CoP ‘Peaceful Protest’ To End Friday @ 3PM?

8
2125
LNP Inspector General Patrick Sudue: "LNP will turn out massively to provide full protection for the assemblers; warning, that the we will take serious action against anyone who that will cause trouble at the assembly."

— Inspector General of Police, Patrick Sudue, 

Patrick Sudue, Inspector General of the Liberia National Police (LNP) has informed journalists and the public that the much publicize planned assembly by organizers of the Council of Patriots (CoP) will end at 3:00 p.m. on June 7, contrary to earlier claims by the organizers that the gathering will last for days beyond the start date, until the Government can meet the demands of the protesters.

In a statement issued this afternoon (June 6) on a local radio talk show in Monrovia, Sudue said that the planned protest would come to an end at the stipulated time after the group shall have presented its petition to the Government through the Vice President of Liberia, Jewel Howard-Taylor, at her office at the Capitol.

Sudue clarified that what will take place on Friday, June 7, will be a peaceful assembly as guaranteed by Article 17 of the Liberian Constitution and not a protest or march, assuring the public that “the police will ensure that the assembly ends in peace.”

Police Inspector Sudue expects that when the demands have been received by the Vice President at 3 p.m., the protestors would disperse.

Unity Party spokesman Mo Ali told the Daily Observer via a telephone interview Thursday afternoon that the 3PM stipulated time is actually when Vice President is expected to receive the petition from the Council of Patriots.

At first, the CoP insisted that they be allowed to hand-deliver their list of demands to President Geroge Weah himself. They also insisted that President take immediate action on certain items on their list of demands, such as the immediate dismissal and prosecution of Finance and Development Planning Minister Samuel D. Tweah, Jr. and CBL Executive Governor Nathaniel Patray.

However, according to Ali, ECOWAS and the United Nations advised that where security is concerned, they would not encourage the President to come out to receive the petition. The CoP agreed to this reasoning but is insisting that the protest will be sustained until their immediate action points on their list of demands are met.

Article 17 of the Liberian Constitution states: “All persons, at all times in an orderly and peaceful manner, shall have the right to assemble and consult upon the common good, to instruct their representatives, to petition the Government or other functionaries for the redress of grievance.”

Since the proposition of the assembly by members of CoP, which comprises mainly opposition political parties, there have been arguments in the public sphere over the constitutional interpretation as it relates to specifics in Article 17.

Some have argued that by citing the word “assemble,” the Constitution is in full approval of only a gathering in a single or several locations and not a march, which entails the movement of people on the streets.

While the Supreme Court is responsible to exercise final appellate jurisdiction on constitutional issues as enshrined in Article 66 of the Liberian Constitution, sources close to organizers of the planned June 7 gathering affirmed that the constitutional provision at Article 17 is unequivocally clear and incontestable, citing, however, “that an amendment thereto will be laudable.”

Reacting to inquiries on whether or not the assembly by members of CoP will extend to rural areas as being speculated, IG Sudue cited that there will be no assembly, protest or march in rural Liberia on June 7, and added that those wanting to partake in the peaceful assembly can come to Monrovia.

He indicated that the LNP will turn out massively to provide full protection for the assemblers, warning that the LNP will take serious action against anyone who elects to cause trouble at the assembly.

“The LNP encourages the CoP to adhere to the laws cited to them by the Ministry of Justice, and the CoP has also asked the Police to remove any suspicious person(s) from the group,” Sudue said.

Meanwhile, the Police Chief has urged all Liberians as well as members of the business community, among others, to remain calm and go about their normal affairs.

According to him, officers of the LNP will be deployed at the Duala, Freeport and Red-light markets to ensure that business people go about their normal activities without fear.

8 COMMENTS

  1. This is April 14, 1979, all over again! with this “disperse” order. The police arrived at PAL HQ on Gurley street that morning and ordered the gathering crowd to disperse immediately! As the crowd lingered, perhaps awaiting instructions from party/protest leaders, the police started teargasing and chasing the protesters with rattans. Those teargased and/or whipped as a result, started throwing rocks and other objects at the police. The situation escalated spontaneously into angry and wounded protesters smashing stores and bingo! the looting began. After the dusty settled, over 100 citizens had fallen victims to the melee.

    We therefore hope this government will use that history as a guide in handling this demonstration, so that that history is not repeated. If so, president Weah and henchmen will be guilty of ignoring the lessons of history, but especially planning to murder citizens who will be exercising their democratic rights.

    So long as a corridor has been identified to accommodate the protestors, the duration of the protest should not be dictated by the government from the onset. That is, and until any corrective intervention is dictated by the tenor of the protest/demonstration. In other words, so long as the demonstration is not wreaking unbearable havoc on society at large, perhaps aside from the associated inconvenience of noise and rerouting of traffic as the case may be, there is no need instituting stringent measures that may not be adhered to. After all, the greater good supersedes any other consideration in circumstances like this.

    Moreover, the government will interpret any disobedience as outright defiance, and will obviously try to enforce the order and forcefully. Let not president Weah and cabal say tomorrow, “nobody told us this.”

    • Police cheif? Looks more like a chicken rogue to me. What does he know to be police cheif for the a republic?

  2. Weah is crazy. History has taught this clown nothing. Remember we give power to you. We have the right to protest if you fail us.No police can do anything except they want problems for weah and his clique of criminals.

  3. If you know or believe the “police cannot do anything”, why you CANNOT even be real to identify YOURSELF; but you have to come as a cat named cat? If you call yourself man or woman identify YOURSELF by your name, photograph, address, or telephone number. Will you? Please do.

  4. Go and tell ur wife and children to leave the street Mr. Tongue Tided Commissioner. what’s this?

  5. Patrick Sudue has no authority to dictate the end time for this protest. The most he can do is to encourage the protest organizers to confine themselves to the agreed-upon routes and time table for the protest. The sooner he knows that his job description has limits, the better it will be for him.

Leave a Reply to The cat Cancel reply