The three-day protest by pressure group Democracy Hub dubbed ‘’Occupy Jubilee House” came to an end at the weekend.
Though the protestors did not achieve their ultimate aim of assembling in front of the seat of government, their call for improved governance, economy and an end to what they described as increasing corruption in high places was communicated over the period of the protest.
Dressed in red and black and the Ghana flag, the protestors held placards with inscriptions such as ‘Bring Back La General Hospital’, ‘Our Leaders Aren’t Patriotic’, ‘We deserve better’, ‘The country is going down’, ‘Arise Ghana Youth’, ‘No more suffering’, ‘Stop wasting our money’ amongst others to communicate their message.
Despite the first day of the protest being short-lived after police arrested 49 of the demonstrators including their leaders on Thursday for “unlawful assembly and violation of the Public Order Act”, day two and three – Friday and Saturday – were incident-free and well patronised.
On day two, the protestors defied the heavy downpour to make their demands as the police stay put with a barricade in front of the 37 Military Hospital, the convergence point of the demonstrators.
They had converged in the median of the Liberation Road in front of the hospital causing heavy vehicular traffic deep into the night.
With a public announcing system blaring patriotic songs and reggae tunes, the drenched protestors had their supper in polytene packs served by their leaders.
One of the conveners, Oliver Barker-Vormawor, addressing the protestors before suspending the day-two protest called on participants not to let the spirit die and rallied the youth to show up day-three to make their voices heard.
His call was heeded as day-three saw the highest turnout over the course of the historic march with young people taking advantage of the weekend to join the protestors to make their demands.
They had started filtering in at about 9:00 a.m. and the numbers gradually swelled as the day wore on.
As their relentless attempts to assemble in front of the Jubilee House failed, the protestors made the street their home.
At about 9:00 p.m. the protestors made a final push towards the Jubilee House by attempting to overrun the police but the law enforcement personnel remained resolute behind their barricade to prevent the frustrated protestors who wanted to reach the frontage of the Jubilee House.
They threw water bottles at the police but their leaders, using the public address system mounted, called for calm and cautioned against any violent conduct that could degenerate into a scuffle with the police.
“Don’t throw anything at the police. Just press your way on. Don’t give them the opportunity to treat you badly. Once you give them any chance they’ll capitalise on it and brutalise you. Fight the good fight without any bottle,” one of their leaders was heard as he urged them to use their “human force” to find their way to their intended destination.
Their pursuit to reach the Jubilee House did, however, not materialise as the police fortified with armored vehicles and crowd control equipment ensured no passage.
The protestors eventually gave up and ended the demonstration peacefully.
BY JULIUS YAO PETETSI
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