How Ghana’s #OccupyJulorbiHouse Protesters Took To The Streets With Help From Social Media

Joseph-Albert Kuuire
By Joseph-Albert Kuuire 4 Min Read

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.

protesters at the 37 military hospital

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.

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.

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”.

Ghana has experienced rapid inflation since the beginning of the year, seeing record highs of 54%. Currently, the rate has dropped to 40.1%.

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.

The protesters also had other grievances including the COVID Levy and controversial E-Levy which has failed to yield much results.

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.

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Joseph-Albert Kuuire is the creator, editor, and journalist at Tech Labari. Email: Twitter: @jakuuire
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