UTAG strike: Police infringing on our right to protest – Student group on botched demo

utag strike police infringing on our right to protest student group on botched demo scaled
Empty classroom

The Coalition of Concerned University Students says the Police are trying to infringe on their rights to protest after being asked to change their routes.

The group called off its protest over the one-month long UTAG strike after the Police administration asked them to use a different route due to National security considerations and the safety of protesters.

Speaking to JoyNews in an interview, one of the convenors, Raymond Tamakloe, explained what led to the suspension of the demonstration.

“We’ve had to recall our demonstration, which was supposed to happen today. Unfortunately, that was because the police service decided to renege on our assurances.

“We have had a preliminary engagement with the police service, the Greater Accra Regional Command, where we agreed on the modalities of the demonstration where we reach a full consensus of which they issued an approval letter to us.”

He added, “but at an unfortunate turn of event, just yesterday around 11 pm, they came to campus, representatives from the national headquarters and the Greater Accra Command were on campus to meet the leaders of the Coalition where they indicated to us that, we engaging in a demonstration from the approved route is going to cause public inconveniences and was going to pose a national security threat to the country that we don’t understand. Now, if that is even the situation, if that is indeed the main consideration, then they should have disclosed this to us in the previous or initial meetings we have had with them.”

The University Teachers Association of Ghana (UTAG) has been on strike for more than a month, demanding improved conditions of service, including a $2,084 per month for entry-level lecturers.

The Coalition says the strike has a severe impact on students who are stranded on campus without any academic activity.

“We believe that it is a sign of bad faith and that there is a curated or concerted effort to derail our efforts.
There is an agenda to suppress the voices of university students who are aggrieved by the impact between the government and UTAG that has resulted in a prolonged strike action”, Raymond Tamakloe noted.

The group has not yet announced a new date for the protest.