The Day Monrovia Stood Still

By: Emmanuel King, Jr.


Monrovia, Liberia

Distributed by

The Perspective
Atlanta, Georgia

Posted January 12, 2005


Residents of Monrovia had begun the day beautifully conducting normal business when I suddenly heard at around 12:15p.m. on Friday January 6, 2005 that traffic in Central Monrovia had come to a stand still.

The manner in which it was said did not catch my attention until after an hour when news began spreading in all directions that the widows of deceased AFL soldiers had taken to the streets in a sit in protest action.

At first I thought the women had gone to the Executive Mansion, but was dead wrong when I came out of the building and saw the traffic at a complete standstill.

The women blocked the various routes in and around Central Monrovia. On the Johnson Street (Gabriel Tucker Bridge) the women at both ends of the bridge completely set blockade. The sit- in- actions also took place on Broad and Johnson streets intersection, Broad and Buchanan Streets, Capitol Bye Pass, Carey and Lynch Streets among others.

They brought accessories and began cooking at the major intersections preventing traffic and impeding normal activities for the day.

They even prevented motorcyclists who tried to penetrate their way to carry out their duties.
Many of them who spoke to The FORUM said they were protesting the refusal by the NTGL to pay insurance and other benefits for their husbands whom they said died in active service.

They further said that the government agreed to pay 20,000LD each but had refused to begin the disbursement. The President-elect of Liberia, Madam Ellen Johnson Sirleaf upon learning of the sit- in- action, proceeded to diffuse the tension by encouraging the women that their demands were going to be looked into, and they should leave the streets.

The women agreed to the request but the message to abandon the sit- in- action had not been received by all of them and so they continued their action until late Friday evening when normal traffic began moving in all directions. By then the disruption had already been done.

© 2005: This article is copyrighted by the Forum newspaper (Monrovia, Liberia) and distributed by The Perspective (Atlanta, Georgia). All rights reserved. Forum can reached at: