Media Offices Stormed in Kenya

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Last night close to a hundred hooded men armed with AK-47s stormed the Standard Newspaper‘s central office in Nairobi, Kenya, destroying papers and temporarily halting production. The raid, which was carried out simultaneously with one on the Kenya Television Network, involved the destruction of printing presses, the burning of thousands of newspapers and the beating of staff members. The Kenyan government, considered democratic, has previously accused the Standard of inventing stories on several occasions.

Corruption has raged through the Kenyan government as of late, and the media has fostered political tension by calling into question a series of secret meetings between Kenya President Mwai Kibaki and his main opponent, former Environment Minister Kalonzo Musyoka. The article on that secret rendezvous, published Saturday, led to the detention of three Standard reporters yesterday. After divulging all they knew, and asked to reveal their sources, the journalists were instructed to wait for further instructions “from above.”

Information Minister Mutahi Kagwe says he knows nothing about the raids, yet earlier in the week he had threatened government intervention if publications continue their “misreporting and misrepresentation.” As he put it: “If you rattle a snake, you must be prepared to be bitten by it.” The police now admit to the raid, calling it a “sweep” to gather evidence important to national security.

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Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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