The first meeting of the “generational movement for political change”

Once Dtweah and I had that initial meeting of the mind that it was necessary to begin the process of exploring the what we called the “humanitarian and political future” of Ambassador Weah, we began placing calls to friends and opening small debates at various gatherings in Minnesota. We wanted to hear what other colleagues thought about our idea.

 At that point, we weren’t clear about what we really wanted to do. At one point it was about opening a legal immigration clinic to help Liberians in the Diaspora with issues about immigration and then on another hand, it was about engaging the political space and entering the theatre full time.

After several confusing calls to many colleagues, we began fine tuning our ideas as Dtweah and I had more conversations. During these conversations, we started getting extremely excited about what we were embarking on. We used the month of June 2004 to touch base with friends and bounced our newly found passion off them. As most of these colleagues were not politically savvy but equally passionate change back home, we thought they could be of real value to this undertaking.

But something happened in July 2004 that made everything to change. We had gone to the home of Patrick Sawyer (P O, now deceased) in Champlin, Minnesota to hold discussions about some organization that Dtweah, P O Sawyer, Samuel Deputy and others were working on. Unfortunately, PO wasn’t home and we couldn’t get into his computer and so the meeting never took place but then we had the opportunity to witness the ESPY Arthur Ashe Courage Award that had been taped but aired on Sunday, July 18, 2004.

As we sat and witnessed the world recognizing George Weah with this prestigious award and the manner and form in which he received the award: presenting two (2) Liberian children that he said represented tribes that fought in the Liberian civil war but that were now reconciled. This moved the entire audience and caused many TV land to reflect deeply as this Liberian son, mounted the world stage to make Liberia pride again.

This was the moment and the biggest selling point of our venture. This was what gave us the audacity to organize the first meeting and scheduled it for Sunday, 25 July 2004 at my Crystal residence. As we saw the expressions on the faces of Denzel Washington, Kelvin Garnett and other Hollywood stars, we thought that was it. Weah was our guy and that Liberia was ready for him if they truly wanted to break away from the past.

Immediately after that viewing Dtweah and I compared notes and thought the citations should go out. We called our friends and invited them to participate in this discussion. Dtweah was charged with talking to all the colleagues who worked with him at US Bank and I would place as much calls as I could and schedule the meeting for 6 pm that Sunday.

That was also historic as it was the eve of Liberia’s Independence (26 day) and so we thought we were crafting the nation’s real independence.  

And as planned, the comrades gathered and we introduced the topic: that it was time for all Liberians to get involved in the political process in back home. That it was no longer ok for us to sit and just witness events when we believe that we can do something. It was upon it backdrop that we thought to invite you our esteemed colleagues to begin to discuss the “humanitarian and political future” of Ambassador George Weah: A man we consider one of the greatest patriots of our time. We argued that to him, the country had given nothing but that in return he had given a lot more to our country. (that was our argument then…)

The true be told, at that meeting, we were not able to clearly communicate whether we were organizing a political movement to make George Weah president or we were organizing a political party that Weah could be part of. Frankly, a colleague by the name, Momoh Dudu did raise serious objection to organizing a political party for purpose of making George Weah president. He spoke strongly and passionately about his views and if he had carried the day, our movement was dead. Dtweah tried to engage in rhetorics (as usual) with Dudu but Dudu pushed back strongly. I felt we were losing the argument and I so I jumped in and became very blunt with Momoh and told him that we were taking the Weah path because we believed that he (Weah) had a lot to offer. We were not emphatical that he should be president but we were convinced that Weah had a critical role to play in our generation and so we were going that route.

Dudu lost the argument and never showed up to any of our other meetings again. (Maybe this was the first biggest mistake we made)

However, we took down the names and email addresses of those who attended, opened and email group, and then scheduled for next meeting for Sunday, 1 August 2004 at 6 PM to be held at Dtweah’s apartment: 1308 69th Ave N, Apt # 311, Brooklyn Center.

This next meeting turned out to be a very interesting meeting because in attendance were Norris Tweah (he was very passive and level headed), Dixon Seboe (he was visiting from Monrovia) and Calvin Dwuye (visiting from Massachusetts) who just popped. And at that meeting we decided on a name…  

        I am still checking the files…. Since that July 25, 2004, we met every Sunday, religiously, until sometime in February 2005. The details are in the files…

Author: JAMES F. KOLLIE

I am a Liberian professional with passion for pro poor economic development and grassroot political organizing. I have read public policy, corporate finance and accounting at various levels. I have worked in government, private sector and non-profit sector.

One thought on “The first meeting of the “generational movement for political change””

  1. @James F. KOLLIE: Very provocative, educating and propitious. I’m most impressed. The so-called diehards who now commandeered the Congress for Democratic Change (CDC) ever since 2005, must pay keen attention to your candid narrative and blunt Exposé. Unfortunately, the movement which you and the earlier founders envisioned as humble, serviceable and patriotic, has become over ambitious, zealot and imperial.

    I have neither personally met you nor chatted with you, though I know about you through mutual acquaintances and your continuous positions and public services in the Unity Party administration.

    Furthermore, I am intimately familiar with your fine and capable ideologue colleague and our fellow compatriot, Samuel D. TWEAH aka Dtweah. Though I was not a partisan, yet, I had the esteemed honour and privilege of collaborating with Dtweah and another fine patriot John Sembe MORLU II in coordinating and authoring the CDC 2011 Manifesto, at the urging of the then CDC standard bearer and presidential candidate, former UN SG special representative Winston Adolf TUBMAN.

    The rest is history and this too is Liberia. Thanks for the blunt Exposé!

    Like

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