#EndSARS has been trending #1 on Twitter this week and calls for the ban of national police force unit, Special Anti-Robbery Squad. Just as in America, Nigeria is facing its own police brutality struggles.
SARS was set up in the 90s and has been accused of killings, torture, corruption, and robbery. Essentially, many Nigerians see SARS as a replica of the violence they were set up to address. A call for a reform has gone on for years but citizens say not much has changed. Recent protests sparked to completely end the police force after a video circulated online on October 3rd, reportedly showing a SARS officer shooting a young man in Delta state then driving off with his car.
Nigerian youths and their supporters have been peacefully protesting in Nigeria for about two weeks and Nigerians in America have joined in. #EndSARS protests are being held in states such as New York, Texas, Chicago, Washington D.C., and even in smaller states such as Kentucky.
On Tuesday, several peaceful protesters were killed at Nigeria’s Lekki toll gate bridge which sparked an international uproar.
Celebrities in America such as Rihana, Gabrielle Union, Kanye West, former First Lady, Hilary Clinton, and former Vice President, Joe Biden, have taken to social media and to the press to show their support for the #EndSARS movement.
Nigerians collectively urge all those to speak up, to share useful information, and to help amplify the voices of the people on ground. Organizations such as the Feminist Coalition are also collecting donations to aid the protesters and victims.