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In Pictures: Challenging 'diaper mentality'
Activists took to Nairobi's streets to protest Kenya's political immaturity, but the rally was soon put to bed.
Last updated: 17 Feb 2014 12:30
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Nairobi, Kenya - The artists had spent weeks on the babies. There were fifty of them, and they were finished in the early hours of the morning of the protest. Carved from blocks of polystyrene and papier mâché for skin, they were carried down towards "Freedom Corner", at Nairobi's Uhuru Park.

Photographer-turned-activist Boniface Mwangi had declared that this would be his last protest. "I want a normal life again," he said, two weeks before the protest. He'd spent months organising it, pulling together the different facets that would speak out against "the state of the nation".

Railing against corruption, impunity, and poor governance, Mwangi feels that Kenyans need to grow up; he dubbed the demonstration "Diaper Mentality". The babies were a symbol of Kenyans' immaturity: treated as a child by the ruling class, whom they failed to stand up to.

By early morning, social media was abuzz with reports that the protest had been banned; Mwangi hit back, citing article 37 of the Kenyan constitution - the right to assembly, demonstration, picketing and petition.

Several hundred protesters marched down Kenyatta Avenue, named after Kenya's first president, Jomo. His son, Uhuru Kenyatta, was inaugurated as president in April last year.

As the protesters approached Uhuru park, they were met with police and anti-riot units. "The government does not want this protest to go ahead," said one commanding officer.

Soon after, volleys of tear gas launched into the air, and the protest dispersed. The babies were left scattered around, and police officers kicked them to clear the road, before loading them into the back of police wagons. Some of the protesters would soon follow them, arrested by police, disappearing amid wailing sirens.

Mwangi has been accused by Kenya's National Security Advisory Committee of planning to destabilise the government via the demonstrations, and that his actions were funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). He refutes the claims.


/Phil Moore/Al Jazeera

A Kenyan man sits in an arts centre in Nairobi, used as a rallying point for the protest, under the banner of the global "Occupy" movement.



/Phil Moore/Al Jazeera

Demonstrators kitted out with t-shirts and masks painted in the colours of the Kenyan flag prepare to march towards parliament.



/Phil Moore/Al Jazeera

Boniface Mwangi, photographer turned activist, leads a chant as protesters march towards Nairobi's Central Business District.



/Phil Moore/Al Jazeera

Reverend Timothy Njoya prepares to give a sermon on "the state of the nation" before being stopped by Kenyan police. Reverend Njoya describes himself as an advocate for justice and human rights in Kenya.



/Phil Moore/Al Jazeera

Demonstrators carry giant babies, protesting what they describe as Kenya's "Diaper Mentality".



/Phil Moore/Al Jazeera

Kenyan riot police block the entrance to Uhuru park in Nairobi. "Uhuru" means "Freedom" in Swahili.



/Phil Moore/Al Jazeera

Protesters stand at the entrance to Uhuru park in Nairobi, as they try to negotiate access for what they described as their "constitutional right to assembly".



/Phil Moore/Al Jazeera

Police dispersed the crowd of several hundred peaceful protesters with volleys of tear gas.



/Phil Moore/Al Jazeera

Kenyan police officers watch a tear gas cannister as it is fired into Uhuru park on the edge of Nairobi's Central Business District.



/Phil Moore/Al Jazeera

A Kenyan police officer stands in the middle of a major intersection as the protestors' babies are piled on the roadside.



/Phil Moore/Al Jazeera
The babies were rounded up and put in the back of a police van.


/Phil Moore/Al Jazeera

Kenyan paramilitaries rushed a major road in Nairobi's Central Business District to flush out the last of the protesters.



/Phil Moore/Al Jazeera

A protester sits in the back of a police wagon as a paramilitary police officer on horseback rides past.



/Phil Moore/Al Jazeera

Boniface Mwangi, the lead organiser of the protest, is detained by Kenyan paramilitary police.



/Phil Moore/Al Jazeera

Kenyan police and paramilitaries stand guard in central Nairobi to deter the return of protesters.



Follow photographer Phil Moore on Twitter: @fil


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images:
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captions:

A Kenyan man sits in an arts centre in Nairobi, used as a rallying point for the protest, under the banner of the global "Occupy" movement.

;*;

Demonstrators kitted out with t-shirts and masks painted in the colours of the Kenyan flag prepare to march towards parliament.

;*;

Boniface Mwangi, photographer turned activist, leads a chant as protesters march towards Nairobi(***)s Central Business District.

;*;

Reverend Timothy Njoya prepares to give a sermon on "the state of the nation" before being stopped by Kenyan police. Reverend Njoya describes himself as an advocate for justice and human rights in Kenya.

