'Occupy' protests hit Ghana

Hundreds held a three-day protest campaign ending Sept. 24 in Ghana's capital, Accra, to denounce harsh economic conditions and the "moral decay" of the country's leadership. With placards reading "Ghana deserves better," protesters attempted to march on the seat of government, Golden Jubilee House, but riot police and armored vehicles barred their way. In response, demonstrators sat down in the road, effectively shutting down the area for hours. Over 50 were arrested when police finally cleared the intersection.

Main protest leader Oliver Barker-Wormawor emphasized the movement's commitment to non-violence, and stopped short of calling for the resignation of President Nana Akufo-Addo. But some participants took a harder line. Prominent activist Bernard Mornah said: "Let President Akufo-Addo and the Ghana police service be told that anytime anyone resists peaceful change, violent change would occasion. We don't want to engage in violence, but if they push us to the wall, we have no other option."

Organized by a new coalition called Democracy Hub, the protest used the hashtag #OccupyJulorbiHouse. Julor Bi translates from the local Ga language as "Child of a Thief"—an obvious taunt at the government. (Jurist, AfricaNews, GhanaWeb, Pulse Ghana, GhPage)

The Ukraine war, with resultant disruption of wheat and hydrocarbon exports, has sparked an ongoing global food and energy crisis. The new Ghana protests come just as the price of oil approaches $100 a barrel for the first time since the immediate aftermath of the start of the invasion a year and a half ago. (NYT)