On 18 December 1998, the Clinton administration and the EU declared their contentment about the implementation of the first phase of the Memorandum by both sides. Israel, however, had only implemented stage 1 of the further redeployment (F.R.D.), meaning that it had withdrawn from 2% of Area C instead of the required 13%. Both parties accused each other of not fulfilling its share of responsibilities under the Wye River Memorandum, and the further implementation of the agreement remained unfinished.
The summit was brokered by the United States at the Aspen Institute Wye River Conference Centers near Wye Mills, Maryland, U.S. President Bill Clinton opened the summit at the secluded Wye River Conference Center on 15 October, and returned at least six times to the site to press Netanyahu and Arafat to finalize the deal. In the final push to get Netanyahu and Arafat to overcome remaining obstacles, Clinton invited King Hussein who had played a past role in easing tensions between the two men, to join the talks.
On the final day of the negotiations, the agreement almost fell through. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had asked President Bill Clinton to release Jonathan Pollard, an American naval intelligence officer who has been serving a life sentence since 1985 for giving classified information to Israel. A bitter disagreement arose, with Netanyahu claiming that Clinton had promised to release Pollard, and Clinton saying he had only promised to "review" the case. It was reported that then-Director of the CIAGeorge Tenet had threatened to resign should Pollard be released.
The agreement was finally signed by Netanyahu and PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat at the White House, with President Clinton playing a key role as the official witness.
Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat meeting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Davos in 1997.
For the implementation of the Oslo II Accord and to facilitate the Israeli withdrawal from parts of the West Bank, Israel and the Palestinian Authorities signed a number of agreements and protocols. The documents contained the reciprocal responsibilities, including those relating to further redeployments and security.
In 1994, the "Agreement on Preparatory Transfer of Powers and Responsibilities Between Israel and the PLO" was signed. In 1995, the "Protocol on Further Transfer of Powers and Responsibilities" followed. The 1997 Hebron Protocol settled the withdrawal from 80% of Hebron and its division into two Areas.
The Further Redeployments (F.R.D.) in the Wye River Memorandum refer to the three phases in Appendix 1 of Annex I of the Oslo II Accord, which would follow the previous redeployment from populated areas in the West Bank. Only the phases 1 and 2 are specified. Phase 3 was delegated to a "Third further redeployment committee" which was to be started.
Phase one and two of the further redeployments
The Phases one and two, not specified in the Oslo II Accord, comprised the transfer to the Palestinians of 13% from Area C and shifts of parts of Area B to Area A. The redeployment was divided into three stages, specified in the "Time line".
Stage 1 (November 1998): 2% from Area C to B; 7.1% from B to A
Stage 2 (December 1998): 5% from Area C to B
Stage 3 (January 1999): 5% from Area C to B; 1% from C to A; 7.1% from B to A
In total, 13% would thus be transferred from Area C. Area B would increase with 13% and Area A with 14%.
If the Memorandum had been implemented, Area C would theoretically have been reduced from circa 74% to 61%. Article I, however, determined that 3% of Area B would be designated as Nature Reserves with full Israeli control, meaning that the Palestinians would neither have free access to it, nor could build new constructions. This specification was a result of a misunderstanding regarding Prime Minister Netanyahu's "bottom line" for Israeli territorial withdrawal. He told American negotiator Dennis Ross he could go as high as the "lowest teen" in percentage of territory, and Ross persuaded Chairman Arafat to accept the 13% figure. Later, Netanyahu insisted he had meant 11% withdrawal, so Ross surfaced the idea of using the nature reserves to bridge the 11% and 13% figures.
In the provisions on security arrangements of the Interim Agreement, the Palestinian side agreed to take all measures necessary in order to prevent acts of terrorism, crime and hostilities directed against the Israeli side, against individuals falling under the Israeli side's authority and against their property, just as the Israeli side agreed to take all measures necessary in order to prevent acts of terrorism, crime and hostilities directed against the Palestinian side, against individuals falling under the Palestinian side's authority and against their property. The two sides also agreed to take legal measures against offenders within their jurisdiction and to prevent incitement against each other by any organizations, groups or individuals within their jurisdiction.
A: Security actions
1: Outlawing and combating terrorist organizations
(a) The Palestinian side was to make known its policy of zero tolerance for terror and violence against both sides.
(b) A work plan developed by the Palestinian side would be shared with the U.S. and thereafter implementation would begin immediately to ensure the systematic and effective combat of terrorist organizations and their infrastructure.
(c) In addition to the bilateral Israeli–Palestinian security cooperation, a U.S.–Palestinian committee would meet biweekly to review the steps being taken to eliminate terrorists cells and the support structure that plans, finances, supplies and abets terror.
(d) The Palestinian side would apprehend the specific individuals suspected of perpetrating acts of violence and terror for the purpose of further investigation, and prosecution and punishment of all persons involved in acts of violence and terror.
(e) A U.S.–Palestinian committee would meet to review and evaluate information pertinent to the decisions on prosecution, punishment or other legal measures which affect the status of individuals suspected of abetting or perpetrating acts of violence and terror.
2: Prohibiting illegal weapons
(a) The Palestinian side would ensure an effective legal framework is in place to criminalize, in conformity with the prior agreements, any importation, manufacturing or unlicensed sale, acquisition or possession of firearms, ammunition or weapons in areas under Palestinian jurisdiction.
(b) In addition, the Palestinian side would establish and vigorously and continuously implement a systematic program for the collection and appropriate handling of all such illegal items it accordance with the prior agreements. The U.S. agreed to assist in carrying out the program.
(c) A U.S.–Palestinian–Israeli committee would be established to assist and enhance cooperation in preventing the smuggling or other unauthorized introduction of weapons or explosive materials into areas under Palestinian jurisdiction.
3: Prevention of incitement
(a) The Palestinian side would issue a decree prohibiting all forms of incitement to violence or terror, and establishing mechanisms for acting systematically against all expressions or threats of violence or terror. This decree would be comparable to the existing Israeli legislation which deals with the same subject.
(b) A U.S.–Palestinian–Israeli committee would meet on a regular basis to monitor cases of possible incitement to violence or terror and to make recommendations and reports on how to prevent such incitement. The Israeli, Palestinian and U.S. sides would each appoint a media specialist, a law enforcement representative, an educational specialist and a current or former elected official to the committee.
B: Security cooperation
The two sides agreed that their security cooperation would be based on a spirit of partnership and would include, among other things, the following steps:
1: Bilateral cooperation
There would be full bilateral security cooperation between the two sides which would be continuous, intensive and comprehensive.
2: Forensic cooperation
There would be an exchange of forensic expertise, training, and other assistance.
3: Trilateral committee
In addition to the bilateral Israeli–Palestinian security cooperation, a high-ranking U.S.–Palestinian–Israeli committee would meet as required and not less than biweekly to assess current threats to deal with any impediments to effective security cooperation and coordination and address the steps being taken to combat terror and terrorist organizations.
C: Other security issues
1: Palestinian police force
(a) The Palestinian side would provide a list of its policemen to the Israeli side in conformity with the prior agreements.
(b) Should the Palestinian side request technical assistance, the U.S. indicated its willingness to help meet those needs in cooperation with other donors.
(c) The Monitoring and Steering Committee would, as part of its functions, monitor the implementation of this provision and brief the U.S.
2: PLO charter
The Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization and the Palestinian Central Council should reaffirm the letter of 22 January 1998 from PLO Chairman Yasir Arafat to President Clinton concerning the nullification of the Palestinian National Charter provisions that were inconsistent with the letters exchanged between the PLO and the Government of Israel on 9–10 September 1993.
3: Legal assistance in criminal matters
Among other forms of legal assistance in criminal matters, there were requests for the arrest and transfer of suspects and defendants. The United States had been requested by the sides to report on a regular basis on the steps being taken to respond to the above requests.
4: Human rights and the rule of law
Accepted norms of human rights and the rule of law, and would be guided by the need to protect the public, respect human dignity, and avoid harassment.
The Israeli and Palestinian sides reaffirmed their commitment to improve their relationship and agreed on the need to actively promote economic development in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
The Israeli and Palestinian sides agreed on arrangements which would permit the timely opening of the Gaza Industrial Estate.
Both sides should have renewed negotiations on Safe Passage immediately. Negotiations on the northern route would continue with the goal of reaching agreement as soon as possible.
The Israeli and Palestinian sides acknowledged the great importance of the Port of Gaza for the development of the Palestinian economy, and the expansion of Palestinian trade.
The two sides recognized that unresolved legal issues hurt the relationship between the two peoples.
The Israeli and Palestinian sides also should launch a strategic economic dialogue to enhance their economic relationship.
The two sides agreed on the importance of continued international donor assistance in helping both sides to implement agreements.
Permanent status negotiations
The two sides would immediately resume permanent status negotiations on an accelerated basis and will make a determined effort to achieve the mutual goal of reaching an agreement by 4 May 1999.
Recognizing the necessity to create a positive environment for the negotiations, neither side should initiate or take any step that would change the status of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip in accordance with the Interim Agreement.
Political impact in Israel
The Wye agreement was broadly popular in Israel, with 74% of Israelis supporting the agreement according to early-November polling. However, Prime Minister Netanyahu sensed opposition within his Likud party and delayed a vote of cabinet approval while he sought public assurances from the Clinton administration about the implementation of Wye. Rather than join a national unity government with opposition leader Ehud Barak, Netanyahu tried to assuage Likud hardliners by stopping implementation of Wye in early December over confrontations between Palestinian protesters and Israeli soldiers. Disapproval of Netanyahu's policies from Barak's Labor Party and the Likud right resulted in a vote of no confidence against his government that prompted general elections in May 1999; Barak was victorious and pledged to continue the Israeli–Palestinian peace process.
^Gellman, Barton (24 October 1998). "Netanyahu, Arafat Sign Accord; Talks Nearly Founder After Israel Demands Convicted Spy's Release". The Washington Post. p. A1.
^"The demise of the Oslo process". Archived from the original on 16 August 2000. Retrieved 16 August 2000. Check date values in: |accessdate= (help)CS1 maint: unfit url (link). Joel Beinin, MERIP, 26 March 1999.
Memo of agreement: Joint Statement of the President of the United States and the Prime Minister of Israel (The White House press release of 31 October 1998, posted in the archives on the United States Embassy official site)
West AustralianparliamentarianStephen Dawson and his husband Dennis Liddelow were the first same-sex couple to marry under the new laws. Upon the law's commencement, the Abbott Government challenged the legal and constitutional validity of the Act, lodging an immediate challenge in the High Court of Australia. The case was heard on 3 December and a ruling was handed down on 12 December 2013. The High Court unanimously struck the act down in its entirety, on the basis that it was in conflict with the federal Marriage Act, which defined marriage in Australia as the union of a man and a woman. The court did however expressly confirm in its ruling that the Parliament of Australia had the constitutional authority to amend the definition of marriage in the Marriage Act, so as to allow same-sex couples to marry.
History of the Act
The bill was presented to the Assembly as the Marriage Equality Bill 2013 and was supported by all eight members of the Labor Party in the ACT and by Greens MLA Shane Rattenbury. It was, however, opposed by all eight members of the Liberal Opposition, who argued that same-sex marriage should be dealt with by the Federal Parliament only.
Everyone has the right to enjoy his or her human rights without distinction or discrimination of any kind.
Everyone is equal before the law and is entitled to the equal protection of the law without discrimination.
Everyone has the right to equal and effective protection against discrimination on any ground.
The ACT Government later retitled the bill as the "Marriage Equality (Same Sex) Bill", with the aim of further distinguishing it from the definition of "marriage" in the federal Marriage Act. Further proposed amendments to the bill that would have created a separate institution of marriage for same-sex couples were rejected by the ACT Government.
On 22 October 2013, the ACT Legislative Assembly passed the bill by a vote of 9-8. All members of the Labor Government and the one Greens member (Shane Rattenbury) voted in favour of the bill and all eight Liberal Party members voted against the bill. The passing of the bill represents the first time any Australian state, territory or federal legislature has passed legislation allowing same-sex marriage.
Details of 2013 Legislative Assembly vote to allow same-sex marriage
The act defined the scope of eligibility for a marriage in Part 2, stating that eligibility for marriage applies "in relation to all marriages between 2 adults of the same sex that are not marriages with the meaning of the [federal] Marriage Act".
The Act was notified in the ACT Legislation Register on 4 November 2013. The following day the Attorney-General issued the commencement notice, effective 7 November 2013. It was at that point same-sex couples could officially notify of their intention to marry, allowing them to arrange weddings commencing 7 December 2013.
Commonwealth challenge to the Act
The ACT is a self-governing Territory, operating under federal legislation, the Australian Capital Territory (Self-Government) Act 1988 (Cth). Section 28(1) of this act provides that legislation by the ACT Legislative Assembly will have "no effect to the extent that it is inconsistent with" a federal law, although it "shall be taken to be consistent with such a law to the extent that it is capable of operating concurrently with that law".
The Commonwealth Constitution, section 51(xxi), provides the federal parliament with power to make laws with respect simply to "marriage". In conventional terms of constitutional interpretation, one view can be that this is confined to different-sex marriage because that was all that the constitutional framers had in mind, while another view can be that "marriage" should be understood in terms of current public perceptions. Under this power, the federal parliament has enacted a uniform marriage law for the whole of Australia, the Marriage Act 1961 (Cth). As enacted, this act appeared to envisage only different-sex marriage. However, to avoid doubt it was amended in 2004 to include in its interpretation section (section 5) a definition of "marriage" as "the union of a man and a woman to the exclusion of all others, voluntarily entered into for life".
The marriage power, as with most of the federal parliament's legislative powers, is held concurrently with the states. In fact, marriage was regulated mainly by the states until the federal Marriage Act 1961 introduced uniform marriage law for the whole of Australia. However, it arguably remained unclear whether the Marriage Act "covers the field" of the topic "marriage", leaving no space for a state or a self-governing territory to make laws with respect to marriage of any kind.
Already on 10 October, Commonwealth Attorney-General George Brandis stated that, if the ACT's bill were passed, the Commonwealth would challenge it in the High Court of Australia as inconsistent with the federal Marriage Act. That is to say it would be "inconsistent" with a federal law in terms of the ACT self-government act, section 28(1). If the Commonwealth were to lose in the High Court, it retained the option of introducing federal legislation to override the ACT act. However, the federal government could not have been confident that such legislation would pass, since it had a majority only in the House of Representatives and not in the Senate.
Following this, ACT Chief Minister Katy Gallagher maintained that the ACT had every legal right to pass the bill and allow same-sex marriage in the ACT. Shane Rattenbury and Labor Party MLAs released similar statements affirming their support for the bill. Australian Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young stated that their party would do whatever it could in the Senate to stop any federal legislation that would override the ACT act.
On 22 October 2013, as soon as the ACT had passed the bill, the Commonwealth Government requested a High Court hearing regarding the validity of this law. Following several directions hearings in the High Court, Chief Justice Robert French announced that the full bench of the Court would hear the Commonwealth's challenge in a two-day hearing on 3 and 4 December 2013.
On 13 November, the Commonwealth provided the High Court with its written submission, which argued that the ACT's law was "inconsistent", in terms of the Australian Capital Territory Self-Government Act 1988 (Cth), with the federal Marriage Act 1961 and Family Law Act 1975.
The [Commonwealth] Marriage Act simply does not permit of the possibility that a State or Territory might clothe with the legal status of marriage (or a form of marriage) a union of these kinds. It leaves no room for a State or Territory legislature to create a status of 'bigamous marriage', 'polygamous marriage', 'arranged involuntary marriage' or 'trial marriage'. Similarly, within and by reason of the schema of the Marriage Act, couples who are not man and woman (whether same-sex or intersex) are and must remain for the purposes of Australian law 'unmarried' persons. They remain on that side of the binary divide.
On 25 November, the ACT provided its written submission to the Court, arguing in response to the Commonwealth that "neither the Marriage Act 1961 (Cth.) nor the Family Law Act 1975 (Cth.) manifest an intention to be an exhaustive or exclusive statement of the [Australian] law governing the institution of marriage".
The Court delivered its judgment very quickly, on 12 December. It held unanimously that the whole of the ACT's same-sex marriage act was "inconsistent" with the federal Marriage Act 1961 and "of no effect".
The inconsistency identified was twofold. First, the definition of "marriage" in the ACT act was inconsistent with that in the Marriage Act. Second, the ACT act could not nevertheless operate concurrently with the Marriage Act, since the Marriage Act was intended to be "a comprehensive and exhaustive statement of the law with respect to the creation and recognition of the legal status of marriage".:para 57 That exhaustiveness extended to the definition of marriage; the Court did not accept the ACT's contention that the Marriage Act left room for same-sex marriage simply because it did not expressly exclude it. Nor did the Court accept the ACT's contention that the Marriage Act and the ACT act "do not regulate the same status of 'marriage'". After all, the Court observed, "as both the short title and the long title to the ACT Act show, the Act is intended to provide for marriage equality".:para 60 The Court then found it unnecessary to consider inconsistency with the Family Law Act 1975. It required the ACT to pay the Commonwealth's costs.
