The Heroic Resistance of the Kenyan People Against Punitive Finance Bill 2024 – Revolutionary Socialist League

Part of the Youth Writing History network, the Revolutionary Socialist League share its view on the actual context in Kenya : the massive protest going on against the new finance reform and more generally against authoritarianism and exploitation.

The Revolutionary Socialist League salutes the heroic resistance of the Kenyan people in the face of relentless onslaughts by our neo-colonial state. Our struggle is not merely to #RejectFinanceBill2024 but for complete independence under the banner of #LandFoodandFreedom. This struggle represents the culmination of a long-drawn battle between the authoritarian forces of President Ruto’s regime and the patriotic people of Kenya fighting for full political and economic rights.

We unequivocally condemn the heavy-handed brutality of state forces against civilians, journalists, students, and activists. The illegal arrest and detention of the 286 individuals by

hordes of plain-clothed police officers are a blatant affront to our democratic gains, hard fought for decades during the armed struggle by the Kenya Land and Freedom Army and in the post-colonial era by organised patriotic civilians dissatisfied with the oppressive state.

“The violent dispersal of peaceful demonstrators by the police, employing live ammunition, water cannons, and tear gas—chemical weapons banned under the Geneva Protocol of 1925—demonstrates a shocking disregard for human rights and democratic principles. These actions, compounded by the fact that these weapons were supplied by foreign forces, signify a disturbing trend towards authoritarianism and a blatant disregard for democracy and humanity in Kenya. Reports from the ground in today’s people’s march tell harrowing stories of women being bludgeoned with batons and targeted with tear gas canisters, patriotic citizens wrestled to the ground, their phones confiscated, and subjected to beatings to extract passwords by plainclothed officers. The harassment of journalists and the illegal detention of peaceful protesters across various police stations in the city underscores an escalating political repression”, reads the statement of the Social Justice Movement-Nairobi Chapter.

This heightened repression and state violence cannot be the answer to criticism against corruption, austerity measures imposed by the IMF and World Bank, inefficiency, impoverishment by legislation, cronyism, systemic violence, and imperialist domination by the West. This oppressive response only fuels our resolve to fight for total sovereignty, full independence and the resolution of historical injustices.

We express our profound appreciation to the lawyers who were present for their bold stand in defending the rights of our patriotic protesters and the citizens at large.

We also commend and salute the students’ fraternity for boldly boycotting their classes in order to confront the regime by coming out in large numbers in the street demonstrations and distributing leaflets to raise the people’s political consciousness over the contentious Finance Bill 2024. Their calls for the resignation of the President and his ineffective cabinet and their condemnation of state repression and the use of military force against peaceful #OccupyParliament protestors symbolize powerful acts of resistance.

We honor the women for their continued role over the years in all marches, leading on the frontlines against authoritarianism, and their unwavering commitment to defending democracy and countering the terror tactics of the brutal regime.

We demand the immediate and unconditional release of all individuals arrested for their political views and activities. We urge President Ruto to honour democratic principles and not obstruct the growth of democratic space in Kenya. If these demands are not met, we vow to join other soldiers of justice and liberation this Thursday in order to express our rejection of the Finance Bill 2024. The people of Kenya will not retreat; they will not surrender!

Terror tactics by the state aided by foreign powers will not deter our resolve for complete liberation from oppression.

We appreciate all patriotic citizens for their participation in today’s action and in airing their voice against systemic oppression and violence. Your courage and commitment are vital in this fight for our rights and freedoms.

Aluta Continua!

Revolutionary Socialist League, Kenya.

Nairobi, June 18 th 2024

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