School children in a primary school in the Kibera area of Nairobi were attacked by police in full riot gear, as they attempted to take back their school playground from developers who had annexed it.
The children, helped by local activists, pulled down a wall and gates built by the developers and proceeded to play on their field. However police in full riot gear had been on the site since early in the morning and threw tear gas cannisters into the protest, with some children having to be taken to a local clinic as a result of their injuries according to reports.
The video above clearly shows baton wielding policemen and tear gas being thrown into the crowd of mostly young children. An eyewitness to the events, Nathan Wangusi, said:
I never imagined I would be carrying injured children out of the way from police batons, dogs and tear gas. Several fainted and were trampled and rushed to hospital. The kids stood defiant and have demolished the wall. These children mostly from Kibera are the least among us. Disadvantaged already by poverty now greedy leaders want to take their potential to grow, learn and play. I stand in awe to these brave 7-13 year olds who have stood up for justice.
One Kenyan referring to the government’s laptops for schools plan on social media said: Our school children where promised laptops not canisters of tear Gas. Someone must be held accountable.
Kibera is the largest urban slum in Africa. Most of its inhabitants live on less than $1 a day. It almost defies belief that developers, apparently to build a shopping mall, would take the little that they have away from young children. However this is the logic of free market ‘development’, which is being forced on so many countries in the global South by the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, aided by corrupt local elites. A government minister has now confirmed that the land does belong to the school but the private developer is going to law to challenge it.
In other news from Kenya, the two teaching unions KNUT and KUPPET have called off their two week strike over low pay and education funding in response to a court order. The court is now going to adjudicate over the union’s demands.
— williab habwe (@willyhabwe) January 19, 2015
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