A new grassroots movement to end police brutality has caught the attention of the United States, celebrities and the entire world, and it’s only going to grow.
What is #EndSARS?
- SARS — not to be confused with the norovirus of the same name — has been in power for almost 30 years. The unit has allegedly abused its power on people, which has included beatings, sexual assault, waterboarding and similar abuses.
- Inspector General of Police Mohammed Adamu announced on Oct. 11 SARS would be disbanded. Officers were later since to other units, USA Today reports.
- Protests erupted in West Africa. The hashtag began to spread. And now it has reached global proportions.
- Beyonce said: “I am heartbroken to see the senseless brutality taking place in Nigeria. There has to be an end to SARS. We have been working on partnerships with youth organizations to support those protesting for change. We are collaborating with coalitions to provide emergency healthcare, food and shelter. To our Nigerian sisters and brothers, we stand by you.”
Democratic nominee Joe Biden called for police reform in Nigeria as well.
- “I urge President Buhari and the Nigerian military to cease the violent crackdown on protesters in Nigeria, which has already resulted in several deaths. My heart goes out to all those who have lost a loved one in the violence. The United States must stand with Nigerians who are peacefully demonstrating for police reform and seeking an end to corruption in their democracy. I encourage the government to engage in a good-faith dialogue with civil society to address these long-standing grievances and work together for a more just and inclusive Nigeria.”
Kanye West said: “I will stand with my Nigerian brothers and sisters to end police brutality, the government must answer to the peoples cries.”
What’s happening now?
Government officials have begun to crack down on protesters and the unrest within Nigeria. According to The Cut, multiple videos and photos show law enforcement using tear gas and firing bullets into crowds.
What can you do?
Multiple groups — like Nigeria-based Feminist Coalition — are accepting donations to help end the police brutality.