- By Joshua Keating
Joshua Keating was an associate editor at Foreign Policy
It probably won’t get as much coverage as the violence in Pakistan, but there’s another notable demonstration today. According to the AP, around 30,000 people have come out in Benghazi to demand the disbanding of militias after the attack that killed U.S. ambassador Christopher Stevens:
"No, no, to militias," the giant crowd chanted as it marched along a lake in the center of Benghazi, filling a broad boulevard. They carried banners and signs demanding that militias disband and that the government build up police to take their place in keeping security. "Benghazi is in a trap," signs read. "Where is the army, where is the police?"
Other signs mourned the killing of U.S. Amb. Chris Stevens, reading, "The ambassador was Libya’s friend" and "Libya lost a friend."
"Benghazi has been thrown wide open, it’s full of chaos, looting and crime," said Ihsan Abdel-Baqi, a woman in her 50s who joined the march. "We want our dignity back. We are not afraid of anything."
The giant crowd poured into a square in front of the main camp of Ansar al-Shariah in the city, unfurling a long Libyan flag and chanting, "With our lives and souls, we redeem you, Benghazi." Military helicopters and fighter jets flew overhead, and police mingled in the crowd.
Several thousand Ansar al-Shariah supporters lined up in front of the camp in the face of the crowd, waving black and white banners. But there was no immediate friction between the two sides.
Live feed from from the Libya al-Wataniya network above.