Supporters of last Saturday’s Black Lives Matter vigil are demanding the immediate release of one of the organizers of the event, Ernesto Yeboah over what they describe as his inhumane and illegal arrest.
Mr. Yeboah, leader of Economic Fighters League was arrested and detained at the Accra Central Police Station after the police and military disrupted a vigil they were organising at the Black Stars Square.
The police insisted that the vigil, which they described as a protest, was not authorized whilst organizers of the vigil produced evidence indicating they appropriately notified the police in line with the Public Order Act.
Supporters of the movement after the disruption moved to the premises of Citi FM and Citi TV to express outrage over the arrest amid calls for the release of Ernesto Yeboah.
“The Ghana we live in today does not value black lives. A Ghana that sends armed policemen on unarmed innocent protestors. So we have come to Citi FM demanding that our leader who has been illegally arrested for organizing a Black Lives Matter vigil be released. This incorrigible madness that has happened is something that the whole world must hear and if any of these misleaders of us go around on the world trumpeting Pan-Africanism must be seen through their lies and who they are,” Arimiyaw Usama, a member of Economic Fighters League told Citi News‘ Richard Mensah.
The vigil, attended by some 100 people, went on peacefully for about an hour on Saturday evening when the police started arriving in droves.
At a point during the vigil, there was almost one security personnel to three attendees owing to the excessive police response.
Though the organizers insisted on calling the gathering a vigil, it somewhat had some hallmarks of a protest as the participants were holding placards amidst chanting.
The Black Lives Matter movement has centered George Floyd in recent times, whose tragic death has sparked protests globally, but the Saturday evening vigil stressed the sanctity of black life worldwide and condemned all forms of oppression.
For every placard that had America’s George Floyd, Amaud Aubery and Breona Taylor, all of whom were killed in the last few months, there were placards of the four Takoradi Girls who were kidnapped and killed in the Western Region, slain journalist with Tiger Eye P.I. Ahmed Suale and Eric Ofotsu, the Ashaiman resident shot and killed by a soldier during the lockdown of Tema.
The iconic Martin Luther King Jr quote: “Injustice anywhere is a threat to injustice everywhere”, was a common refrain on the night as protesters stressed the importance of expressing support for minorities everywhere.
“It was quite abnormal to have police enforcements and military reinforcements to come and disrupt and a peaceful organisation,” Arimiyaw Usama, a member of Economic Fighters League noted.