THE SO-called Arise Ghana demonstration came off last Tuesday and Wednesday, but not without skirmishes worth discussing. I was surprised the police did not see it coming because the signs were clearly written on the wall.
The police had, on the eve of the demonstration, gotten a court order directing the demonstrators to converge at Obra Spot through Farisco Avenue to TUC, and end at the Independence Square at 4 pm, following a dispute between the police and Arise Ghana, over the venue and time for demonstration. The insistence of the organisers to continue beyond 4 pm despite the court’s ruling should have raised a red flag to the police.
What started as a peaceful protest soon turned chaotic as the demonstrators unleashed violence on the police for refusing to allow them to use unapproved routes. They pelted the police with stones and other dangerous objects, leaving 12 police officers with varied degree of injuries. Some police vehicles were also damaged as they bore the brunt of the protesters.
I do sympathise with the injured police personnel but I cannot hide the fact that I was disappointed with the police for being too lenient with the protesters. A few lashes on their backs with horse whips and baton strikes on their heads would have pumped some sense into their thick skulls.
Did I see you shake your head? Do not get me wrong at all. I do not support police brutality on innocent civilians. But I certainly support the police using some force to whip over-pampered politicians into line. A bunch of political miscreants bent on creating chaos to disturb public peace must not be spared by the police. After all, a knock on the head only reinforces the neck.
It is obvious that the protesters went there prepared. They armed themselves with these pebbles to stone the police if they are not allowed to use their desired route.
Indeed, no police officer will stand aloof and watch as he is being pelted with stones. Definitely, minimum force will be applied to restore law and order.
It is therefore very shocking to hear Sammy Gyamfi, in a post-demonstration press conference, accuse the police of being the ones who pelted their fellow police officers but turned around to blame the demonstrators for same. More shocking is the fact that some media houses swallowed these blatant lies hook, line and sinker. Of course, only media houses with political lenses will believe such balderdash and codology.
I saw a picture of one protester with a swollen eye. It reminded me of late Justice Adjakumah whose eye was literally scooped out of the socket during the ‘Let My Vote Count Protest’ and never recovered from that fatality, which subsequently led him to join his ancestors in Asamando. I’m sure Dr. Omane Boamah won’t say this is also a deliberate application of tomato paste to the eye as he did in 2015.
It’s interesting to note that the same people who were on the streets complaining of high petrol prices, could afford to buy barrels of fuel to set tires ablaze. Very ironic isn’t it?
Frankly, the Arise Ghana protesters have IGP George Akuffo Dampare to thank for the minimal casualties. If Dampare were like Kudalor, many of them would be in hospital nursing their wounds by now.
Demonstrations will continue to stay with us but actors will continue to change. Kumi Preko, Let My Vote Count and Arise Ghana demonstrations on my mind.
See you next week for another interesting konkonsa, Deo volente!