-For Peaceful Protest
By Reuben Sei Waylaun
The Council of Patriots (COP), organizers of the much-publicized “save the state” protest and the Liberia National Police (LNP) have been commended by Liberians at home and abroad for the peaceful and orderly conduct of the protest on June 7, 2019 in Monrovia and other parts of the country.
Prior to the protest, there were perceptions across Liberia that the protest was going to be chaotic referencing the case of the 1979 rice riot which claimed the lives of several Liberians.
Many Liberians feared that there would have been war, which caused many family members to take their relatives to rural areas, with some even buying huge bags of rice and others storing them in their homes.
Besides, there were several security measures put into place by state security. Some of the measures include the searching of vehicles, bags, removal of ‘Zogos” from their hideouts, deployment of armed security officers across the city and the total patrols of officers on broad streets and others.
The protesters were also warned to monitor their movements to their assembly point (Capitol Hill). But despite all of these, the LNP and protesters conducted themselves orderly and there was no incident of rioting or scuffles during the protest.
This caused many Liberians to call on various radio stations commending both parties for the orderly and peaceful conduct, saying democracy is really taking seat in Liberia. During the protest, some of the people who were alleged of causing chaos were arrested by the protesters and turned over to police for further actions, a decision also appreciated.