Home » Ghana’s Democracy Hub protests: A timeline of events and reactions

Ghana’s Democracy Hub protests: A timeline of events and reactions

by Victor Adetimilehin

A group of activists in Ghana, known as the Democracy Hub, organised a three-day protest from September 21 to 23, 2023, to demand economic reforms and an end to corruption. The protest, dubbed #OccupyJulorbiHouse, aimed to march to the Jubilee House, the seat of government, and present a petition to the president. However, the protest was met with resistance from the police, who declared it unlawful and arrested dozens of protesters, including journalists. The protest also sparked a social media war, with pro-government supporters creating fake hashtags and counter-campaigns to undermine the movement. Here is a timeline of the events and reactions that marked the protest.

  • September 20, 2023: The Accra Regional Command of the Ghana Police Service issued a statement, warning the public not to participate in the planned protest. The police claimed that they had obtained a court order to restrain the protest, and that they had served the organisers through their lawyers, Atuguba & Associates. The organisers, however, denied receiving any court order or notice of service, and insisted that they would go ahead with the protest.
  • September 21, 2023: The first day of the protest saw hundreds of protesters gathering at the 37 Lorry Station, wearing black and red, and holding placards with messages such as “Our Leaders Aren’t Patriotic”, “No More Suffering”, and “Thieves in Suite”. The protesters attempted to march towards the Jubilee House, but were blocked by the police, who arrested and detained 49 of them, including Oliver Mawuse Barker-Vormawor, one of the convenors of the Democracy Hub. The police also arrested a BBC reporter, Thomas Naadi, and his cameraman, who were covering the protest, but later released them and denied any wrongdoing.
  • September 22, 2023: The second day of the protest saw more protesters joining the movement, including some celebrities, such as actress Yvonne Nelson and former TV presenter Bridget Otoo. The Ghana democracy hub protesters again faced the police barricade, and some of them engaged in verbal exchanges with the security personnel. The protesters also accused the government of deploying bots and trolls to create fake and corrupted versions of the official hashtag, #OccupyJulorbiHouse, to confuse and discourage the public from supporting the protest. Some of the fake hashtags included #OccupyJulorbijouse, #Occupyjubileehouse, #Occupyjubilorhouse, #OcvupyJulorbiHouse and #OccupyJuborliHouse.
  • September 23, 2023: The third and final day of the protest witnessed the largest turnout of protesters, who defied the threat of rain and stayed on the streets from morning till night. The protesters sang patriotic songs and demanded to see the president or his representative. The police maintained their presence and prevented the protesters from advancing to the Jubilee House. The organisers of the protest addressed the crowd and thanked them for their support and courage. They also vowed to continue their struggle until their demands were met.
  • September 24, 2023: The day after the protest, the government and ruling party officials launched a counter-campaign, using the hashtag #iChoosePositiveEnergy, to promote the achievements and policies of the administration. The campaign was met with criticism and mockery by the protesters and their supporters, who hijacked the hashtag and posted their grievances and frustrations. The Democracy Hub also announced that they would organise more protests in the coming weeks, and called on the public to join them in their quest for a better Ghana.

Source: Ghana Web

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