Ghanaians Demand Accountability & Change From The Government With #OccupyJulorbiHouse
An organized protest took place in Accra, Ghana led by the Democracy Hub; a governance advocacy group, which attracted a significant number of young Ghanaians to add their voices. The primary objective of this protest was to express nationwide dissatisfaction with the exorbitant cost of living and the economic hardships that many Ghanaians are currently facing.
The three-day protest which was from the 21st to the 23rd of September was widespread across social media with the hashtag #OccupyJulorbiHouse and caught the attention of both local and international media. Hundreds of protesters gathered for three consecutive days – the number increasing as the days progressed- demanding an end to economic hardship in Ghana. Waving placards and Ghanaian flags, they expressed their anger over high living costs, job scarcity and other pressing socio-economic issues. Riot police monitored the demonstrations as Ghanaians expressed frustration over their bleak living conditions. Many Ghanaians can’t afford basic healthcare, proper education, and at times, three meals a day.
During the first day of the three-day protest, police detained 49 people for unlawful assembly and violating public order laws. This inspired more people to show up on the second and third days to show their support and express their frustrations. Saturday saw the largest turnout out of the three days. Despite being barricaded in by riot police and prevented from reaching their final destination, Ghanaian youth and citizens still made their voices heard from the 37 Roundabout in a beautiful display of resilience, JAMA, and the unrelenting spirit of people who refuse to be let down by their government any longer. Talks are already underway of a larger and more organized protest happening in December.
To ensure the voices of our people are heard, we engaged with Ghanaian protestors to gather their perspectives on the situation:
“Ghanaians are fed up. People die far too frequently because of a broken healthcare system. The government has carelessly watched as the motorway has become a death trap. The police ask you for transportation when you need their services, yet they are resourced enough to come out in their numbers, with vehicles, to arrest peaceful protestors. People have to plan their meals because they can only afford to eat once a day. We are paying more and more taxes while the people we elected to serve us and their friends are getting richer, unabashedly flaunting their luxury funded by greed and corruption. Their actions are very literally killing Ghanaians. Ghanaians have had enough. I’m so proud of the people who made our voices heard and stood our ground. We cannot lose momentum. #OccupyJulorBiHouse” – Christabel, 27
“It’s about raising an unrelenting voice. one that will never be shaken or intimidated. One that will always demand accountability from all elected officials. we will not let them desecrate our democracy with such impunity. This is why we are fighting.” – Cedric, 23
“For this protest, I think it’s been long overdue, but I’m glad we as a people have finally been able to put our feet down and say no, something has to change, we’ve had enough. We have seen corruption day in and day out, bad roads, terrible healthcare, and the rising cost of living while the people in power live luxuriously at the cost of us regular Ghanaians.” – Hashim, 24
“We are fighting for a better Ghana, a better future, and a better life. We are TIRED and we deserve better!” – Nana Ama, 21
The ongoing protests in Ghana demonstrate the determination of its citizens to hold their leaders accountable for their actions. As Ghanaians continue to demand change and justice, we will provide our support and lend our voices to the cause.
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