Hassan Bility & Andrew Jaye
To think that social eruption can be manufactured for political capital is the very height of ignorance to demonstrate. The social eruption of April 14, 1979, has been propagandized by the right-wing and the remnants of the True Wing party to terrify our people, a dangerous game into which Abraham Darius dillion is playing. Hence Mathews and others could not have called the people on the streets if their objective conditions (poverty, exclusion, hunger, and so forth) were not visible and practical. But it is men like Dillion who believe in this false theory of history–that people have no heads to think and are just controlled by certain forces at all times. As a man who sits on the senate, he must find the courage to read and clear his head off ignorance on the Rice Uprising. From Dillion’s understanding, the economic situation in the country was fine. This is just absurd and nothing short of lousy tomfoolery. Go and read on the Kru War of 1915 to 1936. The Grebo War of 1840 to 1900. The Fernando Po Labor Crisis and the International Inquiry of Commission by the League of Nations (Dr. Cuthbert Christy Report). The Exclusion of the Aboriginal Class in terms of education, healthcare, and security. Prof. Blyden, Rev. Crummell, and Rev. T. E Dillon spoke in the aforementioned respect. They were of the Americo Liberian class!
The exclusion of the natives from the political and economic life of the state. It was only during the Tubman regime when very few men were part of the legislature and others were chiefs. But still, natives were denied voting rights based on taxations. How could they have paid taxes when you exclude them? Go and read the marginalization of Du Fahnbulleh. The slaughtering of David Coleman and his son John Coleman. The repression of T.R. Bracewell, Raymond Horace, Mohammed Gutaweh, Rev. S.T.A Richards, etc who had opposed the oligarchy, but paid a deadly price of persecution.
Darius Dillion must go and read on the LAMCO strike of 1976. The closure of LMC in 1979 and the attending root causes that stoke those conflicts steep in repression and suppression. The repression of Susukuu Corporation is on the record for Dillion and the revisionists that want us to believe otherwise. The repression of PUDECO in the 1970s. The Grimes Report of 1979, is also there to be perused. The cancelation of the Mayoral Election between True Whig Party bigshot Horton Chuchu and MOJA’s university lecturer, Amos Sawyer. If Abraham Dillion wants to know who brought war, he must read the TRC Report and stop making a mockery of his severe ignorance which comes with anxiety. The report vindicates the progressives. And indicted the political opportunists amongst them are Sirleaf, Johnson, Taylor, Urey, etc. We invite Dillion to go and read the Two Centuries of US Military Operations in Liberia by Hahns and so he understands the external forces of the war our national crisis. Progressives are vindicated. Even in the time of peace, it was progressive forces that dominated the political scene calling for constructive engagements to deliver the country from crisis. The Accra Comprehensive Peace Agreement is mostly dominated by the progressive class, that document ushered in the post-war reconstruction understanding for long term good governance which Ellen Sirleaf butchered, by putting her protection ahead of our collective peace after she messed up having stayed 12 years in power— our history was set by the progressives, on all front positively, beginning with Blyden and Roye.
We really don’t know how much is remembered about the April 14, 1979 incidence. We have, however, read a lot about the circumstances leading up to the “April 14”. As a believer in progressivism and democracy, we can say this to Abraham Dillion: In a democracy, people have the right to express their opinions, assemble peacefully, petition their governments, cognizant of the fact that the proper exercise of freedom must be allied with responsibility. When the social contract concept is challenged by “elected” officials, the people have the right to make demands, express themselves and or reject those they had “elected” in exchange for the provision of basic social services. The contaminated renegades of the old political order, no reference to anyone here, have struggled unsuccessfully to rewrite the history of progressivism in Liberia. But it’s important for progressives not to allow the struggle to be defined by subjects from the other end, and Mr. Dilion needs to know this!
At the time, the ruling elite wanted to maintain the status quo, even at the peril of the masses. Their unmarketable and exhausting political tricks came into a head-on collision with the resistance of the masses; thus, the employment of the tool of every oppressor. They employed guns against an unarmed population, on April 14th, 1979, just as it had used violence throughout its 130 years of misrule to hold on to power. Little did they know that in the long history of conflict between the oppressor and the oppressed victory has always been on the side of the oppressed. Personally, therefore, we do not see the method employed by the progressives as “wrong’, or that history sees them as IGNORANT, or that the Progressive Alliance [PAL] and the Movement for Justice in Africa, [MOJA] played on the ignorance of the people, We believe, it was a necessary conclusion and outcome to a suppressive rule of over a hundred and thirty years at the time. It is, therefore, a necessary part of our history, the Liberian history. There is, absolutely, no magic in the world that can change that.