By Frederick H. Lowe
Demonstrations recently have been held in major European cities to protest African men, women and children being sold into slavery in Libya, a practice that began after the United States and other countries overthrew Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, leaving the country ungovernable.
Nearly 4,000 individuals protested in Stockholm. Large demonstrations also have been held in London, Brussels and in Paris by men and women who are reacting to news reports of refugees and migrants passing through Libya being sold at auction into slavery.
Television camera crews photographed black men sold into slavery for $400 and black women being sold as sex slaves. The migrants are traveling through Libya to reach Europe to find work and a better life.
London’s demonstration was organized by Slavery Remembrance. Supporters said if they refuse to acknowledge what is happening in Libya, they are destined make the same mistakes when it comes to racism and slavery. The United Kingdom was the world’s largest slave trader during the transatlantic slave trade. Some migrants, mostly Nigerians, Ghanaians and Gambians, are forced to work for the slave traders.
Slavery Remembrance members picketed the Libyan Embassy in London on November 26. The organization also posted #End Slavery in Libya.
The demonstrators carried signs that read “We are not slaves” and “I can’t believe I’m protesting for this shit in 2017.”
Celebrities from Nigeria and the United States have demanded that Libya stop its slave trade. Chris Brown, Common and T.I. have denounced Libya’s slave trade.
“Heartbreaking, barbaric and unacceptable. We must fight to end this! Speak up, spread awareness. The inhumanity must end,” said television host Steve Harvey.
Slave trading began in 2011 after the United States, France and England overthrew Gaddafi.
Since the overthrow of Gaddafi, Libya has been ungovernable; the country’s climate has been characterized by sporadic violent clashes by various factions. Soon after Gaddafi was murdered, militias began executing Africans living in Libya.
Hillary Clinton, President Barack Obama’s Secretary of State, reportedly knew that the executions were taking place but she did not do anything about the killings.
Barack Obama said the worst mistake he made as president was not planning for the aftermath of Gaddafi.
“Probably failing to plan for the day after what I think was the right thing to do intervention in Libya,” Obama told Fox News. After Gaddafi was killed, Libya fell into chaos with militias taking over and rival parliaments and governments forming.
Obama said Libya has been a mess since the fall of Gaddafi.
Singer LL Cool J said the West used its military to remove Gaddafi and that the West has a moral obligation to get Libya back on a healthy footing.
Libya is not getting all the blame for the current situation. African leaders are being urged to fix their countries to stem the flow of illegal immigration.