By Libya Herald reporter.
Misrata, 28 October 2017:
Pro-Islamists in Misrata organised a parade yesterday to celebrate the sixth anniversary of the 2011 liberation declaration after the death of Muammar Qaddafi. There was a significant turnout of vehicles which headed towards Flag Square, although in terms of spectators it was less well attended – numbers are estimated at around 300.
Liberation day officially falls on 23 October, this year last Monday, and is officially a public holiday across the country but it was widely ignored in most places. In Tripoli, it was “just another day”, as one local official put it. “Nobody cared,” he said.
The same attitude seems to have prevailed among most Misratans. Most of the spectators on the street near Flag Square showed little enthusiasm for the event either. The only coverage was by the two pro-Islamist TV stations, Al-Nabaa and Sadek Ghariani’s Tanasuh TV. Other local media ignored it
In a statement, the organisers said that they would fight terrorism, especially terrorism that used Islam as a means to gain power, that they would not abandon the 2011 revolution nor would they accept the current division of the country and that they would fight to defend it. They also said they believed in democracy and reconciliation, and blamed politicians and those who want to lead the country (a reference to Khalifa Hafter) for the crisis. They furthermore warned that they would take action against “bandits” who were sabotaging the supply of oil, water electricity and gas. They threatened, too, those they called the “semi-revolutionaries” in Tripoli who were preventing state institutions from operating.
In this case, they were believed to be referring to those such as Haithem Tajouri and Ghneiwa who forced them out of Tripoli last May.
There was a distinct anti-Hafter theme to the parade. As well as condemnation from the organisers, there were numerous defaced posters of the field marshal in evidence.
According to one local official, the aim of the event was to show that Misrata would not be bowed by threats from Hafter and the Libyan National Army, and that it had the means to fight him.