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Why members of #FixTheCountry decided to protest with weapons and private security?

Oliver Barker Vormawor Oliver E1645494624690 Oliver Barker-Vormawor

Thu, 2 Jun 2022 Source: www.ghanaweb.com

Barker-Vormawor authors demo notice to Police

Captain Smart disagrees with portions of the letter

Police turn down request of group to hold demo on June 4th


Members of the #FixTheCountry Movement have been explaining why they decided to write to the police to seek permission to protest on Saturday, June 4, whiles wielding weapons and in the company of private security.

According to Oliver Barker-Vormawor, one of the conveners who is on record as having authored the letter which has since courted controversy, they did not trust the Police to adequately protect them.

In a post on his Facebook timeline, Barker-Vormawor explained that the protest was to draw the attention of the police to the fact that they [Police] abuse their duties by harassing protestors.

"Yes. I penned a dramatic protest letter to draw attention to the fact that the Police abuse their duty by killing protestors."

He said, their request to demonstrate with weapons and private security shows that "it will get to a point where demonstrators being so afraid of being killed by the Police, will tell the Police to stay home; so they find a way to protect themselves."

"We planned it to coincide with FTC Press Conference on Extra-judicial killings and police violence because we know sustaining media attention on the issue of violence during demonstrations are hard.

"We intentionally did not use #FixTheCountry letterhead or associations to pull this stunt. Some get it. Others don’t. Those that think this form of visual protest didn’t land, I understand their concern. Those that immediately got wind of the strategy thought it was brilliant.

"All are free to find ways to prick the moral conscience of our leaders.

We will also keep trying to prick the public conscience using all kinds of tools. Hopefully, this gives them the jolt to deal with police violence and the killings in a systematic way.

"If this didn’t do it; tomorrow we will try another. We remain resolute in our calls for bringing attention to the issue of police violence and extra-judicial killings.

"Just kindly please #StopTheKillings," Oliver Barker-Vormawor's post concluded.



Background

#FixTheCountry served a notice to the Police on their decision to embark on a demonstration against the Agyapa deal, cessation of the Achimota Forest Reserve and to press home the need to protect the sanctity of the country’s security.

In their notice, they requested to be allowed to contract private security personnel to protect the demonstrators.

Among other things, they also notified the Police that the demonstrators and the contracted private security personnel will be armed with weapons.

Also, they stated that the armed demonstrators will picket at the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation (GBC) and the Ghana Police Headquarters.

At GBC, they will demand to speak directly to the nation on GTV and layout their grievances.

But the Police in a statement noted that they are 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.

According to the Police, they have reached out to the organisers to reconsider their proposal and work with the Police towards the organisation of a lawful, peaceful and successful demonstration.

“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 on the streets with weapons.”

Source: www.ghanaweb.com
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