Kenya: Slum Residents Fight Back Against Violent Eviction

By Jakob Stein

As the worldwide economic crisis continues to deepen, residents in the slums of Korogocho in Nairobi clashed with police in response to the reactionary government’s demolition of thousands of homes last week.

The evictions cast an estimated 7,000 people into homelessness, which has put them at further risk of police repression when coupled with the curfew put place in response to the coronavirus pandemic. In addition to the destruction of homes, the government also demolished a nearby grocery store, which fed an estimated 100,000 people.

Protesters blocked a major highway with burning tires as police used water cannons, tear gas, and live ammunition against the demonstration. The residents responded by throwing stones and looting nearby shops; barricades, looting, and fires quickly spread to other parts of Nairobi as the poor masses demonstrated their rejection of the repressive police measures which have only been worsened by the economic and subsequent health crises.