The Court did not spell it out, but the consequence of this decision is not that the ACT act is void. Rather, the act is "of no effect" or, as the Court adds, "inoperative". The Court is using the language of its established interpretation of Constitution section 109, which provides that a state law will be "invalid" to the extent that it is "inconsistent" with a federal law. The Court has understood "invalid" in section 109 to mean not that the state law is simply void but that it is "inoperative" for so long as the inconsistency remains; if that federal law were to be changed so as to remove the inconsistency, the state law would revive. The words "of no effect" in section 28(1) of the ACT self-government act appear to reflect that. The addition of concurrent operation (which is not in Constitution section 109) does not create an exception to inconsistency as such, but specifies a circumstance in which inconsistency will not arise. The Court found that, regarding the ACT's same-sex marriage act, this circumstance did not arise.
That was sufficient to dispose of the case and the High Court is normally reluctant to determine an issue that does not need to be determined. To have stopped at that point, however, would have left the Commonwealth, the ACT and the states that have been contemplating same-sex marriage legislation in limbo as to what they might do next. One option would have been for a state to enact same-sex marriage legislation and wait for it to be challenged in the High Court—probably, as had happened with the ACT act, after marriages under that legislation had already taken place. For these reasons, it would seem, the Court proceeded to decide whether the marriage power, Constitution s 51(xxi), extends to same-sex marriage.
All parties to the case had agreed that the marriage power extends to same-sex marriage. The Court did not consider itself constrained by that agreement, but it came to the same view.
The Court rejected the conventional options in constitutional interpretation:
The utility of adopting or applying a single all-embracing theory of constitutional interpretation has been denied. This case does not require examination of those theories or the resolution of any conflict, real or supposed, between them. The determinative question in this case is whether s 51(xxi) is to be construed as referring only to the particular legal status of "marriage" which could be formed at the time of federation (having the legal content which it had according to English law at that time) or as using the word "marriage" in the sense of a "topic of juristic classification". For the reasons that follow, the latter construction should be adopted. Debates cast in terms like "originalism" or "original intent" (evidently intended to stand in opposition to "contemporary meaning") with their echoes of very different debates in other jurisdictions are not to the point and serve only to obscure much more than they illuminate.:para 14
Thus the word "marriage" in Constitution section 51(xxi) states a "topic of juristic classification" which is not tied to any historical model and the federal parliament can legislate as it wishes within that topic. In the Court's view, same-sex marriage comes within the topic.
The Court did not refer to the several same-sex marriage ceremonies that had already taken place. However, the Court made it clear that, since the ACT act had never been of any effect and the Marriage Act is exhaustive, the only type of marriage that can be contracted in Australia was and is that provided in the Marriage Act.:para 61 It follows that those ceremonies could not have created marriages.
There can now be uniform federal law for marriages of any kind. The most direct way to achieve that is to amend the Marriage Act, to provide that a person's sex is not a criterion of eligibility to marry. The Marriage Act would retain its exclusivity, so that no state or territory would be able to legislate about marriage of any kind. Owing to that exclusivity, the ACT same-sex marriage act would remain inconsistent with the Marriage Act and, consequently, continue to be of no effect.
Due to the fact the Court's ruling held the Marriage Equality (Same Sex) Act 2013 to be of no effect, the Act is regarded as being "impliedly repealed", despite having never been repealed by the Legislative Assembly.
^Justice Stephen Gageler did not sit. No reason was given, as is the Court's practice. This may have been because, as federal Solicitor-General until his appointment to the High Court in October 2012 or in some other role as a constitutional expert, he had already expressed an opinion upon the issues that would come before the Court in this case.
^Same-sex marriage advocacy organisation Australian Marriage Equality Inc was heard as amicus curiae. No state or other self-governing territory intervened, although any state or the Northern Territory could have done so: Judiciary Act 1903 (Cth), sections 78AA, 78A and 78B.
^It remains on the ACT statute book ("legislation register"), with a note: "This legislation is affected by the High Court's decision of 12 December 2013 in The Commonwealth v Australian Capital Territory  HCA 55."
^Williams, George; Brennan, Sean; Lynch, Andrew (2014). Blackshield and Williams Australian Constitutional Law and Theory (6 ed.). Leichhardt: Federation Press. ISBN 978-186287-918-8. ch. 8
^The reference to "other jurisdictions" would be primarily to the USA.
The Mau Mau Uprising (1952–1960), also known as the Mau Mau Rebellion, the Kenya Emergency, and the Mau Mau Revolt, was a war in the British Kenya Colony (1920–1963) between the Kenya Land and Freedom Army (KLFA), also known as Mau Mau, and the British colonists.
The capture of rebel leader, Field Marshal Dedan Kimathi, on 21 October 1956, signalled the defeat of the Mau Mau, however, the rebellion survived until after Kenya's independence from Britain, driven mainly by the Meru units led by Field Marshal Musa Mwariama and General Baimungi. Baimuingi, one of the last Mau Mau generals, was killed shortly after Kenya attained self-rule.
The KLFA failed to capture widespread public support. Frank Füredi, in The Mau Mau War in Perspective suggests this was due to a British policy of divide and rule but fails to cite any contemporary British government documents which support this assertion. General Sir Frank Kitson, who served in the British colonial forces in Kenya, authored a book entitled Gangs and Counter-gangs in which he describes the tactic of manipulating the Mau Maus into rival gangs and pitting them against one another. The Mau Mau movement remained internally divided, despite attempts to unify the factions. The British, meanwhile, applied the strategy and tactics they developed in suppressing the Malayan Emergency (1948–60). The Mau Mau Uprising created a rift between the European colonial community in Kenya and the metropole, and also resulted in violent divisions within the Kikuyu community. Suppressing the Mau Mau Uprising in the Kenyan colony cost Britain £55 million and caused at least 11,000 deaths among the Mau Mau and other forces, with some estimates an order of magnitude higher. This included 1,090 executions at the end of the war, the largest wartime use of capital punishment by the British Empire.
Map of Kenya
The origin of the term Mau Mau is uncertain. According to some members of Mau Mau, they never referred to themselves as such, instead preferring the military title Kenya Land and Freedom Army (KLFA). Some publications, such as Fred Majdalany's State of Emergency: The Full Story of Mau Mau, claim it was an anagram of Uma Uma (which means "get out get out") and was a military codeword based on a secret language-game Kikuyu boys used to play at the time of their circumcision. Majdalany goes on to state that the British simply used the name as a label for the Kikuyu ethnic community without assigning any specific definition.
Akamba people say the name Mau Mau came from ' Ma Umau' meaning 'Our Grandfathers'. The term was first used during a pastoralists revolt against de-stocking that took place in 1938 led by Muindi Mbingu during which he urged the colonists to leave Kenya so that his people (the kamba) can live freely like the time of 'Our Grandfathers' (—Twenda kwikala ta maau mau maitu, tuithye ngombe to Maau mau maitu, nundu nthi ino ni ya maau mau maitu).
As the movement progressed, a Swahilibackronym was adopted: "Mzungu Aende Ulaya, Mwafrika Apate Uhuru" meaning "Let the foreigner go back abroad, let the African regain independence". J.M. Kariuki, a member of Mau Mau who was detained during the conflict, postulates that the British preferred to use the term Mau Mau instead of KLFA in an attempt to deny the Mau Mau rebellion international legitimacy. Kariuki also wrote that the term Mau Mau was adopted by the rebellion in order to counter what they regarded as colonial propaganda.
Another possible origin is a mishearing of the Kikuyu word for oath "muuma".
The principal item in the natural resources of Kenya is the land, and in this term we include the colony's mineral resources. It seems to us that our major objective must clearly be the preservation and the wise use of this most important asset.
—Deputy Governor to Secretary of State for the Colonies, 19 March 1945
The armed rebellion of the Mau Mau was the culminating response to colonial rule. Although there had been previous instances of violent resistance to colonialism, the Mau Mau revolt was the most prolonged and violent anti-colonial warfare in the British Kenya colony. From the start, the land was the primary British interest in Kenya, which had "some of the richest agricultural soils in the world, mostly in districts where the elevation and climate make it possible for Europeans to reside permanently". Though declared a colony in 1920, the formal British colonial presence in Kenya began with a proclamation on 1 July 1895, in which Kenya was claimed as a British protectorate.
Even before 1895, however, Britain's presence in Kenya was marked by dispossession and violence. In 1894, British MP Sir Charles Dilke had observed in the House of Commons, "The only person who has up to the present time benefited from our enterprise in the heart of Africa has been Mr. Hiram Maxim". During the period in which Kenya's interior was being forcibly opened up for British settlement, there was plenty of conflict and British troops carried out atrocities against the native population.
Opposition to British imperialism existed from the start of British occupation. The most notable include the Nandi Resistance of 1895–1905; the Giriama Uprising of 1913–1914; the women's revolt against forced labour in Murang'a in 1947; and the Kolloa Affray of 1950. None of the armed uprisings during the beginning of British colonialism in Kenya were successful. The nature of fighting in Kenya led Winston Churchill to express concern in 1908 about how it would look if word got out:
160 Gusii have now been killed outright without any further casualties on our side. . . . It looks like a butchery. If the H. of C. gets hold of it, all our plans in E.A.P. will be under a cloud. Surely it cannot be necessary to go on killing these defenceless people on such an enormous scale.
You may travel through the length and breadth of Kitui Reserve and you will fail to find in it any enterprise, building, or structure of any sort which Government has provided at the cost of more than a few sovereigns for the direct benefit of the natives. The place was little better than a wilderness when I first knew it 25 years ago, and it remains a wilderness to-day as far as our efforts are concerned. If we left that district to-morrow the only permanent evidence of our occupation would be the buildings we have erected for the use of our tax-collecting staff.
—Chief Native Commissioner of Kenya, 1925
A feature of all settler societies during the colonial period was the ability to obtain a disproportionate share in land ownership. Kenya was no exception, with the first settlers arriving in 1902 as part of Governor Charles Eliot's plan to have a settler economy pay for the Uganda Railway. The success of this settler economy would depend heavily on the availability of land, labour and capital, and so, over the next three decades, the colonial government and settlers consolidated their control over Kenyan land, and 'encouraged' native Kenyans to become wage labourers.
Until the mid-1930s, the two primary complaints were low native Kenyan wages and the requirement to carry an identity document, the kipande. From the early 1930s, however, two others began to come to prominence: effective and elected African-political-representation, and land. The British response to this clamour for agrarian reform came in the early 1930s when they set up the Carter Land Commission.
The Commission reported in 1934, but its conclusions, recommendations and concessions to Kenyans were so conservative that any chance of a peaceful resolution to native Kenyan land-hunger was ended. Through a series of expropriations, the government seized about 7,000,000 acres (28,000 km2; 11,000 sq mi) of land, most of it in the fertile hilly regions of Central and Rift Valley Provinces, later known as the White Highlands due to the exclusively European-owned farmland there. In Nyanza the Commission restricted 1,029,422 native Kenyans to 7,114 square miles (18,430 km2), while granting 16,700 square miles (43,000 km2) to 17,000 Europeans. By the 1930s, and for the Kikuyu in particular, land had become the number one grievance concerning colonial rule, the situation so acute by 1948 that 1,250,000 Kikuyu had ownership of 2,000 square miles (5,200 km2), while 30,000 British settlers owned 12,000 square miles (31,000 km2), albeit most of it not on traditional Kikuyu land. "In particular", the British government's 1925 East Africa Commission noted, "the treatment of the Giriama tribe [from the coastal regions] was very bad. This tribe was moved backwards and forwards so as to secure for the Crown areas which could be granted to Europeans."
The Kikuyu, who lived in the Kiambu, Nyeri and Murang'a areas of what became Central Province, were one of the ethnic groups most affected by the colonial government's land expropriation and European settlement; by 1933, they had had over 109.5 square miles (284 km2) of their potentially highly valuable land alienated. The Kikuyu mounted a legal challenge against the expropriation of their land, but a Kenya High Court decision of 1921 reaffirmed its legality. In terms of lost acreage, the Masai and Nandi people were the biggest losers of land.
The colonial government and white farmers also wanted cheap labour which, for a period, the government acquired from native Kenyans through force. Confiscating the land itself helped to create a pool of wage labourers, but the colony introduced measures that forced more native Kenyans to submit to wage labour: the introduction of the Hut and Poll Taxes (1901 and 1910 respectively); the establishment of reserves for each ethnic group, which isolated ethnic groups and often exacerbated overcrowding; the discouragement of native Kenyans' growing cash crops; the Masters and Servants Ordinance (1906) and an identification pass known as the kipande (1918) to control the movement of labour and to curb desertion; and the exemption of wage labourers from forced labour and other compulsory, detested tasks such as conscription.
Native labourer categories
Native Kenyan labourers were in one of three categories: squatter, contract, or casual.[C] By the end of World War I, squatters had become well established on European farms and plantations in Kenya, with Kikuyu squatters comprising the majority of agricultural workers on settler plantations. An unintended consequence of colonial rule, the squatters were targeted from 1918 onwards by a series of Resident Native Labourers Ordinances—criticised by at least some MPs—which progressively curtailed squatter rights and subordinated native Kenyan farming to that of the settlers. The Ordinance of 1939 finally eliminated squatters' remaining tenancy rights, and permitted settlers to demand 270 days' labour from any squatters on their land. and, after World War II, the situation for squatters deteriorated rapidly, a situation the squatters resisted fiercely.
In the early 1920s, though, despite the presence of 100,000 squatters and tens of thousands more wage labourers, there was still not enough native Kenyan labour available to satisfy the settlers' needs. The colonial government duly tightened the measures to force more Kenyans to become low-paid wage-labourers on settler farms.
The colonial government used the measures brought in as part of its land expropriation and labour 'encouragement' efforts to craft the third plank of its growth strategy for its settler economy: subordinating African farming to that of the Europeans. Nairobi also assisted the settlers with rail and road networks, subsidies on freight charges, agricultural and veterinary services, and credit and loan facilities. The near-total neglect of native farming during the first two decades of European settlement was noted by the East Africa Commission.
The resentment of colonial rule would not have been decreased by the wanting provision of medical services for native Kenyans, nor by the fact that in 1923, for example, "the maximum amount that could be considered to have been spent on services provided exclusively for the benefit of the native population was slightly over one-quarter of the taxes paid by them". The tax burden on Europeans in the early 1920s, meanwhile, was very light. Interwar infrastructure-development was also largely paid for by the indigenous population.
Kenyan employees were often poorly treated by their European employers, with some settlers arguing that native Kenyans "were as children and should be treated as such". Some settlers flogged their servants for petty offences. To make matters even worse, native Kenyan workers were poorly served by colonial labour-legislation and a prejudiced legal-system. The vast majority of Kenyan employees' violations of labour legislation were settled with "rough justice" meted out by their employers. Most colonial magistrates appear to have been unconcerned by the illegal practice of settler-administered flogging; indeed, during the 1920s, flogging was the magisterial punishment-of-choice for native Kenyan convicts. The principle of punitive sanctions against workers was not removed from the Kenyan labour statutes until the 1950s.
The greater part of the wealth of the country is at present in our hands. . . . This land we have made is our land by right—by right of achievement.
—Speech by Deputy Colonial Governor 30 November 1946
As a result of the situation in the highlands and growing job opportunities in the cities, thousands of Kikuyu migrated into cities in search of work, contributing to the doubling of Nairobi's population between 1938 and 1952. At the same time, there was a small, but growing, class of Kikuyu landowners who consolidated Kikuyu landholdings and forged ties with the colonial administration, leading to an economic rift within the Kikuyu.
Mau Mau warfare
Mau Mau were the militant wing of a growing clamour for political representation and freedom in Kenya. The first attempt to form a countrywide political party began on 1 October 1944. This fledgling organisation was called the Kenya African Study Union with Harry Thuku as its inaugural chairman. He soon resigned his chairmanship. There is dispute over Thuku's reason for leaving KASU: Bethwell Ogot states that Thuku "found the responsibility too heavy"; David Anderson states that "he walked out in disgust" as the militant section of KASU took the initiative. KASU changed its name to the Kenya African Union (KAU) in 1946.
The failure of KAU to attain any significant reforms or redress of grievances from the colonial authorities shifted the political initiative to younger and more militant figures within the native Kenyan trade union movement, among the squatters on the settler estates in the Rift Valley and in KAU branches in Nairobi and the Kikuyu districts of central province. Around 1943, residents of Olenguruone Settlement radicalised the traditional practice of oathing, and extended oathing to women and children. By the mid-1950s, 90% of Kikuyu, Embu and Meru were oathed. On 3 October 1952, Mau Mau claimed their first European victim when they stabbed a woman to death near her home in Thika. Six days later, on 9 October, Senior Chief Waruhiu was shot dead in broad daylight in his car, which was an important blow against the colonial government. Waruhiu had been one of the strongest supporters of the British presence in Kenya. His assassination gave Baring the final impetus to request permission from the Colonial Office to declare a State of Emergency.
The Mau Mau attacks were mostly well organised and planned.
