News / Middle East

Protesters Gather Outside Libyan Embassy in Washington

A small group of anti-Moammar Gadhafi protesters take part in a demonstration at the Libyan Embassy in Washington, March 1, 2011
A small group of anti-Moammar Gadhafi protesters take part in a demonstration at the Libyan Embassy in Washington, March 1, 2011

Protesters were stopped as they tried to enter the huge office complex in Washington that houses the Libyan embassy. They said they came to raise a pre-Gadhafi-era flag that represents Libyan independence from Italy.

It was not clear who inside the embassy is now the official representative for Libyan interests in the U.S. Security guards told them the embassy was closed.

Related video report by Carolyn Presutti



The protesters did not leave. Instead, they gathered across the street, waving the flag.

Libyan Randa El Gouzary says the time for change is now.

"We need to feel like free. This is it, you know, this is the time to get Gadhafi over for us," said El Gouzary. "This is the time to get him out."

While the protesters talked to reporters, seven U.S. congressional members unexpectedly arrived to meet with Libyan officials at the embassy.

Representative Sheila Jackson Lee and several members of the U.S. Congressional Black Caucus said they came to express their solidarity with the Libyan people.

"Those of us who have struggled through the Civil Rights movement, know what it is to struggle for justice and truly believe that these individuals have emulated the fights we have had in this country,"  she said.

Jackson Lee and the other members of Congress met with Ali Aujali, the Libyan ambassador who denounced the Gadhafi government last week, but pledged his support to the Libyan people. Aujali purportedly was fired by the Libyan government on Monday.

The State Department says it is reviewing the legitimacy of a fax received Monday from the Libyan government, appointing the embassy charges d'affaires as the new Libyan ambassador.  But a State Department official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the U.S. will recognize Ambassador Aujali until the review process is complete.

Jackson Lee said she wanted to meet with the representative of the Libyan people.

"We have come to stand in solidarity with the Libyan people," she said. "We call upon the ceasing of the massacre, murderous acts and the river blood in the streets, and we look forward to working with our government to recognize Ambassador Aujali to be the representative here on behalf of the people of Libya."

Activist Ashraf Tulty, who organized the protest, said he hopes whoever takes charge of Libyan interests in the U.S. will realize the Libyan people no longer trust Mr. Gadhafi.

"We hope whoever is representing the regime now should understand the reality and wake up because the regime lost its legitimacy, the regime no longer represents the people, the regime acted in a very violent and bloody manner," he said.

Tulty and the others vowed to continue their protests until Libyans are free of Gadhafi rule.

 

Follow our Middle East reports on Twitter
and discuss them on our Facebook page.

You May Like

Hezbollah Chief Says Does Not Want War But Ready for One

VOA's Jerusalem correspondent reports that with an Israeli election looming and Hezbollah's involvement in Syria, neither side appears interested in a wider conflict More

Multimedia VOA SPECIAL REPORT: Despite Danger, Best US Minds Battle Deadly Virus

Scientists at America's premier biological research center race in military confinement to find effective drugs, speedier tests and a safe vaccine amid the deadliest outbreak of Ebola in history More

Kurdish Poet Battles to Defend Language, Culture

Kawa Nemir's work is an example of what he sees as an irreversible cultural and political assertiveness among Kurds in Turkey More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Egypt's Suez Canal Dreams Tempered by Continued Unresti
X
Heather Murdock
January 30, 2015 8:00 PM
Egypt plans to expand the Suez Canal, raising hopes that the end of its economic crisis may be in sight. But some analysts say they expect the project may cost too much and take too long to make life better for everyday Egyptians. VOA's Heather Murdock reports.
Video

Video Egypt's Suez Canal Dreams Tempered by Continued Unrest

Egypt plans to expand the Suez Canal, raising hopes that the end of its economic crisis may be in sight. But some analysts say they expect the project may cost too much and take too long to make life better for everyday Egyptians. VOA's Heather Murdock reports.
Video

Video Threat of Creeping Lava Has Hawaiians on Edge

Residents of the small town of Pahoa on the Big Island of Hawaii face an advancing threat from the Kilauea volcano. Local residents are keeping a watchful eye on creeping lava. Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Pro-Kremlin Youth Group Creatively Promotes 'Patriotic' Propaganda

As Russia's President Vladimir Putin faces international pressure over Ukraine and a failing economy, unofficial domestic groups are rallying to his support. One such youth organization, CET, or Network, uses creative multimedia to appeal to Russia's urban youth with patriotic propaganda. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Mobile Infrared Scanners May Help Homeowners Save Energy

Mobile photo scanners have been successfully employed for navigational purposes, such as Google Maps. Now, a group of scientists from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology says the same technology could help homeowners better insulate their houses and save some money. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Filmmakers Produce Hand-Painted Documentary on Van Gogh

The troubled life of the famous 19th century Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh has been told through many books and films, but never in the way a group of filmmakers now intends to do. "Loving Vincent " will be the first ever feature-length film made of animated hand-painted images, done in the style of the late artist. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Issues or Ethnicity? Question Divides Nigeria

As Nigeria goes to the polls next month, many expect the two top presidential contenders to gain much of their support from constituencies organized along ethnic or religious lines. But are faith and regional blocs really what political power in Nigeria is about? Chris Stein reports.
Video

Video Rock-Consuming Organisms Alter Views of Life Processes

Scientists thought they knew much about how life works, until a discovery more than two decades ago challenged conventional beliefs. Scientists found that there are organisms that breathe rocks. And it is only recently that the scientific community is accepting that there are organisms that could get energy out of rocks. Correspondent Elizabeth Lee reports.
Video

Video Paris Attacks Highlight Global Weapons Black Market

As law enforcement officials piece together how the Paris and Belgian terror cells carried out their recent attacks, questions are being asked about how they obtained military grade assault weapons - which are illegal in the European Union. As VOA's Jeff Swicord reports, experts say there is a very active worldwide black market for these weapons, and criminals and terrorists are buying.
Video

Video Activists Accuse China of Targeting Religious Freedom

The U.S.-based Chinese religious rights group ChinaAid says 2014 was the worst year for religious freedom in China since the end of the Cultural Revolution. As Ye Fan reports, activists say Beijing has been tightening religious controls ever since Chinese leader Xi Jinping came to office. Hu Wei narrates.
Video

Video Theologians Cast Doubt on Morality of Drone Strikes

In 2006, stirred by photos of U.S. soldiers mistreating Iraqi prisoners, a group of American faith leaders and academics launched the National Religious Campaign Against Torture. It played an important role in getting Congress to investigate, and the president to ban, torture. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Former Sudan 'Lost Boy' Becomes Chess Master in NYC

In the mid-1980’s, thousands of Sudanese boys escaped the country's civil war by walking for weeks, then months and finally for more than a year, up to 1,500 kilometers across three countries. The so-called Lost Boys of the Sudan had little time for games. But one of them later mastered the game of chess, and now teaches it to children in the New York area. VOA’s Bernard Shusman in New York has his story.
Video

Video NASA Monitors Earth’s Vital Signs From Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, is wrapping up its busiest 12-month period in more than a decade, with three missions launched in 2014 and two this month, one in early January and the fifth scheduled for January 29. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, the instruments being lifted into orbit are focused on Earth’s vital life support systems and how they are responding to a warmer planet.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid