By Darlington S. Collins
While browsing social media during the early hours, I read in a couple of Facebook feds and I saw some brothers responding to what I came to discover as analysis and response to Montserrado County Senator Abraham Dillon, particularly concerning the events leading to up to April 14, 1979, and SPECIFICALLY the progressive struggle. In dealing with public officials or ordinary citizens in general, I tried not to inherit battles but unfortunately, the Monterrado County Senator, leaves me no choice, as his analysis on the historical event must not go unchecked. For we owe it to history to never allow falsification of historical realities and as such Senator Dillon’s analysis is of no exception!
In senator Dillon’s mischaracterization whilst responding to Veteran Liberian economist Samuel P. Jackson, he attempts to share a historical recollection on the progressive struggle particularly the event leading to April 14, 1979, as he dabbled fraudulently in historical inaccuracies.
I will encourage Senator Dillon and his likes not to read history from the lenses of the oligarchy of the defunct True Whing Party regime. Mr. Dillon must take interest in reading from the rightful pages of history, to inform himself. Mr. Dillon’s analysis is engulfed with huge contradictions. How dare you applaud the progressives for fighting for multiparty democracy but on the other hand condemn April 14, 1979 struggle for rights and rice? Just how?
How can you say the win for multiparty was great but the methodology was wrong? Just how? You remind me about an account in Shakespeare’s writings “Macbeth”: you attempted to be a cat who wants to eat the fish under the want but is afraid of its feet getting wet. How could the progressive fight for multiparty democracy while the TWP held on to power, using every violence in to book to silence the opposition, and when the progressives sought to exercise their constitutional rights, the dictatorship employed its security to shoot unarmed Liberian citizens in broad daylight? Senator Dillon argues that the progressive particularly G. Barcus Matthews and the Progressive Alliance of Liberia (PAL) exploited the ignorance of the people by calling on them to protest against the harsh cost of living of their parents.
Let me remind Senator Dillon about the unfolding realities of this space called Liberia. This country’s democratic space was hijacked by a bunch of reactionaries operating under the guise of a false political arrangement. These men were only concerned about acquiring extreme wealth at the expense of the dejected downtrodden masses of our people and only preyed in the silence of our people until a group of young men decided to shake the walls and demanded answers. They weren’t prepared to take what their fathers endured for centuries.
The emergence of the liberation movements across the African continent found its way into the Liberian body politics and the conditions at the time ignited a class struggle against an oligarchy that was bent on keeping power at all cost exclusively as a minority against the wishes of the majority.
To question the progressive struggle is to undermine the so-called cause you are fighting in the National legislature. Yes, the progressive resisted the proposed increase in the price of rice. Why didn’t you mention in your analysis that Mr. Tolbert was the lead importer of Liberia’s staple food “Rice”? Why didn’t explain to our people the Tolbert family enjoyed a monopolist market and would have been the sole beneficiaries of the price increase? Just why?
Brother Dillon, as I close on this issue, I will gently advise that you understand what happened to this society before sharing an opinion on historical events, beyond your understanding. Please, sir, take up time and read the findings of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission [TRC] summary report; read books and empower your understanding as to why we struggle as progressives, and why we will ultimately win. The struggle will never be diverted on a silver platter nor will it be defeated in so far as men of our kind are alive.
If the conditions leading to April 14 evolve even today, we will do it all over again! Let me remind the Senator we will not share crocodile tears because the True Wing party regime ended; we will celebrate the victory of people’s struggle (April 14). The very victory men of your kind continue to enjoy even up to today on the sweat and backs of progressives who sacrificed so that you can call yourself senator.
This struggle benefits you and your likes who are reaping rewards from the progressive struggle; It was on the backs of selfless men multi-party democracy came to the homeland, progressives paid the ultimate price for this country’s liberation. As we remember April 14th, we pay tribute to the like of comrade Leader Alaric Tokpa, Dougbeh Chris Nyan, Miatta Fahnbulleh, Tiawan Saye Gongloe, and many of our ideological comrades and the ones that preceded us. Viva! Onward to victory; the struggle continues!!
Main Photo: Comrade Darlington Collins