Gains vs. Losses: The real petition came from THE PEOPLE – What did we achieve?
In my opinion, we didn’t lose or miss out on any opportunity. The PEOPLE were heard so loudly through slogans, songs, battle-cries, leaflets, banners, posters and random interviews. What more does any honest or serious government need to hear or receive in order to act? Paper petition from COP which you have already tagged ‘unrealistic’ and ‘trashy’? The REAL PETITION came directly from our PEOPLE. They were pragmatic, bold and fearless on June 7. Above all odds, they alarmed with one voice and a collective purpose in pursuit of a NEW LIBERIA. What more do you need from them? Lest we forgot that THE REAL POWER is with THE PEOPLE. COP was just a channel or vessel. “Vox Populi, Vox Dei” meaning “The voice of the people is the voice of God.” Our Achievement (COP):
- Peaceful Protest (Not even a single incident of violence was recorded)
- Massive turn-out (Thousands came out to send a clarion message of dissent and displeasure)
- The POWER of THE PEOPLE was shown and unchallenged (Article 1 was reaffirmed)
- April 14, 1979 violent nightmare was finally laid to rest. The government and pessimists were proven WRONG.
- Intentionally preventing or blocking protesters from accessing protest routes by instituting stern security measures (National ID card check, removing tinted windshield, etc.)
- The Loss of US$109,913 (L$17,781,180) for shutting down social media sites and US$650,000 on security just for June 7 (Source: Netblocks and DO)
- Exposure of huge gap in our already weak security sector (low manpower and limited logistics)
- Abrupt daylight drill in central Monrovia and night patrol by heavily armed security officers in populous communities to create fear and panic ahead of June 7 protest. Some of these “officers” dressed like terrorists which even threatened free movement and peace.
- The illegal seizure of passports of some members of COP before and after June 7 Protest
- A huge number of civil servants didn’t come to work as ordered by President Weah. Monrovia was like a ghost city on June 7.
- The unjustifiable ban of student political activities at the State-run University of Liberia after a well-planned disruption of normal academic activities by hired thugs and regime stooges ahead of June 7
- Plan to infuse thugs and ex-Rebel generals among protesters failed mostly due to huge turn out of peaceful protesters
- The popularity of Weah and his government was challenged and has certainly diminished as a result of greed and bad governance (The headlines of international media like CNN, BBC, FOX, VOA, etc. have even made matters worse)
- A disillusioned “popular” president was afraid to go and receive a petition from his own people who overwhelmingly elected him. Something may have gone wrong after 18 months. The Real Fact: The economy is bad while corruption and dictatorship remain prevalent. This was never THE CHANGE Mr. Weah promised. So, we The People, didn’t miss out on any opportunity. Do not be
Martin K. N. Kollie, a Liberian activist and student leader
main pic/Student Unification Party [SUP] cadres at the June 7th protest. From left: Comrade Romeo Famuleh Secretary General, Martin Kollie President, Carlos Tingba, Chariman.