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June 4 armed demo: ‘We unreservedly apologize to the public’ - #FixTheCountry

Oliver Barker Vormawor Lawyer Lecturer Convener of the #FixTheCountry Movement, Oliver Barker-Vormawor

Thu, 2 Jun 2022 Source:

#FixTheCountry rescinds decision to hold armed demonstration

‘We intend to repair and rebuild public trust’ in us, says group

We’re committed to peaceful democratic accountability, #FixTheCountry asserts

The #FixTheCountry movement has said that it apologises for what its intended armed demonstration on June 4, 2022, has caused.

In a statement issued on Thursday, June 2, 2022, the movement said that its planned armed demonstration was just to make a case for the increasing brutality by personnel of Ghana’s security services.

The group added that it did not intend to create havoc in the country because it was committed to peaceful democratic procedures.

"The notification of the demonstration made reference to private security arrangements to protect demonstrators. We also informed the police that we will ensure that any weapons held by the private security company or other demonstrators will be legally registered under the relevant law.

“In our attempt to strategically highlight policing brutality and other problematic crowd control tactics, we chose an advocacy approach that made some people uncomfortable. For that, we unreservedly apologize to the public, especially our supporters,” portions of the statement released by the movement read.

It further stated that it will hold engagements with the general public to win its trust back, saying “we intend to repair and rebuild public trust by first holding ourselves accountable to the highest democratic principles. Importantly, this includes listening and taking seriously criticisms.”

The Accra Regional Police Command has indicated that some Ghanaians including journalist Blessed Godsbrain Smart (Captain Smart), Okatakyie Afrifa Mensah, Benjamin Darko, and Convener of the #FixTheCountry Movement, Oliver Barker-Vormawor have submitted a letter notifying them of a planned three-day demonstration.

The group indicated that the demonstration was to start on Saturday, June 4, 2022, adding that they intended to contract a private security company to protect them.

"That the demonstrators and the contracted private security personnel will be armed with weapons.

"That the armed demonstrators will picket at the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation (GBC) and the Ghana Police Headquarters.

"That at the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation (GBC), they will demand to speak directly to the nation on GTV and layout their grievances," the police said in their statement indicating that they cannot 'shepherd' such a demonstration.

The Police, however, described the protest as inconsistent with the Public Order Act.

A June 1, 2022 press statement signed by Chief Inspector Bright Kwabena Danso, Regional Public Affairs Unit, Ashanti Region, said the “nature and character" of the demonstration as intended was inconsistent with the Public Order Act.

The statement stressed, “we are, therefore, unable to provide security for a demonstration, which is in flagrant violation of the Public Order Act, 1994 (Act 49) and has the potential to result in a breach of public order and public safety.

“We wish to assure the public that in the interest of public safety and security, the Police are putting in place all necessary measures to ensure that unauthorised persons do not march the streets with weapons,” it added.

Read the full statement released by #FixTheCountry below:

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