;*;

Demonstrators carry giant babies, protesting what they describe as Kenya(***)s "Diaper Mentality".

;*;

Kenyan riot police block the entrance to Uhuru park in Nairobi. "Uhuru" means "Freedom" in Swahili.

;*;

Protesters stand at the entrance to Uhuru park in Nairobi, as they try to negotiate access for what they described as their "constitutional right to assembly".

;*;

Police dispersed the crowd of several hundred peaceful protesters with volleys of tear gas.

;*;

Kenyan police officers watch a tear gas cannister as it is fired into Uhuru park on the edge of Nairobi(***)s Central Business District.

;*;

A Kenyan police officer stands in the middle of a major intersection as the protestors(***) babies are piled on the roadside.

;*;The babies were rounded up and put in the back of a police van.;*;

Kenyan paramilitaries rushed a major road in Nairobi(***)s Central Business District to flush out the last of the protesters.

;*;

A protester sits in the back of a police wagon as a paramilitary police officer on horseback rides past.

;*;

Boniface Mwangi, the lead organiser of the protest, is detained by Kenyan paramilitary police.

;*;

Kenyan police and paramilitaries stand guard in central Nairobi to deter the return of protesters.

Daylife ID:
766a44504c37876e2e4c2ccc7c5b9ccd
Photographer:
;*;;*;;*;;*;;*;;*;;*;;*;;*;;*;;*;;*;;*;;*;
Image Source:
Phil Moore/Al Jazeera;*;Phil Moore/Al Jazeera;*;Phil Moore/Al Jazeera;*;Phil Moore/Al Jazeera;*;Phil Moore/Al Jazeera;*;Phil Moore/Al Jazeera;*;Phil Moore/Al Jazeera;*;Phil Moore/Al Jazeera;*;Phil Moore/Al Jazeera;*;Phil Moore/Al Jazeera;*;Phil Moore/Al Jazeera;*;Phil Moore/Al Jazeera;*;Phil Moore/Al Jazeera;*;Phil Moore/Al Jazeera;*;Phil Moore/Al Jazeera
Gallery Source:
Daylife
Daylife Raw Data:
Nairobi protestshttp://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Nairobi_protestsen-ussupport@newscred.comUntitled Site10Fri, 14 Feb 2014 15:19:29 GMT http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Nairobi_protests/slideshow/no-caption/a45a7f11ab407884dedfb14a1bbee74e

A Kenyan man sits in an arts centre in Nairobi, used as a rallying point for the protest, under the banner of the global 'Occupy' movement.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Nairobi_protests/slideshow/no-caption/a45a7f11ab407884dedfb14a1bbee74ePhil Moore/Al Jazeera

A Kenyan man sits in an arts centre in Nairobi, used as a rallying point for the protest, under the banner of the global 'Occupy' movement.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Nairobi_protests/slideshow/no-caption/05f4ba2187f9817c61401c9d3c91ce3b

Demonstrators kitted out with t shirts and masks painted in the colours of the Kenyan flag prepare to march towards parliament.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Nairobi_protests/slideshow/no-caption/05f4ba2187f9817c61401c9d3c91ce3bPhil Moore/Al Jazeera

Demonstrators kitted out with t shirts and masks painted in the colours of the Kenyan flag prepare to march towards parliament.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Nairobi_protests/slideshow/no-caption/e5f123dedc4ac3b03c0d634df254f4af

Boniface Mwangi, photographer turned activist, leads a chant as protestors march towards Nairobi's Central Business District.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Nairobi_protests/slideshow/no-caption/e5f123dedc4ac3b03c0d634df254f4afPhil Moore/Al Jazeera

Boniface Mwangi, photographer turned activist, leads a chant as protestors march towards Nairobi's Central Business District.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Nairobi_protests/slideshow/no-caption/c38d2e752d78043b3cacb2189f74dd1e

Reverend Timothy Njoya prepares to give a sermon on 'the state of the nation' before being stopped by Kenyan police. Rev. Njoya describes himself as an advocate for justice and human rights in Kenya.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Nairobi_protests/slideshow/no-caption/c38d2e752d78043b3cacb2189f74dd1ePhil Moore/Al Jazeera

Reverend Timothy Njoya prepares to give a sermon on 'the state of the nation' before being stopped by Kenyan police. Rev. Njoya describes himself as an advocate for justice and human rights in Kenya.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Nairobi_protests/slideshow/no-caption/494b562c8e7f22fafcd4828e2c61e6bc

