Photo by Stephen Tayo

With the impending US election coverage on all media, it might feel that the Black Lives Matter movement might not be getting the headlines like earlier in the summer. Police reform is was one of the major talking points of the election. Even Kamala Harris’ track record as California’s attorney general and San Francisco’s district attorney is questionable for progressives. However, the Black Lives Matter movement is seeing the interconnectedness of black struggles around the world. Late-night hosts are joking that the UN should oversee the election results as they do in African countries, and it’s not looking funny anymore. Black Lives Matter standing with #ENDSARS also puts a mirror to our face on police brutality.


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So what is SARS? SARS stands for Special Anti-Robbery Squad, a unit of the Nigerian police. Much like the US stance to be “tough on crime”, major abuse of power at all levels take place. Like George Floyd being murdered by the police for what they thought was a fake $20, SARS has profiled, tortured, abducted, and even killed for trivial unproven robberies. Imagine getting systematically stopped because you are told that your phone, bag, or car was stolen. This isn’t about being “tough on crime” it’s about power for authority and essentially exercising authoritarianism.

I myself hadn’t heard of SARS before until #ENDSARS started to appear on my social media. Riri, Beyonce, Chance the Rapper, and more celebrities were trending with the hashtag. While I saw them share images, I still had never heard of it before. I’m embarrassed to say that until I saw the images, I thought the hashtag was in regards to SARS-COV-2. Trevor Noah, brilliantly explains it in layman terms for us to all.

So, why now? Following the murder of an unarmed civilian by SARS peaceful protests began across Nigeria. However, on the 20th of October, the Nigerian army got involved and brutally murdered at least 12 demonstrators in the #ENDSARS protest. In the US, we haven’t seen the military involved yet in the BLM protest although we have seen military-style crackdowns against protesters. The Nigerian army did this premeditated ambush on unarmed protesters by removing CCTV cameras, switching off electricity, and setting fire on both sides of the protesters to trap them.

Days after, on the other side of the world, but spiritually side by side, Black Lives Matter released this statement:

There is a global movement for Black lives afoot. From the protestors in Cameroon who faced down water cannon and tear gas, to the fierce women in Namibia demanding #Shutitalldown, to the brave Zimbabweans campaigning for the release of Takudzwa Ngadziore, we will not be silenced and we cannot be stopped. The call for Black lives to matter is a rallying cry for all Black lives striving for liberation. We stand against all violence inflicted on black communities.

We stand in solidarity with the brave Nigerians who were gunned down by security forces while exercising their right to protest. We stand in support of every Nigerian who has raised their voice against police brutality and to disband the SARS unit.

We call on our supporters to amplify the voices of Nigerians on the ground, and join solidarity protests taking place in your local community and across the world. We support direct donation of resources to these movements, and to Nigerian organizations doing the work on the ground as they have requested.”


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This is a worldwide movement to fight for freedom, liberation, and justice. When Black Lives Matter started in 2013 it was a decentralized social movement, much like #ENDSARS in Nigeria, but for reform to really take place, we need the movement to become a political power too.