Libyans living in the tri-state held an impromptu rally outside the United Nations Tuesday to call for the immediate removal of Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi, who has vowed to die a "martyr" in office.
Ali Mohammed, a Manhattanite who emigrated from Libya 25 years ago, stood in the shadow of UN headquarters, to decry violence in his home, where protesters have been shot and beaten.
"We want peace for our nation," said Mohammed. "There is too much bloodshed and violence, it has to stop."
Mohammed is part of a group called Libyan Youth Movement, a group that is active on both Facebook and Twitter. They live across the country but those in the tri-state area say they will stand outside the United Nations every day until they see change.
"I've lost two relatives already," said Noureddin Khazan, who lives in Stuyvesant Town. "One was just walking on the street when he was shot."
The Libyan government's crackdown against protesters is the bloodiest yet in the region.
According to witnesses, pro-government gunmen are firing from moving cars and even shooting at homes. Scores of people have been killed.
In a televised speech on Tuesday, Gadhafi vowed to stay in power and said he would "die as a martyr" doing so. He also called on his supporters to fight those who have been demanding his removal.
But there are signs the autocratic leader could be losing his iron grip after more than 40 years in power.
Parts of Libya are no longer controlled by the regime and even military units are breaking away and changing sides. Here in New York, the UN security council held an emergency meeting with Libyan diplomats who broke rank with Gadhafi, seeking an end to the violence.
"If they do not help," said Mohammed, "then it will be up to the Libyan people. We will make sure he leaves with the help of our neighbors."