-As Businesses, Schools Were Closed On June 7
President George Weah’s mandate that all schools, businesses and public entities opened on Friday June 7, 2019 was reportedly ignored as several businesses and schools were closed on June 7, 2019.
It can be recalled that President Weah ordered all government Ministries and Agencies to remain open and functional to the public, including Friday, June 7, the day of the protest.
In a directive issued June 5, 2019, President Weah ordered that all public institutions open their doors to the public on all working days and throughout official working hours in order to do the Liberian people’s work without fail.
The directive, the President said, includes June 7, 2019. “My office has made no declaration for June 7, 2019 as public holiday; I therefore expect that government offices remain open and functional to the public as usual,” the Liberian Leader said.
“I have instructed our security apparatus to ensure the protection of the rights of all,” he said, calling on public servants to “take note of this order and act accordingly.”
However, on June 7, 2019, Monrovia was completely deserted, streets empty, businesses closed, students refused to go to school, government entities that were opened staffs were all seen standing outside watching the protesters as they trooped to the Capitol Hill to petition their government.
Prior to the protest, there were perceptions across Liberia that the protest was going to be chaotic referencing the case of the 1979 rice riot which claimed the lives of several Liberians.
Many Liberians feared that there would have been war, which caused many family members to take their relatives to rural areas, with some even buying huge bags of rice and others storing them in their homes.
Besides, there were several security measures put into place by state security. Some of the measures include the searching of vehicles, bags, removal of ‘Zogos” from their hideouts, deployment of armed security officers across the city and the total patrols of officers on broad streets and others.
The protesters were also warned to monitor their movements to their assembly point (Capitol Hill).