Colonel al-Gaddafi has publicly made clear his readiness to kill those who oppose him in order to stay in power.
My Twitter feed was a string of indictments on Monday. Libyans were telling the world that they are being massacred.
On my screen were the names of Libyans’ killed friends, new ones appearing every few hours. Messages in Arabic and in English all said the same thing: It seems that the world is not watching, that Arabs are looking the other way, and that the Libyan people have been forsaken by human rights organizations, the United Nations and all the countries and peoples of the world, western and Arab.
On February 17 Najla Abdurrahman wrote an article for the Foreign Policy website entitled, “What If Libya Staged a Revolution and Nobody Came?” Its subtitle: “Libyans are giving up their lives to overthrow Muammar al-Qaddafi. But is anyone paying attention?”
Najla Abdurrahman describes the failure of the international news agencies, including the Associated Press and Aljazeera, in covering the Libyan revolution accurately. In the following days images of the dead in Libya have been shown on different Arabic television stations, but not all of them, and few, it seems, are watching.
Libyan activist Fathi al-Warfali, based in Switzerland, asked Reuters “where is Amnesty International?”
As Amnesty has been scrambling to prepare a public statement and an action, it was and still is unclear that world leaders would heed Amnesty’s call to act immediately to stop the bloodshed, or that news organizations that have not been covering the Libyan government’s violence would change course now. In a press release today Amnesty described the UN Security Council’s response as falling “shamefully below what was needed to stop the spiralling violence , and called for concrete action, including an immediate arms embargo and assets freeze.”
Our Chicago protests are a response to this. It is to tell the Libyans who feel alone that they are not alone. That we stand in solidarity with them, calling for the end of bloodshed, using the means available to us. We stand for justice in Libya as we stood for justice in Egypt. We acknowledge that as peaceful protest is a human right here, it should be there.
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