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03.05.2005 General News

CJA to hit streets of Kumasi on Thursday

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Accra, May 3 GNA - The Committee For Joint Action (CJA) on Tuesday announced that it would go ahead with its intended "Wahala 4" demonstration on Thursday May 5, 2005 at Kumasi despite Police reservations and opposition from youth groups in the city. The group said it would not also regard the notification from Mr. Opare Addo, Deputy Ashanti Regional Police Commander to postpone the demonstration to May 26, 2005 since they do not need any Police permission under the public order act.

Spokesman for the group, Mr Kyeretwie Opoku, announced this at a press conference in Accra, where he outlined the position of the CJA with respect to the intended demonstration in Kumasi. He said, one Mr. Tamakloe of the CJA last Thursday formally notified the Police in Kumasi that the group intends to hold its first demonstration this coming Thursday.

He said Mr. Opare Addo, until this afternoon had not complied with the provisions of the law requiring him to respond to their letter in writing but rather had taken to the airwaves to engaged them politically and argued against the May 5 demonstration.

He said Mr. Opare-Addo's argument that the Police in Ashanti Region were overstretch as result of the problems in Manpong and North Suntreso as well as lack of logistics to accommodate reinforcement was one of convenience, adding that the democratic and constitutional rights of Ghanaians takes precedence over that.

Mr Kyeretwie also said the requirement under the Public Order Act was clear and that the group only have to notify the police and not seek permission, adding that without the declaration of a state of emergency or a decision from competent court of law, neither the police nor any other state agency have the legal authority to prevent citizens from exercising their constitutional rights.

He called on the Police to begin to treat support for freedom of expression as a core and not peripheral activity.

"We assure the police that, providing protection for citizens demonstrations will form a large part of their duties for months and years ahead. "

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