...the insurgents' lack of heavy weaponry and the heavily entrenched police and Home Guard positions meant that Mau Mau attacks were restricted to nighttime and where loyalist positions were weak. When attacks did commence they were fast and brutal, as insurgents were easily able to identify loyalists because they were often local to those communities themselves. The Lari massacre was by comparison rather outstanding and in contrast to regular Mau Mau strikes which more often than not targeted only loyalists without such massive civilian casualties. "Even the attack upon Lari, in the view of the rebel commanders was strategic and specific."
The Mau Mau command, contrary to the Home Guard who were stigmatised as "the running dogs of British Imperialism", were relatively well educated. General Gatunga had previously been a respected and well read Christian teacher in his local Kikuyu community. He was known to meticulously record his attacks in a series of five notebooks, which when executed were often swift and strategic, targeting loyalist community leaders he had previously known as a teacher.
The Mau Mau military strategy was mainly guerrilla attacks launched under the cover of dark. They used stolen weapons such as guns, as well as weapons such as machetes and bows and arrows in their attacks. In a few limited cases, they also deployed biological weapons.
Women formed a core part of the Mau Mau, especially in maintaining supply lines. Initially able to avoid the suspicion, they moved through colonial spaces and between Mau Mau hideouts and strongholds, to deliver vital supplies and services to guerrilla fighters including food, ammunition, medical care, and of course, information. An unknown number also fought in the war, with the most high-ranking being Field Marshal Muthoni.
The British and international view was that Mau Mau as a savage, violent, and depraved tribal cult, an expression of unrestrained emotion rather than reason. Mau Mau was "perverted tribalism" that sought to take the Kikuyu people back to "the bad old days" before British rule. The official British explanation of the revolt did not include the insights of agrarian and agricultural experts, of economists and historians, or even of Europeans who had spent a long period living amongst the Kikuyu such as Louis Leakey. Not for the first time, the British instead relied on the purported insights of the ethnopsychiatrist; with Mau Mau, it fell to Dr. John Colin Carothers to perform the desired analysis. This ethnopsychiatric analysis guided British psychological warfare, which painted Mau Mau as "an irrational force of evil, dominated by bestial impulses and influenced by world communism", and the later official study of the uprising, the Corfield Report.
The psychological war became of critical importance to military and civilian leaders who tried to "emphasise that there was in effect a civil war, and that the struggle was not black versus white", attempting to isolate Mau Mau from the Kikuyu, and the Kikuyu from the rest of the colony's population and the world outside. In driving a wedge between Mau Mau and the Kikuyu generally, these propaganda efforts essentially played no role, though they could apparently claim an important contribution to the isolation of Mau Mau from the non-Kikuyu sections of the population.
By the mid-1960s, the view of Mau Mau as simply irrational activists was being challenged by memoirs of former members and leaders that portrayed Mau Mau as an essential, if radical, component of African nationalism in Kenya (of course this is denying the atrocities they committed against fellow tribesmen just to settle a score including the killing of school children), and by academic studies that analysed the movement as a modern and nationalist response to the unfairness and oppression of colonial domination (though such studies deliberately downplayed the specifically Kikuyu nature of the movement).
There continues to be vigorous debate within Kenyan society and among the academic community within and without Kenya regarding the nature of Mau Mau and its aims, as well as the response to and effects of the uprising. Nevertheless, partly because as many Kikuyu fought against Mau Mau on the side of the colonial government as joined them in rebellion, the conflict is now often regarded in academic circles as an intra-Kikuyu civil war, a characterisation that remains extremely unpopular in Kenya.
Kenyatta described the conflict in his memoirs as a civil war rather than a rebellion. The reason that the revolt was majorly limited to the Kikuyu people was, in part, that they had suffered the most as a result of the negative aspects of British colonialism.
Wunyabari O. Maloba regards the rise of the Mau Mau movement as "without doubt, one of the most important events in recent African history." David Anderson, however, considers Maloba's and similar work to be the product of "swallowing too readily the propaganda of the Mau Mau war", noting the similarity between such analysis and the "simplistic" earlier studies of Mau Mau. This earlier work cast the Mau Mau war in strictly bipolar terms, "as conflicts between anti-colonial nationalists and colonial collaborators".Caroline Elkins' 2005 study, Imperial Reckoning, has met similar criticism, as well as being criticised for sensationalism.
It is often assumed that in a conflict there are two sides in opposition to one another, and that a person who is not actively committed to one side must be supporting the other. During the course of a conflict, leaders on both sides will use this argument to gain active support from the "crowd". In reality, conflicts involving more than two persons usually have more than two sides, and if a resistance movement is to be successful, propaganda and politicization are essential.
Broadly speaking, throughout Kikuyu history, there have been two traditions: moderate-conservative and radical. Despite the differences between them, there has been a continuous debate and dialogue between these traditions, leading to a great political awareness among the Kikuyu. By 1950, these differences, and the impact of colonial rule, had given rise to three native Kenyan political blocks: conservative, moderate nationalist and militant nationalist. It has also been argued that Mau Mau was not explicitly national, either intellectually or operationally.
Bruce Berman argues that, "While Mau Mau was clearly not a tribal activism seeking a return to the past, the answer to the question of 'was it nationalism?' must be yes and no." As the Mau Mau rebellion wore on, the violence forced the spectrum of opinion within the Kikuyu, Embu and Meru to polarise and harden into the two distinct camps of loyalist and Mau Mau. This neat division between loyalists and Mau Mau was a product of the conflict, rather than a cause or catalyst of it, with the violence becoming less ambiguous over time, in a similar manner to other situations.
British reaction to the uprising
Between 1952 and 1956, when the fighting was at its worst, the Kikuyu districts of Kenya became a police state in the very fullest sense of that term.
Philip Mitchell retired as Kenya's governor in summer 1952, having turned a blind eye to Mau Mau's increasing activity. Through the summer of 1952, however, Colonial Secretary Oliver Lyttelton in London received a steady flow of reports from Acting Governor Henry Potter about the escalating seriousness of Mau Mau violence, but it was not until the later part of 1953 that British politicians began to accept that the rebellion was going to take some time to deal with. At first, the British discounted the Mau Mau rebellion because of their own technical and military superiority, which encouraged hopes for a quick victory.
The British army accepted the gravity of the uprising months before the politicians, but the army's appeals to London and Nairobi initially fell on deaf ears. On 30 September 1952, Evelyn Baring arrived in Kenya to permanently take over from Potter; Baring was given no warning by Mitchell or the Colonial Office about the gathering maelstrom into which he was stepping.
Aside from military operations against Mau Mau fighters in the forests, the British attempt to defeat the movement broadly came in two stages: the first, relatively limited in scope, came during the period in which they had still failed to accept the seriousness of the revolt; the second came afterwards. During the first stage, the British tried to decapitate the movement by declaring a State of Emergency before arresting 180 alleged Mau Mau leaders (see Operation Jock Scott below) and subjecting six of them to a show trial (the Kapenguria Six); the second stage began in earnest in 1954, when they undertook a series of major economic, military and penal initiatives.
The second stage had three main planks: a large military-sweep of Nairobi leading to the internment of tens of thousands of the city's suspected Mau Mau members and sympathisers (see Operation Anvil below); the enacting of major agrarian reform (the Swynnerton Plan); and the institution of a vast villagisation programme for more than a million rural Kikuyu (see below). In 2012, the UK government accepted that prisoners had suffered "torture and ill-treatment at the hands of the colonial administration".
The harshness of the British response was inflated by two factors. First, the settler government in Kenya was, even before the insurgency, probably the most openly racist one in the British empire, with the settlers' violent prejudice attended by an uncompromising determination to retain their grip on power and half-submerged fears that, as a tiny minority, they could be overwhelmed by the indigenous population. Some settlers felt that "[a] good sound system of compulsory labour would do more to raise the nigger in five years than all the millions that have been sunk in missionary efforts for the last fifty", and its representatives were so keen on aggressive action that George Erskine referred to them as "the White Mau Mau". Second, the brutality of Mau Mau attacks on civilians made it easy for the movement's opponents—including native Kenyan and loyalist security forces—to adopt a totally dehumanised view of Mau Mau adherents.
A variety of persuasive techniques were initiated by the colonial authorities to punish and break Mau Mau's support: Baring ordered punitive communal-labour, collective fines and other collective punishments, and further confiscation of land and property. By early 1954, tens of thousands of head of livestock had been taken, and were allegedly never returned. Detailed accounts of the policy of seizing livestock from Kenyans suspected of supporting Mau Mau rebels were finally released in April 2012.
State of emergency declared (October 1952)
On 20 October 1952, Governor Baring signed an order declaring a state of emergency. Early the next morning, Operation Jock Scott was launched: the British carried out a mass-arrest of Jomo Kenyatta and 180 other alleged Mau Mau leaders within Nairobi. Jock Scott did not decapitate the movement's leadership as hoped, since news of the impending operation was leaked. Thus, while the moderates on the wanted list awaited capture, the real militants, such as Dedan Kimathi and Stanley Mathenge (both later principal leaders of Mau Mau's forest armies), fled to the forests.
The day after the round up, another prominent loyalist chief, Nderi, was hacked to pieces, and a series of gruesome murders against settlers were committed throughout the months that followed. The violent and random nature of British tactics during the months after Jock Scott served merely to alienate ordinary Kikuyu and drive many of the wavering majority into Mau Mau's arms. Three battalions of the King's African Rifles were recalled from Uganda, Tanganyika and Mauritius, giving the regiment five battalions in all in Kenya, a total of 3,000 native Kenyan troops. To placate settler opinion, one battalion of British troops, from the Lancashire Fusiliers, was also flown in from Egypt to Nairobi on the first day of Operation Jock Scott. In November 1952, Baring requested assistance from the Security Service. For the next year, the Service's A.M. MacDonald would reorganise the Special Branch of the Kenya Police, promote collaboration with Special Branches in adjacent territories, and oversee coordination of all intelligence activity "to secure the intelligence Government requires".
Our sources have produced nothing to indicate that Kenyatta, or his associates in the UK, are directly involved in Mau Mau activities, or that Kenyatta is essential to Mau Mau as a leader, or that he is in a position to direct its activities.
In January 1953, six of the most prominent detainees from Jock Scott, including Kenyatta, were put on trial, primarily to justify the declaration of the Emergency to critics in London. The trial itself was claimed to have featured a suborned lead defence-witness, a bribed judge, and other serious violations of the right to a fair trial.
Native Kenyan political activity was permitted to resume at the end of the military phase of the Emergency.
Lieutenant General Sir George Erskine, Commander-in-Chief, British East Africa (centre), observing operations against the Mau Mau
The onset of the Emergency led hundreds, and eventually thousands, of Mau Mau adherents to flee to the forests, where a decentralised leadership had already begun setting up platoons. The primary zones of Mau Mau military strength were the Aberdares and the forests around Mount Kenya, whilst a passive support-wing was fostered outside these areas. Militarily, the British defeated Mau Mau in four years (1952–56) using a more expansive version of "coercion through exemplary force". In May 1953, the decision was made to send General George Erskine to oversee the restoration of order in the colony.
By September 1953, the British knew the leading personalities in Mau Mau, the capture and 68 hour interrogation of General China on 15 January the following year provided a massive intelligence boost on the forest fighters. Erskine's arrival did not immediately herald a fundamental change in strategy, thus the continual pressure on the gangs remained, but he created more mobile formations that delivered what he termed "special treatment" to an area. Once gangs had been driven out and eliminated, loyalist forces and police were then to take over the area, with military support brought in thereafter only to conduct any required pacification operations. After their successful dispersion and containment, Erskine went after the forest fighters' source of supplies, money and recruits, i.e. the native Kenyan population of Nairobi. This took the form of Operation Anvil, which commenced on 24 April 1954.
By 1954, Nairobi was regarded as the nerve centre of Mau Mau operations. The insurgents in the highlands of the Abedares and Mt Kenya were being supplied provisions and weapons by supporters in Nairobi via couriers. Anvil was the ambitious attempt to eliminate Mau Mau's presence within Nairobi in one fell swoop. 25,000 members of British security forces under the control of General George Erskine were deployed as Nairobi was sealed off and underwent a sector-by-sector purge. All native Kenyans were taken to temporary barbed-wire enclosures, whereafter those who were not Kikuyu, Embu or Meru were released; those who were remained in detention for screening.[D]
British Army patrol crossing a stream carrying FN FAL rifle (1st and 2nd soldiers from right); Sten Mk5 (3rd soldier); and the Lee–Enfield No. 5 (4th and 5th soldiers)
Whilst the operation itself was conducted by Europeans, most suspected members of Mau Mau were picked out of groups of the Kikuyu-Embu-Meru detainees by a native Kenyan informer. Male suspects were then taken off for further screening, primarily at Langata Screening Camp, whilst women and children were readied for 'repatriation' to the reserves (many of those slated for deportation had never set foot in the reserves before). Anvil lasted for two weeks, after which the capital had been cleared of all but certifiably loyal Kikuyu; 20,000 Mau Mau suspects had been taken to Langata, and 30,000 more had been deported to the reserves.
For an extended period of time, the chief British weapon against the forest fighters was air power. Between June 1953 and October 1955, the RAF provided a significant contribution to the conflict—and, indeed, had to, for the army was preoccupied with providing security in the reserves until January 1955, and it was the only service capable of both psychologically influencing and inflicting considerable casualties on the Mau Mau fighters operating in the dense forests. Lack of timely and accurate intelligence meant bombing was rather haphazard, but almost 900 insurgents had been killed or wounded by air attacks by June 1954, and it did cause forest gangs to disband, lower their morale, and induce their pronounced relocation from the forests to the reserves.
Contrary to that which is sometimes claimed, Lancaster bombers were not used during the Emergency, though Lincolns were. The latter flew their first mission on 18 November 1953 and remained in Kenya until 28 July 1955, dropping nearly 6 million bombs. They and other aircraft, such as blimps, were also deployed for reconnaissance, as well as in the propaganda war, conducting large-scale leaflet-drops.
After the Lari massacre, for example, British planes dropped leaflets showing graphic pictures of the Kikuyu women and children who had been hacked to death. Unlike the rather indiscriminate activities of British ground forces, the use of air power was more restrained (though there is disagreement on this point), and air attacks were initially permitted only in the forests. Operation Mushroom extended bombing beyond the forest limits in May 1954, and Churchill consented to its continuation in January 1955.
Baring knew the massive deportations to the already-overcrowded reserves could only make things worse. Refusing to give more land to the Kikuyu in the reserves, which could have been seen as a concession to Mau Mau, Baring turned instead in 1953 to Roger Swynnerton, Kenya's assistant director of agriculture. The primary goal of the Swynnerton Plan was the creation of family holdings large enough to keep families self-sufficient in food and to enable them to practise alternate husbandry, which would generate a cash income.
The projected costs of the Swynnerton Plan were too high for the cash-strapped colonial government, so Baring tweaked repatriation and augmented the Swynnerton Plan with plans for a massive expansion of the Pipeline coupled with a system of work camps to make use of detainee labour. All Kikuyu employed for public works projects would now be employed on Swynnerton's poor-relief programmes, as would many detainees in the work camps.
It would be difficult to argue that the colonial government envisioned its own version of a gulag when the Emergency first started. Colonial officials in Kenya and Britain all believed that Mau Mau would be over in less than three months.
When the mass deportations of Kikuyu to the reserves began in 1953, Baring and Erskine ordered all Mau Mau suspects to be screened. Of the scores of screening camps which sprang up, only fifteen were officially sanctioned by the colonial government. Larger detention camps were divided into compounds. The screening centres were staffed by settlers who had been appointed temporary district-officers by Baring.
Thomas Askwith, the official tasked with designing the British 'detention and rehabilitation' programme during the summer and autumn of 1953, termed his system the Pipeline. The British did not initially conceive of rehabilitating Mau Mau suspects through brute force and other ill-treatment—Askwith's final plan, submitted to Baring in October 1953, was intended as "a complete blueprint for winning the war against Mau Mau using socioeconomic and civic reform." What developed, however, has been described as a British gulag.
The Pipeline operated a white-grey-black classification system: 'whites' were cooperative detainees, and were repatriated back to the reserves; 'greys' had been oathed but were reasonably compliant, and were moved down the Pipeline to works camps in their local districts before release; and 'blacks' were the so-called 'hard core' of Mau Mau. These were moved up the Pipeline to special detention camps. Thus a detainee's position in Pipeline was a straightforward reflection of how cooperative the Pipeline personnel deemed her or him to be. Cooperation was itself defined in terms of a detainee's readiness to confess their Mau Mau oath. Detainees were screened and re-screened for confessions and intelligence, then re-classified accordingly.
[T]here is something peculiarly chilling about the way colonial officials behaved, most notoriously but not only in Kenya, within a decade of the liberation of the [Nazi] concentration camps and the return of thousands of emaciated British prisoners of war from the Pacific. One courageous judge in Nairobi explicitly drew the parallel: Kenya's Belsen, he called one camp.
—Guardian Editorial, 11 April 2011
A detainee's journey between two locations along the Pipeline could sometimes last days. During transit, there was frequently little or no food and water provided, and seldom any sanitation. Once in camp, talking was forbidden outside the detainees' accommodation huts, though improvised communication was rife. Such communication included propaganda and disinformation, which went by such names as the Kinongo Times, designed to encourage fellow detainees not to give up hope and so to minimise the number of those who confessed their oath and cooperated with camp authorities. Forced labour was performed by detainees on projects like the thirty-seven-mile-long South Yatta irrigation furrow. Family outside and other considerations led many detainees to confess.
