Hundreds show up on final day of Democracy Hub protests
Hundreds of protesters defied the threat of rain and showed up last Saturday for the final day of the three-day of pretest to occupy the Jubilee House.
They hit the streets in the early hours sitting through the rain, sun and night, to continue the protest, which began on September 21, to express their frustrations to the government, to demand economic reform and an end to corruption, among a list of concerns.
Clad in black with red stripes adorning their heads, the protesters chanted patriotic songs and held placards with inscriptions such as ‘Our Leaders Aren’t Patriotic’, ‘No More Suffering’, and ‘Thieves in Suite’, among others, to voice their frustrations and demands.
Their huge numbers blocked roads around the 37 Military Hospital stretch leading to Jubilee House and mounted their stands in readiness to march towards the seat of government.
However, the Ghana Police Service mounted their barricades across the road leading to the Jubilee House to prevent the protesters from advancing to press home their demands.
As it has been from the first day, the police also showed up in their numbers, calm but alert at their position, ready to prevent the protesters from marching towards the Jubilee House.
The protesters, unable to go past the barricade, also refused to disperse and rather, remained on the streets, causing extremely heavy traffic on that route.
The turnout on the final day reflected the support the organisers received for the planned protest, however, the first day of the protest saw 49 members of the organising group, including Oliver Mawuse Barker-Vormawor, arrested by the police for leading and taking part in an unlawful demonstration.
They were granted bail and released late that same night.
On the second day, more protesters, including some celebrities, showed up again in a bid to proceed to the Jubilee House; but yet again, they were obstructed by the police, which had mounted the barricades.
On the third and final day, the organisers and protesters tried again to carry out their aim but could not find a way around the police blockade.
All through the final day, the public address system blared out music that spoke to freedom and corruption, notably Bob Marley’s Redemption Song.Also, the leaders of the protests persistently went around, using the public address system to emphasise their commitment to a peaceful demonstration, calling for restraint and cautioning against any violent actions, particularly throwing objects at the police.
After a fruitless effort to get their way for their planned march to the Jubilee House, Mr Barker-Vormawor addressed the protesters at about 8 p.m., commending them for their support and being bold to voice their frustration with their support for the protest.
He praised them for their resilience and tenacity and stressed that they were on a precipice of change and that their action in the last three days bodes well for a new Ghana.
“Ghana, our youth in their commitment have shown us that the dream of a new Ghana is possible.
“Forever, we have shown Ghana that the call for justice and freedom cannot be silent no matter the odds that are stacked against us,” he said.
He encouraged the protesters not to give up on the fight and emphasised that what Ghanaians had seen was a reminder of the never-dying spirit of ‘Yes, We Can!’.
“People of Ghana, I want you to believe this the youth you see today at #OccupyJulorbiHouse are purchasing tomorrow’s freedom for your sake,” Mr Barker-Vormawor stressed.