On Wednesday, June 12, the Social Justice Centre’s Working Group (SJCWG) had their initial event marking the launch of Saba Saba activities. This was both a press conference and a legal clinic at the Mukuru Social Justice Centre. Below is the press statement that came out of this event, and we look forward to all being part of Saba Saba activities that will culminate in the march for our lives on July 7 2019.
2019 SABA SABA LAUNCH PRESS STATEMENT
The Social Justice Centres Working Group is a network and the collective leadership of all Social Justice Centres, and that was formed one year ago during the Saba Saba March for our Lives in 2018. This event saw various Social Justice Centres come together to protest the normalization of extra – judicial killings in the informal settlements. This was the first time all poor communities from Nairobi came together to demand an end to police killings. Over a thousand people came together during the March to demonstrate against state killings of young men in informal settlements. The theme for the day was all lives matter. Indeed, all lives matter.
There are now twenty three Social Justice Centres in different parts of the country whose activities are unified under the Social Justice Centres Working Group (SJCWG). We saw the need to consolidate the efforts of the various centres and solidify the impact by working together. Together we are united for dignity and to continuously struggle against an oppressive state.
Since the Saba Saba March of 2018, we have made a lot of progress together. In this regard, we have seen:
- The rapid growth of social justice centres across the country: in Nairobi, Lamu, Kwale, Kilifi, Kakamega, Mombasa and Kisumu.
- Through consistent and vigorous campaigns against extra-judicial killings, we have been able to give the crisis the weight and attention it deserves, stirring the nation to solution-oriented conversations around this gross human rights violation and social injustice.
- We have been able to give the victims of violations the courage, support, voice and platform to seek redress. This is seen, in particular, in the strength of the Mothers of Victims and Survivors of Extrajudicial Killings campaign that has close to 50 members.
- We have also successfully engaged duty bearers and formed progressive working relations with the Police Reforms Working Group.
- Through documentation of human rights violations and linking the community to agencies and organisations that help them pursue justice, more people have been encouraged to come out and seek justice for violations against them, restoring hope for the rule of law. Also, dozens of cases are now ongoing against suspected killer cops.
- Furthermore, the Social Justice Centres have been participating in writing the universal periodic review that documents Kenya’s human rights record.
The Plan for Saba Saba 2019
Due to the rapid growth of Social Justice Centres emerging in Kisumu, Nairobi and the coastal region, this year the Saba Saba March for our lives will take place in the three regions with concurrent and joint activities. The main events will be:
- A Social Justice Centres National Congress that will bring all justice centres together to chart a roadmap for the next year.
- Art for social justice exhibition and concert that will memorialize victims and survivors of extrajudicial killings.
- March for our lives on July 7, with the theme #Stopthebullets to symbolically demonstrate all the bullets Kenyans are facing. Such as the killings of women, lack of water, normalization of extrajudicial killings, lack of access to health and education, an inadequate and corrupt leadership.
- A survivors convening that will bring together all survivors of human rights violations to meet with duty bearers.
- A media breakfast that will bring together activists and media personalities to discuss models of documenting and reporting human rights violations.
- Saba Saba memorial lecture at the University of Nairobi in reflections of struggle for democracy in Kenya
Today, this press release and legal aid clinic, marks the start of the events leading to Saba Saba day, and we are grateful for all the support we have received from our comrades, communities and supporting justice organizations.
We welcome you all to these events and to be part of the struggle that is anchored and will be taken forward by all of the Social Justice Centres. Organize, Educate and Liberate towards building a democratic state in Kenya founded on social justice and human rights for all.
- Convener Social justice Centres Working Group: Wilfred Happy Olal (+ 254722746164):
- Co- convener Social justice Centres Working Group: Faith Kasina (+254 723133329)
- Secretary Social Justice Centres Working Group: Njoki Gachanja (+254779081479)