During the first year after Operation Anvil, colonial authorities had little success in forcing detainees to cooperate. Camps and compounds were overcrowded, forced-labour systems were not yet perfected, screening teams were not fully coordinated, and the use of torture was not yet systematised. This failure was partly due to the lack of manpower and resources, as well as the vast numbers of detainees. Officials could scarcely process them all, let alone get them to confess their oaths. Assessing the situation in the summer of 1955, Alan Lennox-Boyd wrote of his "fear that the net figure of detainees may still be rising. If so the outlook is grim." Black markets flourished during this period, with the native Kenyan guards helping to facilitate trading. It was possible for detainees to bribe guards in order to obtain items or stay punishment.
[T]he horror of some of the so-called Screening Camps now present a state of affairs so deplorable that they should be investigated without delay, so that the ever increasing allegations of inhumanity and disregard of the rights of the African citizen are dealt with and so that the Government will have no reason to be ashamed of the acts which are done in its own name by its own servants.
—Letter from Police Commissioner Arthur Young to Governor Evelyn Baring, 22 November 1954
Interrogations and confessions
By late 1955, however, the Pipeline had become a fully operational, well-organised system. Guards were regularly shifted around the Pipeline too in order to prevent relationships developing with detainees and so undercut the black markets, and inducements and punishments became better at discouraging fraternising with the enemy. The grinding nature of the improved detention and interrogation regimen began to produce results. Most detainees confessed, and the system produced ever greater numbers of spies and informers within the camps, while others switched sides in a more open, official fashion, leaving detention behind to take an active role in interrogations, even sometimes administering beatings.
The most famous example of side-switching was Peter Muigai Kenyatta—Jomo Kenyatta's son—who, after confessing, joined screeners at Athi River Camp, later travelling throughout the Pipeline to assist in interrogations. Suspected informers and spies within a camp were treated in the time-honoured Mau Mau fashion: the preferred method of execution was strangulation then mutilation: "It was just like in the days before our detention", explained one Mau Mau member later. "We did not have our own jails to hold an informant in, so we would strangle him and then cut his tongue out." The end of 1955 also saw screeners being given a freer hand in interrogation, and harsher conditions than straightforward confession were imposed on detainees before they were deemed 'cooperative' and eligible for final release.
In a half-circle against the reed walls of the enclosure stand eight young, African women. There's neither hate nor apprehension in their gaze. It's like a talk in the headmistress's study; a headmistress who is firm but kindly.
—A contemporary BBC-description of screening
While oathing, for practical reasons, within the Pipeline was reduced to an absolute minimum, as many new initiates as possible were oathed. A newcomer who refused to take the oath often faced the same fate as a recalcitrant outside the camps: they were murdered. "The detainees would strangle them with their blankets or, using blades fashioned from the corrugated-iron roofs of some of the barracks, would slit their throats", writes Elkins. The camp authorities' preferred method of capital punishment was public hanging. Commandants were told to clamp down hard on intra-camp oathing, with several commandants hanging anyone suspected of administering oaths.
Even as the Pipeline became more sophisticated, detainees still organised themselves within it, setting up committees and selecting leaders for their camps, as well as deciding on their own "rules to live by". Perhaps the most famous compound leader was Josiah Mwangi Kariuki. Punishments for violating the "rules to live by" could be severe.
European missionaries and native Kenyan Christians played their part by visiting camps to evangelise and encourage compliance with the colonial authorities, providing intelligence, and sometimes even assisting in interrogation. Detainees regarded such preachers with nothing but contempt.
The number of cases of pulmonary tuberculosis which is being disclosed in Prison and Detention Camps is causing some embarrassment.
—Memorandum to Commissioner of Prisons John 'Taxi' Lewis
from Kenya's Director of Medical Services, 18 May 1954
The lack of decent sanitation in the camps meant that epidemics of diseases such as typhoid swept through them. Official medical reports detailing the shortcomings of the camps and their recommendations were ignored, and the conditions being endured by detainees were lied about and denied. A British rehabilitation officer found in 1954 that detainees from Manyani were in "shocking health", many of them suffering from malnutrition, while Langata and GilGil were eventually closed in April 1955 because, as the colonial government put it, "they were unfit to hold Kikuyu . . . for medical epidemiological reasons".
While the Pipeline was primarily designed for adult males, a few thousand women and young girls were detained at an all-women camp at Kamiti, as well as a number of unaccompanied young children. Dozens of babies were born to women in captivity: "We really do need these cloths for the children as it is impossible to keep them clean and tidy while dressed on dirty pieces of sacking and blanket", wrote one colonial officer. Wamumu Camp was set up solely for all the unaccompanied boys in the Pipeline, though hundreds, maybe thousands, of boys moved around the adult parts of the Pipeline.
—One colonial officer's description of British works camps
There were originally two types of works camps envisioned by Baring: the first type were based in Kikuyu districts with the stated purpose of achieving the Swynnerton Plan; the second were punitive camps, designed for the 30,000 Mau Mau suspects who were deemed unfit to return to the reserves. These forced-labour camps provided a much needed source of labour to continue the colony's infrastructure development.
Colonial officers also saw the second sort of works camps as a way of ensuring that any confession was legitimate and as a final opportunity to extract intelligence. Probably the worst works camp to have been sent to was the one run out of Embakasi Prison, for Embakasi was responsible for the Embakasi Airport, the construction of which was demanded to be finished before the Emergency came to an end. The airport was a massive project with an unquenchable thirst for labour, and the time pressures ensured the detainees' forced labour was especially hard.
At the end of 1953, the Administration were faced with the serious problem of the concealment of terrorists and supply of food to them. This was widespread and, owing to the scattered nature of the homesteads, fear of detection was negligible; so, in the first instance, the inhabitants of those areas were made to build and live in concentrated villages. This first step had to be taken speedily, somewhat to the detriment of usual health measures and was definitely a punitive short-term measure.
—District Commissioner of Nyeri
If military operations in the forests and Operation Anvil were the first two phases of Mau Mau's defeat, Erskine expressed the need and his desire for a third and final phase: cut off all the militants' support in the reserves. The means to this terminal end was originally suggested by the man brought in by the colonial government to an ethnopsychiatric 'diagnosis' of the uprising, JC Carothers: he advocated a Kenyan version of the villagisation programmes that the British were already using in places like Malaya.
So it was that in June 1954, the War Council took the decision to undertake a full-scale forced-resettlement programme of Kiambu, Nyeri, Murang'a and Embu Districts to cut off Mau Mau's supply lines. Within eighteen months, 1,050,899 Kikuyu in the reserves were inside 804 villages consisting of some 230,000 huts. The government termed them "protected villages", purportedly to be built along "the same lines as the villages in the North of England", though the term was actually a "euphemism for the fact that hundreds of thousands of civilians were corralled, often against their will, into settlements behind barbed-wire fences and watch towers."
While some of these villages were to protect loyalist Kikuyu, "most were little more than concentration camps to punish Mau Mau sympathizers." The villagisation programme was the coup de grâce for Mau Mau. By the end of the following summer, Lieutenant General Lathbury no longer needed Lincoln bombers for raids because of a lack of targets, and, by late 1955, Lathbury felt so sure of final victory that he reduced army forces to almost pre-Mau Mau levels.
He noted, however, that the British should have "no illusions about the future. Mau Mau has not been cured: it has been suppressed. The thousands who have spent a long time in detention must have been embittered by it. Nationalism is still a very potent force and the African will pursue his aim by other means. Kenya is in for a very tricky political future."
Whilst they [the Kikuyu] could not be expected to take kindly at first to a departure from their traditional way of life, such as living in villages, they need and desire to be told just what to do.
—Council of Kenya-Colony's Ministers, July 1954
The government's public relations officer, Granville Roberts, presented villagisation as a good opportunity for rehabilitation, particularly of women and children, but it was, in fact, first and foremost designed to break Mau Mau and protect loyalist Kikuyu, a fact reflected in the extremely limited resources made available to the Rehabilitation and Community Development Department. Refusal to move could be punished with the destruction of property and livestock, and the roofs were usually ripped off of homes whose occupants demonstrated reluctance. Villagisation also solved the practical and financial problems associated with a further, massive expansion of the Pipeline programme, and the removal of people from their land hugely assisted the enaction of Swynnerton Plan.
The villages were surrounded by deep, spike-bottomed trenches and barbed wire, and the villagers themselves were watched over by members of the Home Guard, often neighbours and relatives. In short, rewards or collective punishments such as curfews could be served much more readily after villagisation, and this quickly broke Mau Mau's passive wing. Though there were degrees of difference between the villages, the overall conditions engendered by villagisation meant that, by early 1955, districts began reporting starvation and malnutrition. One provincial commissioner blamed child hunger on parents deliberately withholding food, saying the latter were aware of the "propaganda value of apparent malnutrition".
From the health point of view, I regard villagisation as being exceedingly dangerous and we are already starting to reap the benefits.
—Meru's District Commissioner, 6 November 1954, four months after the institution of villagisation
The Red Cross helped mitigate the food shortages, but even they were told to prioritise loyalist areas. The Baring government's medical department issued reports about "the alarming number of deaths occurring amongst children in the 'punitive' villages", and the "political" prioritisation of Red Cross relief.
One of the colony's ministers blamed the "bad spots" in Central Province on the mothers of the children for "not realis[ing] the great importance of proteins", and one former missionary reported that it "was terribly pitiful how many of the children and the older Kikuyu were dying. They were so emaciated and so very susceptible to any kind of disease that came along". Of the 50,000 deaths which John Blacker attributed to the Emergency, half were children under the age of ten.
The lack of food did not just affect the children, of course. The Overseas Branch of the British Red Cross commented on the "women who, from progressive undernourishment, had been unable to carry on with their work".
Disease prevention was not helped by the colony's policy of returning sick detainees to receive treatment in the reserves, though the reserves' medical services were virtually non-existent, as Baring himself noted after a tour of some villages in June 1956.
Political and social concessions by the British
Kenyans were granted nearly all of the demands made by the KAU in 1951.
On 18 January 1955, the Governor-General of Kenya, Evelyn Baring, offered an amnesty to Mau Mau activists. The offer was that they would not face prosecution for previous offences, but may still be detained. European settlers were appalled at the leniency of the offer. On 10 June 1955 with no response forthcoming, the offer of amnesty to the Mau Mau was revoked.
In June 1956, a programme of land reform increased the land holdings of the Kikuyu.. This was coupled with a relaxation of the ban on native Kenyans growing coffee, a primary cash crop.
In the cities the colonial authorities decided to dispel tensions by raising urban wages, thereby strengthening the hand of moderate union organisations like the KFRTU. By 1956, the British had granted direct election of native Kenyan members of the Legislative Assembly, followed shortly thereafter by an increase in the number of local seats to fourteen. A Parliamentary conference in January 1960 indicated that the British would accept "one person—one vote" majority rule.
The uprising was, in David Anderson's words, "a story of atrocity and excess on both sides, a dirty war from which no one emerged with much pride, and certainly no glory." Political scientist Daniel Goldhagen describes the campaign against the Mau Mau as an example of eliminationism, though this verdict has been fiercely criticised.
The total number of deaths attributable to the Emergency has been a source of dispute: Caroline Elkins claims it is "tens of thousands, perhaps hundreds of thousands". Elkins numbers have been challenged by the British demographer John Blacker, who demonstrated in detail that her numbers were overestimated, explaining that Elkins' figure of 300,000 deaths "implies that perhaps half of the adult male population would have been wiped out—yet the censuses of 1962 and 1969 show no evidence of this—the age-sex pyramids for the Kikuyu districts do not even show indentations."
His study dealt directly with Elkins' claim that "somewhere between 130,000 and 300,000 Kikuyu are unaccounted for" at the 1962 census, and was read by both David Anderson and John Lonsdale prior to publication. Half of Blacker's own estimate of 50,000 comprises children under the age of ten. David Elstein has noted that leading authorities on Africa have taken issue with parts of Elkins' study, in particular her mortality figures: "The senior British historian of Kenya, John Lonsdale, whom Elkins thanks profusely in her book as 'the most gifted scholar I know', warned her to place no reliance on anecdotal sources, and regards her statistical analysis—for which she cites him as one of three advisors—as 'frankly incredible'."
The British possibly killed in excess of 20,000 Mau Mau militants, but in some ways more notable is the smaller number of Mau Mau suspects dealt with by capital punishment: by the end of the Emergency, the total was 1,090. At no other time or place in the British empire was capital punishment dispensed so liberally—the total is more than double the number executed by the French in Algeria.
Mau Mau fighters, . . . contrary to African customs and values, assaulted old people, women and children. The horrors they practiced included the following: decapitation and general mutilation of civilians, torture before murder, bodies bound up in sacks and dropped in wells, burning the victims alive, gouging out of eyes, splitting open the stomachs of pregnant women. No war can justify such gruesome actions. In man's inhumanity to man, there is no race distinction. The Africans were practicing it on themselves. There was no reason and no restraint on both sides.
In order to fight the Mau Mau insurgency during the conflict, British troops suspended civil liberties in Kenya. In response to the rebellion, many Kikuyu were forcibly relocated. Between 320,000-450,000 of them were moved into concentration camps. Most of the remainder – more than a million – were held in "enclosed villages". Although some were Mau Mau guerrillas, most were victims of collective punishment that colonial authorities imposed on large areas of the country. Hundreds of thousands suffered beatings and sexual assaults during "screenings" intended to extract information about the Mau Mau threat. Later, prisoners suffered even worse mistreatment in an attempt to force them to renounce their allegiance to the insurgency and to obey commands. Significant numbers were murdered. Prisoners were questioned with the help of "slicing off ears, boring holes in eardrums, flogging until death, pouring paraffin over suspects who were then set alight, and burning eardrums with lit cigarettes". Castration by British troops and denying access to medical aid to the detainees were also widespread and common. Among the detainees who suffered severe mistreatment was Hussein Onyango Obama, the grandfather of Barack Obama, the former President of the United States. According to his widow, British soldiers forced pins into his fingernails and buttocks and squeezed his testicles between metal rods and two others were castrated.
The historian Robert Edgerton describes the methods used during the emergency: "If a question was not answered to the interrogator's satisfaction, the subject was beaten and kicked. If that did not lead to the desired confession, and it rarely did, more force was applied. Electric shock was widely used, and so was fire. Women were choked and held under water; gun barrels, beer bottles, and even knives were thrust into their vaginas. Men had beer bottles thrust up their rectums, were dragged behind Land Rovers, whipped, burned and bayoneted... Some police officers did not bother with more time-consuming forms of torture; they simply shot any suspect who refused to answer, then told the next suspect, to dig his own grave. When the grave was finished, the man was asked if he would now be willing to talk."
We knew the slow method of torture [at the Mau Mau Investigation Center] was worse than anything we could do. Special Branch there had a way of slowly electrocuting a Kuke—they'd rough up one for days. Once I went personally to drop off one gang member who needed special treatment. I stayed for a few hours to help the boys out, softening him up. Things got a little out of hand. By the time I cut his balls off, he had no ears, and his eyeball, the right one, I think, was hanging out of its socket. Too bad, he died before we got much out of him.
One settler's description of British interrogation
In June 1957, Eric Griffith-Jones, the attorney general of the British administration in Kenya, wrote to the governor, Evelyn Baring, 1st Baron Howick of Glendale, detailing the way the regime of abuse at the colony's detention camps was being subtly altered. He said that the mistreatment of the detainees is "distressingly reminiscent of conditions in Nazi Germany or Communist Russia". Despite this, he said that in order for abuse to remain legal, Mau Mau suspects must be beaten mainly on their upper body, "vulnerable parts of the body should not be struck, particularly the spleen, liver or kidneys", and it was important that "those who administer violence ... should remain collected, balanced and dispassionate". He also reminded the governor that "If we are going to sin", he wrote, "we must sin quietly."
The Chuka Massacre, which happened in Chuka, Kenya, was perpetrated by members of the King's African Rifles B Company in June 1953 with 20 unarmed people killed during the Mau Mau uprising. Members of the 5th KAR B Company entered the Chuka area on 13 June 1953, to flush out rebels suspected of hiding in the nearby forests. Over the next few days, the regiment had captured and executed 20 people suspected of being Mau Mau fighters for unknown reasons. The people executed belonged to the Kikuyu Home Guard — a loyalist militia recruited by the British to fight the guerrillas. Nobody ever stood trial for the massacre.
The Hola massacre was an incident during the conflict in Kenya against British colonial rule at a colonial detention camp in Hola, Kenya. By January 1959, the camp had a population of 506 detainees, of whom 127 were held in a secluded "closed camp". This more remote camp near Garissa, eastern Kenya, was reserved for the most uncooperative of the detainees. They often refused, even when threats of force were made, to join in the colonial "rehabilitation process" or perform manual labour or obey colonial orders. The camp commandant outlined a plan that would force 88 of the detainees to bend to work. On 3 March 1959, the camp commandant put this plan into action – as a result, 11 detainees were clubbed to death by guards. 77 surviving detainees sustained serious permanent injuries. The British government accepts that the colonial administration tortured detainees, but denies liability.
