D H
Oct 12 · Last update 10 mo. ago.

What is the significance of Nigeria’s #EndSARS protests?

[Image courtesy of Aisha Yesufu - twitter.com/AishaYesufu/status/1315022295379963904, licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International license. - Cropped] The SARS (or Special Anti-Robbery Squad) were a unit of the Nigerian Police Force that was recently disbanded following an international protest movement against the division. The #EndSARS protests and social movement accuses the SARS of a multitude of crimes and acts of brutality and corruption, and demands the dissolution of this unit of the Nigerian Police Force. Nigeria’s Police Inspector General disbanded the SARS on 11th October 2020. What is the history of the SARS? How did the #EndSARS movement start in Nigeria and elsewhere? What is the wider significance of the #EndSARS movement?
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The power of activism
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New era of increasingly unintelligible narratives
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The most brutal of the anti-police brutality protests
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Nothing, they will be dissolved and ultimately reassigned
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The power of activism

The #EndSARS protests are the result of longterm brutal and oppressive police violence in Nigeria, but a video of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad officers allegedly killing a young Nigerian man went viral on October 3rd 2020, kickstarted massive protest internationally. Thousands of protesters took to the streets around the world while many more online activists used the hashtag online, this online activism so effectively captured global attention that the eyes of the world seemed fixed on Nigeria during the height of these protests. The fact that the protest become known by the name "#EndSARS" shows the power of hashtag activism, as it clearly focussed the world’s attention on this specific issue. The power of social media and global solidarity protests seem to be becoming a norm, making domestic issues international, as people can stand in increasing solidarity internationally in real time for the first time in history.

getrevue.co/profile/getafrica/issues/endsars-the-latent-power-of-hashtag-activism-282947

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D H
Nov 22
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New era of increasingly unintelligible narratives

While social media has undoubtedly brought issues such as police brutality to the fore internationally, we are now at an important juncture where this potentially revolutionary new form of media would tip over the edge and actually lead us to become more misinformed than ever before, and the #EndSARS protests are a significant example of this. While the Nigerian Government have claimed that this whole issue and especially notable events such as the Lekki massacre are fake news concocted by activists on social media, certain social media companies have also wrongly flagged a multitude of #EndSARS post as false information. Both Facebook and Instagram blocked #EndSARS posts as false information, calling it an error but refusing to elaborate on how the posts were mid-flagged as false, this caused many activists and prominent figures, such as Naomi Campbell, to call this out as social media censorship. If we want wish to not fall deeper into the abyss of misinformation do we not need clearer guidelines on the removal of information from social media, to stop any potential collusion between governments and tech companies to smear or cover up acts of criminality or brutality? It seems clear from #EndSARS that we do…

msn.com/en-xl/news/other/breaking-endsars-crisis-no-massacre-in-lekki-says-fg/ar-BB1baiDJ parrotgist.com/facebook-and-instagram-blocking-endsars-protest-posts-images-and-videos newsweek.com/naomi-campbell-calls-out-facebook-blocking-nigerian-police-brutality-post-like-some-fake-virus-1541178

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D H
Nov 22
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The most brutal of the anti-police brutality protests

In a year of widespread global protests against police brutality, Nigeria will be remembered for the most brutal repression of protesters by the police and military, with protesters shot dead in cold blood for all the internet and all the world to see. On the 21st October 2020 social media footage began to emerge of Nigerian military operatives opening fire on a large group of protesters near the Lekki Toll Gate in Lagos, in what is being called the Lekki Massacre. Other footage of seeming executions of protestors in the streets are flooding out of Nigeria in a year that will be defined by anti-police brutality protests. But despite widespread protests of a similar nature all over the United States, France, Hong Kong, and elsewhere, this display of violence will remain the most shocking.

edujandon.com/2020/10/lekki-toll-gate-massacre-if-i-die-i-die-for-my-children-last-word-of-a-dying-protester.html

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D H
Oct 21
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Nothing, they will be dissolved and ultimately reassigned

The Nigerian Police Force's Special Anti-Robbery Squad was formed in 1992 in response to widespread police desertion following the murder of a Nigerian Army Colonel by police officers; the SARS were initially established as an interim police force but became a mainstay. The SARS descended into corruption in the following few decades, and in 2018 the unit was overhauled and their name changed to the Federal Special Anti-Robbery Squad, however abuses of power including murder, extortion, torture, framing and blackmail continued. Unfortunately despite the massive social movement to end these abuses in 2020, Mohammed Adamu Inspector General of Police shared plans to dissolve SARS, but the plan entails redeploying these officers to other Police Commands and Formations and Units. Dissolution will therefore most likely be meaningless as these criminal officers will ultimately be reassigned, this one act will not end police brutality and corruption in Nigeria, and like 2018, amounts to little more than a name change.

bellanaija.com/2020/10/what-it-means-when-the-police-say-they-are-dissolving-sars

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D H
Oct 12
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DH edited this paragraph
The Nigerian Police Force's Special Anti-Robbery Squad was formed in 1992 in response to widespread police desertion following the murder of a Nigerian Army Colonel by police officers; the SARS were initially established as an interim police force but became a mainstay. The SARS descended into corruption in the following few decades, and in 2018 the unit was overhauled and their name changed to the Federal Special Anti-Robbery Squad, however abuses of power including murder, extortion, torture, framing and blackmail continued. Unfortunately despite the massive social movement to end these abuses in 2020, Mohammed Adamu Inspector General of Police shared plans to dissolve SARS, but the plan entails redeploying these officers to other Police Commands and Formations and Units. Dissolution will therefore most likely be meaningless as these criminal officers will ultimately be reassigned, this one act will not end police brutality and corruption in Nigeria, and like 2018, amounts to little more than a name change.
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