On 1 July 2011, hundreds of thousands of Libyans supporters gathered in Green Square and surroundings. Some 1 700 000 people demonstrated to defend their country and to repudiate NATO’s aggression.
Showing peaceful determination and courage in the face of Western warmongering, the Libyans had decided to turn the rally into a celebration. In a joyful atmosphere, amid singing and blowing of horns, they chanted: "With our souls, with our blood, we will defend our country!"; "Tripoli will be their grave!", and in particular "NATO is barbarism; Gaddafi, you are civilisation!"
People flocked from all districts of the capital and from nearby towns and villages, piled into overloaded cars to save on gasoline, under a blazing sun. The rally itself didn’t get underway until dusk when it cooled off.
Not counting Cyrenaica which is currently occupied by NATO and its mercenaries, Libya has a population of approximately 5 million, of whom 1.5 million live in the capital itself.
The authorities have distributed 2 million machine guns to the civilian population, preparing it to push back an eventual foreign invasion. Thus, the crowd carried arms to manifest its support for their system of participative democracy and for their revolutionary leader Muammar Ghaddafi, who freed their country from the colonial yoke.
Celebrations continued into the night with a superb fireworks display that the Libyans offered to the Atlantic Alliance as a token of peace, a disconcerting show for those Western soldiers who were watching from their warships anchored offshore.