding.

  • Roger,

    Twitter is easy to use. You can actually read what some of the protesters, themselves, write. No middle-man–person-to-person.

    AlJazeera is still, after all, a corporate news outlet. So is Guardian UK, though they often do the best job of covering a story from the marginalized pov, perhaps in recognition that that ‘angle’ is also lucrative.

  • Dunno Roger, that was yesterday. Just saying…

  • I don’t know how to use tweet, Cindy. But why would Al Jazeera’s coverage be lesser? I’m listening to the live stream as we speak.

  • Just to let you know what some are saying, Roger, here are two tweets I saw yesterday.


    Bahrainis wondering why AJazeera not covering their uprising the same way it did #egypt and #tunisia #jan25 #feb14
    8:40 PM Feb 16th


    The @guardian is giving more coverage to #Bahrain and #Libya than @AJELive Isn’t that strange?
    about 24 hours ago via web

  • Live Stream.

    No more excuses now!

  • I should think that Al Jezeera has its people on the ground, John. You should try to avail yourself of their 24/7 live-stream coverage, especially in that region of the world, rather than keep on relying on second-hand reports from our media. Amy Goodman from Democracy Now! also features an hour-long daily show which highlights the key events.