International League of People Struggles-Kenya (ILPS-KENYA)

For Immediate Release

Nairobi, 9th May 2024

In the aftermath of the brutal crackdown on peaceful protestors and the unjust arrest of Human Rights Defenders (HRDs) by the Kenyan government, the International League of People Struggles-Kenya (ILPS-KENYA) stands in solidarity with those unlawfully detained. We vehemently denounce the unwarranted actions taken by the National Police Service Officers in raiding the Mathare Social Justice Centre and unlawfully apprehending 27 HRDs who were exercising their democratic rights.

The events of 8th May in Mathare represent a gross violation of human rights and a stark reminder of the systemic oppression faced by marginalized communities. Members of the Mathare community, along with HRDs, gathered to demand dignified housing and a better quality of life amidst the devastation caused by floods. Instead of addressing their legitimate grievances, the government attacked, teargassed, and violently dispersed the peaceful demonstration.

This fascist attack highlights the government’s callous disregard for the rights and well-being of its citizens. The use of brute force against innocent protestors reflects a broader pattern of oppression and systemic violence perpetuated by the ruling class. It is a clear manifestation of the structural crisis of capitalism, wherein the interests of the elite are prioritized over the basic needs and rights of the people.

ILPS-KENYA echoes the demand for the immediate release of all activists and HRDs who have been unjustly detained. Their arrest is a blatant violation of their fundamental rights enshrined in the Kenyan constitution. We call upon comrades, social justice advocates, and human rights defenders in Kenya and the world over to stand in solidarity with MSJC and amplify their demand for justice.

Furthermore, ILPS-KENYA emphasizes the importance of social housing as opposed to the hollow promises of affordable homes made by the government. Affordable housing alone is insufficient to address the deep-rooted issues of poverty, inequality, and injustice prevalent in our society. Social housing, on the other hand, provides not just shelter but also access to essential services, infrastructure, and community support systems, ensuring dignity and security for all.

The recent floods in Mathare and across Kenya underscore the urgent need for a paradigm shift in our approach to housing and climate resilience. The government’s inadequate response to the climate crisis has disproportionately affected the most vulnerable communities, leaving them to bear the brunt of environmental degradation and infrastructural failures. We stand in solidarity with the protestors’ demands for dignity, social justice, and meaningful solutions to the interconnected crises of climate and housing.

We demand accountability from the police and government for their reprehensible actions against peaceful demonstrators on 8th May. We demand justice for all political prisoners and an end to the systematic suppression of dissenting voices. Together, let us raise our voices, mobilize support, and stand in solidarity with those fighting for a better, more just world.

In solidarity,

Lewis Maghanga, Chairperson

International League of People Struggles-Kenya (ILPS-KENYA)

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