General News of 2014-07-01

Police clash with Occupy Flagstaff House protesters

A flagbearer aspirant of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Stephen Asamoah Boateng was booed by the ‘Occupy the Flagstaff House’ demonstrators with chants of ‘no politician’.

Asamoah Boateng was attempting to join the protesters who are currently near the TV3 premises near the Flagstaff House.

The ‘Occupy the Flagstaff House’ demonstrators were refusing to give their petition to the Minister of Communication, Dr. Edward Omane Boamah who was sent to receive the petition on behalf of the President.

They are insisting they want the petition handed over to the President himself.

The demonstrators massed up at TV3 as they are being prevented from converging at Afrikiko Restaurant near the Flagstaff House.

Three of the demonstrators have been mandated to submit their petition to the President in the company of the Police.

Earlier, personnel of the Ghana Police Service were blocking the ‘Occupy the Flagstaff House’ demonstrators from moving away from the Efua Sutherland Children’s Park.

The Greater Accra Police PRO, Freeman Tettey, said the blockage was mounted by the Police because the demonstrators were breaching the initial agreement of confining the demonstration at the Efua Sutherland Park.

“It is not part of the agreement. We settled on them staying put and we [Police] escorting just three of them to go and present the petition to the authorities at the Flagstaff House,” he explained.

He said his men were “caught off guard and that is why we had to re-organize and stop them. It’s part of the security arrangement.”

But IMANI Ghana’s Kofi Bentil accused the Police of exerting unnecessary force on the demonstrators who have so far been demonstrating peacefully.

He indicated that the Police blockage was uncalled for because of the caliber of people demonstrating.

“The Police is causing all the trouble,” he said, adding that “the Police wanted to confine us within the Children’s Park and that is directly against my most fundamental right to even go home.”

He narrated that the protestors were proceeding out of the park “in a single, nice, simple, quiet file and then the Police have blocked the road; they don’t want anybody to walk anymore.”

Mr. Bentil asserted that if the crowd were violent, a chaotic situation could have been created.

The ‘Occupy the Flagstaff House’ demonstrators are protesting the current economic situation prevailing in the country.

They had earlier planned to picket at the Flag Staff House which is the seat of government, but the Police prevented them from doing so, saying the area is a security zone.

Source: citifmonline.com
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