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Nascent Libya protests spark enthusiasm
Hundreds, maybe thousands, of youths took to the streets of Benghazi today, calling for Libyan leader Muammar al-Ghaddafi to step down and for social reforms. The precipitated protest marches, violently suppressed by police forces, came as a surprise, with almost no media present to report them.
Especially Egyptian activists, following their participation in ousting President Mubarak, are helping out. They advise Libyan activists on how to bypass government censorship attempts; how to stay anonymous when leaking information; which channels to use when government blocks social media; how to contact international media; how to protect themselves against teargas; manuals for revolution; and so on.
In the afternoon, government indeed seemed to block access to leading social media and the websites of popular Arab media such as 'Al Jazeera'. The blockade however only lasted for around 45 minutes, Libyans quickly were able to communicate to the internet community.
Meanwhile, Libyans at the spot issue warnings about "pro-Ghaddafi supporters" gathering at a central Tripoli park and the arrest of bloggers and
The e-movement in support of a Libyan revolution has gathered momentum, trying to help Libyans overcome their understandable fears to take to the streets. The movement is powerful, comparable only to the Egyptian pro-democracy e-movement.
Everybody is now waiting to see if this massive e-movement also can be translated to a massive popular protest movement in the streets of Benghazi and Tripoli. Activists in Benghazi already have indicated they will take to the streets again this evening. Tomorrow, the first large protests are to be organised.
Meanwhile, the Ghaddafi regime is preparing its next moves to stop the revolt. Tactics so far have been increased social spending and the spread of fear, with police shooting at protesters in Benghazi. It remains to be seen how it will react to a possible mass movement.
By staff writer
© afrol News
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