VICE Founder Shane Smith takes you into the heart of the Libyan revolution, where the stakes are simple: victory or death. We head into rebel-controlled eastern Libya, traveling from the Egyptian border to Benghazi and then onto the front lines in Misrata to document the violent revolution.The slogan "Win or Die" was first heard on the streets of Benghazi, it now echoes through out Syria. I think it should soon be the slogan of us all if we are to salvage the future of humanity on the planet Earth from those who are presently destroying it.
Hosted by Shane Smith | Originally aired in 2011 on http://VICE.com
Remember that a year ago, Libya looked like Syria today, so their is hope:
From QW Magazine we have this assessment of the Libyan Revolution:
Afrol News remembered why the Libyan people revolted in the first place:
Libyas Revolution, One Year Later
by Nada Elfeituri on Feb 16, 2012 7:59 pm
Driving through Benghazi, everything seems deserted. No cars, no people, the only sound is the wind blowing through empty streets. Take a turn into Dubai Street, pickup trucks full of soldiers are ordering anyone outside to go home. Theres a glimpse of something going on at the end of the road. It looks like a group of people, and theyre coming closer. One of them is holding up a makeshift sign with the slogan peaceful protest scrawled in Arabic. As they come closer, it becomes apparent. In Gaddafis Libya, a place where protests would never go unpunished, the people of Benghazi have taken to the streets.
Across Libya, 17th February marked the beginning of the end for the tyrannical regime that ruled the country with an iron fist for 42 years. What those protesters didnt know on that fateful day was that they would soon clash with Gaddafis forces, paid mercenaries that were ordered to shoot on sight. They could not foresee the mounting death toll as young men took a stand in front of Benghazis main military barrack, and lost their lives for it. They could never have imagined that this defiance would lead to an all-out war that would embroil the rest of the world.
Benghazis story of those days is only a chapter in what would become one of the most momentous events in Libyas history. Across the East, cities fell one by one from Gaddafis grasp. In the West, cities like Zintan, Tripoli and Misrata would hold their own protests, decrying the violence being committed against their fellow countrymen. Anger, blood, tears, hope and finally, freedom, would be the legacy of this uprising.
On the eve of February 17, looking back over the course of last year, the changes that have occurred still fill me with awe. The fear and hopelessness that once defined Libya as a country has almost been completely eradicated. Instead, there is the aim of progress, the collective hope of a better tomorrow. Libyans now do not live for the present, but for the future, a future where people are equal, and the government protects the interests of the country instead of exploiting them.
There is change, however, sometimes overlooked, but still takes you by surprise when you notice it. We CAN challenge the government, we CAN make our opinions known and our voices heard. One year ago, typing an anti-regime slogan on Facebook or Twitter wasnt even up for consideration by many.
Libya wont be able to undo 42 years of damage in a year, or even five years. But the process has already begun. Women are asserting their role in society and in the government, demanding more representation. Dozens of newspapers, magazines and organizations are making the most of free speech, daring the citizens to raise their own voices. Theres a new atmosphere dominating the Middle East, a desire to once again be at the forefront of civilization, and Libya is determined to be at the head.
They said a revolution in Libya was impossible; the very idea was laughed at. And yet, here we are, one year later, rebuilding a nation. Years from now, I expect, Libya will still continue to defy expectations. More...
Libya economy reveals basis for protests
While the Libyan economy drowns in petrodollars and its "Great leader" Muammar al-Ghaddafi buys support abroad, almost half of its youth are unemployed. The non-oil sector is tiny.
Libya is the richest North African country. Counted in GDP per capita, Libya indeed is on an Eastern European level.
But that does not reflect the real economy of the average Libyan, with around half the population falling outside the oil-driven economy. The unemployment rate is at a surprising 30 percent, with youth unemployment estimated at between 40 and 50 percent. This is the highest in North Africa.
Also other development indicators reveal that little of the petrodollars have been invested in the welfare of Libya's 6.5 million inhabitants. Education levels are lower than in neighbouring Tunisia, which has little oil, and a surprising 20 percent of Libyans remain illiterate.
Also, decent housing is unavailable to most of the disadvantaged half of the population. A generally high price level in Libya puts even more strains on these households.
But the key of popular discontent is the lack of work opportunities, which strongly contrasts the Libyan image of a rich nation constantly propagated by the regime and its Soviet-style media.
The few options for ordinary Libyans include the police or armed forces, construction works and petty trade. But even here, contacts and corruption are needed to have a chance. More...