On June 6, 2020, the Pan-African organization Economic Fighters League (EFL) organized a vigil in Accra, Ghana to express solidarity with uprisings against police killings of Black people in the United States after the brutal murder of George Floyd. The action, which was organized to show support for Black Lives Matter, was violently disrupted by Ghanaian police, who fired bullets into the air to disperse the crowd and arrested EFL Leader, Ernesto Yeboah. Now, Ernesto is standing trial for organizing this solidarity action and may be sentenced to one year in prison if he is convicted. We refuse to allow this to happen.
We condemn in the strongest terms the criminalization of protest by the Ghanaian government, which presented itself as a safe haven for African people of the Diaspora during the Year of Return and continues to promote itself as a protector of Pan-Africanism. Criminalizing acts of Pan-African solidarity does not fall in line with this tradition.
At the June 6th vigil, BLM supporters carried signs that said, “Justice for Ahmaud [Arbery],” “Justice for George [Floyd],” “Black Lives Matter,” and “Africa Must Unite.” They chanted “We Are Not Free Until We Are All Free” and highlighted the troubling police brutality that is happening in Ghana. According to EFL, 20 people died from police brutality in 2018, including Eric Ofutso whose loved ones are still demanding justice for his murder by a soldier in April 2020. Since the outbreak of the pandemic, at least ten people have been jailed for protesting.
These acts of protest for justice should be celebrated, not criminalized.
We join our comrades in the Economic Fighters League in demanding that the Ghanaian government immediately drop all charges against Ernesto Yeboah and cease its targeting of the EFL and other freedom fighters.
We stand with all members of our global Black community in fighting for justice.
We express our deepest appreciation to our family members in Ghana and around the world, who join us in fighting for freedom for all Black people everywhere.
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