Mau Mau militants were guilty of numerous war crimes. The most notorious was their attack on the settlement of Lari, on the night of 25–26 March 1953, in which they herded men, women and children into huts and set fire to them, hacking down with machetes anyone who attempted escape, before throwing them back into the burning huts. The attack at Lari was so extreme that "African policemen who saw the bodies of the victims . . . were physically sick and said 'These people are animals. If I see one now I shall shoot with the greatest eagerness'", and it "even shocked many Mau Mau supporters, some of whom would subsequently try to excuse the attack as 'a mistake'".
A retaliatory massacre was immediately perpetrated by Kenyan security forces who were partially overseen by British commanders. Official estimates place the death toll from the first Lari massacre at 74, and the second at 150, though neither of these figures account for those who 'disappeared'. Whatever the actual number of victims, "[t]he grim truth was that, for every person who died in Lari's first massacre, at least two more were killed in retaliation in the second."
Aside from the Lari massacres, Kikuyu were also tortured, mutilated and murdered by Mau Mau on many other occasions. Mau Mau racked up 1,819 murders of their fellow native Kenyans, though again this number excludes the many additional hundreds who 'disappeared', whose bodies were never found. Thirty-two European and twenty-six Asian civilians were also murdered by Mau Mau militants, with similar numbers wounded. The best known European victim was Michael Ruck, aged six, who was hacked to death with pangas along with his parents, Roger and Esme, and one of the Rucks' farm workers, Muthura Nagahu, who had tried to help the family. Newspapers in Kenya and abroad published graphic murder details, including images of young Michael with bloodied teddy bears and trains strewn on his bedroom floor.
[E]lectric shock was widely used, as well as cigarettes and fire. Bottles (often broken), gun barrels, knives, snakes, vermin, and hot eggs were thrust up men's rectums and women's vaginas. The screening teams whipped, shot, burned and mutilated Mau Mau suspects, ostensibly to gather intelligence for military operations and as court evidence.
Although Mau Mau was effectively crushed by the end of 1956, it was not until the First Lancaster House Conference, in January 1960, that native Kenyan majority rule was established and the period of colonial transition to independence initiated. Before the conference, it was anticipated by both native Kenyan and European leaders that Kenya was set for a European-dominated multi-racial government.
There is continuing debate about Mau Mau's and the rebellion's effects on decolonisation and on Kenya after independence. Regarding decolonisation, the most common view is that Kenya's independence came about as a result of the British government's deciding that a continuance of colonial rule would entail a greater use of force than that which the British public would tolerate. Nissimi argues, though, that such a view fails to "acknowledge the time that elapsed until the rebellion's influence actually took effect [and does not] explain why the same liberal tendencies failed to stop the dirty war the British conducted against the Mau Mau in Kenya while it was raging on." Others contend that, as the 1950s progressed, nationalist intransigence increasingly rendered official plans for political development irrelevant, meaning that after the mid-1950s British policy increasingly accepted Kenyan nationalism and moved to co-opt its leaders and organisations into collaboration.
It has been argued that the conflict helped set the stage for Kenyan independence in December 1963, or at least secured the prospect of Black-majority rule once the British left. However, this is disputed and other sources downplay the contribution of Mau Mau to decolonisation.
On 12 September 2015, the British government unveiled a Mau Mau memorial statue in Nairobi's Uhuru Park that it had funded "as a symbol of reconciliation between the British government, the Mau Mau, and all those who suffered". This followed a June 2013 decision by Britain to compensate more than 5,000 Kenyans it tortured and abused during the Mau Mau insurgency.
In 1999, a collection of former fighters calling themselves the Mau Mau Original Group announced they would attempt a £5 billion claim against the UK on behalf of hundreds of thousands of Kenyans for ill-treatment they said they suffered during the rebellion, though nothing came of it. In November 2002, the Mau Mau Trust—a welfare group for former members of the movement—announced it would attempt to sue the British government for widespread human rights violations it said were committed against its members. Until September 2003, the Mau Mau movement was banned.
Once the ban was removed, former Mau Mau members who had been castrated or otherwise tortured were supported by the Kenya Human Rights Commission, in particular by the Commission's George Morara, in their attempt to take on the British government; their lawyers had amassed 6,000 depositions regarding human rights abuses by late 2002. 42 potential claimants were interviewed from whom five were chosen to prosecute a test case; one of the five, Susan Ciong'ombe Ngondi, has since died. The remaining four test claimants are: Ndiku Mutua, who was castrated; Paulo Muoka Nzili, who was castrated; Jane Muthoni Mara, who was subjected to sexual assault that included having bottles filled with boiling water pushed up her vagina; and Wambugu Wa Nyingi, who survived the Hola massacre.
Ben Macintyre of The Times said of the legal case: "Opponents of these proceedings have pointed out, rightly, that the Mau Mau was a brutal terrorist force, guilty of the most dreadful atrocities. Yet only one of the claimants is of that stamp—Mr Nzili. He has admitted taking the Mau Mau oath and said that all he did was to ferry food to the fighters in the forest. None has been accused, let alone convicted, of any crime."
Upon publication of Caroline Elkins' Imperial Reckoning in 2005, Kenya called for an apology from the UK for atrocities committed during the 1950s. The British government claimed the issue was the responsibility of the Kenyan government on the grounds of "state succession" for former colonies, relying on an obscure legal precedent relating to Patagonian toothfish and the declaration of martial law in Jamaica in 1860.
In July 2011, "George Morara strode down the corridor and into a crowded little room [in Nairobi] where 30 elderly Kenyans sat hunched together around a table clutching cups of hot tea and sharing plates of biscuits. 'I have good news from London', he announced. 'We have won the first part of the battle!' At once, the room erupted in cheers." The good news was that a British judge had ruled that the Kenyans could sue the British government for their torture. Morara said that, if the first test cases succeeded, perhaps 30,000 others would file similar complaints of torture. Explaining his decision, Mr Justice McCombe said the claimants had an "arguable case", and added:
It may well be thought strange, or perhaps even dishonourable, that a legal system which will not in any circumstances admit into its proceedings evidence obtained by torture should yet refuse to entertain a claim against the Government in its own jurisdiction for that Government's allegedly negligent failure to prevent torture which it had the means to prevent. Furthermore, resort to technicality . . . to rule such a claim out of court appears particularly misplaced.
A Times editorial noted with satisfaction that "Mr Justice McCombe told the FCO, in effect, to get lost. . . . Though the arguments against reopening very old wounds are seductive, they fail morally. There are living claimants and it most certainly was not their fault that the documentary evidence that seems to support their claims was for so long 'lost' in the governmental filing system."
During the course of the Mau Mau legal battle in London, a large amount of what was stated to be formerly lost Foreign Office archival material was finally brought to light, while yet more was discovered to be missing. The files, known as migrated archives, provided details of British human rights abuses (torture, rape, execution) in its former colonies during the final stages of empire, including during Mau Mau, and even after decolonisation.
Regarding the Mau Mau Uprising, the records included confirmation of "the extent of the violence inflicted on suspected Mau Mau rebels" in British detention camps documented in Caroline Elkins' study. Numerous allegations of murder and rape by British military personnel are recorded in the files, including an incident where a native Kenyan baby was "burnt to death", the "defilement of a young girl", and a soldier in Royal Irish Fusiliers who killed "in cold blood two people who had been his captives for over 12 hours". Baring himself was aware of the "extreme brutality" of the sometimes-lethal torture meted out—which included "most drastic" beatings, solitary confinement, starvation, castration, whipping, burning, rape, sodomy, and forceful insertion of objects into orifices—but took no action.
 Baring's inaction was despite the urging of people like Arthur Young, Commissioner of Police for Kenya for less than eight months of 1954 before he resigned in protest, that "the horror of some of the [camps] should be investigated without delay". In February 1956, a provincial commissioner in Kenya, "Monkey" Johnson, wrote to Attorney GeneralReginald Manningham-Buller urging him to block any enquiry into the methods used against Mau Mau: "It would now appear that each and every one of us, from the Governor downwards, may be in danger of removal from public service by a commission of enquiry as a result of enquiries made by the CID." The April 2012 release also included detailed accounts of the policy of seizing livestock from Kenyans suspected of supporting Mau Mau rebels.
Main criticism we shall have to meet is that 'Cowan plan' which was approved by Government contained instructions which in effect authorised unlawful use of violence against detainees.
Commenting on the papers, David Anderson stated that the "documents were hidden away to protect the guilty", and "that the extent of abuse now being revealed is truly disturbing". "Everything that could happen did happen. Allegations about beatings and violence were widespread. Basically you could get away with murder. It was systematic", Anderson said. An example of this impunity is the case of eight colonial officials accused of having prisoners tortured to death going unpunished even after their actions were reported to London. Huw Bennett of King's College London, who had worked with Anderson on the Chuka Massacre, said in a witness statement to the court that the new documents "considerably strengthen" the knowledge that the British Army were "intimately involved" with the colonial security forces, whom they knew were "systematically abusing and torturing detainees in screening centres and detention camps". In April 2011, lawyers for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office continued to maintain that there was no such policy. As early as November 1952, however, military reports noted that "[t]he Army has been used for carrying out certain functions that properly belonged to the Police, eg. searching of huts and screening of Africans", and British soldiers arrested and transferred Mau Mau suspects to camps where they were beaten and tortured until they confessed. Bennett said that "the British Army retained ultimate operational control over all security forces throughout the Emergency", and that its military intelligence operation worked "hand in glove" with the Kenyan Special Branch "including in screening and interrogations in centres and detention camps".
The Kenyan government sent a letter to Hague insisting that the UK government was legally liable for the atrocities. The Foreign Office, however, reaffirmed its position that it was not, in fact, liable for colonial atrocities, and argued that the documents had not "disappeared" as part of a cover up. Nearly ten years before, in late 2002, as the BBC aired a documentary detailing British human rights abuses committed during the rebellion and 6,000 depositions had been taken for the legal case, former district colonial officer John Nottingham had expressed concern that compensation be paid soon, since most victims were in their 80s and would soon pass away. He told the BBC: "What went on in the Kenya camps and villages was brutal, savage torture. It is time that the mockery of justice that was perpetrated in this country at that time, should be, must be righted. I feel ashamed to have come from a Britain that did what it did here [in Kenya]."
Thirteen boxes of "top secret" Kenya files are still missing.
In October 2012, Mr Justice McCombe granted the surviving elderly test claimants the right to sue the UK for damages. The UK government then opted for what the claimants' lawyers called the "morally repugnant" decision to appeal McCombe's ruling. In May 2013, it was reported that the appeal was on hold while the UK government held compensation negotiations with the claimants.
On 6 June 2013, Foreign Secretary William Hague announced in parliament that the UK government had reached a settlement with the claimants. He told Parliament "The agreement includes payment of a settlement sum in respect of 5,228 claimants, as well as a gross costs sum, to the total value of £19.9 million. The Government will also support the construction of a memorial in Nairobi to the victims of torture and ill-treatment during the colonial era." but "We continue to deny liability on behalf of the Government and British taxpayers today for the actions of the colonial administration in respect of the claims"
Mau Mau status in Kenya
Partisan questions about the Mau Mau war have . . . echoed round Kenya's political arena during 40 years of independence. How historically necessary was Mau Mau? Did its secretive violence alone have the power to destroy white supremacy? or did it merely sow discord within a mass nationalism that—for all the failings of the Kenya African Union (KAU)—was bound to win power in the end? Did Mau Mau aim at freedom for all Kenyans? or did moderate, constitutional politicians rescue that pluralist prize from the jaws of its ethnic chauvinism? Has the self-sacrificial victory of the poor been unjustly forgotten, and appropriated by the rich? or are Mau Mau's defeats and divisions best buried in oblivion?
It is often argued that Mau Mau was suppressed as a subject for public discussion in Kenya during the periods under Kenyatta and Daniel arap Moi because of the key positions and influential presence of some loyalists in government, business and other elite sectors of Kenyan society post-1963. Unsurprisingly, during this same period opposition groups tactically embraced the Mau Mau rebellion.
Members of Mau Mau are currently recognised by the Kenyan Government as freedom-independence heroes and heroines who sacrificed their lives in order to free Kenyans from colonial rule. Since 2010, Mashujaa Day (Heroes Day) has been marked annually on 20 October (the same day Baring signed the Emergency order). According to the Kenyan Government, Mashujaa Day will be a time for Kenyans to remember and honour Mau Mau and other Kenyans who participated in the independence struggle. Mashujaa Day will replace Kenyatta Day; the latter has until now also been held on 20 October. In 2001, the Kenyan Government announced that important Mau Mau sites were to be turned into national monuments.
This official celebration of Mau Mau is in marked contrast to a post-colonial norm of Kenyan governments rejection of the Mau Mau as a symbol of national liberation. Such a turnabout has attracted criticism of government manipulation of the Mau Mau uprising for political ends.
We are determined to have independence in peace, and we shall not allow hooligans to rule Kenya. We must have no hatred towards one another. Mau Mau was a disease which had been eradicated, and must never be remembered again.
—Speech by Jomo Kenyatta, April 1963
The Black Man's Land Trilogy, series of films on Kenya including Part Two, "Mau Mau", described as "a political analysis of Africa's first modern guerrilla war and the myths that still surround it".
A The name Kenya Land and Freedom Army is sometimes heard in connection with Mau Mau. KLFA was the name that Dedan Kimathi used for a coordinating body which he tried to set up for Mau Mau. It was also the name of another militant group that sprang up briefly in the spring of 1960; the group was broken up during a brief operation from 26 March to 30 April. B Between 1895 and 1920, Kenya was formally known as British East Africa Protectorate; between 1920 and 1963, as Kenya Colony and Protectorate. C "Squatter or resident labourers are those who reside with their families on European farms usually for the purpose of work for the owners. . . . Contract labourers are those who sign a contract of service before a magistrate, for periods varying from three to twelve months. Casual labourers leave their reserves to engage themselves to European employers for any period from one day upwards." In return for his services, a squatter was entitled to use some of the settler's land for cultivation and grazing. Contract and casual workers are together referred to as migratory labourers, in distinction to the permanent presence of the squatters on farms. The phenomenon of squatters arose in response to the complementary difficulties of Europeans in finding labourers and of Africans in gaining access to arable and grazing land. D During the Emergency, screening was the term used by colonial authorities to mean the interrogation of a Mau Mau suspect. The alleged member or sympathiser of Mau Mau would be interrogated in order to obtain an admission of guilt—specifically, a confession that they had taken the Mau Mau oath—as well as for intelligence.
^ abAnderson 2005, p. 4: "Much of the struggle tore through the African communities themselves, an internecine war waged between rebels and so-called 'loyalists' — Africans who took the side of the government and opposed Mau Mau."
^ abCoray 1978, p. 179: "The [colonial] administration's refusal to develop mechanisms whereby African grievances against non-Africans might be resolved on terms of equity, moreover, served to accelerate a growing disaffection with colonial rule. The investigations of the Kenya Land Commission of 1932–1934 are a case study in such lack of foresight, for the findings and recommendations of this commission, particularly those regarding the claims of the Kikuyu of Kiambu, would serve to exacerbate other grievances and nurture the seeds of a growing African nationalism in Kenya".
^Alam 2007, p. 1: The colonial presence in Kenya, in contrast to, say, India, where it lasted almost 200 years, was brief but equally violent. It formally started when Her Majesty's agent and Counsel General at Zanzibar, A.H. Hardinge, in a proclamation on 1 July 1895, announced that he was taking over the Coastal areas as well as the interior that included the Kikuyu land, now known as Central Province."
^Edgerton 1989, p. 4. Francis Hall, an officer in the Imperial British East Africa Company and after whom Fort Hall was named, asserted: "There is only one way to improve the Wakikuyu [and] that is wipe them out; I should be only too delighted to do so, but we have to depend on them for food supplies."
^Leys 1973, pp. 342, which notes they were "always hopeless failures. Naked spearmen fall in swathes before machine-guns, without inflicting a single casualty in return. Meanwhile the troops burn all the huts and collect all the live stock within reach. Resistance once at an end, the leaders of the rebellion are surrendered for imprisonment . . . Risings that followed such a course could hardly be repeated. A period of calm followed. And when unrest again appeared it was with other leaders . . . and other motives." A particularly interesting example, albeit outside Kenya and featuring guns instead of spears, of successful armed resistance to maintain crucial aspects of autonomy is the Basuto Gun War of 1880–1881, whose ultimate legacy remains tangible even today, in the form of Lesotho.
^Ormsby-Gore 1925, p. 29: "This judgment is now widely known to Africans in Kenya, and it has become clear to them that, without their being previously informed or consulted, their rights in their tribal land, whether communal or individual, have 'disappeared' in law and have been superseded by the rights of the Crown."
^Anderson 2004, p. 498. "The recruitment of African labor at poor rates of pay and under primitive conditions of work was characteristic of the operation of colonial capitalism in Africa during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. . . . [C]olonial states readily colluded with capital in providing the legal framework necessary for the recruitment and maintenance of labor in adequate numbers and at low cost to the employer. . . . The colonial state shared the desire of the European settler to encourage Africans into the labour market, whilst also sharing a concern to moderate the wages paid to workers".
