Protest Disrupts Court Activities at Temple of Justice

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The aggrieved judicial workers assembled in the Chief Justice's assigned parking spot at the Temple of Justice to call his attention to the harmonization of their salaries.

— As aggrieved workers demand 11 months ‘harmonized’ Liberian dollars salaries  

Chief Justice Francis Saye Korkpor on early Thursday morning, September 10, saw himself in an unexpected and embarrassing situation when his convoy, upon arrival at the Temple of Justice, was prevented access to the parking lot.

The Chief Justice’s convoy was prevented access after aggrieved workers of the Judiciary launched a protest, titled, ‘Bring Back our Liberian Dollars Salaries’, right in the spot allotted by the judiciary to park his vehicles.

The aggrieved workers claimed that their deliberate action to prevent their boss, Chief Justice Korkpor, was intended to draw his attention to what they described as “the justices’ reluctance to look into their complaints about the withholding of their 11 months component of their Liberian dollars salaries.”

The Chief Justice had already asked the aggrieved workers to set up a three-member committee to work along with the Personnel Division of the Judiciary to investigate the salaries complaint. Though that mandate is yet to expire, the aggrieved workers went ahead with their protest.

Prior to the arrival of Chief Justice Korkpor’s convoy, over one hundred aggrieved workers had assembled in his reserved parking spot. Upon his arrival, the Marshall and head of security at the Supreme Court attempted to intervene to have the protesters relocate themselves, so as to allow space for the justice’s vehicles to park.

The Magistrate of the Monrovia City Court, Jomah Jallah also tried to intervene, but he could not persuade the aggrieved workers to leave the space.

Being very much inconvenienced, Justice Korkpor was advised to relocate his convoy to the basement of the Temple of Justice building, where normally confiscated vehicles and other lower-level staff vehicles are parked.

“We are not going to be tired until we can get our just benefits,” the protesting judicial workers said.

Immediately after Justice Korkpor was relocated his vehicles, the spokesperson of the aggrieved workers, Archie Ponpon, told a group of judicial reporters that “this is just the beginning of our struggle.”

Ponpon’s statement was greeted with a slogan by the aggrieved workers, “Touch one Touch all.” 

“We are not going to be tired until we can get our just benefits.”

The judicial workers also vowed to disrupt the opening of the 2020 October Term of the Supreme Court, of which President George Weah and senior government officials, including the Speaker and the President Pro-Tempore of the Senate.

It all started when the aggrieved workers were informed by Chief Justice that the harmonization affected the Liberian dollars component of their salaries, a claim the workers had rejected, thereby demanding the payment of their 11 months salaries.

Author

  • Anthony Kokoi is a young Liberian sports writer who has an ever-growing passion for the development of the game of football (soccer) and other sports. For the past few years, he has been passionately engaged in reporting the developments of the game in the country. He is an associate member of the Sports Writers Association of Liberia (SWAL). He is a promoter of young talents. He also writes match reports and makes an analysis of Liberian Football.

6 COMMENTS

  1. What is GOING ON NOW WITH THE GOVERNMENT OF LIBERIA AND for NOT CARE for the workers for the HARDSworkers and it SHAMEFUL to the GOVERNMENT OF LIBERIA. SENATORS AND REPRESENTATIVES SALARIES ARE PAYING MORE THAN THEIR SALARIES AND WITH US DOLLARS BUT WITH THE SALARIES OF EMPLOYEES OF EMPLOYEES WHO WORK NOW.

  2. In as much as I sympathize with grievance of the hardworking employees, especially so, under hardship conditions, am wondering whether there isn’t a process of resolving labor dispute within, of all places, the Judiciary Branch. Seemingly, every protest against a branch of government becomes a boon to detractors, hence embraced. In other words, we’re witnessing the acceptance and normalization of business-killing activism and resistance.

    For instance, sometime last year, thugs burnt down a police station in Margibi County, and two weeks later a leader of a political party installed new officials there, and paraded the streets with them. No wonder, we’ve ‘patriots’ lick their paws at breaches to public peace, yet no one measures the economic costs of these disruptions. Our country so irrationally unique that exacerbating suffering of the vast majority is one way of getting their votes. God have mercy.

    • You are right on the money. The country boys and girls on the Supreme Court Bench are are doing it to their kind with impunity and without mercy. The sad thing is that they are of the opinion that the previous regime did it before. And now every political institutions short changing their government employees with their Lib dollars. What A Regime ? What A Regime ?

  3. And if one was to check the grand scheme of events, Justice Korkpor is regularly and unstoppably receiving his pay plus his many ungodly flush funds and bribes from his back-room deals. So, why can’t these workers protest, when they have not receive their personal income for over eleven months now?

    Lord, why should our brothers and sisters endure this kind of hardship in the hands of their own fraternal siblings? Only You know the answer Lord, and I know you’ll speak to this nation and You will act at the right time.

    An understanding between sympathy and empathy will help throw some light on why some of us feel the way we do towards the plight of the workers. What’s the difference between sympathy and empathy? Sympathy and empathy are similar in that both terms imply sorrow towards something or someone. On the other hand, sympathy and empathy differ sharply when we look at both words in terms of the magnitude of the magnitude of the expression of grief.

    For example: I was involved in an automobile accident about a year ago. Some friends said they were sorry and they expressed sympathy, while others told me sorry but in addition, they extended their sorrows by saying they “walked in my shoes”. This is the difference between sympathy and empathy. When a person says, “I am sorry” they leave their expression of sadness as such. But when a person says, “Sorry, and I walk in your shoes” they are expressing a sadness that goes beyond sympathy to empathy; this is the point where an individual can imagine being in the victim’s shoes and feeling his or her pains.

    As simple as empathy may sound, it is not an easy road. To empathize with others, like these struggling workers, an individual must have a quality of being able to show interest in the welfare of others, he or she must possess the qualities of understanding what others go through even if some of their problems are self-inflicted, and he or she must be able to unconditionally devote his or her time to the welfare of others.

    And so why am I saying this? I am saying this because I lived and grew up in Liberia, and I saw and experienced many of the same unimaginable hardships these poor fellows are going through today. Unfortunately, some callous hearted people will never feel the pains of others until fate eventually compels them to wear the same shoes one day.

    I feel their pains, and I cannot imagine wearing their shoes!

  4. James Davis

    “The country boys and girls on the Supreme Court Bench are doing it to their kind with impunity and without mercy…” sounds like your “kind” emigrated en bloc. Apparently, you can’t help missing the power, perks, and privileges ethnic connections to the oligarchy granted, but you must, or, otherwise, the daydreaming might cause madness. Let it go, James.

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