ABC News’ Arlette Saenz reports:
A group of 50 protestors gathered outside the White House on a chilly evening to show support for the Libyan people’s fight.
Holding white candles and alternating between chants of English and Arabic, the protestors called for Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi to step down and for the United States to intervene to protect the Libyan people. Protestors held signs reading “Gadhafi Join Ben Aly & Mubarak,” “Obama’s silence is a disgrace. A genocide is taking place,” and “42 Years is Enough.”
The protestors came from the D.C. area and beyond -– including New York City, Ohio and Orlando.
Fadi Tarapolsi, a Libyan American who lives in Triangle, Va., helped organize the rally in front of the White House and urged the United States to not only condemn Gadhafi but also take a more active role in assisting the Libyan people.
“I think what the U.S. needs to do is step up a little bit,” Tarapolsi said. “They need to step up in their game. Instead of just coming out to condemn the actions, they need to step up in this humanitarian crisis. What’s happening right now is a travesty and to just sit around and condemn it is simply not acceptable anymore.”
Ahmed Addarrat, a 24-year-old Libyan American from Orlando, Fla., was part of a group who set up a “situation room” in the D.C. area to attempt to make constant contact with friends and family in Libya. This afternoon, he asked people in Tripoli what the sentiment was after Gadhafi’s speech today.
“They basically said this guy is a clown,” Addarrat said. “We know that if he stays, we’re going to die, so we’re going to go out and fight till the end. We’re going to take him.”
Sarah Abdurraham, a 27 year-old Libyan American from New York City, who helps maintain the Twitter handle @Feb17Voices, which posts anonymous phone calls conducted with friends and family in Libya, voiced her delight in the Libyan people’s quest to create waves to enact change.
“We are so so so happy and so proud of them,” Abdurraham said. “This is not an easy thing to do. These people are literally risking their lives. They are living under horrible conditions and we are so proud of them that they finally just stepped up and said this isn’t going to work for us anymore.”
Many of these protestors said they are heading to New York City to participate in a protest at the United Nations Wednesday.