Free of Qaddafi, a City Tries to Build a New Order

2011. március 7. 10:43

There is no call for the overthrow of the government; only Colonel Qaddafi is mentioned, as lackey, tyrant and the man with really bad hair.

„The signs in Bayda still read the Great Socialist People’s Libyan Arab State of the Masses. It was never much of a state, nor did the people have much say. Now two weeks after its liberation, residents of this highland town have the task of making it so, a challenge that may prove pivotal to the course of Libya’s revolt. Far from the front, in mood and reality, Bayda, an eastern city that was one of the first to embrace the anti-Qaddafi revolution, has now also embraced the work of what might follow: building a state on a landscape riven by divisions of tribe, piety and class in a country whose leader spent four decades in power dismantling anything that might contest his rule.

The new police chief has less than a third of his officers and worries that vigilantes might not surrender their weapons. He has no prison. Hundreds have volunteered for work, but on Sunday, many sat under a tent watching the news channel Al Jazeera. With revolutionary fervor, and a resurgence of pride in running their own lives, residents have set up a slew of committees to impose order, distribute charity and run schools, but even its own members admit they have more enthusiasm than experience. That it has gone as well as it has is a testament to the strength of the society in a place like Bayda, where Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi conquered but could not divide.”

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