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The ability to assemble and act collectively is vital to democratic, economic, social and personal development; to the expression of ideas and to fostering engaged citizenry. An assembly is an intentional and temporary gathering in a private or public space for a specific purpose and includes demonstrations, inside meetings, strikes, processions, rallies, or even sits-in that play a vibrant role in mobilising the population and formulating grievances and aspirations, facilitating the celebration of events and influencing public policy (Kiai 2012). Freedom of peaceful assembly, though limited in some instances as stipulated by the Kenyan Constitution (Article 37) and other relevant laws, is a fundamental human right that allows persons and groups to organise and participate peacefully together and publicly convey their positions and opinions. It allows citizens to protest and demand action by the authorities without fear of threat, harassment, intimidation, reprisal or arrest. It also gives persons power to gather publicly or privately and collectively express, promote, pursue and defend their common interest (Constitution of Kenya 2010: Article 37).

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