As Liberians rapidly craw towards this much talk about June 7th protest organized by the Council of Patriots (COP) schedule for to begin on Friday of this week, already those who have watched on international wires the ‘France Yellow Vest’ are about now worrying over the duration of the June 7th protest.
According to GNN survey, Liberians have already started doing their shopping, making sure that enough food and other assorted items are stored in their respective homes, taken all the necessary precautions in case the protest remains endless, while others who have financially portent are reportedly leaving the country the news of the end of the protest is announced.
A local daily quoting unconfirmed report, is reporting that the Council of Patriots (CoP), organizers of the planned June 7 “peaceful protest” have rejected pleas by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) delegation to restrict the protests to a single day.
“If this information is true, I am worried that things will be difficult for the ordinary people, especially we who are doing businesses to fee our family and send our children to school. I hope this protest will be a day’s thing,” Geraldine Cooper, a resident of Topoe Village in a chat with the GNN pondered.
Like Ms. Cooper, others are also concerned about the duration of the June 7th ‘Peaceful Protest’, wondering as to what will happen when businesses including banking institutions are closed for fear of any usual happenings during the protest, noting, “Recent regulation issued by the President ordered that no official of government leave the country without his approval is worrisome. I wonder what he foresees that gave rise to this move,” Jonathan Sarwea of the slum community of West Point speaking to our reporter wondered.
The local daily also said it has been revealed that threats by Attorney Arthur Johnson to petition the Supreme Court to place a stay order on the June 7 protests have been actualized as the Supreme Court has already cited the parties to appear before Justice-in-Chambers, Joseph Nagbe, for a conference to show reasons why a stay order should or should not be placed on the June 7 protests.
But a source close to the CoP, speaking to the Daily Observer, said the petition is an insidious attempt to quash the right of the people to freely assemble and consult on the common good, as the Constitution provides. Continuing, he said while the Supreme Court is the highest arbiter of justice in the land, it derives its power from the people and therefore lacks the power or legal right to prevent an assembly of the people in whom the Constitution says, all power is inherent.
Therefore, according to the source, the CoP is more likely than not to ignore the citation from the Supreme Court, because in the opinion of the CoP, the Court is allowing itself to be dragged into a matter of a political nature that is non-justiciable.
At this stage, it remains unclear how the matter is going to play out, should protest organizers fail to honor the citation from Justice-in-Chambers, Joseph Nagbe.
Legal pundits say the Court may try to enforce compliance by issuing a Writ of Contempt on protest organizers, and ultimately, a Writ of Arrest.
But given the very short time left to June 7, and given the very politically charged atmosphere, enforcing a Writ of arrest for Contempt could prove to be a very daunting challenge.