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Protesters in US Call for End to Bloodshed in Libya

Protesters outside Libyan embassy in Washington

Protesters outside Libyan embassy in Washington

The violence continues in Libya -- Gadhafi protesters facing a government crackdown. Meantime, in the United States, protesters in Washington and New York City are calling for an end to the bloodshed.

They march to the Libyan Mission at the United Nations in New York and are angry about the violence in Libya.

"Gadhafi is a criminal, is a murderer. He is killing people in Tripoli and Bengazi and in all Libyan cities," said Ala Ali, a dentistry student.

One group calls for a no-fly zone to prevent foreign mercenaries from entering Libya. Witnesses say Africans-for-hire are shooting Libyans in Tripoli and elsewhere. The group also wants the U.S. to take action.
But analysts warn against that. "It is very important that the U.S. not take any unilateral actions that could be perceived, or co-opt, could be used by the Libyan regime to suggest that this is all a Western plot, a U.S. plot to establish some kind of hegemony or empire in Libya," said Ash Jain, a former U.S. State Department employee.
In Washington, protesters tried to enter the office complex where the Libyan Embassy is located. Security guards stopped them.

No flowers could be left in memory of the dead in Libya and there was no meeting with the Libyan ambassador.

"We are the Libyan people, and we are demanding that he serve us today. He will not have an option, they will see us today," said protester Shahrazad Kablan to a guard at the embassy.

The protest continues, but no one from the embassy comes outside to speak to the group.

One of the protesters made it inside the embassy. He called down to say he was removing Gadhafi material from the walls. That brought in a lot of police who now want to arrest him.

"He said they had taken down the photos of Moammar Gadhafi and the green flag, which is the regime flag and put up our signs stating that the Libyan Embassy belongs to the Libyan people," said Rihab Elhaj, who talked to the man who got inside the embassy.

A man and a woman were taken away in this U.S. Secret Service van. And police confiscated their signs, camera and cellphone.

The protesters say the embassy became theirs on Tuesday when Libyan Ambassador Ali Aujali announced he was representing the people, not Moammar Gadhafi. "I am calling for him to go and leave our people alone," he said.

The ambassador was not at the embassy Thursday, and when reached by his staff for VOA, he said he would not comment. Protesters say they will return another day to remove any evidence of Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi.