The fight against police brutality against people of color has never been just a United States problem. Currently, protests are occurring worldwide against the ongoing police violence in Nigeria, which has made the hashtag #ENDSARS trend globally and has many well-known Black celebrities calling for their fans to support the movement.
On Tuesday evening, horrific video began circulating online of the Nigerian army opening fire on unarmed protestors in Lagos, Nigeria, and fatally shooting many of the peaceful protestors who had taken to the streets for weeks to demand an end to the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), a controversial division of the Nigerian Police founded in 1984. The SARS undercover unit was put in place to stop violent crimes in the country, but since its inception it has been accused of wrongfully profiling, illegally detaining, extorting and brutalizing innocent Nigerian—essentially becoming the bag guys they were created to stop.
This went on for decades, then in 2016, an amnesty international report made these allegations against SARS public, and in 2017 the #endsars protests began trending after Twitter uses began sharing their horrific accounts of harassment at the hands of the police force. Amnesty International reported at least 82 cases of torture, ill-treatment and extra-judicial execution between January 2017 and May 2020, TIME reports. Demands were made to put an end to SARS, but the police dismissed the allegations.
On Oct. 8 nationwide protests to #ENDSARS resumed after a video surfaced of what is thought to be SARS officers allegedly shooting and killing a young man in Nigeria’s Southern Delta State. The protests have spread well beyond Nigeria and across the world as many aim to show their support for the young Nigerians protesting peacefully daily to demand the disbandment of SARS immediately. Celebs are also showing their support. Rihanna, Gabrielle Union and Justine Skye have posted about what’s happening to protestors in Nigeria to help raise awareness.
Trevor Noah also took time at his post on The Daily Show to educate viewers on the issue at hand and why they need to know what’s happening in Nigeria and why it’s important.