Uganda: Walk to Work Protests

Ugandan women's organizations join protests against rising fuel and food costs. Photo by Echwalu Photography

Ugandan women's organizations join protests against rising fuel and food costs. Photo by Echwalu Photography

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In April 2011, inspired by the Tunisian and Egyptian revolutions, Uganda’s opposition groups staged protests against high fuel and food prices, calling on Ugandans in urban centers to walk to their work places.

The government reacted to the protests that began on April 14 with violence, arresting those opposition leaders who attempted to walk out of their houses. Dr Kizza Besigye, the leader of opposition party Forum for Democratic Change (FDC), was arrested more than three times in one month and subjected to intimidation by the authorities. Rumours that Besigye had died prompted riots in capital Kampala, which resulted in ten deaths; different towns in Uganda also took part in the protests and on April 21 a two year old child was killed by a stray bullet in Masaka town. During the demonstrations, police sprayed protestors with pink paint to help identify them.

President Yoweri Museveni has since been sworn in to extend his years in power to a total of 30, but the opposition is planning more civil disobedience campaigns as the economic situation in the country continues to worsen. Although the ‘Walk to Work’ protests have been suppressed, numerous different sectors continue to stage sit-down strikes calling on government to increase salaries or address the working environment.

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What we do: Global Voices bloggers from Sub Saharan Africa report on how citizens use the Internet and social media to make their voices heard, often translating from a variety of different languages.

Featured Global Voices Posts – Uganda: Walk to Work Protests

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17 Aug – Uganda: Minister Claims Opposition Using Social Media to Prepare for War
19 May – Uganda: Walk to Work Protests in Photos
13 May – Uganda: Women's groups, lawyers join Walk to Work protests
13 May – Uganda: Police Paint Protesters Pink
13 May – Uganda: Museveni’s Swearing in Overshadowed by Rival's Return
29 Apr – Uganda: Citizens Outraged by Violent Re-Arrest of Opposition Leader
19 Apr – Uganda: Government Attempts to Block Facebook, Twitter as Protests Continue
12 Apr – Uganda: #walk2work Arrests Spur Hunger Strike, Future Protests
11 Apr – Uganda: Is It a Crime to Walk to Work?


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22 Feb – Uganda: No Signs of Egypt-Style Uprising
19 Feb – Uganda: A Day After Uganda Elections 2011
18 Feb – Uganda: Bloggers Apprehensive as Voters Go to Polls
17 Feb – Uganda: Uganda Elections 2011 on Twitter
14 Feb – Uganda: Press Freedom Diminishing as Elections Near
08 Feb – Uganda: Online Guide to Presidential Elections 2011
03 Feb – Africa: Will there be “Jasmine Revolution” in Sub-Saharan Africa?


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