By Libya Herald reporter.
Tripoli, 17 February 2017:
Although many Tripoli residents say they have little to celebrate at this year’s sixth anniversary of the 2011 revolution, an estimated two thousand still appeared this afternoon and evening to celebrate in the city’s Martyrs’ Square.
However, a heavy security presence and tight security procedures by forces loyal to the Presidency Council (PC) prevented many from entering Martyrs’ Square. All streets leading to the square were closed off and locals wanting to enter faced long queues to get in.
“It was quite a nice atmosphere inside the square and it is so good to see people still feeling the same way about the revolution as they did before,” Moatesm Haiub, told the Libya Herald. “The revolution has nothing to do with the awful things that have happened in recent years,” he added.
Many, though, were youngsters in search of a little excitement, heading to the square to see what was going on.
The areas near the the square were full of checkpoints but Tripoli residents still moved freely and continued their usual weekend routines. This afternoon, after Friday prayer, many treated it as a normal Friday afternoon, meeting in cafes to drink coffee and discuss the week gone by.
“Tripoli is Tripoli. We are living our lives like we always have done,” another resident told this newspaper.
Elsewhere in the city, low-key festivities were in evidence with ubiquitous fireworks being let off, cars horns being honked and flags being waved. But there noticeably far fewer flags and car horn blasts than in previous years. The vast majority of Tripolitans preferred to stay at home, apparently disillusioned with the revolution.
Meanwhile in Benghazi, celebration were even lower key. A few hundred turned up in Kish Square waving Libyan flags.
Gathering also took place in Misrata and Sabratha. There, young men were to be seen riding on cars and there were flags adorning the streets.
In Beida and Tobruk, however, official celebrations were cancelled – in the case of Tobruk because of the general condition of the country. The event in Beida was called off over security fears. There were unconfirmed reports yesterday and today of sporadic clashes in part of the town between the local Barasa tribe and the Libyan National Army.
Meanwhile, Presidency Council head Faiez Serraj has made the coming Sunday a holiday in lieu of the day, which is already a pubic holiday being a Friday. Part of his motivation stems from extra security and emergency services having to work today. Serraj said it was vital state employees were allowed to take the leave they were entitled to.