World Nigerian activists created #EndSARS in 2017. Now, it's resurfaced and sparked a social media movement

05:25  22 october  2020
05:25  22 october  2020 Source:   latimes.com

Nigeria police brutality: Kanye West and other stars join global protests

  Nigeria police brutality: Kanye West and other stars join global protests US rapper Kanye West has joined a growing list of international celebrities speaking out in support of large protests against police brutality in Nigeria. © Pius Utomi Ekpei/AFP/Getty Images A girl carries placard reading "Special Ant-Robbery Squad (SARS) Kill, SARS Rape, SARS Extort, End SARS Now" on the road to a government house in continuation of an ongoing demonstration to call for the scrapping of the controversial police unit at Ikeja, on October 9, 2020.

The # EndSars hashtag has been trending for weeks, calling for an end to police brutality in Nigeria . On Tuesday evening, images flooded social media of a panicked crowd escaping gunshots in Lagos, Nigeria . Amnesty International said in a statement that they had received "credible evidence" that

Since its inception in 2006, Twitter has grown into one of the largest social media platforms in the world It has now been 2000 days since the schoolgirls of Chibok were kidnapped by Boko Haram, and 112 are still missing. # EndSARS Now - Nigerians Protest Over Kolade Johnson’ s Murder https

Nigerian activists created the Twitter campaign called #EndSARS years ago to pressure government and police officials to disband the controversial police unit known as the Special Anti-Robbery Squad.

a group of people wearing green and white umbrella: Demonstrators hold banners as they protest against police brutality in Lagos, Nigeria, on Oct. 20, 2020. (Sunday Alamba / Associated Press) © Provided by The LA Times Demonstrators hold banners as they protest against police brutality in Lagos, Nigeria, on Oct. 20, 2020. (Sunday Alamba / Associated Press)

That was in 2017. This month, the online campaign resurfaced after a video circulated showing a man being beaten, apparently by police officers of the squad, widely known as SARS.

For the last two weeks, Nigerians have marched across the African nation, protesting against police violence that has left at least 56 people dead during demonstrations. Activists have also used the social media hashtag to spread their message worldwide and people have responded as others pushed for police reform in their communities. Celebrities such as Beyoncé and Rihanna have written messages of solidarity on their social media this week.

Nigeria's anti-police protesters storm prison, free inmates

  Nigeria's anti-police protesters storm prison, free inmates LAGOS, Nigeria (AP) — Nigeria's protests against police brutality turned violent Monday when a crowd stormed a prison and freed inmates in Benin City in southern Nigeria. Some prisoners jumped from a high fence of the institution while others were seen running away on the street, according to videos from the scene. Local media reports say as many as 200 prisoners may have escaped. Nigerian officials have not announced if there were casualties from the prison break.Protesters also attacked police stations and police trucks in other parts of the country.

Social movements are groupings of individuals or organizations which focus on political or social issues. This list excludes the following: Artistic movements : see list of art movements . Independence movements : see lists of active separatist movements and list of historical separatist movements .

Black Lives Matter has sparked a hashtag, grass-roots organisations, and a collective of activists . But how did it go from a social media post to a global phenomenon, and where does it go now ? I think perhaps it ' s a spiritual, emotional movement created by implicit evils in our society that we

In countries around the world, including the United States, there have been condemnations and demonstrations in support of Nigerians protesting against SARS.

SARS, the federal police unit of the Nigeria Police Force, was created in 1992 to deal with violent crimes and armed robberies. It came under fire from civilians and Amnesty International for its inhumane tactics. A 2016 report by Amnesty International describes how SARS used torture such as beating, hanging, starvation and threats of execution to get information.

In light of this month's demonstrations, Mohammed Adamu, the head of the Nigeria Police Force, announced on its Facebook account on Oct. 11 that it would immediately dissolve SARS across the 36 state commands and federal capital territory in the "spirit of democratic, citizen-centered and community policing."

Protest Erupts at Nigerian Ambassador's House in Maryland Over Killing of Protesters in Lagos

  Protest Erupts at Nigerian Ambassador's House in Maryland Over Killing of Protesters in Lagos A group of protesters gathered in front of the home of the Nigerian Ambassador to the U.S. on Tuesday after reports of the killing of anti-police brutality demonstrators in Lagos.Protests began in October in Lagos against the special police force known as the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS). According to Amnesty International, SARS is "notorious for the widespread torture and other ill-treatment of Nigerians." Tuesday's shootings occurred in the Lekki district of Lagos, the largest city in Africa. While a confirmed number of casualties has yet to be released, witnesses at the scene told Reuters that at least two people had been struck by gunfire.

social media platforms—including hashtag activism —to reach thousands of people rapidly.[50] a WikiProject dedicated to coverage of the Black Lives Matter movement was created in June 2020 A number of media outlets are providing material related to racial injustice and the Black Lives Matter

It ’ s one of the top social media sites for self-expression and is very popular among teens and Bubbly is a voice-based social media site where users can create voice posts and tag and customise them Care2 is a social media site for activists , where they can discover trending stories and petitions from

Adamu said a forum was being created where police officials and citizens could regularly interact and discuss policing activities. The police force, he said, would also cooperate with "human rights bodies" investigating alleged cases of human rights violations.

Two days later, he announced that a new unit, called Special Weapons and Tactics, would replace SARS. Members of this new team, SWAT, would not include those from SARS.

To be eligible for SWAT, Adamu said, candidates must be free of any pending disciplinary action, especially the misuse of firearms and human rights abuses. They will also undergo psychological and medical examination and fitness training. SWAT, he said, will also be prohibited from going on routine patrols and "indiscriminate and unlawful search of phones, laptops and other smart devices."

Members of the defunct SARS will also undergo psychological and medical examination and go through more training before they return to policing duties, according to Adamu.

The inspector general of police "stresses that the Force leadership has heard the voice of the people clearly and is irrevocably committed to doing everything possible to address the observed ills, punish the offending officers and enthrone a people-friendly police force," according to a statement released by the Nigerian Police Force's public relations department.

Nigerian activists have created a new hashtag — #EndSWAT — to push back and keep the pressure on for police reform. It, too, is attracting social media notice globally.

This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.

The massive protests in Nigeria, explained .
What is the SARS unit, and why do Nigerians want to #EndSARS? The sequence of events leading to what Nigerians now call the #LekkiMassacre suggests that this appears to be a carefully planned attack. While protesters were standing on the road, dancing to songs from a live DJ, the Lagos state governor imposed a curfew, to start at 4 p.m. The protesters refused to leave. Next, operators of the toll removed all CCTV cameras from the toll booths and the lights cut out. Soldiers arrived and opened fire between 6:45 and 9 p.m.

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