^ abOrmsby-Gore 1925, p. 173: "Casual labourers leave their reserves . . . to earn the wherewithal to pay their 'Hut Tax' and to get money to purchase trade goods."
^Shilaro 2002, p. 117: "African reserves in Kenya were legally constituted in the Crown Lands Amendment Ordinance of 1926". Though finalised in 1926, reserves were first instituted by the Crown Lands Ordinance of 1915—see Ormsby-Gore 1925, p. 29.
^Ormsby-Gore 1925, p. 180: "The population of the district to which one medical officer is allotted amounts more often than not to over a quarter of a million natives distributed over a large area. . . . [T]here are large areas in which no medical work is being undertaken."
^Mahone 2006, p. 241: "This article opens with a retelling of colonial accounts of the 'mania of 1911', which took place in the Kamba region of Kenya Colony. The story of this 'psychic epidemic' and others like it were recounted over the years as evidence depicting the predisposition of Africans to episodic mass hysteria."
^ ab"Mau Mau uprising: Bloody history of Kenya conflict". BBC News. 7 April 2011. Retrieved 12 May 2011. There was lots of suffering on the other side too. This was a dirty war. It became a civil war—though that idea remains extremely unpopular in Kenya today. (The quote is of Professor David Anderson).
^Füredi 1989, pp. 4–5: "Since they were the most affected by the colonial system and the most educated about its ways, the Kikuyu emerged as the most politicized African community in Kenya."
^Berman 1991, p. 196: "The impact of colonial capitalism and the colonial state hit the Kikuyu with greater force and effect than any other of Kenya's peoples, setting off new processes of differentiation and class formation."
While Elstein regards the "requirement" for the "great majority of Kikuyu" to live inside 800 "fortified villages" as "serv[ing] the purpose of protection", Professor David Anderson (amongst others) regards the "compulsory resettlement" of "1,007,500 Kikuyu" inside what, for the "most" part, were "little more than concentration camps" as "punitive . . . to punish Mau Mau sympathisers". See Elstein's "Daniel Goldhagen and Kenya: recycling fantasy" and Anderson 2005, p. 294.
^ abcOgot 2005, p. 502: "There was no reason and no restraint on both sides, although Elkins sees no atrocities on the part of Mau Mau."
^Elkins 2005, p. 75: "According to Emergency regulations, the governor could issue Native Land Rights Confiscation Orders, whereby '[e]ach of the persons named in the schedule . . . participated or aided in violent resistance against the forces of law and order' and therefore had his land confiscated".
^Elkins 2005, p. 124: "There was an unusual consensus in the ranks of both the military and Baring's civilian government that the colony's capital was the nerve center for Mau Mau operations. Nearly three-quarters of the city's African male population of sixty thousand were Kikuyu, and most of these men, along with some twenty thousand Kikuyu women and children accompanying them, were allegedly 'active or passive supporters of Mau Mau'."
^: "In the first months of the emergency the Mau Mau discipline was so strong that a terrorist in the forest who gave his money to a courier could be almost certain of getting what he wanted from any shop in Nairobi."
^Edgerton 1989, p. 86: "Before the Emergency ended, the RAF dropped the amazing total of 50,000 tons of bombs on the forests and fired over 2 million rounds from machine guns during strafing runs. It is not known how many humans or animals were killed."
^Anderson 1988: "The Swynnerton Plan was among the most comprehensive of all the post-war colonial development programmes implemented in British Africa. Largely framed prior to the declaration of the State of Emergency in 1952, but not implemented until two years later, this development is central to the story of Kenya's decolonization".
^The term gulag is used by David Anderson and Caroline Elkins. For Anderson, see his 2005 Histories of the Hanged, p. 7: "Virtually every one of the acquitted men . . . would spend the next several years in the notorious detention camps of the Kenyan gulag"; for Elkins, see the title of the UK edition of her 2005 book, Britain's Gulag.
^Peterson 2008, pp. 75–6, 89, 91: "Some detainees, worried that the substance of their lives was draining away, thought their primary duty lay with their families. They therefore confessed to British officers, and sought an early release from detention. Other detainees refused to accept the British demand that they sully other people's reputations by naming those whom they knew to be involved in Mau Mau. This 'hard core' kept their mouths closed, and languished for years in detention. The battle behind the wire was not fought over detainees' loyalty to a Mau Mau movement. Detainees' intellectual and moral concerns were always close to home. . . . British officials thought that those who confessed had broken their allegiance to Mau Mau. But what moved detainees to confess was not their broken loyalty to Mau Mau, but their devotion to their families. British officials played on this devotion to hasten a confession. . . . The battle behind the wire was not fought between patriotic hard-core Mau Mau and weak-kneed, wavering, broken men who confessed. . . . Both hard core and soft core had their families in mind."
^Ian Cobain; Peter Walker (11 April 2011). "Secret memo gave guidelines on abuse of Mau Mau in 1950s". The Guardian. Retrieved 13 April 2011. Baring informed Lennox-Boyd that eight European officers were facing accusations of a series of murders, beatings and shootings. They included: "One District Officer, murder by beating up and roasting alive of one African." Despite receiving such clear briefings, Lennox-Boyd repeatedly denied that the abuses were happening, and publicly denounced those colonial officials who came forward to complain.
^Elkins 2005, p. 263: "It is accepted policy that cases of pulmonary tuberculosis . . . be returned to their reserve to avail themselves of the routine medical control and treatment within their areas". (The quote is of the colony's director of medical services).
^Elkins 2005, pp. 263–4: "The financial situation has now worsened. . . . Schemes of medical help, however desirable and however high their medical priority, could not in [these] circumstances be approved". (The quote is of Baring).
^Carus, W. Seth (2002). Bioterrorism and Biocrimes: The Illicit Use of Biological Agents Since 1900 (Reprint of 1st ed.). Amsterdam: Fredonia Books. pp. 63–65. This episode is not mentioned in histories of the Mau Mau revolt, suggesting that such incidents were rare.
^Branch & Cheeseman 2006, p. 11: "The co-option of sympathetic African elites during the colonial twilight into the bureaucracy, the legislature and the private property-based economy meant that the allies of colonialism and representatives of transnational capital were able to reap the benefits of independence. . . . The post-colonial state must therefore be seen as a representation of the interests protected and promoted during the latter years of colonial rule. Under Jomo Kenyatta, the post-colonial state represented a 'pact-of-domination' between transnational capital, the elite and the executive."
^Lonsdale 2000, pp. 109–10. "Mau Mau, despite its problematic claims to be called 'nationalist' . . . forced the issue of power in a way that KAU had never done. It was not that Mau Mau won its war against the British; guerrilla movements rarely win in military terms; and militarily Mau Mau was defeated. But in order to crown peace with sustainable civil governance—and thus reopen a prospect of controlled decolonization—the British had to abandon 'multiracialism' and adopt African rule as their vision of Kenya's future. . . . The blood of Mau Mau, no matter how peculiarly ethnic in source and aim, was the seed of Kenya's all-African sovereignty."
^Wasserman 1976, p. 1: "Although the rise of nationalist movements in Africa was certainly a contributing factor in the dismantling of the colonial empires, one cannot wholly attribute the 'demise of colonialism' to the rise of nationalism. . . . [T]he decolonization process was shaped by an adaptive reaction of colonial political and economic interests to the political ascendency of a nationalist elite and to the threat of disruption by the masses."
^ abBen Macintyre; Billy Kenber (13 April 2011). "Brutal beatings and the 'roasting alive' of a suspect: what secret Mau Mau files reveal". The Times. Retrieved 13 April 2011. Sir Evelyn Baring, the Governor of Kenya, in a telegram to the Secretary of State for the Colonies, reported allegations of extreme brutality made against eight European district officers. They included 'assault by beating up and burning of two Africans during screening [interrogation]' and one officer accused of 'murder by beating up and roasting alive of one African'. No action was taken against the accused.
^ abcBen Macintyre (5 April 2011). "Tales of brutality and violence that could open the claims floodgate". The Times. Retrieved 6 April 2011. A letter was sent to William Hague on March 31 stating: 'The Republic of Kenya fully supports the claimants' case and has publicly denied any notion that responsibility for any acts and atrocities committed by the British colonial administration during the Kenya 'Emergency' was inherited by the Republic of Kenya.'
Mark Thompson (7 April 2011). "Mau Mau blame 'goes right to the top'". Today. BBC. 02:38–03:31. Retrieved 12 May 2011. These new documents were withheld because they were considered to be particularly sensitive, so we can but imagine what will be in these documents. . . . Senior members of the Commonwealth Office in London did know what was happening; senior legal officials in London did, to some extent, sanction the use of coercive force; and also, at Cabinet level, the Secretary of State for the Colonies certainly knew of the excesses that were taking place. (The quote is of Anderson).
^Macintyre, Ben; Kenber, Billy (15 April 2011). "Hundreds more top secret files missing in Mau Mau abuse case". The Times. Retrieved 26 May 2012. In a statement to the court dated March 8, released to The Times yesterday, Martin Tucker, head of corporate records at the Foreign Office, reported that the 13 missing boxes could not be found. 'There were at one time a further 13 boxes of material retrieved from Kenya at independence which are additional to the documents discovered in Hanslope Park [the closed Foreign Office repository in Buckinghamshire] in January of this year', he wrote. He found evidence that the files had once been stored in the basement of the Old Admiralty Building in Whitehall, but traces of them had vanished after 1995.
^Elkins 2005, pp. 360–3: "During the run-up to independence and the years that followed, former loyalists also wielded political clout to consolidate their own interests and power. Under Kenyatta many became influential members of the new government. . . . This system of loyalist patronage percolated all the way down to the local level of government, with former Home Guards dominating bureaucracies that had once been the preserve of the young British colonial officers in the African districts. Of the numerous vacancies created by decolonization—powerful posts like provincial commissioner and district commissioner—the vast majority were filled by one time loyalists."
^Dominic Odipo (10 May 2010). "Who are Kenya's real heroes?". The Standard. Nairobi: Standard Group. Archived from the original on 21 January 2012. Retrieved 7 June 2010. Changing Kenyatta Day to Mashujaa Day is not just an innocuous and harmless exercise in constitutional semantics.
^Anderson 2005, pp. 335–6: "[Kenyatta] often spoke of the need to 'forgive and forget', and to 'bury the past'. He acknowledged the part the freedom fighters had played in the struggle, but he never once made any public statement that conceded to them any rights or any genuine compensation. Mau Mau was a thing best forgotten. . . . In Kenyatta's Kenya there would be a deafening silence about Mau Mau".
——— (2004). "Kenya, 1895–1939: Registration and Rough Justice". In Douglas Hay & Paul Craven, eds., Masters, Servants, and Magistrates in Britain and the Empire, 1562–1955. Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press. ISBN 978-0-807-82877-9.
——— (2005). Histories of the Hanged: The Dirty War in Kenya and the End of Empire. London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson. ISBN 978-0-297-84719-9.
Atieno-Odhiambo, Elisha Stephen (1995). "The Formative Years: 1945–55". In Bethwell Allan Ogot & William Robert Ochieng', eds., Decolonization and Independence in Kenya, 1940–93. Oxford: James Currey. pp. 25–47. ISBN 978-0-8214-1051-6.
——— (2003). "Authority, Gender & Violence: The war within Mau Mau's fight for land & freedom". In Elisha Stephen Atieno-Odhiambo & John Lonsdale, eds., Mau Mau and Nationhood: Arms, Authority and Narration. Oxford: James Currey. pp. 46–75. ISBN 978-0-852-55478-4.
Ogot, Bethwell Allan (1995). "The Decisive Years: 1956–63". In Bethwell Allan Ogot & William Robert Ochieng', eds., Decolonization and Independence in Kenya, 1940–93. Oxford: James Currey. pp. 48–82. ISBN 978-0-8214-1051-6.
——— (2003). "Mau Mau & Nationhood: The Untold Story". In Atieno-Odhiambo; Lonsdale (eds.). In Elisha Stephen Atieno-Odhiambo & John Lonsdale, eds., Mau Mau and Nationhood: Arms, Authority and Narration. Oxford: James Currey. pp. 8–36. ISBN 978-0-852-55478-4.
——— (2005). "BRITAIN'S GULAG Histories of the Hanged: Britain's Dirty War in Kenya and the End of Empire. By DAVID ANDERSON. London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 2005. Pp. viii+406. Britain's Gulag: The Brutal End of Empire in Kenya. By CAROLINE ELKINS (London: Jonathan Cape, 2005). Pp. xiv+475". The Journal of African History. 46: 493–505. doi:10.1017/S0021853705000939. ISBN 0-297-84719-8.
——— (2012). "Essence of ethnicity: an African perspective". In Hiroyuki Hino, John Lonsdale, Gustav Ranis & Frances Stewart, eds., Ethnic Diversity and Economic Stability in Africa. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. pp. 91–126. ISBN 978-1-107-02599-8.
Page, Malcolm (2011) . King's African Rifles: A History. Barnsley: Pen and Sword Books. ISBN 978-1-84884-438-4.
Percox, David A. (2005). "Kenya: Mau Mau Revolt". In Kevin Shillington, ed., Encyclopedia of African History, Volume 2, H–O. New York, NY: Fitzroy Dearborn. pp. 751–752. ISBN 978-1-579-58245-6. Italic or bold markup not allowed in: |encyclopedia= (help)
Sandgren, David (2012). Mau Mau's Children: The Making of Kenya's Postcolonial Elite. Madison, WI: University of Wisconsin Press. ISBN 978-0-299-28784-9.
Swainson, Nicola (1980). The Development of Corporate Capitalism in Kenya, 1918–77. Berkeley & Los Angeles, CA: University of California Press. ISBN 978-0-520-03988-9.
Thiong'o, Ngugi wa (2010) . "Detained: A Writer's Prison Diary". In Roy R. Grinker, Stephen C. Lubkemann & Christopher B. Steiner, eds., Perspectives on Africa: A Reader in Culture, History and Representation (2nd ed.). Oxford: Blackwell Publishing. pp. 462–470. ISBN 978-1-444-33522-4.
Walton, Calder (2013). Empire of Secrets: British Intelligence, the Cold War and the Twilight of Empire. London: HarperPress. ISBN 978-0-007-45796-0.
Wasserman, Gary (1976). Politics of Decolonization: Kenya Europeans and the Land Issue 1960–1965 (digital reprint ed.). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0-521-10023-6.
Henderson, Ian (1958). Manhunt in Kenya. New York: Doubleday.
Bennett, Huw (2012). Fighting the Mau Mau: The British Army and Counter-Insurgency in the Kenya Emergency. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-1-107-02970-5.
Berman, Bruce; Lonsdale, John (1992). Unhappy Valley: Conflict in Kenya and Africa; Book One: State & Class. Oxford: James Currey. ISBN 978-0-852-55021-2.
Berman, Bruce; Lonsdale, John (1992). Unhappy Valley: Conflict in Kenya and Africa; Book Two: Violence & Ethnicity. Oxford: James Currey. ISBN 978-0-852-55099-1.
Lovatt Smith, David (2005). Kenya, the Kikuyu and Mau Mau. Mawenzi Books. ISBN 978-0-954-47132-3.
Lyttelton, Oliver (1962). The Memoirs of Lord Chandos. London: Bodley Head.
Marsh, Zoe; Kingsnorth, G. W. (1972). A History of East Africa. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0-521-08348-5.
Murphy, Philip (1999) . Party Politics and Decolonization: The Conservative Party and British Colonial Policy in Tropical Africa, 1951–1964. Oxford: Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-820505-0.
Murphy, Philip (1999). Alan Lennox-Boyd: A Biography. London: I.B.Tauris. ISBN 978-1-86064-406-1.
Parsons, Timothy (1999). African Rank-and-File: Social Implications of Colonial Military Service in the King's African Rifles, 1902–1964. Hanover, NH: Heinemann. ISBN 978-0-325-00140-1.
Percox, David (2011) . Britain, Kenya and the Cold War: Imperial Defence, Colonial Security and Decolonisation. London: I.B. Tauris. ISBN 978-1-84885-966-1.
Shilaro, Priscilla M (2002). "Colonial Land Policies: The Kenya Land Commission and the Kakamega Gold Rush, 1932–4". In William Robert Ochieng (ed.). Historical Studies and Social Change in Western Kenya: Essays in Memory of Professor Gideon S. Were. Nairobi: East African Educational Publishers. pp. 110–128. ISBN 978-9966-25-152-7.
Throup, David (1987). Economic and Social Origins of Mau Mau, 1945–53. Oxford: James Currey. ISBN 978-0-85255-024-3.
Designed by Danish architect Jørn Utzon, the building was formally opened on 20 October 1973 after a gestation beginning with Utzon's 1957 selection as winner of an international design competition. The Government of New South Wales, led by the premier, Joseph Cahill, authorised work to begin in 1958 with Utzon directing construction. The government's decision to build Utzon's design is often overshadowed by circumstances that followed, including cost and scheduling overruns as well as the architect's ultimate resignation.