Demonstrators carry giant babies, protesting what they describe as Kenya's 'Diaper Mentality'.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Nairobi_protests/slideshow/no-caption/494b562c8e7f22fafcd4828e2c61e6bcPhil Moore/Al Jazeera

Demonstrators carry giant babies, protesting what they describe as Kenya's 'Diaper Mentality'.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Nairobi_protests/slideshow/no-caption/ac4f896f03a503089a6dc3fe87884c87

Kenyan riot police block the entrance to Uhuru park in Nairobi. 'Uhuru' means 'Freedom' in Swahili.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Nairobi_protests/slideshow/no-caption/ac4f896f03a503089a6dc3fe87884c87Phil Moore/Al Jazeera

Kenyan riot police block the entrance to Uhuru park in Nairobi. 'Uhuru' means 'Freedom' in Swahili.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Nairobi_protests/slideshow/no-caption/2cedb3fa9dd617ec0d8dc1e2cc5dce1c

Protestors stand at the entrance to Uhuru park in Nairobi, as they try to negotiate access for what they described as their 'constitutional right to assembly.'

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Nairobi_protests/slideshow/no-caption/2cedb3fa9dd617ec0d8dc1e2cc5dce1cPhil Moore/Al Jazeera

Protestors stand at the entrance to Uhuru park in Nairobi, as they try to negotiate access for what they described as their 'constitutional right to assembly.'

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Nairobi_protests/slideshow/no-caption/79f5d10b37bd337d57f273d91589bd68

Police dispersed the crowd of several hundred peaceful protestors with volleys of tear gas.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Nairobi_protests/slideshow/no-caption/79f5d10b37bd337d57f273d91589bd68Phil Moore/Al Jazeera

Police dispersed the crowd of several hundred peaceful protestors with volleys of tear gas.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Nairobi_protests/slideshow/no-caption/ef1c809ae5e81a5156036505d781d619

Kenyan policemen watch a tear gas cannister as it is fired into Uhuru park on the edge of Nairobi's Central Business District.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Nairobi_protests/slideshow/no-caption/ef1c809ae5e81a5156036505d781d619Phil Moore/Al Jazeera

Kenyan policemen watch a tear gas cannister as it is fired into Uhuru park on the edge of Nairobi's Central Business District.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Nairobi_protests/slideshow/no-caption/ef0557385975f10625d251f8d4c13f22

A Kenyan policeman stands in the middle of a major intersection as the protestors' babies are piled on the roadside.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Nairobi_protests/slideshow/no-caption/ef0557385975f10625d251f8d4c13f22Phil Moore/Al Jazeera

A Kenyan policeman stands in the middle of a major intersection as the protestors' babies are piled on the roadside.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Nairobi_protests/slideshow/no-caption/2acf1efe065a9637116c98614ca3ade4The babies were rounded up and put in the back of a police van.http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Nairobi_protests/slideshow/no-caption/2acf1efe065a9637116c98614ca3ade4Phil Moore/Al Jazeera The babies were rounded up and put in the back of a police van. http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Nairobi_protests/slideshow/no-caption/088e55b275703a8e743a85a633db1e4a

Kenyan paramilitaries rushed a major road in Nairobi's Central Business District to flush out the last of the protestors.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Nairobi_protests/slideshow/no-caption/088e55b275703a8e743a85a633db1e4aPhil Moore/Al Jazeera

Kenyan paramilitaries rushed a major road in Nairobi's Central Business District to flush out the last of the protestors.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Nairobi_protests/slideshow/no-caption/b00082f859afe5d7ff42daf6dc0acab1A protestor sits in the back of a police wagon as a paramilitary policeman on horseback rides past.http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Nairobi_protests/slideshow/no-caption/b00082f859afe5d7ff42daf6dc0acab1Phil Moore/Al Jazeera A protestor sits in the back of a police wagon as a paramilitary policeman on horseback rides past. http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Nairobi_protests/slideshow/no-caption/37f2c2072490d130d0bd12a72bfa26dfBoniface Mwangi, the lead organiser of the protestor, is detained by Kenyan paramilitary police.http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Nairobi_protests/slideshow/no-caption/37f2c2072490d130d0bd12a72bfa26dfPhil Moore/Al Jazeera Boniface Mwangi, the lead organiser of the protestor, is detained by Kenyan paramilitary police. http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Nairobi_protests/slideshow/no-caption/1fa4617848269b282324b977046da3fbKenyan police and paramilitaries stand guard in central Nairobi to deter the return of protestors.http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Nairobi_protests/slideshow/no-caption/1fa4617848269b282324b977046da3fbPhil Moore/Al Jazeera Kenyan police and paramilitaries stand guard in central Nairobi to deter the return of protestors.


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