People’s Protest in Africa Against NATO Aggression in Libya

A.R. Gomda. Ghana News Agency

Libya 360°

Shortly before the arrest, leader of the demonstrators, Sekou Mwanza Nkrumah, who was also nabbed, told GNA that the action of the police showed how much influence the United States of America had over the Government in Ghana.

He asked whether the individual Ghanaian did not have rights and liberties to express their views anymore.

According to a statement from the Police Public Affairs Directorate, the group clearly defied the Public Order Act, 1994 (Act 491).

A GNA report on the development indicated that the protest march commenced at about 10.50am from the Obra Spot and the demonstrators headed for the US embassy to protest the operations of NATO in the North African country.

Upon reaching the GBC junction close to Kanda Estates, a platoon of policemen dangled a prohibition order outlawing the march- an act which appeared to have infuriated the protestors. They heckled the cops and ignored the order, whereupon reinforcement was ordered.

Twenty-four of the protestors were subsequently arrested and taken to the Greater Accra Regional Police Commander, DCOP Rose Bio-Atinga, who ordered that they be processed for court today on charges of ‘unlawful assembly’ and ‘acts that tend to disrupt the peace of the nation’.

The Greater Accra Regional Police Command, she said, had met leaders of the coalition and explained to them why the demonstration should not take place yesterday.

The police, she explained, was compelled to seek a court order which was granted by circuit court judge, Mrs Patience Mills Tetteh and it read: ‘The organisation calling itself US/NATO Hands Off Libya and Hands Off Africa Coalition are hereby prohibited from demonstrating on September 21.

‘It is further ordered that the intended demonstration could come on at a later date when police have been notified.’

DCOP Bio Atinga said based upon the order, she instructed personnel at the Cantonments Police Station to be on alert and watch over the American Embassy to arrest any demonstrator who would be picketing around.

A narration which corroborated the regional commander’s explained that the group notified the police more than a week ago about their intention to demonstrate and to present a petition to the US embassy.

No agreement was reached between the two parties because according to the police, they had the Milo Marathon and Founder’s Day celebrations to manage and so could not provide personnel to contain the demonstration, asking that it be postponed to 28th September 2011.

The police went ahead to seek a prohibition order from the court to stop the demonstration yesterday and this was upheld.

Even though they were duly served with the order, the demonstrators ignored it and embarked upon the demonstration; and when word reached the police about the action, they quickly moved in to stop them from heading for the US embassy.

The arrest notwithstanding, the police assured members of the public that they were not against demonstrations which was a democratic right of citizens. They explained that such actions, however, must be guided by rules and regulations, adding, ‘The police is committed to maintaining law and order in the country, and will not entertain any act that may breach the peace.’

The demonstration was coming on the heels of a worldwide recognition of the National Transitional Council of Libya, as the legitimate representatives of the Libyan people. With a seat at the UN where the new flag of the country, which replaces the green one adopted by former strongman of the country, flutters alongside the rest of the world, the coffin of the Gaddafi regime had finally been nailed.

Even the African Union, which vacillated for a long time over whether or not to recognize the former rebels, had finally given a nod to the Transitional Council.

One group demonstrated earlier in the heat of the putsch against Gaddafi. Some Muslim youth find in the operation, an action against Islam, a position which is flawed because the coalition of nations engaged in the Libyan mission sought the permission of the Arab League before the first bombs were dropped.

Qatar, a prominent Arab country, was part of the coalition which fought to change the status quo.

Protestors Released

Jamila Akweley Okertchiri. Ghana News Agency
Libya 360°

The 24 members of the US NATO Hands off Libya! Hands off Africa! Coalition marchers who were arrested by the police on Wednesday for unlawfully demonstrating against the invasion of Libya by western powers have been released from custody after being detained.

Members of the coalition were arrested for not abiding by a court injunction to postpone the demonstration till September 28, 2011.

Spokesman for the group, Sekou Mwanza Nkrumah, including a 70-year-old man and their other colleague demonstrators, was arrested at about 11am when they were matching towards the US Embassy in Accra to register their displeasure about the country’s participation in the invasion of Libya.

But the group believes their arrest by the police was a shameful act, especially on the birthday of Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, insisting that the Ghana Police Service had tinted its image by acting on the instructions of the U.S. Embassy.

‘What justifications does the US Embassy have for orchestrating the arrest of these Africans who were participating in a peaceful march that will benefit Africa’, asked Sekou.

Another member of the group, Lord Koranteng Hamah, who was also arrested, said they were not served with any court order until the time of the demonstration, adding that ‘the marching stopped, we did not proceed but they beat us and shoved us, we did not resist but we were manhandled.’

He said the inhumane action was nothing short of a demonstration of the explosive and ruthless actions of the imperialists to oppress and beat down Pan -African movement and African people.

‘When we went to seek audience with the Regional Commander of police, DCOP Rose Bio Atinga said the US Embassy was not happy with the situation’, he stated.

For this reason, leadership of the group noted with emphasis that the police service was not democratic enough since the action they took was ill motivated.

‘With further advice from our legal assistance, we will proceed to the human rights court for redress,’ it noted.

The police on the other hand, had earlier stated that the action they took was necessitated by the group’s refusal to oblige a court order which was granted by a Circuit Court Judge, Patience Mills Tetteh, which read, ‘The organization calling itself US/NATO Hands Off Libya and Hands Off Africa Coalition are hereby prohibited from demonstrating on September 21.’

The regional commander therefore noted that the action of the police was lawful, insisting that the police was not against demonstration in itself since it was a constitutional provision, but could not have looked on for people to flout a court order.

Thank you to all who protested


Respect to people who actually go out and do something, respect to people who actually try to make a difference. May GOD grant all their wishes, may they achieve the highest standard of living in Africa, just like the Libyans did under the Green Jamahariya Government.

Let’s take a moment to thank all those who went out against the odds and protested, let’s thank those who protested against the tides, the tide which is driven by NATO propaganda. We thank you and your courage, we thank you for your stance against injustice, even though the mass media is against it.

Thank you.


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