Nigerians took to the streets once again on October 13, 2020, in several cities for fresh protests against police brutality, bringing key roads to a standstill in economic hub Lagos. Demonstrations organised on social media erupted earlier this month calling for the abolition of a notorious police unit accused of unlawful arrests, torture and extra-judicial killings. The government gave in to the demand on October 11, 2020, announcing that the federal Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) was being disbanded in a rare concession to people power in Africa’s most populous nation. Thousands of Nigerians took to the streets in a string of cities once again Tuesday for fresh protests against police brutality, bringing traffic to a standstill in economic hub Lagos. Demonstrations organised on social media erupted earlier this month calling for the abolition of a notorious police unit accused of unlawful arrests, torture and extra-judicial killings. The government gave in to the demand on Sunday, announcing that the Federal Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) was being disbanded in a rare concession to people power in Africa’s most populous nation.
Roads in major cities across the country have been blocked and cities brought close to a standstill as protesters enter day eight of demonstrations across more than 100 cities across the country. Amidst this, it appears as though the voices of masses is not being heard loud enough and so the reason for the consistency and persistence. As protests continue, here’s how people in the country are coordinating to make the movement work efficiently and how you can help.
Render Your Time And Skills
So far, emergency medical teams, pro bono lawyers, and mental health support have been provided on ground to help protesters as needed. Mental health organization, MentallyAware created panic cards to help protesters who might get panic attacks as a result of protests. More medical assistance are also available on ground through emergency ambulances, physiotherapists and mental therapy. Some privately owned businesses have on the other hand provided snacks, refreshments, food for the protesters who have toiled and persevered under the toxic circumstances. Volunteers in the technology sector set up an auto messaging platform to call the attention of senators to the needs of protesters.
Sponsor The Movement
Crowdfunding options have been set up to provide food, health and legal services, security and other assistance to protesters. The Feminist Coalition are those at the forefront of this, who have so far raised nearly 70 million naira (around $180,000) and other currencies including Bitcoin. Through the crowdfunding support, lawyers have been dispatched to release protesters detained by police, medical bills of those hurt have been covered, food as well as other items of convenience have been provided to protesters.
Speak Out And Stay Updated
A website was put in place to document accounts of the Nigerian youth’s brutal experiences at the hands of the police. Flyers in several local languages have also been created, all in a bid to shine more light on the plight of young Nigerians and get information flowing as freely as possible. Many hashtag variations of the same message to end police brutality, have trended daily for the past one week, thanks to the people pushing the message nonstop online. The Nigerian youths have exploited the social media, with the now globally recognized hashtags, Nigerians are drawing much more attention to the country, keeping people informed and updated on the recent happenings.
Participate In Prayer Walks
People of faith have come together to pray for the nation, the protesters, and leaders in ensuring the aim of the protests come to fruition and the demands of the youth are met. One cannot undermine the effect of the spiritual over the physical which is why the youth deemed it fit to carry on this prayer chain for their beloved nation.