Home Events + Community #EndSARS: Nigerian movement makes its way to the U.S.

#EndSARS: Nigerian movement makes its way to the U.S.

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. 

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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#ENDSARS 🇳🇬

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Haley Bosselman
Haley Bosselman is the editor-in-chief of Culturas. She grew up in Orange County and moved to Los Angeles after earning her bachelor's degree in journalism from Arizona State University. In May 2020, Haley completed the Master of Science in journalism program at the University of Southern California. She's written a lot about music, but is geared toward any culture-related storytelling.
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