The building comprises multiple performance venues, which together host well over 1,500 performances annually, attended by more than 1.2 million people. Performances are presented by numerous performing artists, including three resident companies: Opera Australia, the Sydney Theatre Company and the Sydney Symphony Orchestra. As one of the most popular visitor attractions in Australia, the site is visited by more than eight million people annually, and approximately 350,000 visitors take a guided tour of the building each year. The building is managed by the Sydney Opera House Trust, an agency of the New South Wales State Government.
The facility features a modern expressionist design, with a series of large precast concrete "shells", each composed of sections of a sphere of 75.2 metres (246 ft 8.6 in) radius, forming the roofs of the structure, set on a monumental podium. The building covers 1.8 hectares (4.4 acres) of land and is 183 m (600 ft) long and 120 m (394 ft) wide at its widest point. It is supported on 588 concrete piers sunk as much as 25 m (82 ft) below sea level. The highest roof point is 67 metres above sea-level which is the same height as that of a 22-storey building. The roof is made of 2,194 pre-cast concrete sections, which weigh up to 15 tonnes each.
Although the roof structures are commonly referred to as "shells" (as in this article), they are precast concrete panels supported by precast concrete ribs, not shells in a strictly structural sense. Though the shells appear uniformly white from a distance, they actually feature a subtle chevron pattern composed of 1,056,006 tiles in two colours: glossy white and matte cream. The tiles were manufactured by the Swedish company Höganäs AB which generally produced stoneware tiles for the paper-mill industry.
Apart from the tile of the shells and the glass curtain walls of the foyer spaces, the building's exterior is largely clad with aggregate panels composed of pink granite quarried at Tarana. Significant interior surface treatments also include off-form concrete, Australian white birchplywood supplied from Wauchope in northern New South Wales, and brush boxglulam.
Of the two larger spaces, the Concert Hall is in the western group of shells, the Joan Sutherland Theatre in the eastern group. The scale of the shells was chosen to reflect the internal height requirements, with low entrance spaces, rising over the seating areas up to the high stage towers. The smaller venues (the Drama Theatre, the Playhouse and the Studio) are within the podium, beneath the Concert Hall. A smaller group of shells set to the western side of the Monumental Steps houses the Bennelong Restaurant. The podium is surrounded by substantial open public spaces, and the large stone-paved forecourt area with the adjacent monumental steps is regularly used as a performance space.
Performance venues and facilities
The Sydney Opera House includes a number of performance venues:
Drama Theatre: A proscenium theatre with 544 seats, used by the Sydney Theatre Company and other dance and theatrical presenters.
Playhouse: A non-proscenium end-stage theatre with 398 seats.
Studio: A flexible space with 280 permanent seats (some of which can be folded up) and a maximum capacity of 400, depending on configuration.
Utzon Room: A small multi-purpose venue for parties, corporate functions and small productions (such as chamber music performances).
Outdoor Forecourt: A flexible open-air venue with a wide range of configuration options, including the possibility of utilising the Monumental Steps as audience seating, used for a range of community events and major outdoor performances.
Other areas (for example the northern and western foyers) are also used for performances on an occasional basis. Venues are also used for conferences, ceremonies and social functions.
The building also houses a recording studio, cafes, restaurants, bars and retail outlets. Guided tours are available, including a frequent tour of the front-of-house spaces, and a daily backstage tour that takes visitors backstage to see areas normally reserved for performers and crew members.
Interior of the Concert Hall
Bennelong Point with tram depot in the 1920s (top left-hand side of photograph)
An international design competition was launched by Cahill on 13 September 1955 and received 233 entries, representing architects from 32 countries. The criteria specified a large hall seating 3,000 and a small hall for 1,200 people, each to be designed for different uses, including full-scale operas, orchestral and choral concerts, mass meetings, lectures, ballet performances, and other presentations.
The winner, announced in 1957, was Jørn Utzon, a Danish architect. According to legend the Utzon design was rescued by noted Finnish-American architect Eero Saarinen from a final cut of 30 "rejects". The runner-up was a Philadelphia-based team assembled by Robert Geddes and George Qualls, both teaching at the University of Pennsylvania School of Design. They brought together a band of Penn faculty and friends from Philadelphia architectural offices, including Melvin Brecher, Warren Cunningham, Joseph Marzella, Walter Wiseman, and Leon Loschetter. Geddes, Brecher, Qualls, and Cunningham went on to found the firm GBQC Architects. The grand prize was 5,000 Australian pounds. Utzon visited Sydney in 1957 to help supervise the project. His office moved to Palm Beach, Sydney in February 1963.
There is no doubt that the Sydney Opera House is his masterpiece. It is one of the great iconic buildings of the 20th century, an image of great beauty that has become known throughout the world – a symbol for not only a city, but a whole country and continent.
Design and construction
The Fort Macquarie Tram Depot, occupying the site at the time of these plans, was demolished in 1958 and construction began in March 1959. It was built in three stages: stage I (1959–1963) consisted of building the upper podium; stage II (1963–1967) the construction of the outer shells; stage III (1967–1973) interior design and construction.
Stage I: Podium
Stage I commenced on 2 March 1959 with the construction firm Civil & Civic, monitored by the engineers Ove Arup and Partners. The government had pushed for work to begin early, fearing that funding, or public opinion, might turn against them. However, Utzon had still not completed the final designs. Major structural issues still remained unresolved. By 23 January 1961, work was running 47 weeks behind, mainly because of unexpected difficulties (inclement weather, unexpected difficulty diverting stormwater, construction beginning before proper construction drawings had been prepared, changes of original contract documents). Work on the podium was finally completed in February 1963. The forced early start led to significant later problems, not least of which was the fact that the podium columns were not strong enough to support the roof structure, and had to be re-built.
The shells of the competition entry were originally of undefined geometry, but, early in the design process, the "shells" were perceived as a series of parabolas supported by precast concrete ribs. However, engineers Ove Arup and Partners were unable to find an acceptable solution to constructing them. The formwork for using in-situ concrete would have been prohibitively expensive, and, because there was no repetition in any of the roof forms, the construction of precast concrete for each individual section would possibly have been even more expensive.
Sydney Opera House shell ribs
The glazed ceramic tiles of the Sydney Opera House
From 1957 to 1963, the design team went through at least 12 iterations of the form of the shells trying to find an economically acceptable form (including schemes with parabolas, circular ribs and ellipsoids) before a workable solution was completed. The design work on the shells involved one of the earliest uses of computers in structural analysis, to understand the complex forces to which the shells would be subjected. The computer system was also used in the assembly of the arches. The pins in the arches were surveyed at the end of each day, and the information was entered into the computer so the next arch could be properly placed the following day. In mid-1961, the design team found a solution to the problem: the shells all being created as sections from a sphere. This solution allows arches of varying length to be cast in a common mould, and a number of arch segments of common length to be placed adjacent to one another, to form a spherical section. With whom exactly this solution originated has been the subject of some controversy. It was originally credited to Utzon. Ove Arup's letter to Ashworth, a member of the Sydney Opera House Executive Committee, states: "Utzon came up with an idea of making all the shells of uniform curvature throughout in both directions." Peter Jones, the author of Ove Arup's biography, states that "the architect and his supporters alike claimed to recall the precise eureka moment ... ; the engineers and some of their associates, with equal conviction, recall discussion in both central London and at Ove's house."
He goes on to claim that "the existing evidence shows that Arup's canvassed several possibilities for the geometry of the shells, from parabolas to ellipsoids and spheres." Yuzo Mikami, a member of the design team, presents an opposite view in his book on the project, Utzon's Sphere. It is unlikely that the truth will ever be categorically known, but there is a clear consensus that the design team worked very well indeed for the first part of the project and that Utzon, Arup, and Ronald Jenkins (partner of Ove Arup and Partners responsible for the Opera House project) all played a very significant part in the design development.
... the two men—and their teams—enjoyed a collaboration that was remarkable in its fruitfulness and, despite many traumas, was seen by most of those involved in the project as a high point of architect/engineer collaboration.
The design of the roof was tested on scale models in wind tunnels at University of Southampton and later NPL in order to establish the wind-pressure distribution around the roof shape in very high winds, which helped in the design of the roof tiles and their fixtures.
The shells were constructed by Hornibrook Group Pty Ltd, who were also responsible for construction in Stage III. Hornibrook manufactured the 2400 precast ribs and 4000 roof panels in an on-site factory and also developed the construction processes. The achievement of this solution avoided the need for expensive formwork construction by allowing the use of precast units (it also allowed the roof tiles to be prefabricated in sheets on the ground, instead of being stuck on individually at height). Ove Arup and Partners' site engineer supervised the construction of the shells, which used an innovative adjustable steel-trussed "erection arch" (developed by Hornibrook's engineer Joe Bertony) to support the different roofs before completion. On 6 April 1962, it was estimated that the Opera House would be completed between August 1964 and March 1965.
View from the stage of the Joan Sutherland Theatre.
Interior of the Studio Theatre.
Stage III, the interiors, started with Utzon moving his entire office to Sydney in February 1963. However, there was a change of government in 1965, and the new Robert Askin government declared the project under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Public Works. Due to the Ministry's criticism of the project's costs and time, along with their impression of Utzon's designs being impractical, this ultimately led to his resignation in 1966 (see below).
The cost of the project so far, even in October 1966, was still only A$22.9 million, less than a quarter of the final $102 million cost. However, the projected costs for the design were at this stage much more significant.
The second stage of construction was progressing toward completion when Utzon resigned. His position was principally taken over by Peter Hall, who became largely responsible for the interior design. Other persons appointed that same year to replace Utzon were E. H. Farmer as government architect, D. S. Littlemore and Lionel Todd.
Following Utzon's resignation, the acoustic advisor, Lothar Cremer, confirmed to the Sydney Opera House Executive Committee (SOHEC) that Utzon's original acoustic design allowed for only 2,000 seats in the main hall and further stated that increasing the number of seats to 3,000 as specified in the brief would be disastrous for the acoustics. According to Peter Jones, the stage designer, Martin Carr, criticised the "shape, height and width of the stage, the physical facilities for artists, the location of the dressing rooms, the widths of doors and lifts, and the location of lighting switchboards."
Significant changes to Utzon's design
The foyer of the Joan Sutherland Theatre, showing the internal structure and steel framing of the glass curtain walls; the final constructions were modified from Utzon's original designs
The Opera House at sunset
The major hall, which was originally to be a multipurpose opera/concert hall, became solely a concert hall, called the Concert Hall. The minor hall, originally for stage productions only, incorporated opera and ballet functions and was called the Opera Theatre, later renamed the Joan Sutherland Theatre. As a result, the Joan Sutherland Theatre is inadequate to stage large-scale opera and ballet. A theatre, a cinema and a library were also added. These were later changed to two live drama theatres and a smaller theatre "in the round". These now comprise the Drama Theatre, the Playhouse and the Studio respectively. These changes were primarily because of inadequacies in the original competition brief, which did not make it adequately clear how the Opera House was to be used. The layout of the interiors was changed, and the stage machinery, already designed and fitted inside the major hall, was pulled out and largely thrown away, as detailed in the 1968 BBC TV documentary Autopsy on a Dream, which "chronicles the full spectrum of controversy surrounding the construction of the Sydney Opera House".
Externally, the cladding to the podium and the paving (the podium was originally not to be clad down to the water, but to be left open).
The construction of the glass walls (Utzon was planning to use a system of prefabricated plywood mullions, but a different system was designed to deal with the glass).
Utzon's plywood corridor designs, and his acoustic and seating designs for the interior of both major halls, were scrapped completely. His design for the Concert Hall was rejected as it only seated 2000, which was considered insufficient. Utzon employed the acoustic consultant Lothar Cremer, and his designs for the major halls were later modelled and found to be very good. The subsequent Todd, Hall and Littlemore versions of both major halls have some problems with acoustics, particularly for the performing musicians. The orchestra pit in the Joan Sutherland Theatre is cramped and dangerous to musicians' hearing. The Concert Hall has a very high roof, leading to a lack of early reflections onstage—perspex rings (the "acoustic clouds") hanging over the stage were added shortly before opening in an (unsuccessful) attempt to address this problem.
Completion and cost
The Opera House was formally completed in 1973, having cost $102 million. H.R. "Sam" Hoare, the Hornibrook director in charge of the project, provided the following approximations in 1973:
Stage I: podium Civil & Civic Pty Ltd approximately $5.5m.
Stage II: roof shells M.R. Hornibrook (NSW) Pty Ltd approximately $12.5m.
Stage III: completion The Hornibrook Group $56.5m.
Separate contracts: stage equipment, stage lighting and organ $9.0m. Fees and other costs: $16.5m.
The original cost and scheduling estimates in 1957 projected a cost of £3,500,000 ($7 million) and completion date of 26 January 1963 (Australia Day). In reality, the project was completed ten years late and 1,357% over budget in real terms.
Strike and Workers' Control
In 1972, a construction worker was fired, leading the BLF affiliated workers to demand his rehiring and a 25% wage increase. In response to this, all the workers were fired, and in revenge the workers broke into the construction site with a crowbar and brought their own toolboxes. Workers' control was applied to the site for 5 weeks as the construction workers worked 35 hours a week with improved morale, more efficient organization and less people skipping work. The workers agreed to end their work-in when management agreed to give them a 25% wage increase, the right to elect their foremen, four weeks annual leave and a large payment for their troubles.
Utzon and his resignation
The building illuminated at night
Before the Sydney Opera House competition, Jørn Utzon had won seven of the 18 competitions he had entered but had never seen any of his designs built. Utzon's submitted concept for the Sydney Opera House was almost universally admired and considered groundbreaking. The Assessors Report of January 1957, stated:
The drawings submitted for this scheme are simple to the point of being diagrammatic. Nevertheless, as we have returned again and again to the study of these drawings, we are convinced that they present a concept of an Opera House which is capable of becoming one of the great buildings of the world.
For the first stage, Utzon worked successfully with the rest of the design team and the client, but, as the project progressed, the Cahill government insisted on progressive revisions. They also did not fully appreciate the costs or work involved in design and construction. Tensions between the client and the design team grew further when an early start to construction was demanded despite an incomplete design. This resulted in a continuing series of delays and setbacks while various technical engineering issues were being refined. The building was unique, and the problems with the design issues and cost increases were exacerbated by commencement of work before the completion of the final plans.
After the 1965 election of the Liberal Party, with Robert Askin becoming Premier of New South Wales, the relationship of client, architect, engineers and contractors became increasingly tense. Askin had been a "vocal critic of the project prior to gaining office." His new Minister for Public Works, Davis Hughes, was even less sympathetic. Elizabeth Farrelly, an Australian architecture critic, wrote that:
at an election night dinner party in Mosman, Hughes' daughter Sue Burgoyne boasted that her father would soon sack Utzon. Hughes had no interest in art, architecture or aesthetics. A fraud, as well as a philistine, he had been exposed before Parliament and dumped as Country Party leader for 19 years of falsely claiming a university degree. The Opera House gave Hughes a second chance. For him, as for Utzon, it was all about control; about the triumph of homegrown mediocrity over foreign genius.
The Opera House seen from the north
Differences ensued. One of the first was that Utzon believed the clients should receive information on all aspects of the design and construction through his practice, while the clients wanted a system (notably drawn in sketch form by Davis Hughes) where architect, contractors, and engineers each reported to the client directly and separately. This had great implications for procurement methods and cost control, with Utzon wishing to negotiate contracts with chosen suppliers (such as Ralph Symonds for the plywood interiors) and the New South Wales government insisting contracts be put out to tender.
Utzon was highly reluctant to respond to questions or criticism from the client's Sydney Opera House Executive Committee (SOHEC). However, he was greatly supported throughout by a member of the committee and one of the original competition judges, . Utzon was unwilling to compromise on some aspects of his designs that the clients wanted to change.
Utzon's ability was never in doubt, despite questions raised by Davis Hughes, who attempted to portray Utzon as an impractical dreamer. Ove Arup actually stated that Utzon was "probably the best of any I have come across in my long experience of working with architects" and: "The Opera House could become the world's foremost contemporary masterpiece if Utzon is given his head."
In October 1965, Utzon gave Hughes a schedule setting out the completion dates of parts of his work for stage III. Utzon was at this time working closely with , a manufacturer of plywood based in Sydney and highly regarded by many, despite an Arup engineer warning that Ralph Symonds's "knowledge of the design stresses of plywood, was extremely sketchy" and that the technical advice was "elementary to say the least and completely useless for our purposes." Australian architecture critic Elizabeth Farrelly has referred to Ove Arup's project engineer Michael Lewis as having "other agendas". In any case, Hughes shortly after withheld permission for the construction of plywood prototypes for the interiors, and the relationship between Utzon and the client never recovered. By February 1966, Utzon was owed more than $100,000 in fees. Hughes then withheld funding so that Utzon could not even pay his own staff. The government minutes record that following several threats of resignation, Utzon finally stated to Davis Hughes: "If you don't do it, I resign." Hughes replied: "I accept your resignation. Thank you very much. Goodbye."
