Police on Thursday, September 21, arrested 49 people who showed up near the Jubilee House and the 37 Military Hospital to participate in the #OccupyJulorBiHouse demonstration.
In a press statement, the police indicated that the suspects were taken into custody for unlawful assembly and violation of the Public Order Act.
The police noted that the arrested persons disregarded court documents served on the organizers, Democracy Hub, to refrain from embarking on the planned demonstration.
This forms part of a series of injunctions secured by the police from the court to stop public protests from taking place.
These injunctions seem to arrive late, sometimes less than 24 hours before the date of the protests, giving demonstrators little or no time to seek redress.
This has resulted in difficulties in reaching consensus between the police and demonstrators over the years.
As Ghanaians hit the streets again, we look at recent protests that have been stopped by police injunctions.
On September 21, 2023, police arrested 49 protestors who defied an injunction to engage in a protest dubbed ‘OccupyJulorBiHouse’.
The injunction was served on the eve of the event after police concluded that the venue (Jubilee House) was a security zone and proceeded to court to secure the order.
- Occupy Bank of Ghana
Again, on August 17, 2023, police managed to obtain an injunction against the demonstration by the minority caucus dubbed ‘Occupy Bank of Ghana’.
The Ghana Police Service filed for an injunction against the minority’s proposed routes for its protest against the Bank of Ghana Governor and his two deputies. The minority, on September 5, sought to march from Makola, through Rawlings Park and Opera Square, to the frontage of the Bank of Ghana.
However, the police argued that the route was often overcrowded with human and vehicular traffic. Thus, going by that route could endanger public order, public safety and the running of essential services.
- #Fixthecountry demo
The law enforcement body disapproved of the ‘Fix the Country’ demo on June 11, 2022, and obtained an injunction to stop it.
Conveners of the #FixTheCountry Movement had informed the police of the intended demonstration on June 4 with some requests, which included permission to be armed during the demonstration as well as contracting a private company to provide security during the demonstration.
The group also requested to picket in front of the Police Headquarters in Accra and the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation, as well as speak directly to the nation on GTV to lay out their grievances.
However, the police noted that although it was willing to protect any lawful demonstration in the country, the nature of this demonstration was inconsistent with the Public Order Act.
- Kaaka anniversary
Police in Ejura in the Ashanti Region secured an injunction against a planned first-anniversary prayer for victims of the Ejura shooting on June 26, 2022.
As part of preparations to honour the victims, families who had formed a committee called the ‘Joint Committee of Victims of Ejura Incidents’ wanted to hold an event on Thursday, June 30, 2022, to show their love and respect for the dead and other victims.
They also planned to clean the cemetery where the victims had been buried and build a tombstone over the graves.
However, the Ejura District Court issued a directive restraining the organizers from holding the ceremony.
Although the families were disappointed and unhappy with the turn of events, they said they had no option but to comply with the court order.
- ‘Arise Ghana’ demo.
Pressure group Arise Ghana called off its planned three-day picketing at the Revolution Square after a High Court granted an injunction filed by the police against the picketing.
The group had intended to picket from November 15 to 17 at the Revolution Square, opposite the Jubilee House, but the Ghana Police Service sought an injunction because the venue posed a national security threat.