Monrovia-The Government of Liberia in sharp reaction to the the planned independence day protest by the vanguard Student Unification Party of the University of Liberia, has issued a press release warning citizens against staging a march or demonstration without permit.
Although the release didn’t mention SUP in particular, on Tuesday July, 24, 2018, the student organization held a press conference and informed the public of an anti-independence day protest. During that press conference, SUP called for a boycott of the independence day celebration citing an order from the Liberia National Police for the arrest of Butu Levi and Martin N. Kollie, Chairman and Secretary General of the party respectively. The release also stated that President George Weah has broken the law by not declaring his assets. In addition, the release further mentioned that the President has consistently violated the laws of Liberia and has not done much to mitigate the economic sufferings of the people of Liberia. SUP said, any effort by the government to arrest either their Chairman or Secretary General will be met with stiff resistance. In a late Wednesday night Facebook Live broadcast, the Chairman and Secretary General of the party told viewers that the protest will go on as planned and they will do so within confines of the law. They called on all their partisans, sympathizers and the general public to join the protest as well as boycott the independence day celebration. The two men said, they will not allow anyone to intimidate them or stop them from exercising their rights.
Reaction from Liberians home and away have been mixed. While some Liberians mainly from the opposition block see SUP’s action as exercising their rights to free speech, many Liberians see their action as threat to Liberia fragile peace. With the issue initiating a Social Media war among parties from both sides, it is important to recognize the laws of Liberia. An Act by the Liberian Legislature approved on February 10, 1975 says, any group of persons who wants to stage a protest or march must obtain a permit from the sitting government through the Ministry of Justice. Nevertheless, the Student Unification Party is historically known for challenging governments on social and political issues, and this reputation of the party has brought many Liberians to prominence; although some of the protests against governments have ended tragically. The move by SUP is nothing new as progenitors of this ideology started it long ago. Personalities such as Augustine Kpehe Ngafuan, former Finance and Foreign Minister; Kofi Woods, former Public Works Minister; Acarous Gray and Dixon Siebo, current Representatives of Montserrado County; Prof. Alaric Tokpah, Samuel Jackson, etc., have all challenged past governments through students politics, mostly with the Student Unification Party.
In the meantime, programs marking the celebration of Liberia’s 171st independence is ongoing. A Candle Light ceremony was today held in Monrovia with women of Liberia from diverse cultural and religious backgrounds leading the charge. The official Independence Day program is slated for Thursday, July 26, 2018 at the historical Centennial Pavilion in Monrovia. Simultaneous celebrations are planned around Monrovia and in capital of counties around the country. Whether SUP will ignore the government’s warning and march, and how government will respond to if that happens, is something Liberians are watching intently. People see it as a SUP vs GOL stalemate, but it is actually the peace and stability of Liberia at stake. How the situation is handled, will determined the outcome.
Please see SUP full press release below and copy of the Press Release issued by the Ministry of Justice:
SUP Press Release:
The Battleline Has Been Drawn As Police Inspector General Col. Patrick Sudue Orders Unlawful And Arbitrary Arrest Of Chairman Butu Levi And Secretary General Martin K. N. Kollie Of The Vanguard Students Unification Party , While Militant Emmanuel Vamba Remains Missing In Action.
Distinguished fellow progressive organizations and individuals, distinguished fellow fighters of change and progress, distinguished fellow patriots, our International allies and partners: The USA, The United Kingdom, European Union, The people’s Republic of China, Republic of Cuba and the United Nations, our distinguished Regional and Continental Organizations: The African Union, ECOWAS, MRU, distinguished fellow leftist Revolutionaries, Children of the Indigenous and Oppressed, and distinguished all well meaning Liberans.
Let me extend to you and the general public my warmest revolutionary salutations from the powerhouse of the vanguard students unification party (SUP).
We want to sincerely inform you and the general public with profound regret and total dismiss about the unlawful arbitrary arrest order of the Chairman and the secretary General in persons of Cde. Butu Levi and Cde. Martin N. K. Kollie respectively, mandated by Police Inspector General Col. Patrick Sudue.
We want to announce to all of our progress partners that this is condemnable, unacceptable, and consider such arrest order as a ‘Declaration of war’ on the youths and students community. We are before calling on all militants, stalwarts, sympathizers, cadres Veterans of the vanguard students unification party , all our revolutionary partners and well meaning Liberians far and near to conscientiously join forces together to March into history as SUP’s Militants will be left with no option but to defy such arrest and demand a total boycott of the Independence Day celebration as there is no reason for such.
As you may be awared that in recent time the indomitable vanguard students unification party has been calling on President George M. Weah to declare his assert in conformity to our laws, which he has so refused since his inauguration on January 22nd of this year.
Besides, his consistent violations of our laws and inabilities to make Liberians major actors or players of their own economy as stated in his inaugural speech, couple with the high level of gross insincerity and dishonesty to the Liberian people, disrespect and disregard to the rule of laws, lack of genuine policies to effectively mitigate the appalling economic conditions of our people, the individual contradicting agendas of some of his officials are guarantee enough to demand boycott of any National celebration.
The students unification party as a revolutionary vanguard party has always and continue to challenge tyrans and tyranical regimes that do not believe in the political and economic liberations and development of mass of our people. This Weah’s regime is no preclusion.
All we are saying is improve the economic conditions of our people. Your election was squarely base on the popular mandate of the people to provide opportunities for economic development. Until now we are yet to believe as to whether you are refusing or you don’t have the requisite technical know-how to invent means of such development.
Please be informed that the so-called arbitrary arrest order made by your friendly and unprofessional police Inspector general will be severely resisted and defeated. Evidence are the realities in the many stories of our party’s history.
Therefore, we are calling on all progressive individuals and organizations in the fifteen counties of Liberia and the world at large to organize themselves and join the Vanguard Students Unification Party on Thursday from their respective locations in demanding the immediate boycott of the Independence Day celebration as it does not contribute to the mitigating solutions that Liberians need for their economic recovery.
Finally, we want to send this as a caveat to whosoever in this government that if anything wrong happens to Chairman Butu Levi, Secretary General Martin K. N. Kollie and Militant Emmanuel Varney Tampa who is already missing as we speak because of the arrest campaign launch by subversive state apparatus, there will be a cataclysmic show down and a creation of revolutionary scene that will go down in history in demand for our Leaders. THIS IS A CLEAR WARNING!!
Long live the Chairmanship of Cde. Butu Levi, Long Live SG Martin K. N. Kollie, Long Live all Militants, Long Live the Fighting Spirit of the Indomitable Vanguard Students Unification Party (SUP).
AMANDLA, ALUTA… THE STRUGGLE CONTINUA!!!!
prepared by: Carlos Tingban Edison
Chairman on the
Bureau of Propaganda, Information, Research and guidance of the Indomitable Vanguard Students Unification Party -University of Liberia
The Ministry of Justice Press Release: