The Spark

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.” — Karl Marx

Ivory Coast:
Kicking Workers Out, Instead of Building Public Housing

Dec 12, 2011

This article is from the paper Workers Power (Le Pouvoir aux Travailleurs), put out in Ivory Coast by comrades of the African Union of Internationalist Communist Workers (UATCI).

When Prime Minister Soro Guillaume visited Yopougon, he decided to force out lower income people from the area. He gave as the excuse the “anarchic occupations” of the zone of “urban settlement.”

Those living in the area are workers with few choices, given their low wages. How can they feed themselves, get about and take care of themselves with these low wages? Even worse, more and more workers living in distant neighborhoods must sleep in their factories all week long, in bad conditions, to save on travel. Some build little shacks for their family, not because they want to, but rather because they are forced to do so.

Pretending to care about the living conditions of the poorest, the minister of Construction, Improvement and Urbanism claimed the government would request that those who are going to develop the land put aside 5% of the area for low income people. We notice the minister said they would “request,” not “require.” As if he didn’t know the developers are in it for profit – showing their scorn for the poor, beginning with their own employees.