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How Ghana's Black Lives Matter solidarity protest ended with clashes with the police

June 15, 2020. Summarized by summa-bot.

It was supposed to be a solidarity protest for George Floyd in Accra, Ghana, but ended up with police clashes, injured protesters and the organizer behind bars.

(CNN)It was supposed to be a solidarity protest for George Floyd in Accra, Ghana, but ended up with police clashes, injured protesters and the organizer behind bars.

Ernesto Yeboah was charged with failing to contact the authorities before organizing a Black Lives Matter vigil last week, police say.

Gbontwi Anyetei, a demonstrator at the police station, said the crowd broke out in disarray.

Yeboah, who is the leader of the Economic Fighters League, described as a non-partisan movement, said his intention was for the June 8 event to be a peaceful sit-in.

However, police say he violated the country's Public Order Act, which states that "any person who desires to hold any special event shall notify the police. "

Yeboah was in the middle of giving a speech on social empowerment at the vigil when a swarm of police officers surrounded the political activist and whisked him away.

It is not up to the police to approve a vigil," Yeboah told CNN.

He says days before the event, he sent a letter to the Inspector General of Police and copied the Greater Accra Regional Police Commander, the Ministry of the Interior, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs informing them he was arranging a Black Lives Matter vigil.

"We have no records of a notice indicating he was organizing the protest," Sheilla Kessie Abayie-Buckman told CNN

"The police must receive notice of events like these in order to provide the necessary protection for demonstrators. "

Yeboah said he was unaware of the charges brought against him until hours after he was detained on Saturday evening.

Abayie-Buckman says the firing of shots was a necessary measure to disperse the protesters, who were putting themselves and others at risk of contracting the coronavirus.

"We are ready to fight," said Yeboah.

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