BY TANIA APAZA
This Saturday, hundreds are attending a march in London against slavery in Libya.
Participants are protesting the enslavement, sale, torture, rape, illegal detention and extrajudicial killings of Africans. Needless to say, it’s an event that should be attended by everyone who has an ounce of humanity.
However, it’s location is flawed. Instead of it being held outside of the Libyan embassy, it should be held outside of the Houses of Parliament, the U.S. Embassy and the offices of every single Western country which took part in the invasion and bombing of Libya in 2011. After all, it was the invasion and the brutal assassination of leader Muammar Gaddafi six years ago that made this possible in the first place.
Furthermore, the severe mistreatment of Africans did not only happen once Gaddafi was killed. It was happening throughout the entire invasion. While there seemed to be no footage of the enslavement and selling of Africans, there was footage of illegal detention, torture and killings, specifically lynchings.
There were also reports of rape and torture carried out by Wahhabi anti-government forces. The only difference is that it was being deliberately ignored by media outlets. Instead, claims of pro-government forces using rape as a “weapon of war” was spread far and wide, despite it not being backed up by any proof.
Mainstream media outlets also claimed that Gaddafi was carrying out airstrikes on civilians, something which was disproved. These bogus claims against his anti-imperialist government — or, as most outlets called it, the “regime” — were almost entirely the focus. Meanwhile, the horrific acts carried out by the so-called “rebels” were ignored. After all, that would have ruined the image of this so-called “popular uprising” and taken the attention off of a “horrible dictator” who “had to be taken down.”
Unfortunately, this line was not only taken by mainstream media outlets, but also white “leftist” organizations. While it may have been CNN that revealed the enslavement and selling of Africans in Libya recently, they still seem to interpret the invasion as a “civil war.” Although we should expect more from organizations that identify as left-wing, the Socialist Worker Party, known as SWP, held the anti-Black rebels up on a pedestal and called the invasion a “revolution.”
How could it have been a “civil war” when the so-called “rebels” were mostly made up of Western-funded and NATO-backed Wahhabi mercenaries? How could it have been a “revolution” when Africans were being targeted in the name of Arab supremacy disguised by the false claim that they were pro-Gaddafi mercenaries? What kind of “revolution” leads to a severe decrease in standards of living? Lastly, how could a genuine “popular uprising” put a smile on former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s face?
A huge web of lies were spun in order to justify the invasion of Libya — lies which echoed the justifications for the 2003 Iraq invasion. What made Libya’s invasion more tragic, however, was that a million people didn’t come out to oppose it, like people did for the Iraq invasion, because they believed the absurd lies being spread by the white media of the right and the so-called “left.”
The response from the First World definitely revealed an ongoing colonial way of thinking; the lack of importance given to African lives and the ability to believe such outlandish falsehoods was simply disturbing.
Here’s to hoping that the outrage being felt by everyone over the brutal treatment of Africans in Libya will lead to strong and steadfast anti-imperialism. An anti-imperialism which enables us, the children of the Third World, to not fall for these lies ever again — whether they are being spread by the BBC, CNN or white “left” organizations.
At this weekend’s march, the SWP should not be allowed to flood the crowd with their placards. Their placards should be torn into pieces and replaced by the green flag of the Jamahiriya. This time, it is not only the imperialist governments who have blood on their hands. It’s also the white “left.”