Democracy comes with rights and responsibilities – Enam Akoetey chides #OccupyJulorbiHouse organisers



A Sustainability, Climate and Social Innovation Advisor, Enam Akoetey, has called on protesters and organisers of the #OccupyJulorbiHouse to be responsible in their dealings.

According to her, although democracy comes with rights, it also comes along with responsibilities, and that must be acknowledged.

However, she said the organisers of the protest are silent on the responsibility aspect of democracy while they emphasise only on their rights.

“The question is are we using a myriad of things to build our society or are we just using intent on just our way?

“And for me, that is what I find problematic. It is not just about your rights, it is also about your responsibilities. What responsibilities do we have as Ghanaians? The presidents can’t solve all the problems that we have in our society, the police can’t solve all the problems,” she stressed on JoyNews’ Newsfile on Saturday.

She added that, “the Public Order Act 1994 –Act 491 section 3 talks about the responsibility of organisers of protests and other persons, and I am sure that the organizer being a lawyer, should have known what his responsibilities are.”

She questioned how the protest addresses the five giant evils by William Beveridge namely squalor, ignorance, want, idleness and disease.

“We are a poor country, one-third of our expenditure is not covered by any income so how do we balance this by going on the street and demonstrating and by refusing to obey the law and by creating a society that is fixed from chaos? How do we then address the key issues of our society?”she quizzed.

The protesters hit the streets for three days to demand improved governance and better living conditions.

On day one of the protest, about 50 protesters were arrested by the police on grounds that they had engaged in unlawful assembly and had violated court processes since an injunction had been placed on the protest, and the lawyers of the organizers had been duly served or notified.

But the organisers insisted that they had not been served the injunction process, a claim the police vehemently denied.

The protesters were charged and released by the police to continue with the protest a day after the arrest.

Despite the police insistence that the protesters could not march to the seat of government which is the Jubilee House on the basis that it’s a security zone, they provided security for the protest to continue.

On the third day of the protest, there were attempts by the protesters to still access the Jubilee House, but the police prevented them using barricades.

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