Photo by Ernest Ankomah/Getty Images.
The #OccupyJulorbiHouse Protest Voices Dissent and Demands Change in Ghana
Ghanaian citizens rally for economic justice and accountability, facing arrests and police crackdown in their quest for reform and better governance.
In the early hours of Thursday, Sept. 21, Accra, Ghana witnessed a gathering of peaceful protesters who had convened outside a state house as part of the #OccupyJulorbiHouse movement. Their primary objective was to voice their grievances concerning President Nana Akufo-Addo's handling of persistent economic challenges.
Unfortunately, those who participated in the #OccupyJulorBiHouse demonstration near the Jubilee House found themselves facing arrest. A video shared on social media by Oliver Barker Vormawor depicted protesters dressed in black and red seated in a bus, expressing uncertainty about their destination. They expressed disappointment in the actions taken by the police and called upon lawyers to provide legal support to the detained protesters.
A legal practitioner who visited the police headquarters to assess the situation reported that some of the arrested individuals were held in the charge office cells, some were undergoing interrogation, and others were situated in the barracks.
\ud83d\udea8ICYMI\ud83c\uddec\ud83c\udded\u270a\ud83c\udffe: Protestors of the ongoing #OccupyJulorbiHouse have been arrested and put in the bus this morning at the 37 Trotro station where they had covened to march towards the Jubilee House. \n\n\ud83e\udd85\ud83c\uddec\ud83c\udded— \u00d6lele | Deep Throat Sauce\ud83d\udc68\ud83c\udffe\u200d\ud83c\udf73\ud83c\uddec\ud83c\udded (@\u00d6lele | Deep Throat Sauce\ud83d\udc68\ud83c\udffe\u200d\ud83c\udf73\ud83c\uddec\ud83c\udded) 1695282430
Bridget Otoo\u2019s husband races down here, she was beaten, top ripped #OccupyJulorbiHouse— Helen Appiah- Ampofo (@Helen Appiah- Ampofo) 1695303267
Notably, this demonstration coincided with Kwame Nkrumah Memorial Day, a nationally observed event. Organizers deliberately chose this date, believing it symbolized the resilience and resistance exhibited during historical struggles against oppression and dispossession.
However, the protests took a troubling turn as Ghanaian police unlawfully detained not only protesters but also bystanders, resorting to excessive force in an attempt to suppress the demonstrations. In response, Ghanaian citizens continued to raise their voices against these actions and mobilized lawyers to assist those detained.
For those who do not know what\u2019s happening in Ghana. Share & spread the word!!! #OccupyJulorbiHouse— Seyram (@Seyram) 1695309650
\ud83c\udf0e Apologies to my non-Ghanaian followers for lack of context on last few tweets. An explainer:\n\n\ud83c\uddec\ud83c\udded The #OccupyJulorBiHouse hashtag is a play on Occupy and Jubilee House (Ghana's seat of government). \n\n\ud835\ude45\ud835\ude6a\ud835\ude61\ud835\ude64\ud835\ude67 \ud835\ude3d\ud835\ude5e is a Ga (language of the people of Accra, Ghana's capital)\u2026— Gary Al-Smith (@Gary Al-Smith) 1695298983
Public dissatisfaction with the rising cost of living and the perception of inadequate government response to citizens' concerns has been on the rise. The Occupy Jubilee House protest is the latest in a series of recent demonstrations aimed at holding the government accountable.
1. The police have arrested a journalist\n2. The police have arrested a lawyer \n3. The police have arrested multiple peaceful protesters and there are reports of police beating the protesters \n4. The police are preventing lawyers from helping protesters \n#OccupyJulorbiHouse— Weffrey Jellington (@Weffrey Jellington) 1695300152
Some participants specifically voiced their grievances regarding the economy and the hardships endured by citizens. They argued that government policies had driven skilled healthcare professionals to leave the country, exacerbating the shortage of healthcare personnel. As the situation unfolds, we will provide further updates.
Efforts have been made to compile a list of all those arrested, but not everyone has provided their names to the police, making it challenging to create a comprehensive list. The initial batch of arrests reportedly included approximately 30 individuals, with an additional 15 to 20 held at the Accra Regional Command Barracks. Some of these individuals have also been subjected to interrogation.
An individual present at the scene emphasized the urgent need for more lawyers to assist with the situation. Currently, only two lawyers are available, and additional legal support is deemed essential to address the unfolding circumstances. The protesters have been advocating for a range of reforms, including a reduction in the cost of living, an end to corruption, and improved governance.
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