For a second day, London-based Libyan exiles gathered outside their embassy, to celebrate the gains made as freedom fighters finally entered Tripoli. some suggested that now it was Syria's turn to overthrow their leader. UK. 23rd August 2011
For the second day running, to celebrate the great gains made as Libyan Freedom Fighters finally entered Tripoli this week and following the detention of two of Colonel Gaddafi's sons yesterday (who later managed to escape with help from Gaddafi loyalists), London-based Libyan exiles gathered outside their embassy in Knightsbridge to chant revolutionary slogans and sing, and were also joined by several Syrian allies. The call went up for the Cameron government to expel the Syrian ambassador to London, and for the UK government to do more than just spout rhetoric at Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad as he continues to slaughter his own people with impunity.
Several of the Libyan families who attended the embassy today brought their young children along to join in the celebrations, ensuring that they will remember this momentous piece of Libyan history for the rest of their lives. Some of the children were held up to lead the chants over a megaphone, much to the delight of the adults. Undeterred by the miserable London rain, the small-but-enthusiastic crowd kept their joyous celebrations going for several hours - a small dress-rehearsal, one man said to me, for the coming day when they finally capture Muammar Gaddafi.
Half way through, the crowd was suddenly invaded by a bizarre, wild-eyed man called Simba ("My real name's Paul but I like to be called Simba because I feel like a lion"!), who, wrapped in the traditional Libyan flag, continuously shouted and bellowed his support for the Libyan revolution at the top of his voice, arms flailing, much to the initial bemusement of the gathering. Unable to control his manic excitement or his volume, or to realise that he was becoming an embarassment, Simba's bellowing and exuberant arm-waving later on reduced several of the youngest children to anxious tears. The last glimpse I had of him as I was leaving, he had managed to corner about a dozen startled Libyans on the embassy front steps whilst bellowing at them "I'm ashamed to be f***ing British", and "they should send a f***ing army to Syria to sort him out"!
I must applaud these Libyans for their tolerance and compassion towards this quite difficult man.