The movement to end the Specialized Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) is a decades-long fight that took to the digital space earlier this month when the hashtag #EndSARS went viral, gaining global attention.
SARS was established in 1992 by the Nigeria government and is being called to end because of incessant murder, brutality, sexual assault, theft, and violence its members inflict upon citizens.
As the hashtag gained traction, awareness grew and motivated people in America to start marching in solidarity with Nigerian protestors.
Montgomery, Alabama, a landmark site of the American Civil Rights Movement, held a protest in the name of #EndSARS. Otii Sobeiekon who participated in the Sunday (October 25) protest highlighted the experience of Nigerian protesters, telling WSFA 12 News, “They cut off the streetlights, the streetlights, social amenities, they cut it off. Then what happened? Law enforcement agents trooped in and started shooting at peaceful protestors.”
Organizers in Los Angeles held a candlelight vigil in front of City Hall for the victims of Nigerian police violence.
Protesters in Washington, D.C. assembled in front of the Nigerian Embassy October 11 to vocalize frustration with the Nigerian government. Their aim, Tolu Awodiya said to WUSA “was to let people know at home that they are not alone. We know about it, we’ve experienced it and we are also for change.”
Protesters in Nigeria shared footage online of the violence they’ve been experiencing as protests rage on for several weeks now. Reports by Amnesty International state that 56 people have died in Nigeria since protests against SARS began in the country on October 8.
Remaining connected digitally and in direct and kindred lineage, Nigerian and American protesters continue to resound the global call to end police violence by activating and amplifying on-the-ground demonstrations in both countries and beyond.
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