On Thursday 21st, 2023, a group calling themselves “Democracy Hub” planned a demonstration at the Jubilee House, a residence and office of the President of Ghana, to protest about the state of the country.
The protests, which ran for three (3) days, started on Thursday morning and ended on Saturday evening.
On the last day, about 100 – 200 protesters took over the intersection near the 37 Military Hospital, after police prevented their march to the Jubilee House. All four intersections close to the hospital were blocked off with protestors occupying each entry and exit.
How Did This Happen
A group calling themselves “Democracy Hub”, organised the protest by creating the hashtag #OccupyJulorbiHouse on X (formerly known as Twitter).
It was billed as a three-day protest to demand accountability from the government in the areas of economic mismanagement and corruption.
“Julor Bi” is a Ga (Ghanaian Language) phrase that means child of a thief in English. It’s a play on the English word Jubilee House.
The day before the protests, the Ghana Police put out a statement on social media, stating that they had applied for an injunction against the picketing at the Jubilee House and had served the organisers with the notice.
But the organisers stated that they had not been officially served by the courts and decided to go ahead with their protests.
NEWS RELEASE:— Ghana Police Service (@GhPoliceService) September 20, 2023
POLICE FILE APPLICATION TO PROHIBIT PLANNED DEMONSTRATION BY DEMOCRACY HUB GROUP pic.twitter.com/kWznrzYMCK
On Thursday, the protesters gathered near the 37 Military Hospital and were faced with resistance from the police. Arrests were made and about 49 protesters were detained at various police stations in Accra.
Some videos circulated on social media showed the detainment of some protestors as well as inappropriate manhandling of some protestors and journalists who were covering the protests.
👨🏾🍳🇬🇭✊🏾: One of my colleague journalists who was a victim of the ‘Rambo’ style apprehension and manhandling action by the @GhPoliceService narrates her harrowing experience.— Ölele | Deep Throat Sauce👨🏾🍳🇬🇭 (@OleleSalvador) September 21, 2023
Her crime? Recording the mini-chaos between the police and some protestors in the yard, even as a… https://t.co/BNd7yX6BSh pic.twitter.com/sEd2duhB2x
Why This Matters
The government sealed a $3 billion, three-year loan programme with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in May this year which has stabilized the local currency but protesters state that this has done little to improve local conditions. The latest IMF programme is the 17th time that Ghana has asked for a “bailout”.
The country’s exchange rate is currently at 1 USD to 11.4 GHC which has had efforts on imports, causing the prices of local goods and fuel to increase almost 3 times across the country.
We’ve covered some stories which include the controversial smart intelligent light project as well as the waste of the Rapid Bus Transport system which has been marked as a failure by some commentators.
The Bigger Picture
Although the protests concluded on Saturday, there is online chatter that the organisers plan to continue different protests against the current administration.