-As They Recount Liberia’s Protest History and its Aftermaths
By Reuben Sei Waylaun
The Federation of Liberian Youth (FLY), Liberia National Student Union (LINSU) and the Mano River Union Youth Parliament-Liberia Chapter (MRUYP-L) have taken aback on the impending June 7 protest in the country.
According to the three youthful groups, organizers of the protest should recount Liberia’s history of protests and the aftermaths especially looking at the 1979 rice riot.
In a joint statement issued in Monrovia recently, the three groups expressed concern about increasing tension and looming instability since news emerged about the pending protest.
They commended the ‘Council of Patriots” the group behind the protest, for their thought to effectuate this constitutional, democratic and universal right” by considering the planned protest, which they say helps to strengthen and consolidate our democratic system.
At the same time, the youthful organizations have expressed fear, referencing Liberia’s bloodiest protest, the 1979 rice riot. According to them, this protest changed the country’s political dynamics.
“Taking a historical look at protests and its repercussions on Liberia and Africa at large, one can only ask the ring leaders and all concern to disembark from said process as our peace is fragile and our national economy unfavorable,” the group said in a joint statement read by Mohammed Massalley, Speaker of the Mano River Youth Parliament-Liberia chapter.
Still recounting the 1979 riot, they said this protest which was supposed to be peaceful, turned violent and claimed the lives of several Liberians and subsequently resulted to the eventual topple of the Tolbert’s regime on April 12, 1980.”
Meanwhile, the youth groups had frowned on the Council of Patriots for insisting on staging the planned protest despite holding dialogue with President George Weah on Tuesday May 14, 2019.
“These individuals want to ferment chaos, for this is the only means they use to accrue wealth at the detriment of the ordinary Liberians,” the statement added. TNR