‘The Nairobi General Strike [1950]: from protest to insurgency’

Article English OPEN
Hyde, David (2002)

The Nairobi General Strike [1950] was the culmination of Kenya’s post war strike wave and urban upheaval. An unprecedented upsurge occurred with the general strikes in Mombasa [1947] led by the African Workers Federation [A.W.F.] and in Nairobi by the East African Trades Union Congress [E.A.T.U.C.]. While this has been termed and treated as a city wide strike, there is enough evidence to suggest a movement that went some way beyond Nairobi. The extent of the cohesion and reciprocal impacts amongst urban and rural Africans involved in the strike were underplayed by the colonial government and the media that followed it. Amongst other issues, this account has attempted to address the social physiognomy and scope of this struggle, the embryonic dual power within the city, the character of the E.A.T.U.C. leadership and its relationship to the Kenya African Union [K.A.U.]. Overall, what began as an urban led struggle with organised labour at the helm was subsequently reoriented into the forests and highlands.
Share - Bookmark