-Did Weah Ever Believe Roaring June 7 Could Portray Such Grand Swell?
By Reuben Sei Waylaun
The government of President George M. Weah has been greatly confronted with a noisy domestic pressure emanating from a displeased performance list drawn up[ by protesters under the rubric of “Save The State” championed by the Council of Patriots and propelled by mammoth crowd of aggrieved citizens.
According to pundits, the June 7 protest should live as a signal and a showcase of people engaging their leaders through the cardinal tenet of democracy sanctioned by the Constitution (Article 17) which the governors should take heed and actively, but progressively turn the corner and do the will of the people thereby curtailing what they referred to as ‘creeping political divorce’.
At the same time thousands of Liberians Friday descended on the George Weah-led government to protest against rising prices of basic commodities and corruption among others.
About 5,000 Liberians took part in the demonstration with some holding placards reading: “We are tired of suffering” and “We want better living conditions. Stop looting the country, enough is enough”
The protest cutoff most of the roads in the city as protesters who gathered at the Capitol Hill were blocked by security forces.
Earlier and throughout the day, access to the grounds where the protest was taking place was restricted by police. There were roadblocks on all roads leading to the Capitol Hill where the actions were taking place.
The protesters are also demanding the establishment of a war crimes court to prosecute people who bear the greatest responsibility for atrocities during Liberia’s civil wars.
“We Will Not Rest Until Our Demands Are Met”
Vocal talkshow host of Roots FM, Henry Costa has meanwhile revealed that the ‘Council of Patriots” wouldn’t rest until their demands are addressed by President George Manneh Weah.
Speaking to journalists on the grounds of the Capitol Building on June 7, 2019, the day of the much-talked about “Save the State” protest, Costa said their protest will continue if President Weah doesn’t address their demands following the submission of their petition to the government.
Costa said change doesn’t come over night, citing the case of Martin Luther King, Mahatma Gandhi and others who protested several times for change in their respective countries.
He however said they are not campaigning to bring President Weah’s administration down from power, but to ensure that the right things are done in the country.
COP, LNP Commended:
In a related development, 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, several security measures were 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.