In Tripoli, support for Gaddafi is shallow

There are surely pockets of support for Gaddafi among those who have depended on and profited from stability during his years in power, but severe restrictions on reporters’ movements through Tripoli make it difficult to fully assess their strength.

One bastion remains the country’s black African immigrants. Gaddafi encouraged them to come here for jobs, and many of them worry that if rebels take control, they could be deported or accused of working as mercenaries.

But most English-speaking residents — among the city’s better educated and more Western-oriented — who discuss the situation freely say they want a change, even if they’re not prepared to brave the streets of the militarized city to bring it about themselves.