For those just catching up, Nigeria is currently undergoing its own cultural revolution. Much like the stateside protests sparked by the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery, over the summer, Lagos and cities across the African nation have been overtaken by demonstrations against police brutality that Nigerians have dubbed, the #ENDSARS movement
The youth-led protests have brought visibility to a long-running era of state-sanctioned violence against young Black men in Nigeria. And mirroring the response of many U.S. law enforcement regimes, protests against police brutality have only proved the point of demonstrators, who have been murdered, beaten, and fired upon in the street by local police. The uprising’s scope expanded this week to take on governmental corruption at the highest level after the country’s SARS unit was disbanded and replaced with a SWAT team that fired on peaceful protestors at a demonstration this week, killing dozens.
On this side of the pond, #ENDSARS — referring to Special Anti-Robbery Unit Squad, a branch of the police known for exacting violence on Nigerian youth — has been met with an outpouring of support from entertainers across mediums. From Beyonce to Trevor Noah to Noname to Questlove to Nas and Jay Versace, amongst others, the #ENDSARS demonstrations, are taking hold here in the states. And protests are currently underway in several U.S. cities, including Los Angeles, New York, and Washington D.C..
You can read through some of the responses from entertainers standing in solidarity with Nigeria’s youth below. For more on what’s happening on the ground in Lagos and how you can aid protests in the ongoing demonstrations, head over to OkayAfrica.
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