Utzon left the project on 28 February 1966. He said that Hughes's refusal to pay him any fees and the lack of collaboration caused his resignation and later famously described the situation as "Malice in Blunderland". In March 1966, Hughes offered him a subordinate role as "design architect" under a panel of executive architects, without any supervisory powers over the House's construction, but Utzon rejected this. Utzon left the country never to return.
Following the resignation, there was great controversy about who was in the right and who was in the wrong. The Sydney Morning Herald initially opined: "No architect in the world has enjoyed greater freedom than Mr Utzon. Few clients have been more patient or more generous than the people and the Government of NSW. One would not like history to record that this partnership was brought to an end by a fit of temper on the one side or by a fit of meanness on the other." On 17 March 1966, the Herald offered the view that: "It was not his [Utzon's] fault that a succession of Governments and the Opera House Trust should so signally have failed to impose any control or order on the project ... his concept was so daring that he himself could solve its problems only step by step ... his insistence on perfection led him to alter his design as he went along."
The Sydney Opera House opened the way for the immensely complex geometries of some modern architecture. The design was one of the first examples of the use of computer-aided design to design complex shapes. The design techniques developed by Utzon and Arup for the Sydney Opera House have been further developed and are now used for architecture, such as works of Gehry and blobitecture, as well as most reinforced concrete structures. The design is also one of the first in the world to use araldite to glue the precast structural elements together and proved the concept for future use.
It was also a first in mechanical engineering. Another Danish firm, Steensen Varming, was responsible for designing the new air-conditioning plant, the largest in Australia at the time, supplying over 600,000 cubic feet (17,000 m3) of air per minute, using the innovative idea of harnessing the harbour water to create a water-cooled heat pump system that is still in operation today.
Architectural design role of Peter Hall
After the resignation of Utzon, the Minister for Public Works, Davis Hughes, and the Government Architect, Ted Farmer, organised a team to bring the Sydney Opera House to completion. The architectural work was divided between three appointees who became the Hall, Todd, Littlemore partnership. David Littlemore would manage construction supervision, Lionel Todd contract documentation, while the crucial role of design became the responsibility of Peter Hall.:45
Peter Hall (1931–1995) completed a combined arts and architecture degree at Sydney University. Upon graduation a travel scholarship enabled him to spend twelve months in Europe during which time he visited Utzon in Hellebæk. Returning to Sydney, Hall worked for the Government Architect, a branch of the NSW Public Works Department. While there he established himself as a talented design architect with a number of court and university buildings, including the Goldstein Hall at the University of New South Wales, which won the Sir John Sulman Medal in 1964.
Hall resigned from the Government Architects office in early 1966 to pursue his own practice. When approached to take on the design role, (after at least two prominent Sydney architects had declined), Hall spoke with Utzon by phone before accepting the position. Utzon reportedly told Hall: he (Hall) would not be able to finish the job and the Government would have to invite him back.(p46) Hall also sought the advice of others, including architect Don Gazzard who warned him acceptance would be a bad career move as the project would "never be his own".:47
Hall agreed to accept the role on the condition there was no possibility of Utzon returning. Even so, his appointment did not go down well with many of his fellow architects who considered that no one but Utzon should complete the Sydney Opera House. Upon Utzon's dismissal, a rally of protest had marched to Bennelong Point. A petition was also circulated, including in the Government Architects office. Peter Hall was one of the many who had signed the petition that called for Utzon's reinstatement.
When Hall agreed to the design role and was appointed in April 1966, he imagined he would find the design and documentation for the Stage III well advanced. What he found was an enormous amount of work ahead of him with many aspects completely unresolved by Utzon in relation to seating capacity, acoustics and structure.:42 In addition Hall found the project had proceeded for nine years without the development of a concise client brief. To bring himself up to speed, Hall investigated concert and opera venues overseas and engaged stage consultant Ben Schlange and acoustic consultant Wilhelm Jordan, while establishing his team. In consultation with all the potential building users the first Review of Program was completed in January 1967. The most significant conclusion reached by Hall was that concert and opera were incompatible in the same hall.:53 Although Utzon had sketched ideas using plywood for the great enclosing glass walls, their structural viability was unresolved when Hall took on the design role.:49 With the ability to delegate tasks and effectively coordinate the work of consultants, Hall guided the project for over five years until the opening day in 1973.
A former Government Architect, Peter Webber, in his book Peter Hall: the Phantom of the Opera House, concludes: when Utzon resigned no one was better qualified (than Hall) to rise to the challenge of completing the design of the Opera House.:126
Tourists observing the Opera House.
The Sydney Opera House was formally opened by Queen Elizabeth II, Queen of Australia on 20 October 1973. A large crowd attended. Utzon was not invited to the ceremony, nor was his name mentioned. The opening was televised and included fireworks and a performance of Beethoven's Symphony No. 9.
During the construction phase, lunchtime performances were often arranged for the workers, with American vocalist Paul Robeson the first artist to perform, in 1960.
Various performances were presented prior to the official opening:
The first solo piano recital was in the Concert Hall on 10 April 1973, played by Romola Costantino to an invited audience.
In the late 1990s, the Sydney Opera House Trust resumed communication with Utzon in an attempt to effect a reconciliation and to secure his involvement in future changes to the building. In 1999, he was appointed by the Trust as a design consultant for future work.
The Utzon Room: rebuilt to a design (and endowed with an original tapestry) by Utzon
In 2004, the first interior space rebuilt to an Utzon design was opened, and renamed "The Utzon Room" in his honour. It contains an original Utzon tapestry (14.00 x 3.70 metres) called Homage to Carl Philipp Emmanuel Bach. In April 2007, he proposed a major reconstruction of the Opera Theatre, as it was then known. Utzon died on 29 November 2008.
A state memorial service, attended by Utzon's son Jan and daughter Lin, celebrating his creative genius, was held in the Concert Hall on 25 March 2009 featuring performances, readings and recollections from prominent figures in the Australian performing arts scene.
Refurbished Western Foyer and Accessibility improvements were commissioned on 17 November 2009, the largest building project completed since Utzon was re-engaged in 1999. Designed by Utzon and his son Jan, the project provided improved ticketing, toilet and cloaking facilities. New escalators and a public lift enabled enhanced access for the disabled and families with prams. The prominent paralympian athlete Louise Sauvage was announced as the building's "accessibility ambassador" to advise on further improvements to aid people with disabilities.
On 29 March 2016, an original 1959 tapestry by Le Corbusier (2.18 x 3.55 metres), commissioned by Utzon to be hung in the Sydney Opera House and called Les Dés Sont Jetés (The Dice Are Cast), was finally unveiled in situ after being owned by the Utzon family and held at their home in Denmark for over 50 years. The tapestry was bought at auction by the Sydney Opera House in June 2015. It now hangs in the building's Western Foyer and is accessible to the public.
In the second half of 2017, the Joan Sutherland Theatre was closed to replace the stage machinery and for other works. The Concert Hall is scheduled for work in 2020–2021.
Public and commemorative events
In 1993, Constantine Koukias was commissioned by the Sydney Opera House Trust in association with REM Theatre to compose Icon, a large-scale music theatre piece for the 20th anniversary of the Sydney Opera House.
Since 2013, a group of residents from the nearby Bennelong Apartments (better known as 'The Toaster'), calling themselves the Sydney Opera House Concerned Citizens Group, have been campaigning against Forecourt Concerts on the grounds that they exceed noise levels outlined in the development approval (DA). In February 2017 the NSW Department of Planning and the Environment handed down a $15,000 fine to the Sydney Opera House for breach of allowed noise levels at a concert held in November 2015. However the DA was amended in 2016 to allow an increase in noise levels in the forecourt by 5 decibels. The residents opposing the concerts contend that a new DA should have been filed rather than an amendment.
On 31 December 2013, the venue's 40th anniversary year, a New Year firework display was mounted for the first time in a decade. The Sydney Opera House hosted an event, 'the biggest blind date' on Friday 21 February 2014 that won an historic Guinness World Record. The longest continuous serving employee was commemorated on 27 June 2018, for 50 years of service.
On 5 October 2018 the Opera House chief executive Louise Herron clashed with Sydney radio commentator Alan Jones, who called for her sacking for refusing to allow Racing NSW to use the Opera House sails to advertise The Everest horse race. Within hours, NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian overruled Herron. Two days later, Prime Minister Scott Morrison supported the decision, calling the Opera House "the biggest billboard Sydney has". The NSW Labor Party leader, Luke Foley, and senior federal Labor frontbencher Anthony Albanese had supported the proposal. The political view was not supported by significant public opinion, with a petition against the advertising collecting over 298,000 names by 9 October 2018. 235,000 printed petition documents were presented to the NSW Parliament in the morning. A survey conducted on 8 October by market research firm Micromex found that 81% of those surveyed were not supportive of the premier's direction.
1960 – The first person to perform at the Sydney Opera House was Paul Robeson – he sang "Ol' Man River" to the construction workers as they ate lunch.
^Ness, Immanuel (2014). New Forms of Worker Organization: The Syndicalist and Autonomist Restoration of Class Struggle Unionism - Chapter 10: Doing without the boss: Workers' Control Experiments in Australia in the 1970s.
Stübe, Katarina and Utzon, Jan, Sydney Opera House: A Tribute to Jørn Utzon. Reveal Books, 2009. ISBN 978-0-9806123-0-1
Stuber, Fritz, "Sydney's Opera House—Not a World Heritage Item? – Open letter to the Hon. John W. Howard, Prime Minister", in: Australian Planner (Sydney), Vol. 35, No. 3, 1998 (p. 116); Architecture + Design (New Delhi), Vol. XV, No. 5, 1998 (pp. 12–14); Collage (Berne), No. 3, 1998, (pp. 33–34, 1 ill.).
Watson, Anne (editor), "Building a Masterpiece: The Sydney Opera House", Lund Humphries, 2006, ISBN 0-85331-941-3, ISBN 978-0-85331-941-2.
Watson, Anne, ed. (2013). Building a Masterpiece – The Sydney Opera House – Lessons in Space and Environment (40th Anniversary Edition) (Hardback). Sydney: Powerhouse Publishing. ISBN 978-1-86317-152-6.
Webber, Peter, "Peter Hall: The Phantom of the Opera House", The Watermark Press, 2012, ISBN 978-0-949284-95-2.
Woolley, Ken, Reviewing the performance : the design of the Sydney Opera House, The Watermark Press, 2010, ISBN 9780949284921.
Yeomans, John (1973), Building the Sydney Opera House, Hornibrook Group, ISBN 978-0-9598748-0-8
Yeomans, John (1973), The other Taj Mahal : what happened to the Sydney Opera House (New ed.), Longman Australia, ISBN 978-0-582-71209-6
Black Monday on October 19, 1987 was the date when a sudden, severe and largely unexpected systemic shock impaired the functioning of the global financial market system, roiling its stability through a stock market crash, along with crashes in the futures and options markets. The crisis affected markets around the world; however, no international news event or change in market fundamentals has been shown to have had a strong effect on investor behavior. Instead, contemporaneous causality and feedback behavior between markets increased dramatically during this period. In an environment of increased volatility and uncertainty, investors were reacting to changes in stock prices and to communication with other investors in a self-reinforcing contagion of fear. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) fell exactly 508 points to 1,738.74 (22.61%). In Australia and New Zealand, the 1987 crash is also referred to as "Black Tuesday" because of the time zone difference.
The terms "Black Monday" and "Black Tuesday" are also respectively applied to October 28 and October 29, 1929, which occurred after Black Thursday on October 24, which started the Stock Market Crash of 1929.
In late 1985 and early 1986, the United States economy shifted from a rapid recovery from the early 1980s recession to a slower expansion, resulting in a brief "soft landing" period as the economy slowed and inflation dropped. The stock market advanced significantly, with the Dow peaking in August 1987 at 2,722 points, or 44% over the previous year's closing of 1,895 points. Further financial uncertainty may have resulted from the collapse of OPEC in early 1986, which led to a crude oil price decrease of more than 50% by mid-1986.
On October 14, the DJIA dropped 95.46 points (3.8%) (a then record) to 2,412.70, and it fell another 58 points (2.4%) the next day, down over 12% from the August 25 all-time high.
On Friday, October 16, when all the markets in London were unexpectedly closed due to the Great Storm of 1987, the DJIA fell 108.35 points (4.6%) to close at 2,246.74 on record volume. Then–Treasury SecretaryJames Baker stated concerns about the falling prices.
The crash began in Far Eastern markets the morning of October 19 and accelerated in London time, largely because London had closed early on October 16 due to the storm. By 9:30 a.m., the London FTSE100 had fallen over 136 points.
Margin calls and liquidity
Frederic Mishkin suggested that the greatest economic danger was not events on the day of the crash itself, but the potential for "spreading collapse of securities firms" if an extended liquidity crisis in the securities industry began to threaten the solvency and viability of brokerage houses and designated market makers (also known as "specialists"). This possibility first loomed on the day after the crash. At least initially, there was a very real risk that these institutions could fail. If that happened, spillover effects could sweep over the entire financial system, with negative consequences for the real economy as a whole.
The source of these liquidity problems was a general increase in margin calls; after the market's plunge, these were about ten times their average size and three times greater than the highest previous morning variation call. Several firms had insufficient cash in customers' accounts (that is, they were "undersegregated"). Firms drawing funds from their own capital to meet the shortfall sometimes became undercapitalized; for example, 11 firms had a margin call from a single customer that exceeded that firm's adjusted net capital, sometimes by as much as two-to-one. Investors needed to repay end-of-day margin calls made on the 19th before the opening of the market on the 20th. Clearinghouse member firms called on lending institutions to extend credit to cover these sudden and unexpected charges, but the brokerages requesting additional credit began to exceed their credit limit. Banks were also worried about increasing their involvement and exposure to a chaotic market. The size and urgency of the demands for credit placed upon banks was unprecedented. In general, counterparty risk increased as the creditworthiness of counterparties and the value of collateral posted became highly uncertain.
Every one of 23 major world markets experienced a decline in October. When measured in a common currency (US dollars), 8 of them declined by 20 ~ 29%, 3 by 30 ~ 39% (Malysia, Mexico and New Zealnd), and 3 by more than 40% (Hong Kong, Australia, Singapore)[A]New Zealand's market was hit especially hard, falling about 60% from its 1987 peak, and would take several years to recover. The damage to the New Zealand economy was compounded by high exchange rates and the Reserve Bank of New Zealand's refusal to loosen monetary policy in response to the crisis, in contrast to countries such as West Germany, Japan and the United States, whose banks increased short-term liquidity to forestall recession and would experience economic growth in the following 2–3 years.
On the morning of October 20, Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan made a brief statement: "The Federal Reserve, consistent with its responsibilities as the Nation's central bank, affirmed today its readiness to serve as a source of liquidity to support the economic and financial system". Fed sources suggested that the brevity was deliberate, in order to avoid misinterpretations. This "extraordinary" announcement probably had a calming effect on markets that were facing an equally unprecedented demand for liquidity and the immediate potential for a liquidity crisis.
The Fed then acted to provide market liquidity and prevent the crisis from expanding into other markets. It immediately began injecting its reserves into the financial system via purchases on the open market. This rapidly pushed the federal funds rate down by 0.5%. The Fed continued its expansive open market purchases of securities for weeks. The Fed also repeatedly began these interventions an hour before the regularly scheduled time, notifying dealers of the schedule change on the evening beforehand. This was all done in a very high-profile and public manner, similar to Greenspan's initial announcement, to restore market confidence that liquidity was forthcoming. Although the Fed's holdings expanded appreciably over time, the speed of expansion was not excessive. Moreover, the Fed later disposed of these holdings so that its long-term policy goals would not be adversely affected.
A popular explanation for the 1987 crash was computerized selling dictated by portfolio insurance hedges. However, economist Dean Furbush pointed out that the biggest price drops occurred during light trading volume. In program trading, computers execute rapid stock trades based on external inputs, such as the price of related securities. Common strategies implemented by program trading involve an attempt to engage in arbitrage and portfolio insurance strategies.
As computer technology became widespread, program trading grew dramatically within Wall Street firms. After the crash, many blamed program trading strategies for blindly selling stocks as markets fell, exacerbating the decline. Some economists theorized that the speculative boom leading up to October was caused by program trading, and that the crash was merely a return to normalcy. Either way, program trading ended up taking the majority of the blame in the public eye for the 1987 stock market crash. U.S. Congressman Edward J. Markey, who had been warning about the possibility of a crash, stated that "Program trading was the principal cause."
The internal reasons included innovations with index futures and portfolio insurance. I've seen accounts that maybe roughly half the trading on that day was a small number of institutions with portfolio insurance. Big guys were dumping their stock. Also, the futures market in Chicago was even lower than the stock market, and people tried to arbitrage that. The proper strategy was to buy futures in Chicago and sell in the New York cash market. It made it hard – the portfolio insurance people were also trying to sell their stock at the same time.
After Black Monday, regulators overhauled trade-clearing protocols to bring uniformity to all prominent market products. They also developed new rules, known as "trading curbs" or colloquially as circuit breakers, allowing exchanges to temporarily halt trading in instances of exceptionally large price declines in some indexes; for instance, the DJIA.
^The markets were: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United States.
^Discount window borrowing did not play a major role in the Federal Reserve's response to the crisis.