By Moutaz Ali.
Tripoli, 29 November 2016:
Even though protestors continued to stake out Algeria Square despite today’s torrential rain, there are clear signs that on its third day, Tripoli’s coordinated protests at the failure of the Presidency Council to stop the collapse in living conditions, are themselves on the point of collapse.
The coordinated outcry over power cuts, unpaid wages, bank note shortages and rising crime and insecurity started well enough. On Sunday at least 30 schools and many businesses, particularly in centre of the capital refused to open. The organisers hoped the action would snowball. However, from the beginning many who supported the protest doubted it would grow and succeed. And indeed today the majority of the shops and schools shuttered on Sunday had reopened.
One local told this newspaper: “This might have worked in a stable state with a government that could be persuaded to accept certain demands. But unfortunately we have no such thing. We are just living in an open garden without a guardian,”.
There has also been concern that the protest of living conditions is being hijacked. “ I have decided to pack it in, ” activist Mohamed Al-Balili told the Libya Herald, “People have been joining us with their own agendas which have nothing to do with our original complaint about the quality of life.”
He added: “We had some initial success but demonstrators reckoned that they would not be listened to so decided not to waste any more time and money in protesting”.