Note: Current Liveblog is here for up to date commentary on events in Libya.
While I write this diary the Gaddafi regime is razing the city of Zawiya to the ground and indiscriminately killing its citizens. Alex Crawford reported from Zawiya today:
The people of Zawiyah are fighting for their lives. We have seen with our own eyes Colonel Muammar Gaddafi's forces firing on peaceful protesters.
Gaddafi's forces opened fire on protesters calling for the colonel to step down
We have witnessed the regime's tanks shelling residential buildings. We have sheltered in a mosque as the colonel's soldiers fired on the minarets.
Later, we were in the town's Martyrs' Square watching the rebels' celebrations as the authorities in Tripoli told the foreign media they had "liberated" the place.
The Sky News crew of cameraman Martin Smith, foreign editor Tim Miller and I found ourselves trapped in Zawiyah as the Libyan army still loyal to Col Gaddafi moved in to crush them.
The day before, we had joined thousands and thousands of Zawiyah's towns folk as they marched through the streets demanding Col Gaddafi stepped down.
They shouted slogans for change and waved the original Libyan flag as they moved en masse to the army tank lines on the edge of the town.
In the crowds were children, mostly young boys. They looked around eight, maybe 10 years old. "Go Gaddafi, go," the crowd shouted.
We were constantly stopped by the demonstrators. "Tell the UN we need their help," one man said. "Gaddafi is killing Libya. Send your report. We need to show people this."
Then, as the crowd came close to the first tank, near an intersection, the soldiers opened fire.
The crowd appeared to flinch but carried on walking - the firing carried on too. It caused a stampede as people fled. The firing continued.
We saw ambulances being driven at high speed to pick up the first casualties and they too were fired on.
I beg you to hear this plea from the Libyans:
"Tell the UN we need their help," one man said. "Gaddafi is killing Libya. Send your report. We need to show people this."
Please call the White House, the State Department, your representatives in Congress and ask them to help the Libyan people. Ask them to support a internationally sponsored no-fly zones and surgical airstrikes, anything short of boots on the ground. The Libyan people are being massacred by the Gaddafi regime. They need our help. Alex Crawford has heard their call, will you?
Momentum is building for an internationally sanctioned no-fly zone. The UK and France are writing a resolution for the UNSC. It is expected that it will not be impossible to get China and Russia not to veto the resolution. At a meeting of the Gulf States yesterday, they added their support and called for an urgent meeting of the Arab League.
Call today NOW
Please call the White House, the State Department, your Congressional representatives, and the UN to urge them to take action to stop the horrific bloodshed and repression. Most important, call today NOW. Thousands have been murdered, tens of thousands wounded, hospitals are overwhelmed, medical supplies have been depleted. We haven't a moment to waste.
Update: You can also sign this petition from Avaaz:
To the UN Security Council:
We urge you immediately to impose a no-fly zone on Libya to stop aerial bombings, attacks and the movement of Qaddafi's troops and weapons, which are inflicting a terrible toll on civilians, and to protect the needs and interests of the Libyan people.
This request for help has been formally made by the the Libyan Transitional National Council (TNC). The Libyan TNC, a thirty member group formed to represent Libyans throughout the country who are fighting to remove the Gaddafi regime, has publicly requested international aid in the form of a no-fly zone and airstrikes.
In a statement faxed to Al Jazeera on the 6th, the Libyan national council asked the international community to "protect the Libyan people from any further genocide and crimes against humanity without any direct military intervention on Libyan soil." The specifics of this request are outlined below.
Lifting from a comment by peraspera citing a report by the French intellectual, philosopher Bernard-Henri Lévy, who is on the ground in Libya and attended the March 5th meeting of the council, the consensus of the council included the following points:
1. All of them request the institution of a no-fly zone that would prevent Tripoli's Mirages and MIGs from coming to try to bomb the terminals at Braydah, a hundred kilometres from Benghazi, in hopes of provoking this viva la muerte of oil the author of the Green Book dreams of. It would also prevent Gaddafi's aircraft from committing a crime unprecedented in the history of contemporary counter-revolutions, that of making strafing runs against the crowds of civilians demonstrating peacefully in the streets of Tripoli or elsewhere.
2. If that is not possible, they request surgical air strikes on the main military airfield planes take off from at the airport of Sirte, 500 kms to the east of the capital, and other strikes on another military airport located at Sebah, in the south of the country, near the Chadian border. The latter serves as a beach head for the shuttling of mercenaries, such as those of Alabrag, whom Gaddafi recruits for a small fortune, having never trusted his army and, more than ever, having no choice but to pay the dogs of war. And last, they request strikes on the infamous Bab El-Azizia at Tripoli, the guide's command center and bunker as well as, no doubt, a house of torture like the one the people of Benghazi besieged and set fire to -- their own storming of the Bastille!
3. Failing that, again, they request the destruction or in any case the long-distance jamming of transmission systems that alone, as in all modern warfare, make it possible for the Libyan military to operate, even if it's falling to pieces....
The one thing that the Libyan national council does not want is foreign military intervention on the ground. Speaking at a news conference, the head of the national council, ex-Justice Minister Mustafa Abdel Jalil, said the body did not want foreign troops on Libyan soil and had sufficient forces to liberate the country.
Our people have the numbers and the determination to liberate all of Libya, but we will ask for air strikes to help us do this in the shortest possible time.
Please join me in supporting the Libyans who have put their lives on the line by calling the U.N., the White House, the State Department, and your Congressional representatives to urge them to move quickly to respond to the Libyan's request for a no-fly zone and airstrikes.
Ask them to stand strong and protect the Libyan people by supporting UN sanctioned no-fly zones and air strikes and to formally recognize the Libyan national council as the legitmate representatives of the country.
Contact info follows below
Contact info for the WH, State Department, Congress, UN, and humanitarian aid organizations is listed below If you have additional or better information please share it and I will edit the diary. Please also leave a comment telling us what happened when you made your calls. If you aren't able to call and instead sent an email, please consider sharing what you wrote with us; your words may embolden another.