Topple the Tyrants sends message to Saif Gaddafi

I salute this form of civil disobedience, public protest and act of solidarity with rebelling Libyans:

It may be furnished, according to its new occupants, just as you would expect “when you have spent …£10m of blood money on a house”, but judging by the appearance mid-afternoon of a masked man in camouflage gear carrying two shopping bags from Budgens, no one had thought to fill the fridge.

Perhaps when occupying the multimillion-pound London mansion of a tyrant’s son, food is some way down the list of priorities. More pressing tasks, for the small group of protesters who have moved into Saif al-Islam Gaddafi’s redbrick Hampstead home, were affixing banners to the roof reading “Revolution” and “Out of Libya, out of London”, and summoning the press, to whom they declared their actions had been taken “in solidarity with the people of Libya, the people of Cairo, the people of Saudi Arabia”.

Spokesman Montgomery Jones told the Guardian that the group, called Topple the Tyrants, had been formed in response to the events of the Arab spring; this was their first action. How many of them were there? “We’re not doing numbers.”

Though there were no Libyans among the group, “we have people from the Middle East and we’re hoping to disseminate the protests more widely”. Further properties would be targeted “if they are owned by dictators, absolutely”.

Text and images ©2024 Antony Loewenstein. All rights reserved.

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