Tonight at 6 p.m., a candlelight vigil will be held in Los Angeles to honor the #EndSARS movement in Nigeria. The protest will occur at Los Angeles City Hall and asks for participants to bring a candle and requires face masks.
What’s happening in Nigeria?
The vigil follows news that people were wounded and shot dead at a police brutality protest in Lagos, Nigeria’s biggest city. The city is now under indefinite curfew and the state governor alleges 25 people have been wounded and one person died, according to the BBC.
Protests have been taking place for two weeks over SARS, the Special Anti-Robbery Squad that is now disbanded. On October 11, the president’s office announced on Twitter the dissolution of SARS, but that such officers would be redeployed.
This summer, Amnesty International released a report that found 82 incidents of ill treatment, torture and extrajudicial execution between January 2017 and May 2020. It revealed SARS’ pattern of abuse of power and consistent failure by Nigerian authorities to bring justice. And though SARS has been disbanded, the movement has transformed into a larger demonstration against police brutality and the government. Yesterday, Amnesty International Nigeria confirmed the use of excessive force against protesters in Lagos.
— Amnesty International Nigeria (@AmnestyNigeria) October 20, 2020
Sweeping support online
A Change.org petition outlines seven demands from the government: reforms in institutions, cost of governance, constitution, education, health, youth affairs and public office. A “Concerned Nigerian,” who started the petition, wrote, “We recognize that this movement is the culmination of decades of dissatisfaction over the decay and corruption of our dear country, Nigeria… This movement is for the soul of Nigeria.”
Primarily over the last 24 hours, public figures have taken to social media to support the protesters and call for an end to the violence. Notably, Beyoncé announced a partnership with youth organizations to support the protesters.
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Enough is enough! We are united and stand in solidarity as ONE NIGERIA to redefine our future and create a country that we all can be proud of.
— Yvonne Orji (@YvonneOrji) October 19, 2020
What our Nigerian brothers and sisters are going through is painful and all too familiar. Today the people of Nigeria are exposing and standing up to their governments lies. We should all support #EndSARS and the movement for a Nigeria free from corruption! pic.twitter.com/2QksZJ3151
— Trevor Noah (@Trevornoah) October 21, 2020
— John Boyega (@JohnBoyega) October 21, 2020
— Ilhan Omar (@IlhanMN) October 21, 2020
Standing with & praying for the brave young people of Nigeria who are on the front lines of this senseless violence. Your voice is being heard. 🇳🇬 #EndSARS
— Mrs. Petty (@NICKIMINAJ) October 20, 2020
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