Banks and businesses have reopened across the “free city” of Benghazi, in East Libya over the past couple of days, as the first major city to fall to protesters, now virtually free of the threat of retaliatory attacks, is returning to normal.
Some say it’s just like the city before the protests started, except without a brutally repressive regime killing all the dissidents it sees. Now, there is a “caretaker” government setting up locally, but mostly with an eye on helping the protesters get services restored and cleaning up the wreckage.
Many of those in the caretaker government are said to be defectors from the military, and they are helping to organize the restoration of police service, though without the eye on crushing public protests that they once had.
Some suggest that Free Libya, once the Gadhafi regime is finally ousted from Tripoli, will have very little in the way of a national government and will probably mostly be organized locally. It is telling that the Gadhafi regime’s last ditch effort at quelling the protests was to promise to allow more local governance and less national domination. The reforms finally reached Benghazi, now that the locals were able to choose for themselves.
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