Resolution on the Crisis in Kenya

Adopted at 2008 Midwinter Meeting

WHEREAS, hundreds of people have been killed and injured, and thousands have been displaced by the current violence in Kenya generated by the controversy surrounding the December election results;

WHEREAS, the U.S. media plays up the ethnic or "tribal" aspects of the current crisis at the expense of the deep political and class aspects of the conflict;

WHEREAS, the Kenyan government has recently curtailed freedom of the press and broadcasting and the right to assemble and demonstrate peacefully and non-violently;

WHEREAS, the U.S. government has a close military relationship with the Kibaki Government, and has played a central role in building up Kenya‘s military and internal security organizations;

WHEREAS, the American Library Association has endorsed Article 19 of the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights (policy 58.4) which covers freedom of the press and freedom of expression - rights which the Kenyan government is now denying its citizens;

WHEREAS, the American Library Association opposes any governmental prerogatives that lead to the intimidation of individuals or groups and encourages resistance to such abuse of governmental power (Policy 53.4);

WHEREAS, the American Library Association recognizes the vital importance of free and open elections;

WHEREAS, the Association of Concerned Africa Scholars has issued a call for an end to (1) the widespread violence by the principal Kenyan political actors, (2) restrictions of the right to assemble and demonstrate peacefully and non-violently, and (3) recently declared restrictions on press freedoms;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the Social Responsibilities Round Table of the American Library Asso ciation joins with the Association of Concerned Africa Scholars in calling for an end to the violence in Kenya, a return to press and broadcasting freedom, and the right to peacefully assemble for the people of Kenya.

SRRT Newsletter Issue 162/163, p. 10