Protesters Are Not Stupid

We equate protests/civic action to poverty. We equate poverty to unintelligence. Our online interactions clearly and sadly show it.

Pauline Aoko, a career (26 years) demonstrator by her own self confession, was interviewed on KTN today. She is a middle-aged lady from Kibera who was preparing for her weekly tear gas supplements. When asked why she was going to the street, she said that she was fighting for her rights for a good and that she was prepared to die for it. She said that her kids asked her what would happen to them if she the police killed her during the protests and she told them that she will have died fighting for their rights.

That threw me off but I understood it a bit more. Kenyans are suffering. Kenyans are feeling the sustained and ever- expanding gap between the rich and the poor. Kenyans are feeling the effects of social and economic marginalisation that has taken place by regime after regime. In spite of devolution, the county governments still get a paltry 12.5% of the national kitty compared to the central government which gets 87.5% and so skewed development is still in the court of the national government under our tantrum-in-chief.

Raila represents hope to these people and many more. I have major doubts about his ability to lead through government from his time as an MP,minister and Prime Minister and his role in the 2007 violence and the coup  but nevertheless acknowledge his instrumental role in the fight for multi-party democracy and our current constitution which we revere almost religiously.

He is a purveyor of hope, a commodity rare to come by nowadays with our rudderless Kenya seemingly in free fall. It doesn't matter whether he will be able to actualise it, people just need the thought, however forlorn that it's possible to get out of their current situations.

This country is not working for everybody just because it's working for you.

People are not being foolish or blind. They're just living in a Kenya you're oblivious to. They're living in Kenya B. They're living in a country where they've never really felt like they belong to. I, however, in no way condone the violence that erupted today and which I feel will erupt again and these dimwits are working to delegitimise the struggle and cause and giving excuses for police brutality.

The people faithfully on the streets rightfully equate politics to their daily lives and the people in power to the development of their community and areas. If your wealth and education can't get you to this conclusion then there goes your assertion about wealth and intelligence.

Beyond the street actions are actual lives, peoples lives.


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